The search functionality of a website is integral.  Given any sufficiently large site, we think of it as the ultimate in navigation.  For all that WordPress does really well, the search function that comes backed-in to WordPress is awful.

The WordPress search function looks for your query in your published posts and pages — literal matches primarily. It also returns those literal results in order of recency (newest to oldest), not relevancy (most relevant to your search to least).  When it’s all said and done, WordPress needs a better search algorithm.

Relevanssi is a WordPress plugin that replaces the standard WordPress search algorithm with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. Just install, activate, and configure.  Instantly, you’ll get better search results, and better presentation of those results.

The plugin is actively maintained by Mikko Saari, who’s also a super-nice guy.  Just saying…

Key Features

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.

Advanced Features

  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” fuzzy-match suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Automatic support for WPML multi-language plugin.
  • Automatic support for s2member membership plugin.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
  • Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
  • Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

Relevanssi is available in two versions, regular (free) and Premium. Regular Relevanssi is and will remain free to download and use. Relevanssi Premium costs just $49.95 per year for an unlimited number of sites and gives you access to some pretty killer premium features.  Standard Relevanssi will be updated to fix bugs, but new features mostly only appear in Premium.

Relevanssi Premium Screenshot

Relevanssi Premium Features

  • Improved spelling correction in “Did you mean?” suggestions.
  • Multisite support.
  • Search and index user profiles.
  • Search and index taxonomy term pages (categories, tags, custom taxonomies).
  • Search and index arbitrary columns in wp_posts MySQL table.
  • Assign weights to any post types and taxonomies.
  • Assign extra weight to new posts.
  • Let the user choose between AND and OR searches, use + and – operator (AND and NOT).
  • Highlighting search terms for visitors from external search engines.
  • Export and import settings.
  • WP CLI commands.

$50 fix the abismal WordPress default search algorithm? We highly recommend it.

Purchase Relevanssi Premium securely at:

NOTE: We have no affiliation with Relevanssi.  We’re just big fans.

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