What is wpSearch?

In short, wpSearch is a search plugin for WordPress. It is based on the open source search engine ‘Lucene’ which means it’s fast, and relevant. It allows a WordPress user to create a Google-like search on their blog — complete with boolean logic, wildcards, and incredible relevancy. This plugin allows a user to search their blog and view results with a power unrivaled in the WordPress world. Here is a more in-depth (and long-winded!) discussion on why it could be the best search for your blog.

The basics of wpSearch are simple (this is covered in more detail in the installation document):

  • Step 1: Install wpSearch in your plugins directory and activate it through the WordPress administration page.
  • Step 2: Go to the wpSearch Settings page and build your blog’s ‘search index’ (the search engine’s database) in one click
  • Step 3: Check out your new blog search — maybe even blog about it!

Why was wpSearch created?

There are quite a few ways to search a blog. The way most users implement a search on their WordPress blog is by simply using the default search functionality of WordPress. The default search WordPress provides is flawed in two ways: The search is build from dynamically generated database commands; The actual search quality is fairly poor, not to mention slow.

Overcoming the issue of search quality has been attempted by many dedicated WordPress users. Some user-developers have implemented their own WordPress search algorithm, trying define what they think is relevant in a search. These methods have one thing in common: They use the SQL fulltext search. These searches may bring back a set of matching results, but you certainly can’t expect them to be in order of true relevancy. Databases just weren’t made to do that.

Another method of blog search has come about. This method uses a real internet search engine, such as Google. These search plugins simply query a real web search engine (such as google) and output the results to the blog. This method usually solves the relevancy issue and also helps improve the speed issue. But there is one thing wrong with this approach: Google can take up to two weeks to update its index, meaning a WordPress post might not be searchable until well after it is relevant. This method is not for time-sensitive material.


wpSearch is a WordPress plugin. This means that everything needed to implement wpSearch on your blog can simply be ‘plugged’ in to your existing WordPress installation.

The wpSearch tries to be as easy to use for the average blogger as possible. Once it is plugged-in, all searches automatically take place through wpSearch, bypassing WordPress’ slow keyword search.

Right now, wpSearch has been released under version 1.5. This latest version is extremely fast and lightweight. Check out the screen shots and play with the plug-in if you would like to check it out. It is an open source plugin, and anyone willing to contribute to this project is welcome.


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:

  • Access to the internal search service for extendability
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  • evan

    I use WP version 2.8.x and 2.9.x. Can I use this plugin? because it written: Requires WordPress Version: 3.0 or higher. Or which parts of code should be re-write to make this plugin suitable for 2.8 and 2.9.

  • http://registrar.ua.edu Jay

    First I want to say thank you for this plugin! This is the first of many search plugins that I have tried that actually worked. I give 5 stars to you. But I have a few questions and/or feature requests/recommendations.

    1) Is there a way for it to filter out pages that are marked “private” at least for people that are not logged in? Currently anyone in the public can see private posts through search.

    2) We use WordPress mainly as a CMS with many pages and few posts, many of our pages have tables located near the top of the page. Is there a way to have the output skip any text within a <table> (or an option to do so since this may be desired by some).

    3) Finally, and this may be available and I just missed it, would it be possible for the search results to only consist of the_excerpt(), but the index being built from the_content()? – or is this just the way I need to set up the search results page?

    Thanks again for your awesome plugin,


  • http://registrar.ua.edu Jay

    Regarding last comment. I just realized the private pages are not showing in the results, I had assumed by a parent page being private all children pages were also considered private. please disregard #1 in the last comment.

  • http://www.usphp.com Ionel Roiban

    Care to share with us a way to use Solr instead of local Lucene. Thank you!

  • David Grant

    I am trying to use both your plugin and Matthew Taylor’s Result Count plugin anbd they seem to be incompatible. Used together, Taylor’s plugin doesn’t recognize when there are more than a page-full of posts. With your plugin disabled, however, it works fine.

    It looks like your search plugin resets the WP_query found_posts variable so that it is the same as post_count. Does that make sense?

  • http://twitter.com/JonPeckham1 Jon Peckham

    How to I add it to my pages??  A widget or something?  Shortcode??  How!!!  I cant get this to work???

  • Roque

    I have found Shopp to be very handy (and the support team is quite
    reliable), though the draw backs of the plugin compared to Woo Commerce
    are present in terms of user-friendliness, on the other hand credit can
    to be given to the Shopp developers for including a lot of features
    out-of-the-box that you would otherwise have to pay for by using Woo

  • Pål Orby

    Great plugin :)

    Found a little bug:

    When you try to edit the menu in WordPress while this plugin is installed you get this php error:

    [Mon Mar 18 14:08:08 2013] [error] PHP Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/wpsearch/WPSearch/Backends/Phplucene/Zend/Search/Lucene/Index/SegmentInfoPriorityQueue.php on line 50

  • Johan


    I’m using WPSearch and love it. It made everything much easier since I can limit the search categories on the site.

    One thing makes me a little confused, though. I’ve rebuilt the index a few times and every time the “Total posts in the index” keeps increasing by the thousands! Is this normal? It went from like 2.000 to 5.000 with two trips to ”Rebuild index” in a day.



  • Peter Dolley

    I have just installed WP Search, and it seems pretty good. Does it consider stop words or word length?

    thanks Peter

  • W T

    Hi, I tried to deactivate the plugin because of some issues (need to see what plugin is slowing down my admin panel significantly), it return a 404 error page mydomain.com/wp-admin/undefined . PLease advise how do I deactivate or delete the WP Search Plugin. Thanks

  • Tobias Gerdin

    Can the plugin index PDF files (and perhaps even other documents like Word, OpenDocument etc)?

  • http://www.indiayojana.com/ Kajal

    Can this plugin search from subdomain and give results in main domain search?www.indiayojana.com