A step-by-step guide to implementing powerful search platform Algolia with WordPress. And some alternative solution as well.
Default WordPress search is basic. If you are running a site which 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 WordPress plugin which makes the integration easy and quick.
Let’s look at the features before implementing it.
- 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 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 a number of queries, top searches, by countries, search performed by IP, etc.
Algolia is enterprise-ready and got a FREE plan as well. If you are owning a small site or want to see how it works, signup for community edition.
And to see in action, check out this demo.
Once you are ready to implement, follow the below procedure.
Integrating Algolia with WordPress
- Create an account and login to Algolia
- Login to your WordPress admin
- Install & activate the WordPress plugin
- At left navigation, go to Algolia Search >> Settings
Here you need to enter the API credential which you will get it from 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 Search Page under Algolia Search and choose one of the following.
Use in the backend – this means search will be powered by Algolia, but 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 to allow for all posts. However, if you need to search for 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 it’s now powered by Algolia.
Much better than default search. Isn’t it?
Algolia is probably one of the best search SaaS products but as promised, here are some alternatives.
ElasticPress plugin enables you to use hosted ElasticSearch in WordPress.
If you are or interested to use ElasticSearch SaaS from Qbox, ElasticPress.io, Elastic.co, etc. then this is a go-to plugin.
Read more about ElasticSearch here.
2. AWS CloudSearch
Search service by AWS is called CloudSearch. It’s managed and cost-effective search solution for any websites.
It supports 34 languages and some of the advanced features as the following.
- 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 the WordPress.
3. 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 flexible configuration to change the search to meet your branding.
- 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
- 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
Ajax Search Pro got beautiful backend panel to customize the search the way you want.
Swiftype is 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.
5. WP AutoComplete Search
A FREE plugin for live search, autocomplete (as you can guess by name) which support custom post types, taxonomy.
It’s Ajax query based real-time search and provides flexible configuration option. You can customize search behavior, results from plugin control panel.
And yes, it’s fast.
6. Search Everything
Improve default WordPress search functionality with Search Everything FREE plugin. It’s one of the famous search plugins with more than 90,000 active installed.
Once installed, you can configure to search in page, tag, category, custom taxonomy, comments, post, etc.
That’s right; this can search in comments as well.
Relevanssi is available in FREE and PRO, both.
Some of the advanced features available are:
- Log user queries
- Choose what to index
- Order and weight
- Stopwords and synonym
8. Search & Filter
Search & Filter let you remove the entire search field and implement 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 PRO version which is compatible with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, WPML, Advanced Custom Fields, WP eCommerce and many more.
A premium plugin lets you search everywhere for WordPress, and it use 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 engine
- 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 site to show the results your users are looking for. If you are using WordPress and still with the default search, then it’s time to replace for a better experience.
I hope above WP search solution helps you to create a perfect search for your site.