8 Best WordPress Search Plugins for Easy Site Navigation

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Best Search Plugins for WordPress

Do you want to get the best search plugin to make your WordPress site searchable?

WordPress search plugins make it possible for users to find what they’re looking for instantly on your site. Think of it like creating your own search engine like Google for your website.

Customers won’t need to spend a long time browsing to find what they want. This improves user experience and will keep users coming back.

Now there are several plugins that enable a site search feature on your site but it’s important to pick the one that best suits your website.

In this guide, we give you our review of the best search plugins that we’ve tried and tested.

Best Search Plugins In This Guide

Here’s a table of contents of the plugins we’ll review in this guide. Feel free to use the quick links to check out the plugin you’re most interested in:

Before we dive into the details of each plugin, it’s important to know the essential features of a good WordPress plugin.

What to Look For in a WordPress Search Plugin

Not all search plugins work the same way or have the same features. Each one in this list offers something unique. However, there are essential features you want to make sure the plugin you choose has.

Here’s what you should look out for when settling on a good search plugin:

  • Make your entire website content searchable
  • Compatible with your theme
  • Integrates seamlessly with the built-in WordPress search function
  • Insights and statistics into user behavior
  • Keyword stemming that autodetects typos and spelling errors

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best and most popular search plugins for WordPress.

Best WordPress Search Plugins

1. SearchWP

SearchWP WordPress search plugin

SearchWP is our #1 pick of WordPress search plugins. It instantly makes your site searchable, no coding involved.

Once installed, you can search everything on your site. This includes posts, pages, products, campaigns, media, comments, and users. You can also index and search through your site’s content such as:

  • advanced custom fields
  • taxonomy terms
  • eCommerce product details and descriptions
  • custom database table content
  • content generated by shortcodes
  • shortcode output
  • even PDF, Office, and document content

What we love about this plugin is that when you activate SearchWP on your site, it seamlessly integrates with your theme. It also syncs with page builders like Divi, BeaverBuilder, Avada, and Elementor.

Next, you can also create multiple search engines using the ‘supplemental engine’ feature. This lets you configure individual search engines with their own settings.

Supplemental engines in SearchWP

So for instance, you could create one search engine to search through eCommerce products and a different one to help users locate a physical store close to them.

The best part about this plugin is that it comes with keyword stemming and advanced search options. This means that even if a user types in a wrong spelling or keyword, SearchWP has the ability to understand different word forms of a specific search query.

You can also enable “Did you mean?” options or show partial matches.

So instead of exact term matches, the plugin will give the user the most relevant results to what they’re actually searching for.

SearchWP Key Features

  • Accurate search results
  • Automatic theme integration
  • eCommerce integration with BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and more.
  • WPML and Polylang compatible
  • Reliable customer support and documentation
  • SearchWP’s Metrics Extension for powerful search analytics

SearchWP is designed to be beginner-friendly and easy for anyone to use. But if you need help or face any issues, there’s a friendly support team available.

Who is SearchWP For?

SearchWP is best suited for WordPress website owners who require a highly customizable and efficient search solution. It offers advanced features like keyword stemming, synonym support, and customizable search engines. This works well especially for websites that have a lot of content as this will enhance user experience and increase engagement.

SearchWP Pricing

The pro plugin pricing for SearchWP starts from $99 per year for a single site license.

Get started with SearchWP

2. ElasticPress

ElasticPress search plugin

ElasticPress is a unique search solution for WordPress sites. It’s a hosted WordPress search that’s built on ElasticSearch. What this means for you is that this tool runs search queries in the cloud. So there’s no load on your server.

ElasticPress

Your search results are displayed at lightning speeds and your site remains blazing fast as well.

Users can search content that the default WordPress search ignores. This includes tags, custom fields, Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, metadata, and more.

It works with all popular hosting providers and it’s easy to integrate this service with your WordPress site.

Aside from all this, ElasticPress also has a live Ajax search built into it. As users type in their query, the closest results will appear even before they finish typing!

A feature that really stands out is that it indexes your comments and provides a search widget with type-ahead search functionality. It works with WooCommerce product reviews out-of-the-box.

This platform is fully customizable allowing you to create your own algorithm for the search engine. You can add top search terms and top-performing products to appear in search results first.

ElasticPress Key Features

  • Works with almost all WordPress hosting
  • Perform fast site searches
  • Customize search results
  • Create a custom search algorithm
  • Use instant autosuggest
  • Display related posts
  • Integrate with WooCommrece

Who is ElasticPress For?

ElasticPress is designed for WordPress developers and administrators who need scalable and powerful search capabilities. It integrates Elasticsearch with WordPress, offering features like real-time indexing, fuzzy matching, and support for complex search queries.

ElasticPress Pricing

ElasticPress offers a free version with basic features. The pro plugin pricing starts from $79 per year for a single site license. There’s a 14-day free trial included.

Get started with ElasticPress

3. Full Text Search

 

Full Text Search

Full Text Search is a WordPress search plugin that seamlessly integrates with your website. It indexes your site data and extracts all the relevant data it needs. This includes posts, meta fields, categories, tags, and even the content of attachments.

Then this data is optimized and stored in a structure called Word-based Search Index. This is kept separate from your actual website data so that your live site is never affected.

Now when a user searches for something, the plugin is able to search through all the indexed data and display the most relevant results.

Full Text Search settings

It comes with advanced search features. This lets you run a search by post titles, article text, tags, categories, and meta fields.

You can even allow search for file content, including PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, and more.

Ssmart excerpts in full text search

There’s a free and paid version. So you can get started without making an investment and then upgrade as you grow.

Full Text Search Key Features

  • Fast site search
  • Flexible and customizable data
  • Accurate results
  • Regular updates and support with pro plan

Who is Full Text Search?

Full Text Search is ideal for website owners who prioritize speed and accuracy in search results. It enables full-text searching across various content types, including posts, pages, and custom fields, ensuring users can find relevant information quickly and efficiently.

Full Text Search Pricing

Full Text Search offers a free version with limited features. The pro plugin pricing for Full Text Search starts from $59 per year. You can request for a 7-day evaluation trial.

Get started with Full Text Search

4. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

 

YITH WooCommerce Ajax search plugin

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search is a premium extension for WooCommerce. It lets your users quickly search for products in your online store. It displays results in real time as the user is typing. Also, there’s no extra page loading with results so it saves them time and makes the process much faster.

YITH WooCommerce search results

With this plugin, you can enable search within specific categories or tags and filter the results. Users can even search by SKU to find products faster in the catalog.

What stands out about this plugin is that you can add badges and prices to your search results. So for instance, if you’re running a promotion or sale, you can alert users which products have discounts or slashed prices.

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search Key Features

  • Focussed on product search
  • Display the title, image, description, and price in results
  • Highlight promotional products
  • Integrates with Elementor and Gutenberg
  • Translation-ready and supports multilingual plugins
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Who is YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search For?

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search is tailored for WooCommerce store owners aiming to enhance the shopping experience for their customers. Its Ajax-powered search functionality provides instant results, improving user engagement and increasing conversion rates.

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search Pricing

There’s a free version with basic features. The pro plugin pricing for YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search starts from $79.99 per year for a single site license. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee.

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

5. Swiftype Search

Swiftype search plugin

Swiftype Search helps users get the right answer to what they’re searching for on your website. It comes with a powerful crawler to quickly index all your website and post content.

There’s a drag and drop editor to customize the search features. This makes the plugin beginner-friendly so anyone can add an advanced search feature on their site.

Next, it uses weights to control how different attributes affect search results. So for instance, your results can show products that are rated higher first. Or if you are a blogger, then the results could be based on article popularity.

Swiftype also supports autocomplete, spell check, and dynamic facets for better search results.

Swiftype Search Key Features

  • Developer-friendly APIs
  • SOC 2-compliant dedicated security policies,
  • Multilingual support
  • Use synonyms to create word associations
  • Easily embed the search feature into your site
  • Extensive documentation

Who is Swiftype Search For?

Swiftype Search is targeted at website owners who prioritize simplicity and ease of use. It offers a user-friendly interface for configuring and managing search functionality, making it suitable for those without extensive technical knowledge.

Swiftype Search Pricing

Swiftype Search has a premium version that starts from $79 per year for a single site license. Swiftype Search does not offer a free version but you can request for a demo.

Get started with Swiftype Search

6. Ivory Search

IvorySearch

If you’re looking for a simple search solution, then Ivory Search is for you. It’s free to use and it basically enhances the default WordPress search function. With this plugin, you can create new custom search forms.

Ivory Search layouts

Ivory Search doesn’t add any limits on the number of search forms you can create. Plus, you can customize each search form separately. This means you can create one search form for your blog, one for the product catalog, and maybe another to search for store locations close by.

You can let users search by post, page, product, attachment, forum, custom taxonomies, product SKUs, date, and author. You can also allow users to search only posts with/without passwords.

Simply expand the dropdown section you want to customize and make the changes you want. Everything is done with just clicks of your mouse button for toggle switches and checkboxes.

Ivory Search settings

Need to allow a search for specific files? This plugin lets you search through MIME type or media attachments such as images, audio, videos, PDFs, documents, and more. This feature is in the premium plugin only.

You can display the custom search forms anywhere on your site including the header, footer, sidebar or widget area, navigation, or menu. You can also add it to pages, posts, and custom post types. Still want to add it to a different place? Then you can quickly grab the form shortcode and embed it anywhere you want!

Ivory Search Key Features

  • Index and search site content
  • Unlimited search forms
  • Faster search with inverted index-based search engine
  • Exclude specific content from search results
  • Support Live Ajax Search
  • Multilingual search supported by Weglot
  • Integrates with popular plugins such as WooCommerce, Weglot, Polylang, bbPress, WPML

Who is Ivory Search For?

Ivory Search is best for those looking for comprehensive search customization options. It comes with an intuitive interface to tailor search functionality to your specific needs.

Ivory Search Pricing

Ivory Search offers free plugin. The premium plugin starts from $19.99 per year for a single site license. There’s a 30-day 100% money back guarantee.

Get started with Ivory Search

7. SearchWP Ajax Live

 

SearchWP Live Ajax search plugin

SearchWP Ajax Live is an addon from SearchWP. It lets you enable your search forms to have the live AJAX search feature. This is where results are displayed as users are typing in their query.

SearchWP Live Ajax

This plugin doesn’t need the main SearchWP plugin to work. However, if you do have SearchWP already installed, then this plugin will utilize the search engines you’ve already created.

When you activate this plugin, every search bar on your site will automatically use live Ajax search.  Added to this, there’s a readymade block available in the widgets editor in WordPress. This lets you add a live Ajax search bar to any page, post, or widget-ready area.

You can customize everything about this plugin to display the most relevant results to your users. It works with any WordPress theme.

What’s great about this plugin is that it uses a template-based approach to load the results. This keeps your search process clutter-free and doesn’t mess with anything else on your site.

SearchWP Ajax Live Key Features

  • Easy to setup and configure
  • Developer-friendly
  • Customizable search
  • Live real-time results
  • Works best with online stores, membership, and course sites

Who is SearchWP Ajax Live For?

If you desire real-time search functionality with instant results, this is the right plugin for you. You can show dynamic search suggestions and results as users type. This drastically improves search efficiency and engagement.

SearchWP Ajax Live Pricing

SearchWP Ajax Live is a free WordPress plugin. It can be used along with SearchWP or as a standalone plugin in WordPress.

Get started with SearchWP Ajax Live

8. Advanced Woo Search

Advanced Woo Search
Advanced Woo Search is a search plugin for WooCommrece. It supports both Ajax results and a separate search results page. So you can choose which one works best for your site.

Advanced Woo Search settings

Added to that, it lets you make all your WooCommerce products searchable. The plugin automatically synchronizes all product data. This means any new products added are indexed without the need for you to re-index all content manually after every change.

It also has a neat “search in” feature. With this, users can search for results in specific product categories, tags, IDs, SKUs, and content. You can even exclude stop words to display better results.

Advanced Woo Search dashboard

In your WooCommerce search results, you can choose to display the title, image, and price.

The backend dashboard is user-friendly so you won’t face any learning curve with setting this up.

Coming to translations, if you want to offer your site locally in different languages, you can integrate with plugins like WPML, Polylang, WooCommerce Multilingual, qTranslate, GTranslate, and more.

What we felt really stood out is that this plugin works with all popular page builders like Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, WPBakery, and Divi Builder. So you won’t face issues integrating this plugin into your existing WordPress ecosystem.

It also supports multivendor plugins like Dokan, WCFM, and MultiVendorX.

Advanced Woo Search Key Features

  • Search filters and terms
  • Unlimited search forms
  • Google Analytics support
  • Supports synonyms and plurals
  • Results and forms layouts with pro plan

Who is Advanced Woo Search For?

Advanced Woo Search is tailored specifically for WooCommerce store owners who want to optimize their search functionality for products. It offers advanced filtering options, instant search results, and compatibility with WooCommerce extensions. Overall, it creates a seamless shopping experience for customers.

Advanced Woo Search Pricing

This is a free WooCommerce search plugin. The pro plugin pricing for Advanced Woo Search starts from $69 per year for a single site license.

Get started with Advanced Woo Search

That’s our list of the best search plugins for WordPress. We hope you were able to find the one that suits your site the best.

Up next, we give you our final verdict.

Which is the Best WordPress Search Plugin?

In our opinion, SearchWP comes out on top for the best WordPress search plugin.

It’s powerful and user-friendly. Plus, it comes packed with advanced search features like search filters, keyword stemming, and include/exclude stop words. Combined with the Live Ajax Search plugin, you’ll also get live real-time results displayed.

Next, you may also want to find the Best WordPress SEO Plugins and Tools and the Best Form Builder Plugins for WordPress.

Below, we answer frequently asked questions about search plugins so that you can clear up any doubts you may have.

FAQs on WordPress Search Plugins

What is the best free search plugin for WordPress?

ElasticPress, Relevanssi, and Ivory Search offer free search plugins for WordPress. SearchWP is a pro plugin but it’s so powerful and comes with all the features you need to make your entire site searchable. It starts at $99 per year with a 14-day money back guarantee.

Does WordPress have a search engine?

Yes, WordPress has a built-in search engine that allows users to search for content within a WordPress website. However, it doesn’t offer the best search experience. Its functionality can be enhanced by using plugins or optimizing search settings and content.

How do I make my native WordPress search better?

To improve the default search functionality in WordPress, install and configure a search plugin like SearchWP that offers advanced features such as keyword stemming, synonym support, and live search. You also want to ensure that all content on your site is properly indexed by search engines, including custom post types, taxonomies, and custom fields.

How much does SearchWP cost?

SearchWP pricing starts from $99 per year for a single site license.

How do I add live search to my WordPress website?

You can add live search to your WordPress website by using a plugin like SearchWP Ajax Live or by implementing custom JavaScript to fetch search results in real-time as users type in the search box.

Which WordPress search plugin supports fuzzy matching and keyword stemming?

SearchWP is a WordPress search plugin that supports fuzzy matching and keyword stemming, enhancing search accuracy and relevance. Relevanssi, Fibosearch, WP Extended Search, and ElasticSearch offer these features too.

Do WordPress search plugins impact website performance?

Yes, a WordPress search plugin can impact website performance. This is why it’s important to choose a reliable, lightweight, and well-coded WordPress search plugin like SearchWP. These are designed to be lightweight and optimized for speed.

Interested in learning how to speed up your WordPress site with easy video tutorials? Dive into step-by-step guides that simplify the process for beginners and experts alike. Enroll today with our 100% money-back guarantee – no risk involved. Plus, take advantage of a complimentary 7-day trial to experience the results firsthand.

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