Relevanssi – A Better Search

Description

Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. You’ll get better results, better presentation of results – your users will thank you.

This is the free version of Relevanssi. There’s also Relevanssi Premium, which has added features. For more information about Premium, see Relevanssi.com.

Do note that using Relevanssi may require large amounts (hundreds of megabytes) of database space (for a reasonable estimate, multiply the size of your wp_posts database table by three). If your hosting setup has a limited amount of space for database tables, using Relevanssi may cause problems. In those cases use of Relevanssi cannot be recommended.

Key features

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
  • Multisite friendly.
  • bbPress support.
  • Gutenberg friendly.

Advanced features

  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Support for WPML multi-language plugin and Polylang.
  • Support for s2member membership plugin, Members, Groups, Simple Membership and other membership plugins.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
  • Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
  • Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

Premium features (only in Relevanssi Premium)

  • Indexing attachment content (PDF, Office, Open Office).
  • Improved spelling correction in “Did you mean?” suggestions.
  • Searching across multiple sites in the same multisite installation.
  • Search and index user profiles.
  • Search and index taxonomy term pages (categories, tags, custom taxonomies).
  • Search and index arbitrary columns in wp_posts MySQL table.
  • Assign weights to any post types and taxonomies.
  • Assign extra weight to new posts.
  • Let the user choose between AND and OR searches, use + and – operator (AND and NOT).
  • Export and import settings.
  • WP CLI commands.
  • Related posts.
  • Redirects for searches.

Thanks

  • Cristian Damm for tag indexing, comment indexing, post/page exclusion and general helpfulness.
  • Marcus Dalgren for UTF-8 fixing.
  • Warren Tape for 2.5.5 fixes.
  • Mohib Ebrahim for relentless bug hunting.
  • John Calahan for extensive 4.0 beta testing.

Screenshots

  • Overview page
  • Indexing settings
  • Searching settings
  • Logging settings
  • Excerpts and highlights
  • Synonym settings
  • Stopword settings

Installation

  1. Install the plugin from the WordPress plugin screen.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Go to the plugin settings page and build the index following the instructions there.
  4. That’s it!

Relevanssi uses the standard search form and doesn’t usually need any changes in the search results template.

If the search does not bring any results, your theme probably has a query_posts() call in the search results template. That throws Relevanssi off. For more information, see The most important Relevanssi debugging trick.

Uninstalling

To uninstall the plugin remove the plugin using the normal WordPress plugin management tools (from the Plugins page, first Deactivate, then Delete). If you remove the plugin files manually, the database tables and options will remain.

FAQ

Knowledge Base

You can find solutions and answers at the Relevanssi Knowledge Base.

Contextual help

Answers to many common problems can be found from the contextual menu. Just click “Help” in the top right corner of your WordPress admin dashboard on the Relevanssi settings page.

Relevanssi doesn’t work

If you the results don’t change after installing and activating Relevanssi, the most likely reason is that you have a call to query_posts() on your search results template. This confuses Relevanssi. Try removing the query_posts() call and see what happens.

Searching for words with ampersands or hyphens doesn’t work

Please read Words with punctuation can’t be found. This is a Relevanssi feature, but you can fix it from Relevanssi indexing settings.

Where are the user search logs?

See the top of the admin menu. There’s ‘User searches’.

Displaying the relevance score

Relevanssi stores the relevance score it uses to sort results in the $post variable. Just add something like

echo $post->relevance_score

to your search results template inside a PHP code block to display the relevance score.

Did you mean? suggestions

Relevanssi offers Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions. See “Did you mean” suggestions in the Knowledge Base for more details.

What is tf * idf weighing?

It’s the basic weighing scheme used in information retrieval. Tf stands for term frequency while idf is inverted document frequency. Term frequency is simply the number of times the term appears in a document, while document frequency is the number of documents in the database where the term appears.

Thus, the weight of the word for a document increases the more often it appears in the document and the less often it appears in other documents.

What are stop words?

Each document database is full of useless words. All the little words that appear in just about every document are completely useless for information retrieval purposes. Basically, their inverted document frequency is really low, so they never have much power in matching. Also, removing those words helps to make the index smaller and searching faster.

Reviews

September 26, 2023
Relevanssi is an absolutely fantastic solution to improve the native WordPress search functionality. We use it on every single site we build and couldn't recommend it enough. So much flexibility and ability to fine tune to a particular client's needs as well. The support is also absolutely fantastic, thank you Mikko! An all round excellent plugin and solution!
August 20, 2023
Works great with minimal adjustments. Can't think of another search plugin for websites until there is an AI tool for "maybe you want to know..." answers, when no exact answer is found. Easy and convenient to use. Useful output of searches by users: So I can see what is being searched for and what might still be missing information.
August 4, 2023
amazing plugin, it's made such a great difference to out website and support were incredibly fast at replying to a query!
Works great with minimal tweaking. Add the Relevanssi Live Ajax Search plugin to it and you will never use another search plugin again for your websites. Easy, convenient to use. The pro version indexes Word docs, PDF's and more.

Contributors & Developers

“Relevanssi – A Better Search” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Relevanssi – A Better Search” has been translated into 13 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Relevanssi – A Better Search” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Change log

4.21.2

  • Minor fix: Meta query boolean to array conversion.

4.21.1

  • Changed behaviour: The ‘relevanssi_index_content’ and ‘relevanssi_index_titles’ filter hooks now get the post object as a second parameter.
  • Minor fix: Relevanssi is now blocked in the reusable content block search.
  • Minor fix: Stop Relevanssi from blocking the feed searches.
  • Minor fix: Improve exact match boosts with accented letters.
  • Minor fix: Entering synonyms in Polylang all languages mode was possible; it shouldn’t be.

4.21.0

  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_highlight_regex makes it possible to adjust the regex used for highlighting.
  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_excerpt_custom_fields filters the list of custom fields used for creating the excerpt.
  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_phrase_custom_fields filters the list of custom fields used for phrase matching. Return an empty array to disable phrase matching in custom fields.
  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_phrase_taxonomies filters the list of taxonomies used for phrase matching. Return an empty array to disable phrase matching in taxonomies.
  • New feature: If RELEVANSSI_DEBUG, WP_DEBUG and WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY are all true, Relevanssi will print out indexing debugging messages to the error log (PHP error log or whatever is defined in WP_DEBUG_LOG).
  • Minor fix: Some ACF fields change the global $post, leading to indexing problems. Relevanssi tries to prevent that now.
  • Minor fix: Avoid fatal errors from action query variable being a non-string.
  • Minor fix: Term indexing with WPML only indexed the terms in the current admin language. Now the terms are indexed in all languages.

4.20.0

  • New feature: Relevanssi can now create custom field specific excerpts that come from one custom field only and know which field that is.
  • New feature: You can see the list of indexed custom field names in the indexing and excerpt settings.
  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_excerpt_specific_custom_field_content filters the excerpt custom field content if relevanssi_excerpt_specific_fields is enabled.
  • Changed behaviour: The relevanssi_get_custom_field_content() function now returns an array instead of string. If relevanssi_excerpt_specific_fields is off, the previous string return value is returned as a single-item array with the string in index 0. If the setting is on, the array keys are the field names.
  • Minor fix: The stopword population during the multisite installation used the wrong database table, leading to failed population.
  • Minor fix: Multisite installation is moved from wp_insert_site (priority 10) to wp_initialize_site (priority 200) in order to avoid trouble.
  • Minor fix: The session ID is now included in the log export.
  • Minor fix: The “none” value in category dropdowns from the searchform shortcode is changed from -1 to 0.

4.19.0

  • New feature: Logging now includes a session ID (based on user ID for logged-in users, HTTP user agent for others, and current time, stable for 10 minutes per user). This is used to remove duplicate searches from live searches, keeping only the final search query.

4.18.4

  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_highlight_query lets you modify the search query for highlighting.
  • Changed behavior: Relevanssi no longer searches in feed searches by default.

4.18.3

  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_blocked_field_types can be used to control which ACF field types are excluded from the index. By default, this includes ‘repeater’, ‘flexible_content’, and ‘group’.
  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_acf_field_object can be used to filter the ACF field object before Relevanssi indexes it. Return false to have Relevanssi ignore the field type.
  • New feature: Relevanssi debug mode has more features now.
  • Minor fix: ACF field exclusion is now recursive. If a parent field is excluded, all sub fields will also be excluded.
  • Minor fix: Handling of data attributes in in-document highlighting had a bug that caused problems with third-party plugins.
  • Minor fix: The indexing settings tab now checks if the wp_relevanssi database table exists and will create the table if it doesn’t.

4.18.2

  • New feature: Relevanssi now has a debug mode that will help troubleshooting and support.
  • Minor fix: Using the_permalink() caused problems with search result links. That is now fixed. Relevanssi no longer hooks onto the_permalink hook and instead uses post_link and other similar hooks.

4.18.1

  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_add_highlight_and_tracking can be used to force Relevanssi to add the highlight and tracking parameters to permalinks.
  • Changed behaviour: The ‘relevanssi_wpml_filter’ filter function now runs on priority 9 instead of 10 to avoid problems with custom filters on relevanssi_hits_filter.
  • Minor fix: Handle cases of missing posts better; relevanssi_get_post() now returns a WP_Error if no post is found.
  • Minor fix: Search queries that contain apostrophes and quotes can now be deleted from the log.
  • Minor fix: Avoid a slow query on the searching tab when the throttle is not enabled.

4.18.0

  • New feature: Relevanssi now shows the MySQL max_allowed_packet size on the debug tab.
  • New feature: Relevanssi now shows the indexing query on the debug tab.
  • New feature: ACF field settings now include a ‘Exclude from Relevanssi index’ setting. You can use that to exclude ACF fields from the Relevanssi index.
  • Minor fix: Relevanssi was adding extra quotes around search terms in the highlight parameter.
  • Minor fix: Yet another update to data attributes in highlighting. Thanks to Faeddur.
  • Minor fix: Taxonomy query handling was improved. This should help in particular Polylang users who’ve had problems with Relevanssi ignoring Polylang language restrictions.