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:
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Keyword stemming is an option, so that searches like
backpackingreturns 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.
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