SearchWP Review: Is It the Best WordPress Search Plugin?

Are your visitors frustrated by irrelevant results when searching your site? The default WordPress search feature is so basic, it can’t possibly index all of the content your visitors are searching for. In our SearchWP review, find out how this plugin can power up your search function and give your visitors the results they need.

SearchWP Review

Why You Need SearchWP

For a very basic WordPress blog, the built-in search feature might be enough.

But, as WordPress has grown in popularity, basic blogs are in the minority. Now that WordPress is considered a full CMS (content management system), it’s used for all varieties of sites with all kinds of content.

If you sell products, use custom fields, or upload PDF or Word documents, you’ve probably noticed your visitors can’t find that information via the default WordPress search.

And, if your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re going to leave and look elsewhere.

With poor search results, you’re leaving traffic and revenue on the table.

SearchWP is a premium plugin that modifies the WordPress search feature, indexing more of your content so it can create more relevant results.

Unlike WordPress’ native search, the SearchWP plugin will index and search through your:

  • custom fields
  • taxonomy terms
  • eCommerce product details and descriptions
  • content generated by shortcodes
  • even PDF, Office, and document content

With better search results on your website, your users will be able to find the results they need and have a better overall user experience.

How to Set Up SearchWP

SearchWP is very easy to set up. It’s designed to be a turnkey search solution that doesn’t need any extensive configuration — all you need to do is install and activate the plugin.

(However, there’re more advanced options available if you’re a developer or want to customize your search results — more on that below.)

After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll see a confirmation message. Your content is now being indexed.

SearchWP Review - indexing

That’s all you need to do! The plugin is now set up and working.

You can click the view progress and settings link for more information, and to see when its done indexing your content.

You can also navigate to the settings at Settings » SearchWP.

Here, you can customize the priority level to give each aspect of your content in search results, and even exclude certain types of content.

SearchWP Review - customize

You can click the blue Statistics link at the top to view all the searches made on your site.

For more details on customizing your search results, read the WPBeginner post, How to Improve WordPress Search with SearchWP.

Supplemental Search Engines

What if you want to have different search engines on different areas of your site?

For example, you might have an FAQ or knowledgebase that you want visitors to be able to search, without random content like blog posts showing up in the results.

No problem. You can create multiple search forms with SearchWP.

At the bottom of the Settings » SearchWP page, just click the Add New Supplemental Engine button.

SearchWP Review - supplemental

Check off the things you’d like to index for this type of search, and click the Save Changes button.

Now, to actually use this search engine on your site, you’ll need to create a specific search form for the supplemental engine. You can check out the SearchWP knowledgebase for a detailed tutorial and code examples on how to do so.

SearchWP Extensions

SearchWP also has a number of extensions available to add even more features to your search, including:

  • bbPress Integration: allow visitors to search through forum threads
  • Boolean Search: add support for excluding results based on keywords
  • Co-Authors Plus Integration: indexes and searches authors created with Automattic’s Co-Authors Plus plugin
  • FacetWP: adds Amazon-like filtering to any WordPress content listing
  • Fuzzy Matches: include search terms that are close in spelling to terms searched
  • …and more

Documentation and Support

Documentation is available on the SearchWP site, including many tutorials with screenshots on how to get started and configure your searches. There’s also help for developers looking to dive deeper into customizing their SearchWP installations, including many hooks and filters.

Getting support requires purchasing a license (more on that below).

Once you have your license key, navigate to Settings » SearchWP, and click on the Help tab at the top. Click the Activate License button at the top, and enter your key.

You can now open a support ticket right from your dashboard.

SearchWP Review - support

License Options

SearchWP offers 3 pricing plans. You can choose depending on the number of sites you want to use SearchWP on. The available plans are:

  • Standard plan for $79
  • Pro plan for $149
  • Pro Plus plan for $299

The Standard plan is for 1 site, Pro is for 5 sites, and Pro Plus is for unlimited sites. So, if you’re running a single website, you can sign up with the Standard plan. You can upgrade your plugin license at any time by paying the difference in cost.


All licenses include access to all extensions, and 1 year of support and updates. Licenses renew on a yearly basis with a 20% discount. You can purchase a license at any time from the SearchWP site.

SearchWP has a 14-day full refund policy so your investment is guaranteed. If you find the plugin not working as advertised or your support ticket remains unresolved, you’ll get your money 100% back. So what’re you waiting for? Get started with SearchWP today!

Bonus Tip: Identify Exactly What Your Visitors are Searching For

Once you’ve added search boxes on your site with SearchWP, you’ll want to see exactly what your visitors are searching for using the search boxes. That’s where MonsterInsights comes handy.


MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and provides you with detailed reports on your site audience and their behavior. Using the plugin, you can track how your site visitors are using the search boxes.

First, you’ll need to install the MonsterInsights plugin and set up Google Analytics in your WordPress site. Then, you can go to Google Analytics’ settings and enable site search for your site. Here’s the detailed guide on how to set up site search tracking in WordPress using Google Analytics.

Then, you can see exactly what terms your users are searching on your site by going to Behavior » Site Search » Search Terms in your Google Analytics profile. This also shows no results search terms if there’re any.


Using this site search report, you can identify what your visitors are looking for on your site. Plus, you can discover new keyword ideas for your site.

Our Verdict on Using SearchWP to Upgrade Your Default WordPress Search

If you’re frustrated by the poor search results on your site, and you’re losing visitors who can’t find what they’re looking for, you need a plugin to improve your WordPress search results.

We love how easy SearchWP is to use, and how it has so many options to configure and customize your searches.

We give SearchWP 5 out of 5 stars. Here’s the breakdown of our review scores:

Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
Ease of Use
Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
Rating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star FullRating Star Full   5.0 / 5.0
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