An effective search function is crucial for any website, allowing visitors to easily find relevant content. For WordPress sites, the default search can often fall short, lacking important features like typo tolerance, filters, and faceted navigation.
That‘s where Algolia has stepped in for many sites, offering a powerful hosted search solution. However, since Algolia discontinued its WordPress plugin in 2019, site owners have needed alternatives.
In this guide, we‘ll explore 16 compelling options to replace Algolia and make your WordPress site search robust and user-friendly.
Why Choose an Alternative Search Plugin?
Before jumping into the top alternatives, let‘s review why the default WordPress search often doesn‘t cut it:
Basic keyword search only – The built-in search just allows visitors to enter a word or phrase to search post titles and content. There are no advanced features like filtering or faceting.
No typo tolerance – Searchers must enter terms exactly right or they won‘t get results. The default search doesn‘t account for typos or alternate spellings.
Slow results – Running searches live on unoptimized databases can mean slow load times as queries tax server resources. Caching and indexing often aren‘t utilized.
Limitations with special characters – Special characters like dashes and apostrophes can cause issues, with the default search not handling them properly.
No customization – Options for changing the look, feel, and behavior of default WordPress search are minimal. You get little control over results display.
Poor mobile experience – On mobile devices, the Experience can be especially underwhelming, with clunky interfaces not optimized for smaller screens.
By implementing a dedicated search plugin, you can overcome these limitations and provide site visitors with the quick, relevant, and tailored results they expect.
But with Algolia no longer an option, what alternatives work well? Let‘s find out.
16 Algolia Alternatives for WordPress Search
Here are 16 search plugins that can help improve findability and the search experience on your WordPress site.
1. Ajax Search Pro
Ajax Search Pro is a customizable, extendable search plugin with loads of features including live search, filters, and caching. With a one-time purchase and lifetime updates, it offers subscriptions-free search.
- Multiple search instances with individual shortcodes
- Support for many content types like posts, pages, attachments, products, etc.
- Compatible with major page builders like Elementor, Divi, and more
- Highly customizable aesthetics and colors
- Autocomplete and search suggestions
- Mobile responsive for great experience on all devices
- Powerful search filters and faceting
- Unlimited searches without throttling
- Built-in caching for fast performance
- Search analytics to track usage and popular terms
- Multilingual ready and translatable
A free version is also available indefinitely for trying out the plugin and experimenting with features.
SearchWP is a fully-featured premium search alternative focused on customizations and control. It replaces default WordPress search with advanced functionality.
- Indexes and searches text, PDF, and Microsoft Office documents
- Provides unified cross-site search for multisite WordPress networks
- Boolean search exclusions to leave out unwanted keywords
- Granular tuning of search results content, order, and display
- Private content exclusion from search results
- Support for multiple search instances/widgets anywhere
- Unlimited searches with no hard caps
- Stemmed search for broadening results of related keywords
- Deep integrations with ecommerce, membership, forums, and more
- Detailed search analytics and insights
While SearchWP has no free option, they offer a comprehensive 14-day money back guarantee allowing you to try before you buy.
ElasticPress brings the power of Elastic Search to your WordPress site for high-performance search.
- Autosuggestions powered by Elasticsearch
- Highly customizable search results content and display
- Robust, flexible search filters and faceting
- Related content blocks to show contextual results
- Ability to exclude specified content from search
- Indexes text content as well as PDFs and Microsoft Office docs
- Self-hosted or fully managed ElasticSearch options
- Detailed analytics on searches, popular keywords, and trends
4. AWS CloudSearch
Amazon Web Services offers a fully-managed search solution called AWS CloudSearch.
- Auto-complete suggestions
- Custom highlighter for matching keywords
- Per-field weighting to boost key content
- Robust full text search across documents
- Ultra low latency results in milliseconds
- Scales easily without capacity planning
Developer Andrea Landonio created an official CloudSearch plugin to integrate AWS‘s search with WordPress.
5. Search with Typesense
The Search with Typesense plugin brings the open source Typesense search engine to WordPress.
- Sticky search results pane
- Typo tolerance with fuzzy matching
- Synonym support to broaden results
- Sorting and grouping of search results
- Filtering and faceting search results
- Location-based and geo search
- Friendly developer API and docs
You‘ll need to have Typesense deployed on your own infrastructure or use their cloud search service before installing the plugin.
Relevanssi is a free open source search plugin from Finnish developer Mikko Saari. It‘s been around for over a decade and is actively maintained.
- Comprehensive search across most WordPress content
- Indexes PDF, Office, RTF, and ODT files beyond just posts
- Allows searching shortcode content
- Multisite network search capabilities
- Search term highlighting in results
- Exclude specific content from search indexing
- Sticky search results that persist on scroll
- Search results weighting and priority tuning
- Stemmed searching to catch multiple word variations
- Related posts extension available
- Stopwords and synonyms support
There‘s also a premium version with more features and priority email support. Lifetime licenses are available as well.
AddSearch is an enterprise-level site search solution used by major brands like Toyota, Philips, and more.
- Typo tolerance and error forgiveness
- Automatic recrawling to keep index fresh
- Search analytics and statistics
- Prioritization and weighting of results
- Multilingual search capabilities
- Indexes PDFs, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and more
- Fully responsive across devices
- Robust third-party integrations
- Customization of search results content
AddSearch doesn‘t have a free version but they do offer an extensive 14-day free trial to test out the platform.
8. Search & Filter
Search & Filter replaces the default WordPress search with advanced AJAX-powered filtering and faceting functionality.
- Robust, configurable search filters
- Built-in caching for high performance
- Broad theme and plugin integrations
- Unlimited search instances
- Easy custom search form builder
- Live AJAX search results
- Fully customizable search results display
- Dedicated customer support
They offer both free and paid versions, the latter which comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
9. Ivory Search
Ivory Search enhances the default WordPress search with additional user-friendly forms and features.
- Expanded media search capabilities
- Search highlights for keywords
- Customizable search form design
- Stemming for expanded search results
- Exclude specific content from indexing
- Search demo mode for testing
- Sorting and order options for search results
- Shortcodes to add custom search forms
- Indexes wide array of WordPress content
They offer a free version indefinitely, along with paid plans for extra features and priority support.
Swiftype offers a SaaS-powered, enterprise search platform great for content-focused sites like blogs and online stores.
- Unified cross-site search experience
- Flexible integrations and APIs
- Intuitive search UX and components
- High result relevance and accuracy
- Developer-friendly customization and docs
You can integrate Swiftype using their official WordPress plugin.
11. Jetpack Search
The Jetpack Search plugin replaces default WordPress search with a fast, customizable alternative from Automattic.
- Highly relevant search results
- Leverages modern ranking algorithms
- Instant search results without page reload
- Results tuned based on actual site search analytics
- Filters like categories, tags, dates, etc
- Mobile and desktop-optimized
- Real-time index updating
- Deep WooCommerce integration
- 100% multilingual ready
- Quick typo correction and suggestions
For larger sites, upgraded paid plans are available without search limits.
12. Elfsight Search Widget
The Elfsight Search Widget provides a customizable Google search box for your WordPress site.
- Based on the Google API for results
- Fast search results
- Structured search results with titles, descriptions, etc
- Results optimized using schema markup
- Broad search coverage beyond just site content
- Highly customizable design and layout
- Easy integration through widgets
- Ability to promote site pages in results
The free version supports unlimited sites with some view limits. Paid plans offer more volume and features.
13. Search in Place
Search in Place transforms search boxes into live results widgets with no page refresh necessary.
- Adds live search behavior without page reload
- Indexes posts, pages, and custom post types
- Sorts results by post type
- Search term suggestions
- Caps live results to avoid overload
- Opens results in pop-up lightbox
- Search keyword highlights
- Enhanced searching of taxonomies
- Multiple search box addition with shortcodes
- Compatible with popular WordPress plugins
This lightweight plugin quickly activates rich, reactive search boxes on your site.
14. Site Search 360
Site Search 360 enhances default WordPress search with better results and insights.
- Fast indexing and instant search suggestions
- Clustered results groups
- Seamless replacement keeping permalinks
- Smart autocomplete predictions
- Indexes custom taxonomy content
- Real-time index updating
- Simple customization via CSS and dashboard
- Integrates with Search Designer for advanced options
This plugin helps you boost interactions, promote top content, and gain actionable analytics.
15. ACF: Better Search
The ACF: Better Search plugin extends WordPress search to included Advanced Custom Field data.
- Search content within ACF fields
- Performance gains up to 75% faster searches
- Accurate phrase searching
- Easy setup working with most plugins
- More relevant, precise results
- Improves search relevancy scoring
It automatically runs in the background without any manual coding needed.
16. Better Search
Better Search augments the default search to also cover pages, custom post types, and more.
- Fully replaces built-in WordPress search
- More relevant results automatically scored
- Searches titles, content, excerpts, taxonomies, etc
- Search heatmap showing popular queries
- Seamless integration into theme files
- Works with caching plugins
- Custom stop word list option
- Multilingual ready search outputs
- Includes shortcode and widget
The plugin provides deep customizations so you can tune relevancy weighting and other settings.
An ineffective search function can mean poor findability and visitor frustration. Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent alternatives now that Algolia‘s plugin is retired for WordPress.
Options like Ajax Search Pro, Relevanssi, SearchWP, and Jetpack Search provide robust plug-and-play search functionality with minimal hassle.
Others like Swiftype, AddSearch, and ElasticSearch offer hosted search solutions you can integrate for superior performance, scale, and features.
Take time to review the options, consider free trials for premium plugins, and thoroughly test search before launch. Plan for enhancements like autocomplete, filters, highlights, custom design, and mobile optimization.
With the right search integration, you can enable easy content discoverability, boost on-site engagement, and deliver search experiences that delight users.