Documentation

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn't anwered here please don't hesitate to email it.

Indexer

Does SearchWP Index Author Details?

Not by default, no. You can, however, use one of SearchWP’s hooks to index any and all Author content during indexing: https://searchwp.com/docs/hooks/searchwp_extra_metadata/

Does SearchWP Index Custom Database Tables?

SearchWP does not index content from custom database tables. In order for your content to be included in search results, it must be stored within the core WordPress database tables using core WordPress functionality (e.g. post metadata) and have a WordPress-generated post ID.

You can, however, use a Shortcode to include custom database content within a WordPress post object (Post, Page, CPT, etc) and tell SearchWP to expand that Shortcode prior to indexing with this hook: https://searchwp.com/docs/hooks/searchwp_do_shortcode/

Does SearchWP Work with bbPress?

Yes! There is a bbPress Integration Extension that allows bbPress content to be indexed by SearchWP.

Does SearchWP Index PDFs, Office Documents, and rich/plain text?

Yes! It tries its best. SearchWP will attempt to index all PDFs that contain plain text. It is impossible to guarantee that every PDF can be indexed. If you cannot highlight the text within your PDF, SearchWP cannot read it. Further, if your PDF is encrypted, SearchWP cannot read it. In all cases, you are provided a text field to manage or populate the content of your PDFs.

SearchWP is able to index Office documents (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx) and OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents as well as RTF rich text and plain text (.txt) files.

For more information please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/document-processing-searchwp/

Does SearchWP Provide User (Profile) Searches?

No. SearchWP only indexes and makes searchable the content stored as post objects (Posts, Pages, Media, and Custom Post Types) and their associated metadata/taxonomies. User search is not planned at this time.

How Does SearchWP Work?

SearchWP is based upon a search algorithm based on keyword matches. Upon activation the plugin builds it’s own index based on terms used in your content. Searches are based on weighted keyword matching. Certain extensions may enhance this behavior, but the foundational principle of SearchWP is keyword matching.

For more information please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/how-searchwp-works/

Can SearchWP index PDFs & Documents stored outside the Media library?

NO. SearchWP requires that PDFs & documents be uploaded to your WordPress Media library. In order for SearchWP to index and return results, each entry must have it’s own canonical, WordPress-provided object ID. This ID is assigned when files are uploaded to the Media library, and is essential for SearchWP.

If you are using a document management plugin that stores uploads outside of the Media library of your WordPress install, SearchWP will NOT be able to work with these files.

Does SearchWP support multisite? What kind of license do I need?

SearchWP will work within a multisite installation, but it does not perform a global (network-wide) search. Each site within the network will receive it’s own SearchWP installation, and search results will be sandboxed to that site.

It is technically possible to switch to each site within a network, perform a search for that site, and then combine all of the results, but that is not supported functionality of SearchWP.

In order to activate your license for each site within the network, the license must accommodate the total number of sites within your multisite installation.

Does SearchWP support quoted searches (phrases)?

No it does not. SearchWP is built upon a tokenizer for many reasons, so all content (and search phrases) is broken up into tokens and therefore not searchable as a contained phrase. There is much more information available here: https://searchwp.com/faq/how-does-the-indexer-work-what-is-tokenizing/

How does the indexer work? (What is tokenizing?)

SearchWP’s indexer is not a crawler. That is to say it does not operate like many search engines (e.g. Google) and it does not load pages of your website to index content. The indexer pulls data directly from the database.

For a more detailed explanation please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/indexer-work-tokenizing/

 

Can SearchWP work on a huge site?

SearchWP was designed from the get-go to work best on small-to-midsize sites. It will work best on a site with anywhere from a few posts to a few thousand. If your website has tens of thousands of posts (e.g. Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types) or even hundreds of thousands I would not recommend using SearchWP.

For more information (including alternative solutions) please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/can-searchwp-work-huge-site/

Does SearchWP work with BuddyPress?

BuddyPress stores some content (e.g. Activity Stream) in a custom database table. Content in custom database tables is not indexed by SearchWP. In order for content to be indexed (and therefore searchable) by SearchWP it must be stored as a WordPress object (e.g. Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types).

Are Search Results Highlighted?

Search result highlighting is (sometimes) very dependent on your search results template. At this time SearchWP does provide search highlighting, but it is powered by an Extension. You can also implement your own search highlighting within your results template.

For more information please see the Term Highlight extension.

Does SearchWP Index Author Details?

Not by default, no. You can, however, use one of SearchWP’s hooks to index any and all Author content during indexing: https://searchwp.com/docs/hooks/searchwp_extra_metadata/

Does SearchWP Index Custom Database Tables?

SearchWP does not index content from custom database tables. In order for your content to be included in search results, it must be stored within the core WordPress database tables using core WordPress functionality (e.g. post metadata) and have a WordPress-generated post ID.

You can, however, use a Shortcode to include custom database content within a WordPress post object (Post, Page, CPT, etc) and tell SearchWP to expand that Shortcode prior to indexing with this hook: https://searchwp.com/docs/hooks/searchwp_do_shortcode/

Does SearchWP Work with bbPress?

Yes! There is a bbPress Integration Extension that allows bbPress content to be indexed by SearchWP.

Does SearchWP Index PDFs, Office Documents, and rich/plain text?

Yes! It tries its best. SearchWP will attempt to index all PDFs that contain plain text. It is impossible to guarantee that every PDF can be indexed. If you cannot highlight the text within your PDF, SearchWP cannot read it. Further, if your PDF is encrypted, SearchWP cannot read it. In all cases, you are provided a text field to manage or populate the content of your PDFs.

SearchWP is able to index Office documents (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx) and OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents as well as RTF rich text and plain text (.txt) files.

For more information please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/document-processing-searchwp/

Does SearchWP Provide User (Profile) Searches?

No. SearchWP only indexes and makes searchable the content stored as post objects (Posts, Pages, Media, and Custom Post Types) and their associated metadata/taxonomies. User search is not planned at this time.

How Does SearchWP Work?

SearchWP is based upon a search algorithm based on keyword matches. Upon activation the plugin builds it’s own index based on terms used in your content. Searches are based on weighted keyword matching. Certain extensions may enhance this behavior, but the foundational principle of SearchWP is keyword matching.

For more information please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/how-searchwp-works/

Does SearchWP Provide Autocomplete or Predictive Search?

By default SearchWP takes over native WordPress search (no modifications are made to your existing search forms) so autocomplete is not implemented automatically. SearchWP Live Ajax Search can be installed and added to your search form to provide live search results.

With the LIKE Terms extension SearchWP will apply partial word matching with can achieve the effect of predictive search.

Can SearchWP index PDFs & Documents stored outside the Media library?

NO. SearchWP requires that PDFs & documents be uploaded to your WordPress Media library. In order for SearchWP to index and return results, each entry must have it’s own canonical, WordPress-provided object ID. This ID is assigned when files are uploaded to the Media library, and is essential for SearchWP.

If you are using a document management plugin that stores uploads outside of the Media library of your WordPress install, SearchWP will NOT be able to work with these files.

Does SearchWP support quoted searches (phrases)?

No it does not. SearchWP is built upon a tokenizer for many reasons, so all content (and search phrases) is broken up into tokens and therefore not searchable as a contained phrase. There is much more information available here: https://searchwp.com/faq/how-does-the-indexer-work-what-is-tokenizing/

How does the indexer work? (What is tokenizing?)

SearchWP’s indexer is not a crawler. That is to say it does not operate like many search engines (e.g. Google) and it does not load pages of your website to index content. The indexer pulls data directly from the database.

For a more detailed explanation please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/indexer-work-tokenizing/

 

How does keyword stemming work? My keyword stem isn't being found.

Keyword stemming is much more advanced than chopping words into arbitrary chunks that match either the beginning or the end of a word. Stemming is an active process based on the language of the term itself. Terms are checked for a suffix (e.g. “ing”, “ed”, etc.) and the base of the word is determined and used as a proper stem.

For a detailed explanation of keyword stemming please see this Wikipedia article.

For example:

baseball does not have a stem of base (in fact it has no stem at all)

fishing does have a stem of fish

What about partial word matching?

SearchWP does support partial word matching that is not restricted to the rules of stemming. You can find that in the LIKE Terms extension.

Can SearchWP work on a huge site?

SearchWP was designed from the get-go to work best on small-to-midsize sites. It will work best on a site with anywhere from a few posts to a few thousand. If your website has tens of thousands of posts (e.g. Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types) or even hundreds of thousands I would not recommend using SearchWP.

For more information (including alternative solutions) please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/can-searchwp-work-huge-site/

How does SearchWP display results?

SearchWP does not directly display search results, it only provides new results for your theme to display. SearchWP does not modify your existing search results template in any way.

Upon activating SearchWP, your search results will display in exactly the same way they did before activating SearchWP, but SearchWP tells WordPress which results to include.

To customize your search results you need to edit your theme’s search.php (or create search.php if it does not exist) and you can customize your search results in any way you would customize another template within your theme using The Loop.

Supplemental search engines are covered in depth here: Setting up a supplemental search engine: step by step

Does SearchWP work with BuddyPress?

BuddyPress stores some content (e.g. Activity Stream) in a custom database table. Content in custom database tables is not indexed by SearchWP. In order for content to be indexed (and therefore searchable) by SearchWP it must be stored as a WordPress object (e.g. Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types).

PDFs & Documents

Does SearchWP Index PDFs, Office Documents, and rich/plain text?

Yes! It tries its best. SearchWP will attempt to index all PDFs that contain plain text. It is impossible to guarantee that every PDF can be indexed. If you cannot highlight the text within your PDF, SearchWP cannot read it. Further, if your PDF is encrypted, SearchWP cannot read it. In all cases, you are provided a text field to manage or populate the content of your PDFs.

SearchWP is able to index Office documents (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx) and OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents as well as RTF rich text and plain text (.txt) files.

For more information please see this KB article https://searchwp.com/docs/kb/document-processing-searchwp/

Can SearchWP index PDFs & Documents stored outside the Media library?

NO. SearchWP requires that PDFs & documents be uploaded to your WordPress Media library. In order for SearchWP to index and return results, each entry must have it’s own canonical, WordPress-provided object ID. This ID is assigned when files are uploaded to the Media library, and is essential for SearchWP.

If you are using a document management plugin that stores uploads outside of the Media library of your WordPress install, SearchWP will NOT be able to work with these files.

How does PDF & document parsing, indexing, and searching work?

There is a slightly in-depth answer to this question, so a KB article has been written: How does PDF parsing and indexing work?

License

Can I Upgrade my License?

Yes, you may upgrade your license at any time. Simply click the link in your Account area to Upgrade and pay the difference in cost. This does not constitute a renewal, so your license will expire on the same date.

Can I include SearchWP in a Plugin or Theme I’m Selling or Distributing?

SearchWP licenses may not be resold. Licenses belong to the purchaser and can not be resold or repurposed unless explicitly approved in writing.

Does SearchWP Stop Working if my License Expires?

Absolutely not. SearchWP will continue to serve you well even after your license has expired. Inactive licenses simply will not receive automatic updates or access to SearchWP support.

Are Licenses Active Forever?

No. Licenses remain active for one year from the date of purchase. You can renew an existing license for a discount by entering it into the proper field at checkout.

How do Plugin Updates & Support Work?

When purchased, all licenses are active for one year from the date of purchase. When licenses expire, you will no longer receive access to updates or support. You can renew licenses for a 40% discount by entering your existing license at checkout.

Does SearchWP support multisite? What kind of license do I need?

SearchWP will work within a multisite installation, but it does not perform a global (network-wide) search. Each site within the network will receive it’s own SearchWP installation, and search results will be sandboxed to that site.

It is technically possible to switch to each site within a network, perform a search for that site, and then combine all of the results, but that is not supported functionality of SearchWP.

In order to activate your license for each site within the network, the license must accommodate the total number of sites within your multisite installation.

Do you offer refunds?

Yes, please see the appropriate section in the Terms.

How does a license apply to development/staging sites?

A single site license may be active within one WordPress install at a time. If you are testing integration with SearchWP on a staging site it is recommended that you activate the license in staging and when the site is deployed you then deactivate the license in staging and then activate it in production. You do not need a Business (5 site) or Developer (unlimited site) license to use SearchWP on a staging site, local development domains do not count toward your license site limit.

Also note that SearchWP is fully functional even if your license is inactive.

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