Users want to discover pages/products on your website. Search is at the center of discovery. If they didn’t find the information they want, even if it is present on your website, they will leave. Intelligent search integrated on your site is going to boost the usability of your site. There are numerous options when it comes to building a search for your website. All major content management systems(CMS) provide search functionality, optionally you can build a search using other search engine providers. It’s also possible to build a search engine from scratch and integrate it into your site.

 

How to build a search engine for your website

1. Existing CMS search:

WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, etc are some of the popular CMS for the website. If you have one of these, by default site search is built and enabled for the site. No need to write a single line of code or inject any javascript to the web pages. Also, these CMS have tons of plugins support to change the design and functionality of search. These plugins can easily extend the functionality of the search. Unfortunately, there is no free lunch. The CMS search features are built on top of the databases they use and they have very limited search capabilities. Like, you cannot expect them to be fast, completing your user’s query, spelling mistake tolerant, etc.

2. Integrating Custom Search Engine:

If your website is a custom stack-based and not on CMS, you can easily integrate custom search on your site using existing search providers like Google, Expertrec, DuckDuckGo, etc. Search is cataloged by these search providers restricting the search to your web pages only. You need to signup for these service providers and add a javascript to your page where the search will be active. Your site users will be searching your website using this intelligent free search box. These search catalogs are created based on the frequent crawling of your website. The only catch here is, Google and DuckDuckGo will show ads on their search, while Expertrec will ask for 9$ per month.

3. Building your own search:

If you want to build your own search, you can start using python, java as there are existing modules for a specific task ex. indexing, suggestions, spell check handling, etc. There are chances of marginal errors in building search from scratch due to the poor quality of code, non-continuous development, search volume growth, etc. Webmasters should use other existing search providers to mitigate such errors and give a flawless search experience to users. The catch here is the developer cost. If you have spare developer time, you can go for this.

Build Search with ExpertRec

Govind Dhonddev is a Software Engineer at ExpertRec, who loves coding, food and writing blogs.

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