How Jetpack Can Improve Your WordPress Site’s Search Functionality

Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality

Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality better than the built-in search function in WordPress sites. It allows your site visitors find the relevant content much faster. The trouble with the standard search function is that it can be imprecise and slow as you continue to increase the quantity of your content.

Despite getting a significant upgrade in 2013, the WordPress default search option is still far from ideal.  A lot of people have tried thousands of plugins to improve the search functionality of their WordPress plugins. So what is wrong with the WordPress search function?

For starters, the WordPress default search uses a fuzzy matching functionality, and this is one of the leading reasons for giving out irrelevant results. The search engine completely ignores the custom fields, tags, comments, categories, or the excerpts that could be useful in improving the relevancy of the results.

The WordPress default search also uses the “AND” search operator which means that it will search for all the words included in the query. If it lacks even one word, the users get the annoying “NOTHING FOUND” error message.

WordPress is an open source CMS platform that allows independent developers to create software and programs to extend the functionality of the platform. The trouble is that many of the plugins promise to improve the search functionality, but end up being the same or even worse compared to the WordPress search. Other plugins will leave you with expensive features that you do not need.

We have used the Jetpack plugin on our WordPress website, and we can say that it is the absolute best plugin to improve your WordPress site search functionality among other features.

What is Jetpack?

This is the ultimate WordPress plugin in that it comes equipped with a tool kit that will help you in setting up the design elements, security protocols and all you need to scale your website. With Jetpack, you will be able to efficiently undertake various webmaster duties such as

  • Increase your traffic through automatic content sharing on social media, faster; loading times, and related content
  • Fully customise your website with rich content, free themes, and image editing tools
  • Securing your WordPress website using secure logins and thus protect yourself from brute cyber attacks
  • Improve the site search functionality on your website via Jetpack Search powered by Elasticsearch

In this article, we will look at how Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality. Read on to the end and find out how Jetpack can help improve your websites overall user experience for the visitors.

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Why You Should Consider Incorporating Better Search Functionality

A properly working search function will not only benefit the users, but it will also improve content engagement. For one, visitors will stay on your site for a much longer time, and this helps to make your older content more visible.

WordPress includes a default search feature, but it can be frustrating. Before 2013, the WordPress search function was the ridicule of the internet, but it has come a long way to include results that include a prioritisation feature.

Even with the update, the WordPress standard search function is not the ideal one to use since it has limitations on how it brings up results. It also makes it difficult to customise client queries, and it is particularly slow on websites with many posts and pages.

Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality

For small WordPress websites, the standard search function will be enough. However, if you are running a big and busy website such as an e-commerce website, then it is better to have an optimised option. This is because searching for products is an essential phrase of the sales cycle. This is where you will need the Jetpack plugin to improve tour search functionality and it is powered by Elasticsearch.  

How Jetpack Improves WordPress Site Search Functionality?

The WordPress default search widget suffers from many hurdles, which can be frustrating. However, the Jetpack Search powered by Elasticsearch is one of the best tools that you can use to give your customers seamless search functionality on your WordPress website.

It Gives Precedence to the Latest Content

The chances are that when a user is on a website, they are looking for the latest product, service, or information. With Jetpack plugin, your users can enjoy the most recent content you have under the keyword that you have chosen.

Real Time Indexing

The WordPress default search option has a very slow response, and it might take hours or days to index new content. Jetpack, on the other hand, takes a few seconds to index your most recent content. However, it might take longer to index if you have just installed and activated the plugin.

Site Loading Speed

Jetpack is one of the trusted WordPress plugins that will help improve your site’s loading speed in addition to the search functionality. This is aided by the fact that the Jetpack plugin is loaded with several features that will be beneficial for your entire site.

How does this relate to how Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality? Well, there are hundreds of websites that have similar content to yours. When a customer starts experiencing a hard time accessing the relevant content, they will leave and go seek the information on another site.

In this case, the Jetpack search tool will help deliver content at a much faster rate. This will not only increase your site loading speed, but it increases the time a user spends on your site.

Custom and Filtered Searches

WordPress default search is devoid of any special filtering algorithm, and this makes it difficult for your users to do precise searches. Besides, for large websites, it takes too long to find the information.

Jetpack, on the other hand, allows the users to get a variety of filtering options. They can filter their searches by tags, custom taxonomies, titles, authors, among other search criteria. This makes the searches more precise and relevant.

Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality

 

Elastic Search API

There is nothing better than having the ability to make your website as unique as possible for the benefit of your users and customers. Jetpack search comes with the Elastic API, which allows you to customise the search engine to suit the behaviour of your online audience.

The API is available for the user on different tiers, that is, WordPress.com VIP, Jetpack Professional, and the Jetpack Free plan.  However, there are different limitations for each tier. What this means is that if you are a free plan user, you will get different features of the Elasticsearch Query DSL from the WordPress.com VIP.

Size of the Website Does Not Matter

For websites with hundreds of posts, items, or pages, the standard WordPress search functionality will have trouble presenting the appropriate results. With the Jetpack search, you can be sure that your users are getting instant and relevant search results. It can support as many as a million documents, and more.

Organised Search Results

Have you ever done a search on a WordPress powered website and you have to scroll through tons of irrelevant results? Jetpack search pulls the most relevant information and then organises it according to the date it was published, and it also takes into account the relevance of the information.

How To Include Jetpack’s Elastic Search to Your Website

Now that we have looked at how Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality, you will need to install and activate the Jetpack plugin. For best results, consider invest in the Jetpack Professional plan to enjoy the Elasticsearch advanced search feature. To activate the plugin, click on the Jetpack icon on your dashboard, ‘Settings,’ and finally ‘Traffic.’

This will lead you to a settings page where you will see an option called ‘Replace WordPress built-in search with an improved search experience.’ Toggle this option, to add the widget to the website.

Got to ‘Navigate>Widget’ and scroll down until you see ‘Search (Jetpack)’ widget. After this, you can drag and drop the widget on any part of the website where you want it to appear. However, you should remember to remove the default WordPress search widget.

After this, you will need to customise the search options you want the widget to support. At this point, you can add filters to create specialised searches or choose the default sort results. Click ‘Save’ after you are done with customising the widget.

Conclusion

Webmasters with new websites that do not have a huge quantity of content might not understand the need to improve the search functionality on their websites, but it is worth it. It is best if you start early instead of grappling with the problems that will arise when you scale your website.

If you are running an e-commerce business, no matter the size, improved search functionality will impact your bottom line. Jetpack Search powered by Elastic search gives a better user experiencing by including customisable searches, real-time indexing, and a dynamic and faster search process. 

Jetpack improves WordPress site search functionality and it does not require any configuration when installing and it has a one-second refresh rate. More so, there are no restrictions to the number of searches users can make with the Jetpack Elastic search.

Our web design team will install WordPress Jetpack plugin and also optimize every section of the website to ensure that it continues to provide the best user experience to potential customers. Contact us today for more details. 

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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February 13, 2019

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