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.
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.
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).
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).
Highlighting search terms for visitors from external search engines.
Export and import settings.
Activate the ‘Relevanssi Premium’ plugin on your desired site.
After enabling, check Settings > Relevanssi to adjust the settings and build the index.
Relevanssi doesn’t come with a search widget. You can use the default WordPress search widget or any other method that generates a standards-compliant search form.
Attachment tab handles the PDF content reading. If you have PDF files in your Media Library, Relevanssi can read in the PDF contents so that they are available for indexing.
In order to read the contents of the PDFs, the files are sent over to Relevanssiservices.com, a PDF processing service hosted on a Digital Ocean Droplet in the USA. The service creates a working copy of the files. The copy is removed after the file has been processed, but there are no guarantees that someone with an access to the server couldn’t see the files. Do not read files with confidential information in them. In order to block individual files from reading, use the Relevanssi post controls on attachment edit page to exclude attachment posts from indexing.
Read all unread PDFs reads in all the PDF content in attachments. This does not wipe the index, and will only process those PDFs which haven’t been read yet. If reading the PDF caused an error message before, the PDF will be skipped, unless the error message is a time out, in which case it’s attempted again.
Reset all PDF data from the posts will empty out the PDF information from the posts. It is stored in the attachment metadata: content in _relevanssi_pdf_content and errors in _relevanssi_pdf_error. Clicking this button will wipe these custom fields empty.
Upload PDF files
By default Relevanssi sends a link to the PDF to the reading service, which then downloads the PDF and reads it. However, if your files are behind a firewall, in an intranet or otherwise not accessible from the outside world, this is not going to work. In that case, check this option, and Relevanssi will upload the files directly.
Link to PDFs
If you decide to have attachments in search results (by indexing the attachment post type), by default the links in search results pages will lead to the attachment page. That’s often less than helpful, as it’ll take one more click to reach the actual PDF. Enabling this option will make the search results pages link directly to the PDF file.
OR search will return all posts where at least one of the search terms appears. AND search will only return posts that have all search terms in them. OR search will prefer posts that have all search terms in them, so in most cases it is the better option.
Fallback to OR
If you have chosen AND as the default operator and the search finds no results, Relevanssi will perform an OR search with the same search terms. If you want to disable this, check this option.
By default Relevanssi orders results by relevance, trying to put the most relevant results first. This makes a lot of sense. Some people prefer other methods. From the settings page, you can choose post date order, most recent posts first. If you want other orderings, you can use the orderby parameter. For multiple levels of ordering, Relevanssi supports array orderby.
Relevanssi can match whole words or partial words. Matching whole words means only complete words are matched. If you search for “ledge”, you will only find documents that contain the word “ledge”. Partial words also matches parts of words, so searching for “ledge” will also finds documents that contain words “knowledge” and “ledger”.
The search term has to be either in the beginning or the end of the word, so searching for “ion” will find “caution” or “ionized”, but not “cautionary”.
Here you can adjust weights for different features like post titles, tags, comments, different post types or taxonomies. Some of these adjustments are Premium only. All the weights work the same way: they are multipliers, so 1 keeps the weight neutral compared to everything else, below 1 makes the weight smaller and values over 1 make the particular item weigh heavier in the matching.
If you want to emphasize something, don’t be afraid of using big numbers. If you want to make sure that posts with the search terms in titles come up in the search, slap a weight of 100 or 1000 for the titles. Subtlety is overrated.
Recent posts bonus cutoff
If you’ve added extra weight for recent posts, this option determines which posts are considered recent.
If you enable this option, Relevanssi will be enabled for admin searches. Otherwise default WordPress search will be used in all searches in the admin interface. Admin searches may not always work very smoothly. For example page search will not use Relevanssi, because that’s just how WordPress works.
If you check this option, custom post types which have exclude_from_search set to true will be excluded from the search. If the option is unchecked, Relevanssi won’t respect that setting and will search anything that is indexed.
On large sites searches can become heavy to process, particularly when there are common words involved. Relevanssi has to load every post that is found by any search term, and that can require lots of memory. In most cases, the user only cares about the few posts on the first page of search results.
This option will restrict Relevanssi to only first 500 posts per search term. Relevanssi will only take the first 500 posts per search term, so the maximum number of posts Relevanssi will load in memory is 500 times the number of search terms. The 500 posts are chosen with some sense, so it is very likely the best posts are within those 500 posts. This way the search becomes more effective and less memory-intensive. On a small site this option isn’t necessary – if a single search term finds less than 500 posts, the limit of 500 doesn’t make any difference – but on a large site this is very useful option, and I recommend you use this option all the time.
Do note that choosing the probably best posts only works with the relevance ordering. If your order posts by date, it is quite likely the limit will drop out useful posts. If you need to have the limit and you want posts ordered by date, I suggest you set Relevanssi to relevance order, use a limit and then use orderby parameter to sort the results by date.