Best WordPress Search Plugins for Enhanced Site Search

Internet users are becoming accustomed to a high-quality experience and won’t settle for anything less. Therefore, having a user-friendly website that’s easy to navigate is imperative if you want to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and build lasting relationships with them. Your site visitors expect to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. You only have a few seconds to prove yourself – if you fail, they will go somewhere else.

While a custom search function can help visitors locate the information they need, you probably know that the default WP search feature has its limitations. Luckily, WordPress search plugins for enhanced site search can help you improve your website’s search functionality.

Why You Need a WP Search Plugin

Before we highlight the best WordPress search plugins, we’ll explain why you should use them. Although WP comes with a built-in search feature, it is limited and inefficient at finding relevant content.

Many site owners rely on SEO, hoping that users will find what they are searching for through search engines, but that isn’t enough. Adding a search feature helps visitors who have already landed on your site. Enhanced site search makes visitors stay on your site, boosts engagement, and ultimately helps increase your conversion rate and sales.

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Things to Look for in a WP Search Plugin

  • Cost-effectiveness. Some of the best WordPress search plugins for enhanced site search are free, while others require a payment. Depending on your budget and your specific needs, you’ll decide whether investing in a premium option is the right choice.
  • Accuracy. Sometimes, people search for content that default WP doesn’t index. That’s why you need a useful plugin that effectively indexes as much text and image content as you need.
  • Speed. As mentioned, customers have become impatient. They want to be able to find relevant information in a few seconds. If you have a larger site, you need a search plugin that indexes your content and fetches it as fast as possible.
  • Design. The search bar and the results page should meet certain design standards. Some search plugins let you customize the search bar, the results page, or both.
  • Filtering and sorting. This feature also helps visitors find what they want more quickly. Depending on the nature of your business and website, this feature may or may not be necessary.

Search plugins work best when combined with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. CRM software helps you understand your customers better by monitoring their behavior and collecting relevant data, such as what they search for. For example, moving companies can help their site visitors find moving tips, packing supplies, etc., by using software for the relocation industry that provides this type of data.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WP plugins for an enhanced search experience.

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Top WordPress Search Plugins

Better Search

This free WP search plugin is an excellent substitute for the default WordPress search. Upon activation, it automatically replaces the default WP search with more relevant results. It improves search speed and helps you get more relevant results by searching across all post types.

In addition to posts, it lets you search through pages and other custom post types. The search results it presents are sorted according to their relevance, and you get to define the priority of your content type. In case you want to turn off relevancy-based searching, it sorts the results by date.

Advanced Woo Search

This useful WP search plugin is designed to enhance the search function of WooCommerce websites. It is fast, user-friendly, and comes with lots of helpful features. With this plugin, users can easily search all of your products. Advanced Woo Search can automatically show search results as users type. The name of the item is shown along with its price and picture. It is compatible with plugins such as WPML, WooCommerce Multilingual, Polylang, and qTranslate. This search plugin is free, but there is also a premium version with additional features.

Ivory Search

Another powerful replacement for the default WordPress search is Ivory Search. Despite its advanced features, it is very easy to use. Ivory Search is a highly versatile plugin that enables you to create multiple custom search forms. You can create an unlimited number of search forms and fine-tune each as you see fit. Moreover, you can display these custom forms anywhere on your website (header, footer, widget area, sidebar, pages, posts, etc.).

To improve search results, Ivory Search allows you to search for specific content through post titles, content, excerpt, custom fields, metadata, etc. It also allows using Ajax to display live search results without reloading the page and is compatible with multilingual WP plugins and WooCommerce. It is available in free and paid versions.

Swiftype Site Search

Another highly advanced, highly customizable search plugin you should check out. Thanks to its intuitive dashboard, you can easily customize your search. Search results are automatically updated when you make changes to your content. Other useful features include bigram matching, typo tolerance, synonyms, stemming, and phrase matching.

Thanks to its search analytics, this plugin helps you get to know your customers better. Moreover, there are thirteen different languages to choose from, including German, French, and Chinese. It is available in free and paid versions.


One of the very best WordPress search plugins for enhanced site search, SearchWP offers a user-friendly interface and many outstanding features. It allows searching for a chosen keyword through all parts of your site, including post/page titles, content, slug, tags, categories, excerpts, taxonomies, and comments. Once you activate it, it automatically indexes your content and replaces the default WP search feature. This advanced, easy-to-use plugin is not free, but it’s definitely a good investment.

Final thoughts

The type of WordPress Search Plugin you use will mostly depend on your users’ preferences and your own brand. However, there is no denying that having such an element on your website will greatly improve the experience of your users, and ultimately, help your business grow.

Author bio:

Lauren Murkey is a digital marketing specialist from NYC. She is focused on helping small businesses drive sales and promote their brand. As an experienced content writer, she has covered numerous topics related to online marketing.