Anyone with a large CBOX site wants a way to search through content, but be aware that search functionality is not automatically “built in.” We can’t really anticipate everyone’s setup. Here are some options to get your site’s search functions up and running.
- Use the default WordPress search widget. It is easy to install – you just drag it to the widget area of your choice – but be aware that search results will come only from WordPress content (i.e. posts and pages).
- Use Google Custom Search Engine. You just need to set up an account, and provide the site(s) you want to search. Set up is quick and easy. You’ll get a code snippet that you can copy and paste into a text widget. Place it where ever you want.
- You can build on the option above and customize it so it is a little more attractive, and displays search results on an actual WordPress page. This method involves a little coding and is described in this tutorial.
- Another way to implement Google Custom Search is via a number of free plugins available on the WordPress Repository. The plugin used on the CUNY Academic Commons is called Google Custom Search. Search by Google is another option – easy to set up, but a little light on options. There are other options as well – find one in the repository that you like.
Google Search displays adds, and new pages may take a little while to index. Customization options may be somewhat limited.
Industrial Strength Options
Probably the best way to provide searching on your site is to use search engines such as Solr or Sphinx. These are systems that will need external support from an IT department, but they’re infinitely customizable, and keep all of your search in-house, rather than farming out to a third party like Google. If you have access to Solar or Sphinx, there are WordPress plugins to help with your integration. The various plugins for Solr can be found here. The plugin for Sphinx is called WordPress Sphinx Search Plugin.