[An all new plugin from Jonathan Christopher called SearchWP was just launched today]. I had the good fortune of getting a copy of this plugin from Jonathan yesterday afternoon, and I promptly installed the plugin (and shifted the live search results to it).
There’s a lot of really great things about SearchWP that make it a no-brainer for any WordPress user that loves their readers, not the least of which are:
1. You can weight the results based on how *you* want to weight them. If you want to match titles above all else, you can. Your slug above all else? Done.
2. You can exclude categories from the search. Which for me means I can exclude *all* of those old sponsor posts from showing up — I cannot tell you how much I love that. (I urge people to do the same on their sites.)
3. The search results stay on *your* site. I previously went with DuckDuckGo because it was the best solution at the time, but over the last few months I have noticed DuckDuckGo “missing” some of my posts when I am searching. This is not good, especially when you are directing traffic out of your site in hopes they come back.
4. Keyword stemming is an option, so that searches like `backpack`, `backpacks`, and `backpacking` returns the same results. I love that, it’s just a little nicety that is user friendly.
I still have tweaking to do with how the search results are displayed on this site, but this is a fantastic plugin. There’s even an extension (I have it installed) to add the Boolean minus attribute. So you could search `Shawn -Blanc` and find every instance that I reference “Shawn”, but not “Blanc”. Just compare the search for `Shawn Blanc` ([here]) and `Shawn -Blanc` (again, [here]).
The one thing I have been trying to do since I launched the paywall is to make this site better *for* the readers of the site. I believe SearchWP does just that because it’s weighted how I know it needs to be weighted, keeps you on the site that you want to search, and is *more* user friendly.
Amazingly, SearchWP is only $24.99 for a single site license *and* you get support, *and* you get extensions. There’s a lot of WordPress plugins for sale, but you typically don’t get a lick of support. [Go buy it], [install it], [love your readers].