WordPress is a flexible content management system, but its default site search doesn’t support taxonomies, custom post types, or custom fields. Fortunately, there are a variety of plugins available to extend a site’s search capabilities on WordPress.
Here is a list of plugins to improve the internal search on your WordPress site, to include custom post types and fields, taxonomies, live search, heatmaps on results, and more. Most of the plugins are free, though several have premium versions as well for advanced features.
Search Plugins for WordPress
SearchWP integrates with product search for popular ecommerce plugins such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, WP eCommerce, and more. Customize how results are ranked using SearchWP’s interface and weighting system. Index all content stored as WordPress custom fields, including content from advanced custom fields, CMB2, and many other popular custom field plugins. Log searches to find out what your visitors are looking for, and, more importantly, determine whether they found it. Price: $99 for one site.
Jetpack Search provides quality search results and an improved search experience. It features real-time indexing of changes to your content, custom analysis for 29 languages, sort by relevance or date, phrase search, and filter searches by tags, categories, custom taxonomies, authors, dates, and post types. Jetpack Search has a public API for developers to run their own Elasticsearch queries. Price: Basic is free. Premium plans start at $3.50 per month.
Relevanssi is a popular site search with over 100,000 active installations. Relevanssi’s features include search by relevance, fuzzy matching for partial words, highlighting search terms in documents, and adjusted weighting for comments, tags, categories, and custom fields. Log queries and show the most popular and those with no hits. Relevanssi can run searches across a multisite network. Price: Basic is free. Premium version is $299 and available at Relevanssi.com.
Better Search provides contextual search results sorted by relevance, rather than by date. Additionally, the plugin displays a heatmap of the most popular searches. Better Search cleanly integrates with your WordPress theme. For more customization, disable the integration and create your own template. Easily add this heatmap to your theme’s sidebar or footer. Price: Free.
Ajax Search Lite is a live search plugin for WordPress with a user-friendly Ajax-powered search form. Filter the results with the category and post type filter boxes. The plugin also includes Google autocomplete and keyword suggestions. Price: Basic is free. Pro is $36 with six months of support.
Advanced Woo Search offers both free and premium versions to search across all of your WooCommerce products. Product data synchronizes with the plugin automatically. Search product title, content, excerpt, categories, tags, and SKU. Choose what to show in search results. Price: Basic is free. Pro is $39.
FacetWP is an Ajax-based plugin to add advanced filtering controls to your WordPress site. FacetWP comes with 12 facet types, including checkboxes, dropdowns, date ranges, sliders, and even proximity (geolocation). Users quickly find what they’re looking for because only relevant filtering choices are shown. Facets use your site’s existing custom fields, taxonomies, and post data — author, post date, post type. Use the built-in layout builder to design grid listings in the WordPress admin interface. Price: $99 per year for up to three sites.
ACF: Better Search is a plugin to add advanced custom fields to your website. Let your site visitors search content based on the fields they select. Supported fields are text, text area, number, email, URL, file, WYSIWYG editor, select, checkbox, and radio button. Price: Free.
YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search allows you to search for a specific product by inserting a few characters. With Ajax-powered search, users can quickly find the contents they are interested in without wasting time among pages. Price: Basic is free. Premium subscription is $29.99 per month.
Ivory Search enhances the default WordPress search and allows you to create new custom search forms. Create an unlimited number of search forms and configure each to customize the search and perform different types of searches on site content. Price: Free.
Ajax Search Pro features built-in multi-source autocomplete and a keyword suggestions engine. The adjustable keyword logic and two different built-in search engines allow you to configure the plugin to get the most accurate results. The search supports posts, pages, products, and any custom post type. The plugin features a customizable front-end filters panel, with checkboxes, radio buttons, selectors, date filters, and more. Price: Lifetime updates and six months of support for $36.
Search Exclude is a plugin to exclude any page or post from the WordPress search results by checking off the corresponding checkbox on post or page edit admin. Price: Free.
Highlight Search Terms is a plugin to highlight search terms within WordPress-generated search results (or when the referrer is a non-secure search engine), both on the search results page and on the post. Price: Free.
WPSolr lets Google crawl search results without sanctioning your site for duplicate content. Search PDFs, post type, WooCommerce product attributes, and more. Get live suggestions in the search box. Search with checkbox, radio box, select box, Select2 box, number slider, date slider, range, and color picker. WPSolr enables quick search through millions of posts, topics, products, or visitors. Price: €199 per year.