New WordPress Plugin: Better Search

March 20th, 2009
WordPress Plugins

Have you tried searching for anything out here on Weblog Tools Collection? What about the Heatmap we have at the bottom of the page?

If you haven’t searched for anything here yet, let me explain the difference between the search results out here and the results on other WordPress blogs.

On other blogs, when you use the inbuilt search, WordPress finds the posts that contain the search term as is and lists them out. Out here, when you conduct a search, the posts which are most relevant to the search term are listed out in order of their relevance. This ensures better search results for your search term.

The solution we have here is manual and customized for this blog. So, in order to extend this all WordPress users, I’ve converted the same into a WordPress plugin titled Better Search.

When you install Better Search, it will automatically replace the inbuilt search with the ability to search for results contextually and display the same in descending order of relevance. The search results are paged and the searcher can select the number of results to be displayed per page, as well as jump between the various pages.

An extra feature is the heatmap as you see it out here. The plugin provides you with two types of heatmaps. The first displays the most popular searches from all time. The second one is a heatmap that displays popular search from a user selectable date range. By default, I’ve set it for seven days, i.e. a week.

If you’d like to see how the plugin works, you can try searching for terms on my blog or on Techtites.

There are several more features that I plan on adding in the near future. Check out the To Do on the plugin page.

Until then, read more about Better Search and download the plugin »




  1. Dan Schulz says:

    Would it be possible in a future version to disable the heat map while still using the plugin? (Or is this already available, though not advertised?)

    • Ajay (209 comments.) says:

      Currently you need to manually make the changes in the template_redirect function in better-search.php

      However, a later version will include support for template files. So, you can customize exactly how you want to customize your site.

  2. gestroud (7 comments.) says:

    I’m gonna kick myself. I’ve been looking for a better search plugin for a while now and it’s been staring me in the face. :-(

  3. Ryan (55 comments.) says:

    Does it work out which posts to display first based on what has been searched for/clicked on in the past?

    A system which ties in with Google to work out which of your posts is most relevant to the search term would be totally awesome, but I suspect that would be quite complicated to setup and would probably breach Googles TOS :(

    • Ajay (209 comments.) says:

      If you want to use Google for results, then your best bet is to use the Google Custom Search Engine that allows you to use Google to search the site.

  4. Jacob Allred (1 comments.) says:

    Looks like it could use some work still.. Searching for “wordpress” on your site returns 0 results.

  5. DaveZatz (5 comments.) says:

    I like the built-in date-based WordPress search. Relevance is subjective. I’ve given Google-based Lijit a shot a few times, but always find myself back to the default service. If this had some sort of relevance/date toggle like Engadget or Gizmodo, I’d think about it. But search works well enough for me to mostly not mess with.

  6. zHazarDz (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for this, it is really useful search plugin. :)

  7. Sergio Majluf (1 comments.) says:

    If you search for “Better Search Plugin”, this very same page appears fourth… maybe a little tweaking is still needed?

    Great effort, though. WordPress’ built-in search is far from perfect.


  1. madbradprods (MB Productions) (1 comments.) says:

    @edit1media I havent tested this, but it looks good

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