12 plugins to improve and optimize WordPress search

12 plugins to improve and optimize WordPress search

Written by Editorial

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29 June 2023

In today's digital world, an efficient internal search function for websites is essential. WordPress has significantly improved its built-in search over the years. For smaller websites this may be sufficient, but when a website grows or e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce are used, the defaultWordPress search reach their limits. We had to go through this experience as WordPress Agency unfortunately do all too often.

The importance of a fast website search cannot be overstated. For some websites, especially e-commerce websites, a fast and efficient internal search engine can be one of the most important features. Studies show that 30% of visitors use internal search, and these visitors are more likely to make a purchase after performing an on-site search. Therefore, it is imperative to improve the user experience to optimize.

The standardWordPress search is sufficient for small personal blogs and websites with a manageable number of pages. However, when a website grows in size and becomes more complex, the weaknesses of WordPress search become apparent.

The problem with WordPress search

The WordPress search was very simple in the past and searched only some areas like the post title and the content. After a major update, it now sorts the results by relevance. However, when using plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, WordPress Search does not search the content of most of these fields. There is also the issue of lack of filtering options and speed, especially on larger sites.

This article presents plugins that can help to improve the WordPress search improve and provide users with advanced search and filtering options.

1. relevanssi


Relevanssi is a highly appreciated WordPress search plugin that significantly improves the default WordPress search by retrieving more relevant results. It excels at indexing PDF content, which means that visitors can also search the content of PDF files on the site. Moreover, Relevanssi can search shortcode output, custom fields, user profiles, categories and tags, WooCommerce products, and more.

However, it is important to note that Relevanssi may have compatibility issues with some popular page builder plugins, BuddyPress, NextGen Gallery and some others. Nevertheless, it remains a strong choice for those who need advanced search functionality on their website.

Price: The basic version is free of charge. The premium version is available for $109 per year.

2. searchWP

SearchWP Live Ajax Search

SearchWP is another powerful search plugin for WordPress that is known for its ease of use and ability to provide extremely accurate search results. One of SearchWP's strengths is its search flexibility. It allows searching keywords in titles, content, URL slugs, categories, tags and much more. Furthermore, users can control search behavior by assigning weights to different content types.

Another advantage of SearchWP is its integration with WooCommerce, which makes it a smart choice for online stores. It allows advanced product search and offers options to customize the search results page.

Price: From $99 per year.

3. searchWP Ajax Live

SearchWP Ajax Live is an addon plugin for SearchWP that provides live Ajax search results. This addon improves the existing WordPress search by providing

Provides live Ajax search results that are displayed as soon as the user starts typing.

For advanced users, this plugin offers the possibility to customize the result template and integrate powerful Ajax features into any search form.

Price: Free of charge.

4. ivory search

Ivory Search

Ivory Search is a versatile WordPress search plugin that is an excellent alternative to the standard WordPress search. With Ivory Search, users can create custom WordPress search forms and even use multiple forms with different settings for different areas of the website.

A notable feature of Ivory Search is its compatibility with the best WordPress translation plugins, which makes it a good choice for multilingual websites. Besides, Ivory Search uses Ajax to display live search results without reloading the page.

Price: The basic version is free of charge. The premium version starts at $19.99 per year.

5. ElasticPress


ElasticPress is a cloud-based WordPress search plugin that stands out for its speed. It performs searches in the cloud and displays results with impressive speed. It is easy to integrate and works with most WordPress hosting providers.

ElasticPress has a built-in live Ajax search that displays instant results as the user types. It is also compatible with WooCommerce, which allows customers to find products quickly.

Price: From $79 per year.

6. WP Google Search

WP Google Search

WP Google Search is a simple but effective plugin that replaces the default WordPress search with Google Custom Search. It is easy to use and only requires creating a Google Custom Search for the website and inserting the search engine ID in the plugin settings.

The plugin also includes a widget that can be used to display Google Custom Search in the sidebar or in a similar area.

Price: Free of charge.

7. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search is a specialized WooCommerce product search plugin that helps customers find products quickly. It allows searching products by SKU, searching within specific categories and filtering results without reloading the page.

Price: From $69.99 per year.

8. fiboSearch


FiboSearch is another WooCommerce search plugin that enables instant retrieval of search results with Ajax. It has a powerful product search, category and tag filters and allows you to easily add a search bar to the WordPress navigation menu.

Price: The basic version is free of charge. The premium version starts at $49 per year.

9. HUSKY - Products Filter for WooCommerce

HUSKY - Products Filter for WooCommerce

HUSKY - Products Filter for WooCommerce is a useful search plugin for WooCommerce stores that allows customers to filter products based on different options.

Price: Free of charge.

10. better search

Better Search - Relevant search results for WordPress

Better Search is a plugin that allows advanced search across all post types and finds more relevant results.

Price: Free of charge.

11. WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search is a lightweight and simple WordPress search plugin that extends the default WordPress search.

Price: Free of charge.

12. search exclude

Search Exclude

Search Exclude allows you to easily exclude elements that should not be displayed in WordPress search.

Price: Free of charge.

Conclusion: Which is the best WordPress search plugin?

Relevanssi represents an optimal solution to replace the existing WordPress search in relation to the search algorithm to improve, without making any visual changes. For those who need a more comprehensive customization of the search with Ajax search and an improved search algorithm, is SearchWP an excellent option.

It is important to consider the specific requirements of your website to make the best choice. Relevanssi is ideal for those looking for improved search functionality with minimal customization, while SearchWP incl. SearchWP Ajax Live is suitable for those seeking deeper control and customization of the search experience.

We hope that this article helped you to choose the right WordPress search plugin for your website and gave you valuable insights into the possibilities for the Improvement the WordPress search has offered. If you need assistance with the Further development of your WordPress website need, please feel free to contact Contact to us.

Image source: WordPress.org; page of the respective plugins.

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