In this article, we will discuss how to fix the WordPress search not working issue without writing any code. We will go over them in the most likely problem order. Keep skipping to the next block if you don’t have a particular type of problem.
Solve your WordPress search not working issue with the WP Fastest site search plugin
This is one of the easiest ways to fix this issue. By replacing the default WordPress search (which isn’t that great anyway) with a fast AJAX search will take care of most of the issues in itself.
Common WordPress search, not working issues.
Let’s face it- the default WordPress search is not great. If your WordPress search is not working, it could manifest in one of the following ways-
- The WordPress search box is not displaying on your site.
- The WordPress search box is not returning results.
- WordPress search results page is not loading after the user entered a search query.
- WordPress search is not returning certain posts in search results.
WordPress search results are empty after installing a theme.
- Do you see a 404 result or “no results found” page when you search for anything?
- Are you missing certain types of pages? Say you are only able to see blogs on your searches but not your pages?
- Did you install a new theme recently?
To validate this, switch to the default theme to see if the search starts working fine. If so, please proceed with the steps below to fix your theme.
Though themes are supposed to not interfere with the functionality of WordPress search, some theme developers go overboard with their coding skills. I have seen this happen in many themes. Let’s undo this interference. Look for pre_get_posts
in add_filter calls. More like,
you can comment this line off so that the search functionality is not interfered with by the theme. You will be finding the theme files under wp-content -> themes -> theme_name -> (typically named functions) . You might have to use an FTP or file manager to do this change.
WordPress plugin conflict
Some WordPress plugins allow you to change the way search works or the way the results are displayed. For instance., “The post Grid” is a plugin that can change the display styling of results. If you have plugins like this, make sure you have configured it right. A bad configuration can result in a defunct Search.
WordPress search is not bringing some expected content.
This is a ranking + full content issue. Jump to a solution for this issue.
WordPress search not typo tolerant.
WordPress is using MySQL for its search. Which by nature is limited. Jump to fix this limitation.
Search not fast
Google does not use PHP to build its search. PHP though a great language, has its limitations. For a faster search, you got to go to native hosted solutions. It will cost you a little money, but your users would thank you for that. Fix your speed now.
Search on every keystroke/Ajax/live search.
Using a search plugin to fix your WordPress search not working issue
- Install WP fastest site search plugin from WordPress plugin store.
- Go to https://cse.expertrec.com/newuser?platform=wordpress.
- Enter your WordPress website URL and click on next->
- The crawl will start in the background.
- Login to your WordPress admin panel.
- In your left panel, you must be able to see Expertrec’s WordPress plugin Click on that.
- Get your site ID (or) API key from your Expertrec control panel ( here ).
- Copy-paste your site ID in your WordPress control panel and click on save changes.
- Make sure you have upgraded to a paid plan before 15 days of free trial. (Price begins at 9 USD per month)
- That’s it! Your brand new WordPress search is up and running! Here are snapshots of the search form and the search results pages.
- Snapshot of your WordPress search autocomplete.
- Snapshot of your WordPress search results page.
- Snapshot of your WordPress search spelling error tolerance feature.
- If the plugin method didn’t work, you can add the code from https://cse.expertrec.com/csedashboard/home/code and add it to your WordPress PHP code. Please note that you have to add the code <ci-search></ci-search> separately to a place where you want the search box to appear ( Tip!- Contact our support team to get this done). There might be a one-time fee for integration.
If you want the search box on your wordpress sidebar, Go to Appearance-> Widgets->click on “custom html” -> Add widget and add the code <ci-search></ci-search>
How to Remove WordPress Search?
Most themes of WordPress come with an in-built search feature. It is generally present in the header portion of the theme template. To remove the search bar in WordPress,
- If the search is bundled with a WordPress widget, then it can be removed easily by removing the search widget.
- Other ways it can be done is by hiding the search field with CSS or using a disabled search plugin.
- If the search bar isn’t a widget then, it generally uses the “get_search_form” WordPress hook. Wherever it appears in the code of any template files, theme search functionality that is controlled by the searchform.php file, will be loaded by WordPress.
However, deleting the file won’t remove the search bar. Disabling the search login will help to remove the search panel from the front end but work for the admin.
How do I Enable Search on WordPress?
Mostly, WordPress has an in-built search bar. In case a theme doesn’t offer it, or you want to customize the Search Bar, it can be done easily. WordPress allows you to add a search bar by various methods. Those are as follows.
- From the Widget Panel :
The easiest way to enable search is by heading to WordPress Widgets.
- First, go to the Admin Dashboard.
- Then, go to Appearance, and select Widgets from there.
- Here you will see a widget named Search under the menu of Available Widgets.
- Click on it, and then select the Add Widget button.
- You can add a title if required.
- The search Widget is added successfully to your site.
How To Improve WordPress Search?
To improve WordPress search, which will eventually help to improve the visitor experience, you can follow a few strategies that can help you.
- Add faceted search features
- Switching to more powerful algorithm may help to get relevant search results to your visitors.
- Use an upgraded search tool that is designed for your site in case you have a multisite
- Make sure to provide better user experience to your users.