The default WordPress search is limited because it doesn’t give you results based on the title or content of the post, but by date.
Better Search replaces the default WordPress search engine with a more powerful search engine. Visitors will find more relevant search results of search terms. You can fine tune results by giving the title or the content more weighting.
Better Search supports templates for perfect integration into your blog template. Template for Twenty Eleven theme included in the package.
Additionally, the plugin will track the searches and allow you to present a “search heatmap” of the most popular searches. Support for WordPress widgets will allow you to easily add this heatmap to your theme’s sidebar or footer.
- Automatic: Once activated, Better Search will automatically replace your default WordPress search with more relevant search results
- Relevance: Search results are automatically sorted by relevance. You can also turn off relevancy based searching, in which case, results are sorted by date
- Control the results: Fine tune the results by changing the weighting of post title and post content. Turn on BOOLEAN search to override the default NATURAL LANGUAGE search of mySQL
- Popular searches: Find out what visitors are searching for on your blog. Display a list of popular search terms (daily and overall) on your blog in the form of a heatmap. Widget support for easy integration in your theme
- Customisation: Support for a template file for perfect integration into your blog template. Alternatively, just input your own CSS styles in the Custom Styles tab in the Settings Page. Check the FAQ for more information
- Supports cache plugins: Works with caching plugins like WP-Super-Cache and W3 Total Cache
- Profanity filter: Customise the list of stop words that will automatically be filtered out of search queries
- Translation ready: Better Search is translation ready. If you’re interested in translating Better Search into your own language let me know.
- Download Better Search.
- Extract the contents of
wp-content/plugins/ folder. You should get a folder called
- Activate the Plugin in WP-Admin.
- Goto Settings > Better Search to configure.
- Goto Appearance > Widgets to add the Popular Searches sidebar widgets to your theme
Below are screenshots of the default options available in the Settings screen
Options in WP-Admin - General options
Options in WP-Admin - Search results options
Options in WP-Admin - Heatmap options
Options in WP-Admin - Custom styles
Options in WP-Admin - Tools
Better Search widget
In order to display the most popular searches, you will need to add
<?php if(function_exists('the_pop_searches')) the_pop_searches(); ?>.
In order to display the most popular searches weekly/daily, you will need to add
<?php if(function_exists('the_pop_searches_daily')) the_pop_searches_daily(); ?>.
Alternatively, use the sidebar widget to display the overall or weekly top searches.
You can customize the output by adding a template file in your themes folder.
Latest version (2.2.0)
- New option to exclude password protected posts from the results
- New option to exclude post/page or custom post type IDs from the results
- Admin interface now uses the Settings API – Please double check your settings. You can delete the old settings using the Tools sub-menu
- New shortcode
bsearch_form to display the Better Search custom search form
template_include instead of
- Seamless mode now uses Better Search queries directly instead of passing post IDs
- $bsearch_url, bsearch_default_options(), bsearch_read_options(), bsearch_clause_prepare()
Read previous entries in the changelog.
Support the Development
Writing and testing plugins takes a good amount of time. If you like the plugin and find it useful and would like to donate something for my work please do click the Paypal Donate button below. The payment is secure. I haven’t filled in any amount. Feel free to donate what you please. Any amount is welcome. Thank you 🙂
All files and their contents are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Questions or Bugs
If you have any questions or would like to report any bugs, please see how you can get support.
Download Better Search
Number of downloads: 96,677
Last updated: May 6, 2018
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