High quality fast search results have long been a problem with WordPress and WooCommerce. Not only are the traditional search techniques inaccurate, they’re slow too!
Super Speedy Search solves this using full-text indexes which improve accuracy and transform speed.
Vastly Improved Search Speed
You’ll be amazed at the search speed achieved. On our demo store of 800,000 products, the searches take 0.2 seconds. For comparison, the default WooCommerce search would take over a minute on this many products.
The 200 millisecond search speed we’re referencing is on a $20 per month Digital Ocean server. You can try it yourself here.
Improved Search Relevancy
Full-text indexes are designed for text search. The default WordPress search can’t use full-text indexes because they have to remain compatible with older versions of MySQL – that’s why WordPress uses the LIKE operator by default which is incredibly slow once you have enough posts or products.
Note: for the full text index to work, you need a compatible database and host (MySQL 5.6+). Shared hosting will might not allow the full-text index to be created, but any decent managed hosting or self-managed hosting will.
How it works
Most premium text-search plugins use the LIKE operator to search your database. This is slow because it prevents the use of any indexes. It’s also inaccurate, because for the LIKE operator to get a successful match it has to match identically what is in your database.
Full-text indexes are different – they provide something called stemming which means a search for ‘childrens clothes’ will match ‘child clothes’, ‘clothes for children’ and other derivatives. Stemming means words in your database are reduced to their language root, their derivative. Because of this, accuracy is increased and your users don’t have to type exactly what’s stored in your descriptions in order to find products.
Full-text indexes also provide a relevance score. If you’ve searched on Amazon before, you know that they’re good at showing you relevant results, but it is often difficult to find relevant results with other WordPress search plugins. Super Speedy Search uses multiple full-text indexes to search across post_title, post_content and the values in wp_postmeta.
The Super Speedy Search plugin spots any free-text searches against wp_posts and replaces the default LIKE operator with the faster and more accurate full-text search (using a MATCH operator). So if you already have a search results page, this will be optimised once you visit the settings page and create the full-text index.
Super Speedy Search also adds a new widget with ajax functionality which rather than having a separate search results page, replaces your current archive search results as you type. It’s very fast as you can see in the video below which is on my reference WooCommerce affiliate site with 820,000+ products and it’s only a $40 per month Digital Ocean server.
You can also try super speedy search yourself on our FoundThru demo site.
Super Speedy Search includes:
- Full-text indexes maintained automatically on your own server (no third-party hosting required!)
- Standard search results page is auto-optimised
- Pagination on your search results
- A shortcode and a widget to let you place the search box wherever you like
- The ability to search meta_keys too, like _sku entries for WooCommerce
- The ability to search taxonomies – so if a user searches for ‘Dresses’ it will show products under the ‘Dresses’ category
- The ability to configure your widgets or shortcode to search whichever post types you wish – e.g. product,post
- Search results ordering choices – you can order by date or you can order by multiple different types of ‘relevance’. Relevance is far higher and far more accurate with a fulltext index too!
- Works with all posts, products and custom post types
Demo of Super Speedy Search
We have a demo site containing 820,000+ products where you can try out Super Speedy Search for yourself.
Visit https://foundthru.com/ and search. Remember, this is a $20 per month server, so you’ll see faster results if you have more CPUs and/or faster disks than ours and/or more RAM than ours.
In the screenshot below, you can see 50ms SQL time being consumed for a search for Harry Potter:
Upload the plugin files and activate it then visit the settings page to build your full-text index.
Your normal search results pages are now fully optimised – e.g. /?s=harry+potter&post-type=product