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  • A step-by-step guide to implementing a powerful search platform Algolia with WordPress. And some alternative solutions as well.

    Default WordPress search is basic. If you are running a site that requires significant search operation, then you need more than basic.

    Have you lately visited Product Hunt, Medium, Beta List, Stripe, DigitalOcean, etc., and amazed while searching?

    They use Algolia

    A SaaS (software-as-a-service) search engine for WordPress, Java, Rails, React, Angular, Python, eCommerce, etc. Algolia got a WordPress plugin, which makes the integration easy and quick.

    Let’s look at the features before implementing them.

    • Typo tolerance – typo happens to everyone, so your users. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get the expected result.

    As you can see above, I typed the wrong spelling of vulnerabilities, and still, I was able to get the result.

    • Synonyms – don’t worry about including all synonyms of targeted keywords. Detect plural, remove stop words,
    • Geo Search
    • Multi-language – more than 100 languages covered.
    • Custom ranking – based on popularity, customer behavior
    • Powerful analytics – analyze everything like many queries, top searches, countries, search performed by IP, etc.

    Algolia is enterprise-ready and got a FREE plan as well if you own a small site or want to see how it works, signup for the community edition.

    And to see it in action, check out this demo.

    Once you are ready to implement, follow the below procedure.

    Integrating Algolia with WordPress

    • At left navigation, go to Algolia Search >> Settings.

    Here you need to enter the API credential which you will get from the Algolia dashboard >> API keys

    • Enter application ID, Search API & Admin API key and save the changes

    Next, we will configure how WordPress will perform search queries.

    By default, Algolia is disabled so got to turn them ON.

    • Go to the Search Page under Algolia Search and choose one of the following.

    Use in the backend – this means Algolia will power the search, but the search result page will still show the default WordPress.

    Instantsearch.js – power your search operation and result page, both by Algolia.

    And finally, enable autocomplete. You can configure it to allow for all posts. However, if you need to search for a custom post type, then select that too.

    Once all configuration is done, go to your WordPress site and try searching for something. You should see Algolia now powers it.

    Beautiful!

    Much better than the default search. Isn’t it?

    Algolia is probably one of the best search SaaS products, but here are some alternatives as promised.

    Ajax Search Pro

    You don’t require any hosted search service to use Ajax Search Pro. I was amazed at the features it provides out of the box at the lowest cost.

    It doesn’t slow down the site and provide a flexible configuration to change the search to meet your branding.

    Some features:

    • You can create multiple search instances. Each instance can have a different configuration.
    • More than 100+ ready-made design for you to get it started in minutes. Also, give you an option to customize the existing themes’ color, design, fonts, etc.
    • Autocomplete and suggestion
    • Responsive
    • Search Filter by type like posts, category, tags, custom post types, dates, titles, etc.
    • Configure search results based on priority and order
    • Index table engine
    • Shortcodes so you can embed the search field anywhere.
    • Built-in cache
    • Search analytics, so you know what your users are searching for.

    Ajax Search Pro got a beautiful backend panel to customize the search the way you want.

    SearchWP

    A premium plugin lets you search everywhere for WordPress, and it use the existing search field and results in a template.

    Some of the worth mentioning SearchWP features are:

    • Index text, PDF, office
    • You can create multiple search engines.
    • Search insights
    • Algorithm customization for the way it shows the results
    • WooCommerce, bbPress, WP job manager, Easy digital downloads integration
    • Keyword Stemming

    Search is essential for eCommerce and news sites to show the results your users are looking for. If you are using WordPress and still with the default search, it’s time to replace it for a better experience.

    ElasticPress

    ElasticPress plugin enables you to use hosted ElasticSearch in WordPress.

    If you are or interested to use ElasticSearch SaaS from QboxElasticPress.io, Elastic.co, etc., then this is a go-to plugin.

    Read more about ElasticSearch here.

    AWS CloudSearch

    The search service by AWS is called CloudSearch. It’s a managed and cost-effective search solution for any website.

    It supports 34 languages and some of the advanced features as the following.

    • Autocomplete
    • Highlighting
    • Field weighting
    • Free text search
    • Low latency

    AWS CloudSearch is scalable and known for its high performance. Pricing is based on the usage and pays as you go.

    CloudSearch plugin by Andrea Landonio makes it possible to use AWS search service with WordPress.

    Swiftype

    Swiftype is a SaaS-based powerful search solution, SOC2 compliant, and enterprise-ready.

    Site Search by Swiftype is perfect for a content-based online business like a news site, eCommerce store, etc.

    It allows a cross-domain search, got flexible integration, intuitive search, high-accuracy result, and developer-friendly.

    Swiftype integrates WordPress using their plugin.

    WP AutoComplete Search

    A FREE plugin for live search, autocomplete (as you can guess by the name), supports custom post types and taxonomy.

    It’s Ajax query-based real-time search and provides a flexible configuration option. You can customize search behavior, results from a plugin control panel.

    And yes, it’s fast.

    Relevanssi

    Relevanssi is available in FREE and PRO, both.

    Some of the advanced features available are:

    • Log user queries
    • Highlighting
    • Choose what to index.
    • Order and weight
    • Stopwords and synonym

    Search & Filter

    Search & Filter lets you remove the entire search field and implement a filtering system. Filters can be shown as a drop-down, checkbox, multiple selections, and radio buttons.

    It’s a free plugin and sounds perfect if you want to provide filter options to your users.

    It also got the PRO version, which is compatible with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, WPML, Advanced Custom Fields, WP eCommerce, and many more.

    Ivory Search

    Very advanced yet simple to use, Ivory Search allows you to extend your default WordPress search functionality and add custom search forms. In fact, there’s no limitation to how many search forms you can create with it, and you can customize each form to work a certain way for the best possible outcome of the search.

    Here are some of the many types of searches you can do with this plugin:

    • Post title
    • Post content
    • Categories
    • WooCommerce products
    • Specific files
    • Specific date posts
    • Title, caption, and description of images
    • Search in multiple languages

    You can embed the custom search forms on your site’s header, footer, sidebar, pages, widget area, and many different places.

    Conclusion

    So that was some of the best Algolia alternative searches for WordPress. I hope the above WP search solution helps you to create a perfect search for your site.

    Next, explore the premium security plugin to secure your WordPress site.