There are many things I love about WordPress — the extendability, the ease of use, and large library of themes available online, to name a few. But if there is one aspect of WordPress that needs a little work, it is the default search functionality.
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a search plugin for WordPress that is based on the Lucene search engine — a very cool and powerful search library used by a lot of big places. The plugin is in its beta stage, and ready for use and evaluation by anyone who would like to check it out. The plugin is currently implemented on my blog, so you can use the search box on the upper-right side to see it in action.
wpSearch uses the PHP port of the library by Zend. It also spawned a sub-project, the PHP StandardAnalyzer. You can read more about that here.
The search currently uses a lightbox floating over the page to allow users to navigate search results. An option to integrate the results into the page may be and option in the future.
The major features of wpSearch are:
- Unmatched and customizable search relevancy (that’s the power of Lucene working)
- Very fast search speed
- Wildcard and Boolean operator support
- Easy installation
- Instantly updated searching after a post has been written
- Searching of Posts and Pages
Features for advanced users:
- Customizable interface via CSS
- Access to the internal search service for extendability
wpSearch was written for a development contest at LTech Consulting (a firm specializing in search with Lucene and the Google Search Appliance), but with the full intent of being open source. If anyone is interested in helping develop it, drop me a comment on this post.
Also, if anyone gives this plugin a try and has any suggestions, I would really appreciate your input! Just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. The plugin will be made available in the WordPress search repository shortly.
Full information about wpSearch (installation instructions, screenshots, etc) is available on wpSearch’s project page.