It seems that that there could be a lot more done with WordPress’ internal search. More results, better options, filters, or something to make the user experience better. So I started looking for options.
One option I found was Lijit. Lijit offers the ability to allow your users to search your blog, bookmarks, photos, videos, social networks such as Twitter, and other sites from one search box on your site. It seemed like what I was looking for, so I installed it.
The downside to Lijit is that it can give other sites more visibility via advertising or the web searches tab. And taking traffic off your site isn’t always a good idea. The upsides though are that you can include many blogs, social networks and all sorts of different things into your search results. Lijit makes it all about your network of sites, not just about one blog.
So far I’m not overly impressed with Lijit as I don’t see any Twitter results and I see sites like TechCruch which I don’t have listed in my settings. I’m hoping the bugs get worked out in the next day or two.
Another option is Google Custom Search. Google is a great option as it’s a format that most people already know. You can add sites as you see fit, change the layout a little, and you get all of Google’s pre-defined search modifiers. There is even a Google Custom Search WordPress plug-in to make the install easy.
A third option I came across was Viewzi. Viewzi not only searches your blog, but video sites and photo sites too. I had Viewzi installed in the sidebar, however it never loaded results and the WordPress plug-in conflicted with WordPress and it had to be de-activated. Oddly enough, when the plugin was de-activated, it worked fine. So there seems to be some bugs, but it also seems to be working. It’ll be in the sidebar for a while while we test it out and you are free to take it for a spin.
With all my searching, I’m still at a loss for a search replacement that really takes the search results page to the next level. Something that gives filtering options, a nicer layout, or just better usability over all. The default WordPress search is fine, but seems lacking.
Have you come across any good search alternatives?