In this article, we are going to review all requirements of a WordPress website related to Search.
As you already know, WordPress is one of the most popular (or better to say the most popular) open-source CMS written in PHP and using MySQL as a Database. It initially comes with a built-in search feature which probably doesn’t fit all the needs of your website.
As you may know, you are free to install plugins on your WordPress website for free in the self-hosted WordPress website or premium plan on wordpress.com. The flexibility and possibility of installing plugins is a WordPress key feature that made it that popular because whenever you face a new need in your WordPress website, you can search for related plugins in the directory of WordPress Plugins and probably you find some solutions. So maybe you can overcome the weakness of the built-in search of WordPress using a handy plugin?
If you have ever used WordPress built-in search, you will realize there are some problems with it. Here we try to list some of them.
WordPress built-in search is slow and that’s not out of expectation. WordPress is using database queries to find the related result and in the tech world, this is the worst solution for searching. WordPress keeps almost everything like posts, pages, media info, WooCommerce products, bbPress topics and forums, and even revisions of the posts in the wp_posts table, so this becomes the most critical and the heaviest table in the database. And unfortunately, the data search needs to get is placed exactly in this table. So it makes sense why it’s so slow but why WordPress developers (which we believe they are smart ones in the world) designed it like this? the answer is because the is no better solution. WordPress built to work on the minimum server/host requirements and the database is the only place they have the data in and they can’t force website owner to install better technologies to handle search.
As a website owner, It’s very hard to understand what your users are searching for on your website. How every it’s not possible to do it with WordPress built-in features and you will need a third-party plugin or analytics tool like Google Analytics. When you have no insight on what your users are searching for, you will never know how to take next steps in your business strategy.
One other con of not using a proper technology for search in WordPress is not getting an accurate result. Basically, databases including MySQL, are not optimized to work as search engines and they don’t have enough flexibility and features around search. Thus, the result of built-in WordPress search is limited by the technology it’s using and it’s not fixable on the software layer.
One other disadvantage of search on the database is, it’s costy. Because they are not built for this and however they work, but the amount of the resources they need to search, is way more than how it should be.
WordPress is not giving you any control over the search. For example searching in a particular category or only posts, pages, or products. Also, you can’t define weight for search parameters like title, excerpt, tags, and content of the posts.
WordPress users love features. They like to create a fancy experience for their users. Using Ajax technology is one of the most likely features they usually like to have. Ajax technology helps users to load new data to their page without reloading the page or getting redirected to another page. Next time you’re scrolling your Facebook timeline, you will see when you get close to the end, the new updates get loaded to the page without reloading. Using Ajax has some pros and cons. The advantages are having a smoother experience, less waiting time on page loads, and a more modern experience and one of the disadvantages is, it usually puts more load on the server, because the number of requests is higher. Now you can imagine if WordPress wanted to provide an Ajax experience on search, the server/host could not handle it anymore, or the waiting time could be boring for the user. So that’s the reason WordPress didn’t provide Ajax technology and search-as-you-type experience.
There are also some more reasons which I didn’t list in this article.
According to the reasons just mentioned, you will probably need a replacement for your WordPress built-in search and the good news is thanks to WordPress flexibility and WordPress plugins you can overcome this weakness. Chili Search is the best replacement for WordPress built-in search. Here are the reasons:
Chili Search is a simple solution that replaces your WordPress built-in search with a powerful and flexible search engine and indexes your selected content in that search engine. Then when you use your website’s search, this powerful search engine gets used to display a fast and accurate result.
If you have a business with WordPress or using WordPress to have your blog or running your new agency, your main focus should be helping user or customer to reach out what they want and what they are looking for. If you want to take bigger steps than your competitors, we highly suggest to use Chili Search WordPress Plugin to reach to your business goals.