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As a “Search Agency”, we live and breath… Search! As the inhouse  Technical Lead (Geek), I have always been disappointed at the less than stellar performance of the built in search appliance of WordPress. In the past, I have extolled the many virtues of WordPress – conveniently omitting the fact that the standard site search appliance didn’t really produce the best of results. This is especially true when one is used to getting laser-targeted results via an Internet search.

webfuel wordpress search

Most people don’t realize the value of good onsite search results. Think about it. If someone arrives on your site after an Internet search, you are hoping that they have landed on content that is what they are looking for. If not, it would be nice if they stayed on the site and did a search… and subsequently got the results they wanted? After all, it’s all about visitor retention and web conversions. Right?

Up until now, the aforementioned desired outcome was not always feasible with WordPress. Things changed last week with the release of WordPress 3.7. Buried in the release notes was mention of an improved WordPress Search functionality. Hallelujah! It has finally been improved.

Previously, search results were based on date instead of relevancy. Kind of like an outdated search engine algorithm. This problem has been addressed, and a new hierarchy for search results has been implemented.

From the WordPress Core Tracker:

The ordering logic is as follows:
[ba-list style=”plus”]

  • Full sentence matches in post titles
  • All search terms in post titles
  • Any search terms in post titles
  • Full sentence matches in post content

Each section and any remaining posts are then sorted by date.

Much better results than what we used to get. And of course, you can then do this in order to leverage the data that is just sitting there. Nice and tidy!

So if you are running a WordPress website, it’s time you upgrade to the latest version of this stellar operating system. And if you’re one of our Managed WordPress Hosting clients, we’ll be upgrading your site in the next week or so.