It doesn’t matter if you have any e-commerce store or blog, it is crucial to give your visitors the best user experience. 

Search Box helps visitors to find information on your website quickly and easily. It plays a key role in creating a user-friendly site. Easy navigation and fully customized search box can enhance the overall experience of the user.

One of the hidden advantages of search box is you get to know what visitors are looking for/ expecting to find on your website. You can use this information to further creating content and offering services according to the requirements of your target audience. 

There are different ways by which you can embed search box on your website:-

  1. Embed Search Box using CMS
  2. Add a search script to your website
  3. Remotely Hosted Search Commonly Gateway Interface

Embed Search Box Using CMS

You have several options for installing a search engine on your site, including using a CMS if your site is based on a content management system that supports this feature. Because many CMS platforms use a database to store page content, these platforms often come with a search utility to query that database. 

This software has an easy to implement utility, including site search created within the page system. Similarly, the popular WordPress CMS includes search widgets, surface information contained in pages, publications and site metadata. 

Add a Search Script to Your Website

The most common search box is written in a coding language, such as PHP or Perl. The code is saved to the server, and when the information is written and sent in the box, the server-side engine executes the script and generates the result. 

Some search scripts run crawl the entire site every time a user searches. While other scripts periodically crawl your website and create a search index on the basis of that. Hence, whenever a user enters a search query, it is the index not website that it searches in.

Advantages of the first approach are:

  • It’s easier to set up
  • It’s always up to date with the latest changes on your website

One of the main disadvantage is that it doesn’t work big websites that well and can be quite slow. It works best om small websites.

Index-based searches are much faster to run on big websites than non-index based search engines. But drawbacks are that:

  • It is not easy to maintain as you have to regularly track and update the index
  • Depending on how frequently the site is re-crawled and index updated, it might be a little while before new content appears in the search.

Some popular PHP and Perl script search engines for your website include:

  • http://www.sphider.eu/
  • http://lucy.apache.org/
  • http://www.hotscripts.com/listing/site-search-engine-php-ajax/

Some of the advantages of a scripted search box include privacy. It’s probably a server-side script, so your code won’t be visible to anyone who can’t access your web directory. 

Customization is also a big plus. Code can be written to fit the owner’s goals and is highly customizable. The script also gives the owner full control over additions, updates, and features.

The downside is that the owner will need knowledge of the scripting language or have the resources to hire a programmer to do so. 

Remotely Hosted Search Universal Gateway Interface

 The disadvantage of this approach is that it is limited to looking for characteristics of a particular product offered by the company. Also, only active Internet pages are directories (intranet and extranet sites cannot be directories). 

 Finally, your site is only indexed periodically, so you can’t guarantee that your new page will be added immediately to the search database. If you want your search function to be always up to date, the last point can be a commercial switch. 

The following sites offer free search capabilities for your website:

Google Custom Search Engine: The Google custom search engine allows you to search for not only your own site but also create collections to search within. This makes the search more interesting for your readers because you can specify multiple sites to include in the search results. You can also invite your community to contribute sites to the search engine.

Google packages your free Google custom search tool in several ways, but the code creates a free Google search box for your site available from Google Web Elements. Following code is provided:-

<!– Google Custom Search Element →

<div id=”cse” style=”width:100%;”>Loading</div>

<script src=”http://www.google.com/jsapi” type=”text/javascript”></script>

<script type=”text/javascript”>google.load(‘search’, ‘1’);

          google.setOnLoadCallback(function(){var cse = new google.search.

          CustomSearchControl();cse.draw(‘cse’);}, true);</script>

You have to paste this code in the <body> element of a web page to get the search box.

FusionBot: This service provides multiple levels of search. In the free tier, you get 250 index pages, one automatic index per month, one manual index per month, basic report, sitemap, etc. 

FreeFind: You can sign up for free for using this service. It has an additional feature of a sitemap and an auto-generated “new” page along with its search field. You can control how often they appear on your site, so you can make sure that new pages are added to the index. It also allows you to add spiders to other sites that are included in the search. 

siteLevel Internal Site Search: It also offer free services with which you can add the functionality of having pages that are not included in the database. So, if you want to have a private specific section and can’t be searched, just list it as an exclusion area, and these pages will not be searching. it will index 1000 pages, re-index once a week. 

Was this post helpful?