Every website needs to have a functional search system. This is the only way for your visitors to find whatever they are looking for without having to scroll through hundreds of content. Many visitors won’t go past the first page, so they’ll leave your site without being fulfilled. This will affect your bounce rate and SEO greatly. WordPress has a default search engine that comes with your site. Although you can use that, it lacks so many features you’ll get from plugins. Moreover, it’s not as fast and flexible as it should be. So, to enhance your site usability, we’ve picked the 10 best search plugins for WordPress.
What is a WordPress Search Plugin?
A WordPress search plugin is a plugin that can be used to implement advanced search functionalities on your website. The plugin will either extend the already existing WordPress search feature or will implement a custom search engine on your website. How the plugin works will depend on the type of plugin you are using and the feature they offer.
The search feature is essential for almost any kind of website, irrespective of your niche. So, if you don’t like the default search widgets offered by WordPress at its core, your next best bet is to use an appropriate search plugin.
Top 10 Search Plugins for WordPress
Search plugins are an extremely useful feature if you want to enable search on your WordPress website. While WordPress comes with a default search feature, it lacks a lot of additional functionality. Especially for larger websites, the basic search functionality may be insufficient. So, here are the best search plugins for WordPress.
1. Search WP
Search WP is a premium WordPress search plugin with a lot of features to improve your site. With this plugin, users can search for anything on your site, including custom fields. The plugin operates with the help of indexed searching. So when visitors search, there is no page reload; they get their results immediately. If the visitors don’t find what they’re looking for, the plugin brings out similar results from the website content.
This plugin has a lot more features to ensure that users get whatever they are looking for faster. You can set the items to include in the search, exclude pages from the WordPress search, and set custom filter parameters. All you need to do is activate the plugin for it to integrate into the native WordPress search system.
ACF: Better Search is a search plugin that is easy to use and has many features to give your visitors a great experience. It works with the default WordPress search system but takes it up a notch. With this plugin, search results are more accurate and are generated faster, This lightweight plugin also comes with a lite mode that users can switch to for faster search results. It supports 10 field types and integrates well with advanced custom fields.
Relevanssi is another popular WordPress search plugin that comes in free and premium versions. It integrates with your native WordPress search system, so you don’t need to operate both of them differently. Like Google, Relevanssi highlights the search query in your search results, so you can easily tell the most relevant content without having to click it.
If you make errors in your search query, this plugin generates ‘Did you mean?’ suggestions as Google does. It indexes everything on your website including images, attachments, and shortcodes. You get most of these features with the premium version starting at $99 per year.
Advanced Woo Search was designed as a search plugin for WooCommerce-powered websites. This plugin allows visitors to find useful products within a very short time. It is very easy to use, works fast, and has a variety of features beneficial to you and your customers. Some of these features include shortcode and widget functions that allow you to place your search box wherever you want, smart ordering for prioritizing search results to users, and compatibility with other plugins like WooCommerce, Polylang, WPML, and WooCommerce Multilingual.
5. Ivory Search
Ivory Search is a freemium search plugin with a 4.9-star rating at WordPress.org. Although it doesn’t have so many features, it still stands as one of the best plugins to improve your website’s search function. With this plugin, you can create several search forms with unique functionality. This implies that you can make a search form for your WooCommerce section, forum, etc.
Your users can filter or expand what they search for to include images and other file attachments or exclude WooCommerce products. It doesn’t integrate with your native WordPress search system but creates its search form for your site. Premium versions start at $19.99 per year for a single site.
Ajax Search Pro is a super-fast popular plugin with over 40,000 installations. With this plugin, you’re adding Ajax live search to your WordPress site. When visitors input their queries, the results come right up. There’s no need to wait for page reloads. Unlike Relevanssi and SearchWP, Ajax Search Pro changes the style of your original search form.
Some features it provides include a variety of customization tools to design your search box, search suggestions, and autocomplete to help users get results faster, and search different categories and post types on the site including forums and WooCommerce products. The premium version of this plugin is available at CodeCanyon for $36.
FacetWP is a premium plugin that helps your customers filter their search to reveal specific results. Its main feature is its faceted search function. For instance, visitors may not only decide to search for a key phrase but also filter the search by region and product category. This search plugin is very useful for eCommerce sites and directories.
What’s more? You don’t have to use this plugin alone; it easily integrates with other plugins like SearchWP. It also integrates with page builders like Beaver Builder and Elementor Pro to create a fantastic results page. Pricing starts at $99 per year.
Better Search is another WordPress search plugin that does not integrate into the native WordPress search system. Instead, it creates its search form which is faster and more efficient. You can easily customize your search result page, deciding whether you want to emphasize the title or the content. It also comes with other unique features such as custom CSS support (for users with CSS knowledge), integration with cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP-Super-Cache, and a heatmap of your visitors’ popular searches.
Swiftype Site Search is a standard search plugin that every WordPress site owner can use. Even if you lack coding knowledge, Swiftype makes everything easy and fast. Swiftype Site Search allows you to operate and customize your search system from an intuitive dashboard. When you upload new content to your site, the plugin automatically updates your search results, so new visitors can see it when they type in the query.
This plugin also provides search analytics that shows you what your customers are searching for. With support for 13 different languages, this plugin encourages visitors from various countries across the world.
Reactive Search Pro gives you a lot of features that improve your visitors’ experience. Some of these features include the ability to integrate with WooCommerce and Grid Builder for customizing your results page using the drag-and-drop function. This plugin also comes with other features such as 15 search attributes, Map AutoComplete, and Geo-Box Data to allow your users to search for any location. If you have problems using this plugin, Relative Search Pro has an active support system, and you get detailed documents to put you through.