Better Search WordPress Plugin

Better Search now has a new home at WebberZone. Check out the dedicated page and access support.


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.



  1. Download Better Search.
  2. Extract the contents of to wp-content/plugins/ folder. You should get a folder called better-search.
  3. Activate the Plugin in WP-Admin.
  4. Goto Settings > Better Search to configure.
  5. 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

  1. Options in WP-Admin - General options

    Options in WP-Admin - General options

  2. Options in WP-Admin - Search results options

    Options in WP-Admin - Search results options

  3. Options in WP-Admin - Heatmap options

    Options in WP-Admin - Heatmap options

  4. Options in WP-Admin - Custom styles

    Options in WP-Admin - Custom styles

  5. Options in WP-Admin - Tools

    Options in WP-Admin - Tools

  6. Better Search widget

    Better Search widget

  7. Better Search Popular Searches table in Admin

    Better Search Popular Searches table in Admin

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 (3.0.3)

Release post:

  • Bug fixes:
    • With seamless mode OFF, by default, all post types were being pulled even those not selected in the settings page
    • With seamless mode ON, caching incorrectly gave the same set of results
    • Exclude categories didn’t save properly if the field is blanked out

Read previous entries in the changelog.

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

Known 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: 0
Last updated: November 13, 2021
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