Do you use a search box on your blog?
Lately I haven’t been using one because I haven’t been able to find a search box plugin for WordPress that displays relevant results, Argh!
Well today I’m excited to tell you about a Search box plugin that works so well it inspired this post
This WordPress plugin is called Swiftype. Have you heard of it? I didn’t until yesterday, and so far I love it!
So here’s the scoop…
First of all the plugin is free, Yay! They have a paid version with some extra features but so far the free version works great for me and most likely it will for you too.
Go ahead try it, it’s located at the top of my right sidebar.
One thing I especially love about this search box plugin is that you can type a keyword in the search box and get a drop down list of all the posts with that keyword phrase. You can even order how you want your results to display which I’ll talk about more in a minlute.
Your visitors can now select a specific post right from the search box.
To start simply install the Swiftype Search plugin for WordPress. Once installed on your blog simply click on the Swiftype link in your WordPress dashboard and follow the directions.
Once you’re set up you’ll have a Swiftype dashboard to log into where you can customize your Swiftype results and read through detailed search analytics. There’s a short demo video on the plugin site for more details.
But here are some of the cool features I love most about Swiftype.
- The search doesn’t bog down your site, even if you have hundreds of thousands of posts.
- Your search box will contain suggestions based on titles, tags, and author names that users plugin into the search box.
- Search results automatically update when you save, delete, or change search content.
- Re-order search results with drag-and-drop from your Swiftype Dashboard.
- Just click on your dashboards search engine for search results and analytics. I love this because I can see what visitors to my site are searching for. If there are consistencies this gives me an idea of what content I need to focus on more.
A few things to know before getting started with the Swiftype search Box Plugin For WordPress
The Swiftype WordPress search plugin takes over the default WordPress search widget. So be sure you have the default search widget set up on your blog first. Enable the WordPress search box widget by going to Appearance -> Widgets and then drag the “Search” widget into your side bar.
The hardest part about the Swiftype installation (which isn’t that hard, it just requires the extra step), is that it requires an API key. But that’s easy to get. Once you install the plugin just follow the directions for getting your API key.
Customize Your Search Box Results in Your Swiftype Dashboard
Using your dashboard you can customize your search results with the ‘Result Controls’ tab. Simply drag and drop the results you want to display in the order you want them for your search posts key phrase.
Analytics for Swiftype
And here’s the fun part for all you analytics fans. Click on the ‘Analytics’ tab, select a timeframe and see how many searchs, autoselects and clicks you got. The autoselect is when a user selects a search result from the drop down list.
Overall I like the tool, it was certainly a simple install and I like the results.
- 1 search engine
- 1 domain
- 1,000 documents
- 1 recrawl each week
- 30-day Analytics history
- Email Support
As you can see I’m limited to 1000 posts/pages but I’ve got some time before I reach 1000. When I hit that number I may need to upgrade but right now this gives me time to evaluate the product to see whether it will be worth it to me.
How about you? What search tool do you use?
P.S. Swiftype has an affiliate program and I like the program so much I joined. If you use the program you may want to join as well. If you decide to go with the paid version I’d be grateful if you used my links within this post which grants me an commission, but no pressure For the free version simply download the free WordPress plugin here.