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8 Best WordPress Search Plugins 2024

There are a lot of great things about WordPress, but most people would agree that the default WordPress search functionality is not one of them. Thankfully, with the best WordPress search plugins from this list, you can give your search system a much-needed upgrade that makes it more user-friendly and gives your visitors more options to find content.

In total, I’ve collected eight great WordPress search plugins. For each plugin, I’ll tell you all about the new functionality that you get, as well as what you can expect to pay for it. Then, at the end, I’ll recommend some specific plugins based on your needs.

Let’s get started so that you can end your search for the best WordPress search plugin.

1. SearchWP

SearchWP is one of the most well-known WordPress search plugins.

Unfortunately, it only comes in a premium version, but the upside of that is that you get a ton of great functionality for improving all aspects of your search.

Key Features

  • Works with the native WordPress search functionality
  • Search everything, including custom fields and the output from shortcodes. This includes custom fields from plugins like Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) and Toolset.
  • Ajax live search to show results instantly without a page reload — the live search functionality is actually free at WordPress.org, and you don’t need SearchWP to use it
  • Keyword stemming to come up with better search results
  • Option to highlight the search query in search results, much like how Google does things
  • Customize the weighting of your search algorithm
  • Integrations with other popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bbPress, Easy Digital Downloads, WP Job Manager, and lots more
  • Create separate search engines, each with its own unique settings. For example, you could have one search for blog posts, and another for WooCommerce products
  • Index the content from PDFs, .docs, and other text documents in your Media Library
  • Use SearchWP to power-related content suggestions
  • Automatically redirect certain search phrases to a specific page
  • Search analytics so that you can see what people are searching for (tip – you can use Google Analytics to track search queries without the need for a plugin, so this isn’t a huge selling point in my opinion)

How It Works

SearchWP integrates into the native WordPress search system, so you won’t need to do anything special to set it up. For example, you can use the regular Search widget. Or, if your theme already includes a dedicated search feature, SearchWP will start working with that automatically.

From there, SearchWP utilizes a modular approach, which means you can pick and choose which extensions you want to use.

After you’ve uploaded the extensions, you can use a well-designed interface to configure your search functionality’s weighting, as well as the other functionality:

SearchWP settings


Again, SearchWP only comes in a premium version.

The cheapest plan starts at $99 for use on a single site. However, for access to every single premium feature, you’ll need at least the $149 Pro plan, which lets you use it on up to 5 sites.

More Info / Download

2. Relevanssi

Relevanssi is a popular WordPress search plugin that comes in both a limited free version, as well as a full-featured premium version.

It will let you offer more comprehensive and relevant search results, as well as nice features such as Google-style “did you mean?” search suggestions.

Key Features

  • Works with the native WordPress search functionality
  • Builds its own search index
  • Search more types of content, including comments, tags, custom fields, and more
  • Adjust the weighting of titles, tags, and comments to change what content is considered “relevant”
  • “Did you mean?” suggestions, just like Google
  • Highlight the search query in the search results (like how Google does it)
  • Better content indexing, including an option to index the contents of shortcodes and attachments (like a Word document, though attachment indexing is a premium feature)
  • Search across multiple sites in WordPress Multisite (premium)
  • Let searchers use OR and AND type queries
  • Automatically redirect certain keyword searches to a specific page (premium)

How It Works

Like SearchWP, Relevanssi works with the normal WordPress search, so you won’t need to add any special search box.

To configure everything, you’ll get a detailed backend settings area:

Relevanssi settings

There are a lot of settings to go through, but it’s still pretty simple to set up.

Any Important Considerations?

One important thing to consider with Relevansi is performance. The developers are quite open with the fact that Relevanssi uses lots of data, especially for a large site. They say you can expect to triple the size of your wp_posts database table. On low-powered hosting, that might cause issues.


Relevanssi has a free version at WordPress.org. Then, the premium version starts at $99 for a one-year license or $299 for a lifetime license. Both premium licenses let you use Relevanssi on unlimited sites.

More Info / Download

3. Ajax Search Pro

As the name suggests, the core value of Ajax Search Pro is the ability to add Ajax live search to WordPress. That is, as soon as visitors start typing their search terms, up pops a list of search results — no page reloads or waiting around.

You also get some nice templates for displaying those search results, like an option to include the featured image from each piece of content in the results list.

So overall, that’s the main reason to choose this plugin, and why even its lite version is active on over 50,000 sites according to WordPress.org.

However, it can also add some other helpful options, like filters and the ability to search in custom post types (including WooCommerce products).

Key Features

  • Adds Ajax live search to WordPress
  • Unique search results templates (for example, you can show images like the example above)
  • Lots of customization options
  • Index and search media attachments, including PDF, CSV, DOC, and more
  • Search any post type, including WooCommerce products and bbPress forums
  • Search in custom field information, including an option to choose exactly which custom fields to index
  • Autocomplete and search suggestions
  • Add search filters in addition to keyword search
  • Option to generate your own search index
  • Integration with page builder plugins such as Elementor, Divi, WP Bakery, Visual Composer, and others

How It Works

There are two ways to add the Ajax Search Pro search form to your site.

First, you can have it try to replace your theme’s default theme search, which should work. It’s important to note that this will change the styling of the search form, which is different from how SearchWP and Relevanssi work. With those two plugins, there’s no effect on the frontend appearance of your search form.

Or, you can also use dedicated shortcodes/widgets to display the plugin’s search form anywhere on your site.

From there, you can use the detailed settings area to control how everything works, including the styling of the search form:

Ajax Search Pro settings


There’s a limited free version of this plugin at WordPress.org called Ajax Search Lite. Then, the Pro version is available for $36 at CodeCanyon with standard Envato licensing. That is:

  • Lifetime updates for one site
  • 6 months of support

More Info / Download Demo

Jetpack Search plugin for WordPress

Jetpack Search is a premium WordPress search service from Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and the Jetpack plugin.

It offers a performance-friendly way to create a better, more accurate search experience for any type of WordPress site, including WooCommerce stores.

Because it’s part of Jetpack and uses Jetpack Stats for some of its features, you will need to be using the Jetpack plugin to use Jetpack Search. However, you can also disable the other Jetpack modules if you don’t want them.

Key Features

  • Based on Elasticsearch
  • All indexing/processing happens on WordPress.com’s servers, which eliminates the strain on your WordPress site because there are no database queries
  • Replaces the native WordPress search with a custom search overlay
  • Live search suggestions – visitors see results as soon as they start typing
  • Filtered and faceted searches – visitors can filter by categories, tags, dates, custom taxonomies, and more
  • Highlighted search terms in comments and post content
  • Spelling correction
  • Prioritize search results based on your site’s stats, e.g. you can highlight your most popular content
  • Supports all languages and has advanced language analysis for 29+ languages

How It Works

Jetpack Search does not integrate into the native WordPress search system. Instead, it replaces the default WordPress search with its own overlay.

If you want to see a live demo of this in action, check out the search bar at CSS-Tricks. When you click the search icon in the top-right corner, it will expand an overlay that includes a search box and the results. You can customize the overlay’s branding to meet your needs, but Jetpack Search will use this same basic approach on your site.

You can see that visitors also get filters and sort options. Another thing worth noting is that Jetpack Search does preserve the default WordPress search URL structure, which means people can easily link to search results pages.

An example of Jetpack search from CSS-Tricks

When you set up Jetpack Search, you’ll be able to customize what content to index and how your search overlay works via the WordPress Customizer. You can also control sorting, colors, and other settings.

If you want to learn more about the technology behind Jetpack Search (e.g. Elasticsearch), you can check out this blog post.


Jetpack Search is a premium service — there’s no free option. You’ll pay based on the number of “records” that you want to include in search. A “record” is any piece of content that you want to make searchable, for example, each blog post, page, WooCommerce product, event, and more.

For example, let’s say you have a WooCommerce store with:

  • 256 products
  • 124 blog posts
  • 18 pages

If you wanted to make all of that content searchable, you would have 398 records for billing.

Here are the prices:

  • 100 records – $3 per month
  • 1,000 records – $6 per month
  • 10,000 records – $15 per month
  • 100,000 records – $36 per month
  • 1,000,000 records – $120 per month
  • More than that – pay an extra $120 per month per additional one million records.

For all of the plans, you can save 15% if you opt for annual billing.

More Info / Download

5. FiboSearch (Ajax Search for WooCommerce)

FiboSearch - Ajax Search for WooCommerce

FiboSearch, formerly known as Ajax Search for WooCommerce, is the most popular solution for WooCommerce live search suggestions.

If you’re specifically looking for a WooCommerce search plugin, this is a great one to consider. However, it’s not a good option for regular WordPress sites.

Key Features

  • Built for WooCommerce stores
  • Live search suggestions – shoppers see results as soon as they start typing
  • Include product details in search, such as prices, images, short descriptions, add-to-cart button, and more
  • Option to list individual product variants in search results
  • Builds its own search index to improve performance
  • Support for the native WooCommerce search results page
  • Search in additional information such as custom fields, attributes, categories, tags, brands (with supported plugins), and more
  • Synonyms and fuzzy matching
  • Conditional exclusion of products from search

How It Works

FiboSearch replaces the native WordPress search feature, so you’ll need to manually integrate it with your theme. Thankfully, this is quite easy as you can use a dedicated menu item, shortcode, or widget.

The plugin also comes with support for the default WooCommerce search results page. If you choose this option, users will get the same results as in the FiboSearch bar after hitting Enter. However, you’ll need to use the shortcode, widget, or menu item to activate live search if you don’t want to lose the live search suggestions.

Here’s an example of the type of search overlay you can create:

FiboSearch example


FiboSearch has a popular free version at WordPress.org that will be fine for small stores.

Large stores will want to upgrade to Pro because it offers a more optimized index, which will improve performance. Pro also adds new features, such as the ability to search in custom fields (and more), as well as include posts and pages in your results.

To see a full comparison of free vs pro features, you can read this post.

The Pro version starts at $49 per year with annual billing. There’s also a lifetime license option starting at $149.

More Info / Download Demo

Ivory Search is a freemium WordPress search plugin that makes a great option for improving the native WordPress search. It’s one of the best free WordPress search plugins, and the premium version is still much more affordable than most of the competition.

That helps explain why it has a 4.9-star rating on over 330 reviews at WordPress.org.

However, it also doesn’t have quite as long a feature list as something like SearchWP. So…trade-offs!

Key Features

  • Works with the native WordPress search functionality
  • Create unlimited search forms, each with their own unique settings
  • Search WooCommerce products or bbPress forums (free)
  • Lots of options to only search specific content. E.g. only search password-protected posts or posts with a specific number of comments (plus more)
  • Expand what you can search for, with options to search for file attachments, WooCommerce product variations, excerpts, plus a lot more
  • Options to exclude certain content from showing up in the search results. For example, you can exclude out of stock WooCommerce products
  • Highlight search terms in the results
  • Fuzzy matching and keyword stemming

How It Works

Ivory Search automatically creates a default search form for your native WordPress search. That is, this default search form controls the functionality of the regular Search widget and/or your theme’s built-in search.

From there, you can create as many new search forms as you’d like, and configure their functionality in a simple settings area:

Ivory Search settings

For additional search forms (beyond the default one that Ivory Search creates), you can embed them using a shortcode.


Ivory Search has a free version at WordPress.org.

After that, the premium versions are still quite affordable. Single-site plans start at $19.99 for one year of support/updates (or $99.99 for a lifetime).

The full-featured plan starts at $49.99 for use on a single site or $189.99 for a lifetime license.

Prices go up if you want to use Ivory Search on multiple sites. For example, you’ll pay $39.99 to use the basic Pro version on up to 5 sites.

More Info / Download

7. FacetWP

FacetWP helps you add faceted search functionality to your WordPress site.

If you’re not familiar with what I mean by faceted search, it’s a lot like filters, and it’s something you’ll commonly see at eCommerce stores and directories.

Here’s an example — see how you’re not just searching by keyword, but you can also filter by fuel type or region?

FacetWP example

FacetWP doesn’t have to be a standalone plugin, either. You can actually integrate it with the SearchWP plugin from above to get the best of both worlds.

Key Features

  • Add faceted search functionality to WordPress
  • Ajax-based, which means no page reloads as users make their search choices
  • Creates its own search index for better performance
  • 13 different filter types, including date/number ranges, maps, search, proximity, and more
  • Filter post types or users (the latter lets you create a detailed user listing search)
  • Integrates with page builders to design the results page; works with both Elementor Pro and Beaver Builder
  • Create facets based on custom fields, taxonomies, and regular post data
  • Works with WooCommerce to help you create really detailed faceted WooCommerce menus

How It Works

Like SearchWP, FacetWP comes in a modular set of extensions that let you pick and choose exactly which features you want.

Once you install the relevant extensions, you can create your first facet using a simple interface:

FacetWP settings

You can also use the template builder to design the layout for individual results:

FacetWP templates

Any Important Considerations?

FacetWP doesn’t change how the regular WordPress search box works. That’s why you might want to consider integrating it with SearchWP to really put your WordPress search on steroids.


FacetWP only comes in a premium version. Plans start at $99 per year for use on up to 3 sites and the option to filter post types.

Then, there’s a $249 per year plan that lets you use it on up to 20 sites and filter both post types and users.

More Info / Download Demo

8. Bonus: ElasticPress

I’m throwing in ElasticPress as a bonus because it’s a little more technical than the other plugins. But if you have a lot of content, it’s a great option because it helps you leverage the power of Elasticsearch on WordPress.

If you’re not familiar, Elasticsearch is an alternate way of querying data. Instead of querying your WordPress site’s database whenever someone searches, Elasticsearch builds its own indexes that are much more efficient and help turn up better results. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure how it works — I just know it’s a lot more performance-friendly 🙂

To use Elasticsearch, you’ll need to actually install the open-source Elasticsearch software on your WordPress site’s server, which is why I say that this one is a little less user-friendly.

Additionally, not all hosts will let you use Elasticsearch, especially cheap shared ones. However, popular high-quality managed hosts such as Kinsta and WP Engine do let you use it.

Once you have Elasticsearch installed on your site’s server, ElasticPress helps you make it work with WordPress and also offers tons of nice features like:

  • Faceted search
  • Autosuggest
  • Related posts

So if you’re a little more technical-minded, check out this one. If you’re a casual user, stick to one of the other options as they’re easier to set up.

More Info / Download

Which is the Best WordPress Search Plugin for You?

Now for the important question, which is the best WordPress search plugin for you?

As is normally the case with these plugin roundups, there’s not a single plugin that’s right for all users, so let’s run through a few different situations.

If you want the best overall search plugin, I’d say go with SearchWP. It does a little bit of everything. Custom weighting, improved relevancy, Ajax live search, related content, text document indexing — it has the best overall feature list of any plugin on this list.

Or, if you’re willing to pay a monthly fee and like Jetpack Search’s overlay approach, Jetpack Search is also a great option. It’s the easiest way that I’ve found to benefit from Elasticsearch on WordPress.

On the other hand, if you want to specifically add faceted search to your WordPress site, then you’ll probably want a specialized option such as FacetWP.

If all you want is to add live Ajax search to your site, you can go with Ajax Search Lite or Ajax Search Pro for an affordable option. The overall feature list isn’t as good as SearchWP (which also offers live search), but it has a free version and is just plain cheaper. Or, if you have a WooCommerce store, consider FiboSearch as it’s 100% dedicated to eCommerce stores.

If you specifically want a free WordPress search plugin, I think Ivory Search is the most generous, with Relevanssi also being a solid option. Ajax Search Lite is also good if you specifically want live search functionality for free.

Finally, if you’re an advanced user, consider going with ElasticPress and Elasticsearch, if your host allows it.

Any questions about these search plugins for WordPress? Ask away in the comments!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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