9 Best WordPress Search Plugins 2023

best wordpress search plugins

Are you looking for the best WordPress search plugins that help you enrich the discoverability of your content on your website?

A seamless user experience is paramount for your online success. An intuitive search functionality can make all the difference when navigating a website. 

This is where a search plugin jumps in to help enhance your site’s search efficiency.

In this article, we'll share a list of the 9 best WordPress search plugins that will help you boost your site search experience by improving the discoverability of your site's content.

Top WordPress Search Plugins (Compared) 

Let’s look at the best WordPress search plugins' pricing comparison table for a quick summary.

Plugins Price Free Option
Ivory Search $49.99/ year 🗸
Relevanssi $109/ year 🗸
Ajax Search Lite $39 (lifetime) 🗸
Search Exclude Free 🗸
SearchWP $99/ year 🗸
Search & Filter  $20/ year 🗸
ACF: Better Search Free 🗸
WP Extended Search Free 🗸
Better Search Free 🗸

Why Do You Need a WordPress Search Plugin?

By default, WordPress offers a relatively basic search functionality. It typically searches for content based on keywords in post titles and content. It may lead to inaccurate or irrelevant results, especially on a site with a large amount of content.

This is where a WordPress search plugin jumps in to enhance the built-in search functionality of a WordPress site. It offers a range of features such as:

With this in mind, here are several reasons that urge you to install a WordPress search plugin on your site:

  • Improved Search Accuracy: By default, WordPress search functionality is very basic. It might fail to deliver accurate results for a visitor’s search. A search plugin enhances the overall search algorithm to provide users with more relevant and accurate results.

  • Customization and Filters: You can use a search plugin to customize search options, including filtering results by categories, tags, custom post types, and more. It helps users find exactly what they're looking for in no time.

  • Search Analytics: Many search plugins have built-in analytics, allowing you to track users' searches. This information can help you understand user behavior and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

  • Speed and Performance:  If your site has a large amount of content, the search results may take longer than usual. This is where a search plugin helps you get the search results in less than a minute.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Some search plugins also help to improve the SEO of your site's search results pages. It ensures that search engines properly index these pages.

Best WordPress Search Plugins 

Keeping the importance of WordPress search plugins in mind, we have curated a list of the 9 best WordPress search plugins that will help your visitors find the content on your web.

With that said, let’s get started!

ivory search

Downloads: 100,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

Ivory Search is one of the best WordPress search plugins. The plugin makes it easy for you to create multiple search forms in no time and add them anywhere on your site using shortcodes.

See the image below.

bulk action

The best part is that the plugin offers Google Analytics integration, making it easy to track searches.

Note: You’ll be required to use Google Analytics on your WordPress site to track searches. If you’re a beginner and don’t know how to get started with Google Analytics, Analytify is your solution. It makes tracking your site's performance straight from your WordPress dashboard easy. 

search analytics

Want to exclude something from your search results on your site? That plugin lets you exclude specific posts, pages, and categories from search results.

custom search form


  • Unlimited Search Forms: You can use this plugin to create unlimited search forms.
  • Stop Words: The plugin lets you add words that you may not want to be searched.
  • Synonyms: You can add synonyms against a word to increase the search accuracy.
  • Search: The plugin makes going easy for header, footer, and mobile search.
  • Multilingual Support: The plugin supports multilingual sites.


The plugin offers the basic version for Free. The premium version starts at $49.99/ year (for a single site).

2. Relevanssi


Downloads: 100,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

Relevanssi is another useful WordPress search plugin that provides complete control over your site’s search and helps find accurate content. 

On successfully installing the plugin, you’ll notice that it is there to help you with indexing,, searching, logging, and much more that we’ll cover in the features section. 

Note: The attachments and redirect pages are restricted to the plugin's premium version.

relevanssi overview tab

The plugin brings ease to help you create a search index for your site. You can easily select which post types and taxonomies, i.e., category, post_tag, and post_format, should be indexed by the plugin.

indexing options

The plugin lets you track what the users are searching on your site.

relevanssi search options


Excerpts: The plugin creates a snippet consisting of the main points of the search. It helps develop an insight into what the text is about.

Highlights: You can easily highlight your search results with mark, italic, or bold HTML tags.

Synonyms: The plugin lets you add synonyms to make the searches find better results.

Stopwords: The plugin lets you remove certain words from the index to show better search results.


The plugin offers the basic version for Free. The premium version starts at $109/ year (for unlimited sites).

3. Ajax Search Lite

ajax search lite

Downloads: 70,000+

Ratings: 4.5/5- Stars

Ajax Search Lite is designed to help you integrate a more advanced search box into your WordPress site. 

You can easily arrange logic and matching for your search. Such as:

  • Show exact matches only.
  • And disable exact matches to match the field against the search phrase, i.e., Anywhere, Starting with the phrase, Ending with the phrase, and Complete match. 

Autocomplete and Suggestion mode for finding something on a site brings ease to reach what you are looking for. 

See the image below:

autocomplete & suggestions

Ajax Search Lite lets you customize your search box's default look and feel and make it look exactly how you want it. You can choose from 8 different built-in templates for your search boxes.

search here

You can easily add text of your choice within the search box.



  • Multiple Search Bars: The plugin allows you to add as many search bars as you want on your site.
  • Custom Post Types: The plugin lets you search in custom post types, including WooCommerce Products, Portfolio items, and more.
  • Search Custom Field:  The plugin enables you to search in the custom fields, including titles, descriptions, categories, tags, and more.
  • Language Support: The plugin supports all languages, which makes it applicable to search for special characters, such as Chinese, Hebrew, etc.
  • Support Page Builders: The plugin supports various page builders, like Elementor.
  • Compatibility: The plugin is fully compatible with WPML and QtranslateX.


The plugin offers the basic version for Free. The premium version starts at $39 for a lifetime.

4. Search Exclude

search exclude

Downloads: 60,000+

Ratings: 4.5/5- Stars

You may want to exclude some specific content from your search results. This is where the Search Exclude WordPress search plugin jumps in to help you with this. 

The plugin lets you exclude specific posts. You’ll find the “Exclude from Search Results” option in the right sidebar menu of the post.

See the image below:

exclude post from search results

In addition, you can easily exclude any page from the search. Simply go to the left sidebar of the WordPress admin dashboard and click the Pages option. Select any page and “Hide from Search” from the drop-down menu.

See the image below:

hide from search


  • Control Search Results: The plugin enables you to control your search results. 
  • User Friendly: The plugin has a user-friendly interface that makes it the best fit for beginners.
  • No Coding Skills: You don’t require any coding skills to use this plugin.



5. SearchWP


Downloads: 50,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

SearchWP, a WordPress search plugin, is there to help you automatically increase your search forms with Live Ajax Search.

The plugin integrates with your search results page and every search form on your site to provide better search results to your site’s users, including:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Categories, tags, and taxonomies.
  • Media files
  • Documents
  • Product Attributes
  • Tables

Just like another search plugin, it allows you to add Stopwords and Synonyms to increase the relevance of users’ search results.

See the image below:

searchwp settings tab

SearchWP offers a statistics feature to help you record all the searcher's users have performed on your WordPress site and display it on the graph.

searchwp statistics tab


  • Indexing: The plugin makes it easy to help you index content for your PDF, Office, and text documents in your WordPress Media library.
  • Keyword Stemming: This plugin is smart enough to display better results using keyword stems instead of exact term matches.
  • Searchable Media Library: The plugin ensures your images and videos are searchable.
  • Exclude Results: This plugin can exclude content from search results.


The plugin offers the basic version for Free. The premium version starts at $99/ year.

6. Search & Filter

search & filter

Downloads: 50,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

Search & Filter is another useful WordPress search and filter plugin with Ajax that searches by category, tag, taxonomy, post type, post date, and more. 

your public taxonomies

The fields can be displayed as dropdown boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, or multi-select options.

name default value

The plugin uses AJAX to display results, so you require no more page reloading. Plus, the plugin is smart enough to order the results by meta value, Post ID, author, and more.


  • Unlimited Search Forms: This plugin allows you to create as many forms as you like.
  • Drag-and-Drop Form Builders: The plugin brings a drag-and-drop form builder for you.
  • Integrations: The plugin seamlessly integrates with WordPress themes and plugins.
  • Dynamic Filters: The plugin is smart enough to reload filters based on the current search. So that users will never get pages with no results.


The plugin offers the basic version for Free. The premium version starts at $20/ year.

acf better search

Downloads: 40,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

ACF: Better Search is another WordPress search plugin to assist the search functionality of your WordPress site. 

Note: You’ll require the Advanced Custom Field WordPress plugin to work ACF: Better Search properly.

The plugin searches for whole phrases instead of each single word or phrase. Plus, it searches for whole words instead of fragments within longer words. Consequently, users will get exactly what they are looking for.

It supports a wide range of field types, including:

list of supported fields types

ACF: Better Search comes with two modes, i.e., lite Mode and selected mode.  The Light Mode doesn’t check field types. It searches faster, but the results are less accurate. On the other hand, Selected Mode uses only selected fields for searching.


  • User Friendly: The plugin has a user-friendly interface that makes it the best fit for beginners.
  • No Coding Skills: The plugin is quite easy to use. You can use it without requiring any coding knowledge.



wp extended search

Downloads: 20,000+

Ratings: 5/5- Stars

WP Extended Search is a simple WordPress search plugin to help you improve the default WordPress query.

The plugin selects Meta keys, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies so the admin can choose single or multiple Meta keys and taxonomies to include in the search query. You can enable:

  • Search in Title
  • Search in Content 
  • Search in Excerpt

select meta key names

Other than this, there is the possibility to control the search results order, such as:

  • Relevance
  • Date
  • Last Modified Date
  • Post Title
  • Post Slug
  • Post Type
  • Number of Comments

Overall, WP Extended Search is there to help you add multiple search settings to your site. In addition, you can assign these settings to custom search forms.


  • Compatibility: The plugin is fully compatible with WooCommerce. 
  • Unlimited Search Settings: The plugin lets you create unlimited search settings with custom search forms.
  • Search Forms: You can easily add search forms using a widget, shortcode, or PHP function. 
  • Customization: The plugin lets you customize the number of posts to display on the search results page and the order of search results.



better search

Downloads: 7,000+

Ratings: 4.5/5- Stars

Better Search automatically replaces the default WordPress search and provides more relevant search results to the users.

better search settings

You can add banned words to your search results via the Filter these words box. It removes all covering from the search results. 

banned words

In addition, you can enable the Filter whole words only option to filter only whole words in the search query. 

The best part is that the plugin lets you fully control the number of search terms to display, the font size of a least popular search term, the font size of a most popular search term, the color of a least popular search term, and more.

heatmap tab


  • Number of Search Results: The plugin lets you define the number of search results per page by default, i.e., 10.
  • Post Types: You can easily add posts, pages, or attachments to search results.
  • Integration: The plugin integrates search results into your theme without needing custom search templates.
  • Relevance: The plugin sorts the search results based on relevance or date. 
  • Support Cache Plugins: The plugin fully supports popular caching plugins, including WP-Super-Cache and W3 Total Cache.
  • Filter: The plugin enables you to add stopwords to your search. So, the user will get filtered results for their queries.



Top WordPress Search Plugins (Features Compared) 

Now explore the features comparison table below for the Top 5 WordPress search plugins:

Features Ivory Search Relevanssi Ajax Search Lite Search Exclude SearchWP
Stopwords 🗸 🗸 🗸
Synonyms 🗸 🗸 🗸
Search Analytics 🗸 🗸
Exclusion 🗸 🗸 🗸
Multiple Search Forms 🗸 🗸
Taxonomies Search 🗸 🗸 🗸
Search in Post Title, Content, Excerpt 🗸 🗸 🗸 🗸
Page Builder 🗸

What is the Best Search Plugin for WordPress?

As you can see, we’ve discussed 9 best WordPress search plugins above. All of them help you replace the default WordPress search function. The difference arises when each plugin brings unique strengths. 

Considering that, the best wordpress search plugin depends on your needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize speed, customization, or advanced search capabilities, a plugin on this list will align with your goals.

Here are the top 3 picks:

Ivory Search – is there to help you get more accurate results for posts, pages, titles, and taxonomies.

Relevanssi – offers more indexing options, i.e., post types, including post, page, and attachment, and taxonomies, such as category, post_tag, and post_format.

Ajax Search Lite – adds a more advanced search box to your WordPress site. 

Before settling on one, consider the nature of your website, the volume and type of content you have, and the expectations of your audience. When done, thoroughly research and test different plugins to find the one that best suits your website's unique needs.

FAQs on WordPress Search Plugins:

How do I add a search plugin to WordPress?

You can easily add a search plugin to your WordPress site. All you need to do is to go to the left sidebar of your WordPress admin dashboard > Plugins > Add New. Now, search for the desired plugin in the search box, find it in the search results, and click the Install Now and then Activate button.

What to look for in a WordPress search plugin?

Numerous WordPress search plugins are available for free in the WordPress plugins repository. So, look for a plugin that lets you add more items for the search, i.e., text and PDF, speedy search results, a visible design, and an accurate content filter.

Are there any performance considerations when using a WordPress search plugin?

Yes! Some WordPress search plugins may have performance implications, especially on large websites. So, looking for plugins that offer performance optimizations to ensure a smooth user experience is better.

How can I improve the relevancy of search results?

You can easily improve search result relevancy with the right plugin. Make sure the plugin you are using offers keyword weighting, synonym support, and advanced search options. Plus, if the plugin lets you organize content with relevant tags and categories, it can enhance search accuracy.


We hope you understand that a powerful search is necessary for a WordPress site to help uplift the searchability of your site’s content.

The plugins mentioned above offer diverse features, allowing visitors to find their desired content quickly. With the right WordPress search plugin, you'll boost user satisfaction and improve engagement and retention. 

That’s all for the best WordPress search plugins. You may also like to read our articles about other useful WordPress plugins, including:

Which WordPress search plugin helped you enhance the default WordPress search functionality?

Is there any other useful WordPress search plugin that you are using?

Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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