Before jumping in to tell you how to improve your WordPress blog’s search functionality, let me first tell you why you need to do it. If you do a google search for "wordpress search functionality", you’ll find a lot of blogs complaining about it. I knew long back that WordPress’s poor functionality was poor. But, I didn’t realize how poor it was until I experienced it recently.
Recently, I made a post here on "Saving Drafts". For that post I had to link to one of Darren Rowse’s old post, which he wrote pretending to be his 1 year old son. I knew that he had mentioned about saving drafts, in that post. Also, I vaguely remembered the post title. So I headed over to his blog and searched for "things you know about my dad problogger". Keep in mind that the post’s actual title was "5 Things You Should Know about My Dad the ProBlogger". So, where would you expect the result to be ? The first result ? No.. The first page ? No.. It was the 3rd result on the second page. That is the 12th result.
Now, to experiment, I searched for the exact post title now : "5 Things You Should Know about My Dad the ProBlogger". This time, the result was promoted from 12th position to 9th position. Wow.. What a great improvement ! Kudos to WordPress. Sorry guys, I don’t mean to insult WordPress or its developers. But, being the #1 Blogging software, WordPress should really consider having a good search functionality.
I really wish the WordPress works on their search functionality. But, till then, there are some ways to enhance your blog’s search functionality :
- Search Unleashed – A WordPress plugin that extends the inbuilt search functionality. Check out the plugin page for more info.
- Search Everything – Again a plugin that includes pages, comments, tags and more in your search results.
- Google Search Engine – Who can beat Google when it comes to searching ? Adding a Google powered search to your blog is the best solution. Check out : Plugin / Manual Implementation Tutorial.
- Sphider – For those who don’t know, Sphider is a search engine that is powered by PHP and MySQL. You can install Sphider on your server that indexes your blog. Trust me, its really good. The only thing is that this runs on your own server and Google CSE runs on Google’s server. Tutorial Link.
Do you know any other method or plugin to enhance WordPress’s search functionality ? Share with us in the comments.