12 WordPress Search Plugins to Improve Your Site Search

By | October 16, 2020

Are you looking for the best WordPress search plugin to improve your site search?

We all know that the default WordPress search feature is quite limited. However, there are several WordPress search plugins that can help you improve the default search experience.

In this article, we will highlight the best WordPress search plugins to improve your site search.

Comparing the best WordPress search plugins

Why Use a WordPress Search Plugin?

WordPress comes with a built-in search feature, which is quite limited and not very good in finding the relevant content.

If you are making a new WordPress website or blog, then you may not need a better search feature right away.

However, as you add more content, you would want to help users easily find articles or products. A lot of folks rely mainly on SEO best practices, hoping that users will find things through search engines.

WPBeginner site search

Adding a site search helps users who are already on your website. For instance, they may be looking for an older article that they didn’t bookmark or a particular product on your WooCommerce store.

Site search helps users stay on your website, boosts engagement, and ultimately leads to higher conversions and sales.

The good news is that there are several WordPress search plugins that can help you do that. Some of these plugins are built for specific purposes like WooCommerce product search and some improve search experience across your website.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress search plugins that you can try.

1. SearchWP


SearchWP is one of the best custom search plugin for WordPress. It is very easy to use and the search results are relatively more accurate.

It allows searches for your keyword in post/page title, content, slug, categories, tags, taxonomies, excerpts, and even comments. You can control the algorithm by assigning weight to each content type from 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest.

Upon activation, the plugin automatically indexes your content and replaces the default search feature in WordPress. See our article on how to improve WordPress search with SearchWP for more detailed instructions.

Pricing: Starting from $99 per year.

2. ElasticPress


ElasticPress is a hosted WordPress search service built on ElasticSearch.

Instead of running on your WordPress site, it runs the search queries on the cloud and shows results at a lightening speed. It is extremely easy to use and integrate on any WordPress site and works with all top WordPress hosting providers.

It has built-in Ajax search which shows instant results as users start typing. It also works well with WooCommerce and shows users the products they are looking for much quicker.

It is a hosted service and a lot more expensive than any other search solutions on this list.

Pricing: $79 per month

3. Ivory Search

Ivory Search

Ivory Search is another excellent WordPress search plugin to replace the default WordPress search.

It allows you to create multiple custom search forms. Each form can have its own custom search settings which allows you to create dynamic forms for different areas of your website.

It works with popular WordPress multilingual plugins and WooCommerce. To improve search results, Ivory Search looks into post types, images metadata, custom fields, and more.

You can also use Ajax to show live search results without reloading a page. It comes with shortcodes and a search widget allowing you to easily display search forms anywhere on your website.

Pricing: The base plugin is free. Premium version starts at $19.99 per year.

4. WP Google Search

WP Google Search

WP Google Search allows you to easily replace default WordPress search feature with Google Custom Search.

It is really simple to use, you’ll need to create a Google Custom Search for your site. After that, you can copy the search engine ID and paste it in plugin settings.

The plugin also comes with a widget which allows you to display Google Custom Search in your WordPress sidebar. You can also use a shortcode to display the search form.

For more details, see our step by step guide on how to add Google custom search in WordPress.

Pricing: Free

5. SearchWP Ajax Live

SearchWP Ajax Live

SearchWP Ajax Live is an addon plugin for SearchWP but would work with any WordPress search form that uses the built-in WordPress template tags to display the search form.

It enhances your existing WordPress search with live Ajax search results as soon as user starts typing. This offers a better user experience and does not require a page reload.

The plugin also offers flexible customization option for advanced users. Allowing them to cutomize the results template and integrate Ajax functionality into any search form.

Pricing: Free

6. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search is a great WooCommerce product search plugin that helps customers quickly find products on your store. It allows you to let customers search SKUs, search within specific product categories and filter the results without reloading a page.

YITH WooCommerce Ajax search is highly customizable. You can show thumbnails, badges, prices, and promotions in live search results. You can also add a search bar to different product categories or shop pages.

The plugin works with WooCommerce stores in any language and is fully compatible with multilingual stores.

Pricing: Starting from $69.99 per year.

7. Ajax Search for WooCommerce

Ajax Search for WooCommerce

Ajax Search for WooCommerce is another excellent WooCommerce search plugin. It allows you to instantly fetch search results using Ajax without reloading a page.

It comes with a powerful product SKU search, category and tags filters, and easy implementation in the navigation menu, sidebar, or shortcode.

You can easily add product search to any product category or shop page. The plugin also works on multilingual stores out of the box.

Pricing: Base plugin is free. Premium version starting at $49 per year with additional features.

8. WOOF Products Filter for WooCommerce

WOOF Products Filter for WooCommerce

WOOF Products Filter for WooCommerce is a very useful search companion for WooCommerce stores. It allows your customers to filter products using a number of options including categories, colors, size, and more.

You can use a shortcode in a sidebar widget to display the search and filtering options. You can also choose to use Ajax for sorting products without leaving the page.

It is easy to set up for beginners and offers tons of customization options for developers who may want to implement it into custom product templates.

Pricing: Free

9. Relevanssi


Relevanssi is another popular WordPress search plugin that improves WordPress search by fetching more relevant results.

It can search for PDF contents, shortcode outputs, custom fields, user profiles, categories and tags, WooCommerce products, and more.

One thing that you need to look for is compatibility issues. Ralevanssi has compatibility issues with popular page builder plugins, BuddyPress, NextGen Gallery, and a few more.

Pricing: Base plugin is free. You can upgrade to the premium version for $99 per year.

10. WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search is a light weight and simple WordPress search plugin that allows you to easily extend the functionality of the default WordPress search.

You can simply go to the plugin settings and select the options that you want to include in the search. You can search in author name, taxonomies, post types, meta data, and more.

You don’t need to add any shortcode or widget. The plugin extends the default WordPress search so if you are already using it, then you are good to go.

Pricing: Free

11. Better Search

Better Search

Better Search is another great way to replace the default WordPress search with a slightly better search engine.

It allows you to search across all post types and find more relevant results. You can also assign a weight to items and improve the quality of search results.

It automatically replaces the default WordPress search. If your theme doesn’t already add a search form, then you can use the default search widget to add the search feature to your website.

Pricing: Free

12. Search Exclude

Search Exclude

Search Exclude allows you to simply exclude items you don’t want to be displayed in the WordPress search.

It adds a simple checkbox for posts, pages, and WooCommerce products that you can check if you want to exclude it from the search results. You can also go to the plugin’s settings page to see all the items that you have excluded from the search.

Pricing: Free

Which WordPress Search Plugin is The Best?

SearchWP is the best WordPress search plugin for most websites.

It offers a nice range of features, quality of search results is great and is affordable for small businesses. It has a WooCommerce addon and a free live search addon, both of them make your WooCommerce product search incredibly powerful.

However, if you are looking for a free and more powerful search then WP Google Search allows you to add Google Search to your WordPress site.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress search plugin for your website. You may also want to see our list of the must have WordPress plugins for small businesses, and the best WooCommerce plugins for all online stores.

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