It is always the best to provide a search feature on your blog. WordPress makes it very easy for you to keep a search box in your blog with a widget. Some people get satisfied with the basic functionality of WordPress search widget, while many want a more powerful search solution. WordPress repository consists umpteen plugins for improving search function on your blog. From that big collection of search plugins for WordPress,

Here at Templatetoaster website builder software, I have found following plugins the most useful for every kind of the WordPress blog.



Relevanssi is the most used WordPress search plugin. It doesn’t come with a different search widget. You can apply its settings on the default search widget offered by the WordPress. This plugin offers myriad options. To find the settings, navigate to Settings–> Relevanssi.

The Relevanssi lets you decide whether to show the results with having the complete search query, or to show the results having at least one words of search query. You may select the order of search results according to the relevancy, or according to the post date.

This plugin even allows fuzzy matching. In fuzzy matching, the words which contain the search term either in their starting or in their ending are considered for showing search results. For example, all the documents which contain words “shore” and “Oregon” will be found if you search “ore”. But, those documents will not be included which contain words like “Korea”, because in this word “ore” is neither in the beginning not in the end.

You can set the weight of the post titles, comment text, tags and categories. The input of these fields is used by Relevanssi to find out the relevancy and the order of search results. For example, if you give more weight to the comment text than the title, then, Relevanssi will give priority to the comments for searching user query, and prepare the order of search results accordingly.

This plugin enables you to find out what type of content is queried most by the users on your site, by giving you the option to keep the log of the queries searched by the users. Even, you can keep the log of users’ IPs.

Here are the highlights of more features-

  • You can exclude some categories and tags from the search.
  • You can restrict searches to categories and tags.
  • Create custom excerpts with search terms highlighted.
  • You can set the options for highlighting the search terms in the results.
  • Gives you the indexing options for post types and taxonomies.
  • You can enable synonym searching that only works with OR search.
  • Stop-words filter.
  • Supports WPML plugin for multi-language capability.

A manifold number of active installations and high user rating add more weight to our recommendation that Relevanssi is really a worthy plugin for your website. If you want to make WordPress site try WordPress website builder.

Active Installs: 80,000+

User Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Dave’s WordPress Live Search

Dave's WordPress Live Search

This plugin shows instant results as the user types the search query, however, you may define the number of words to be typed before the user would see the search results. The search results are shown in a very interactive manner with thumbnails, excerpt and metadata of the posts. This plugin uses the live search technique, which enables it to query the WordPress database continual while the user writes query in the search box. Hence, the user finds the result before finish writing the search term in the search box.

You can find its settings by navigating to Settings–> Live Search. From the settings page, you can select the number of search results to display in the result box. For telling the user that more search results are there, you may set “view more results” link. You will even find the options to customize the style of result box.

By default, the metadata, thumbnail and excerpt are activated, but it is up to you whether you want to show them in search results or not. Moreover, this plugin allows you to exclude posts you want from being shown in live search box. You can also enable the content filter if needed. Dave’s live search is compatible with WPML for multi-language support.

All in all, this plugin is amazing. What follows is the number of active downloads of Dave’s WordPress Live Search and user rating.

Active Installs: 10,000+

User Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Better Search

Better search plugin

The Better Search is a bit advanced than the basic WordPress search. With the Better search plugin, you can track the searches on your blog to know the popular search terms on your blog. It creates a “Popular Searches” widget to facilitate you to show the popular search terms on the sidebar of your blog.

The plugin lets you decide the number of search results per page. Moreover, you can select the post types to include in the search results, can set the weight of post title and content for deciding the relevancy of search results, and whether to include the thumbnails or not. Search term highlighting is yet another feature of the Better search. Additionally, this plugin has an obscenity filter to remove the offensive words from the search results.

You can display a customized “search heat maps” on the footer of search result page. Two types of heat maps can be shown, one displays overall popular searches on your blog and another one displays the daily popular searches. You can customize their titles, their font size, and the colors of most popular and least popular search terms. You can set the links of popular search terms to open in the new window. Following is the number of active installations of this plugin together with user rating.

Active Installs: 10,000+

User Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Our Recommendation

Comparing the features and options of these plugins, we can certainly say that the Relevanssi is a robust plugin. It gives you a lot of options to enhance the basic search functionality of the WordPress search box widget. But, your own needs and preferences are the major decisive factor of picking up a plugin for your blog. If you don’t prefer Relevanssi, the Better search plugin would be a nice choice for your blog. And if, you want a simple and straight live search solution for your blog, then nothing is as good as Dave’s WordPress live search plugin. If you use some other plugin than I have described here, you may tell us about that through your comments.