Do you want to add live autocomplete search to your WordPress site?
Live autofill search helps your site visitors find posts, pages, and products faster. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t offer this feature by default.
In this article, we’ll show you how to add live autocomplete search to your site using a WordPress plugin.
What Is Live Autocomplete Search and Why Does It Matter?
These days, online users have high expectations for search. Search engines like Google offer advanced features like live autocomplete and predictive suggestions. These features give better search results and save time.
If you want to improve your site’s search experience, you need to add live autocomplete search. It allows search engines to guess what a user is searching for and give relevant suggestions as they type. With this feature, users don’t need to manually complete their search or go to a different page to see the results.
As a WordPress site owner, adding this feature to your site has tons of benefits.
For example, adding live search to WordPress can help your website visitors always find what they’re looking for.
The live autofill feature will help them type the right words. This means your site will also show more relevant results based on its content.
Apart from making search better, autocomplete also educates users about your site. Even when the suggestions don’t match the search intent, the user now knows your site contains the suggested product or content.
Since your users no longer need to type lots of keywords, they can now avoid typos and reduce search time. This often results in a better user experience.
With a better user experience, your visitors get to spend more time on your site and buy more products.
The good news is that you can add live autocomplete to WordPress very easily. Let’s talk about how you can do this below.
How to Add Live Autocomplete Search (Easy Way)
Want to add WordPress live autocomplete search to your site without writing any code? The best way to do it is to use a WordPress plugin like SearchWP.
As the best WordPress search plugin, SearchWP improves your site search by delivering more relevant results. Over 30,000 websites use the plugin to reduce site abandonment, boost content discoverability, and increase sales.
To add live autocomplete search to your website, you can use the free SearchWP Live Ajax Search plugin. It automatically adds live search on your website.
And if you want even more awesome features like:
- Multiple search engines
- PDF and document indexing
- WooCommerce integration
Then you can get the premium version of SearchWP here.
Now, let’s set up live autocomplete search in these two simple steps.
Step 1: Install and Activate SearchWP Live Ajax Search
To install SearchWP Live Ajax Search, go to Plugins » Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
On the plugins page, type ‘SearchWP’ in the search bar. You’ll see a list of SearchWP extensions.
Once you find the Live Ajax Search plugin, click Install Now and then Activate.
By doing this, you’ve just added live autocomplete search to your WordPress site.
Step 2: Test the Live Autocomplete Search Feature
After installing SearchWP Live Ajax Search, let’s test the new autocomplete feature. You can do this by navigating to your site’s front-end.
Hover over the home button in the upper left corner of your WordPress dashboard. Then click Visit Site.
Now when you type anything in the search bar, the result should look like this:
How to Add an Autofill Search Field in WordPress
Now that your site has live autocomplete search, it’s time to decide where you want to display the search fields.
You can add live autocomplete search to your site’s sidebar, header, and footer areas.
You can also add a search field to any WordPress page or post.
We’ll show you how to display the search bar in any of these locations.
Displaying Autofill Search Field in WordPress Sidebar/Footer/Header
Most WordPress site owners like to display the search bar in the sidebar. In this location, your site users can easily complete their search no matter the website page they’re on.
For pages like the homepage or shop page, the footer and header may be ideal.
You can add a search bar to any of these locations using the widget function.
To access it, go to Appearance » Widgets
On this page, you can add a live search bar to any area of your choice using the block-based widget editor.
First, click on the widget area you want and then the ‘+’ icon.
When the widgets list pops up, type ‘Search’ in the search bar. Then click SearchWP Live Search to add the autofill search field.
After that, click Update in the upper right corner.
Your search field is now ready for display.
Bear in mind that depending on your active WordPress theme, you may not be able to use some widget areas.
Displaying Autofill Search Field on WordPress Pages
You can also add a search field to a page. Live autocomplete search can help your users find information on a knowledgebase or archive page faster.
The Block Editor makes it easy to add a search bar here too.
Go to Pages » Add New to create a new page or All Pages to edit an existing one.
On the new page, click the ‘+’ icon to add a new block.
Next type ‘search’ and select the search block.
After that, click Publish or Update in the upper right corner and you’re good to go.
You can follow these same steps to add a live search bar to any post as well.
Customizing Autocomplete Search Suggestions
Adding live autocomplete search to your site is great. But for better results, you can program your site’s search results based on a custom priority scale. This will further improve the search experience.
One of the reasons SearchWP is popular is that it offers tons of advanced features for adjusting your search algorithm. You can do all this without writing any line of code.
With the pro version of the plugin, you can adjust the relevance of each content attribute or decide which attribute to index.
You can also create different search engines and use them in different site locations. This will help you offer a unique search experience in each of these locations.
In summary, live autocomplete search is a powerful feature you can use to boost your site conversions and average visit duration. SearchWP Live Ajax Search makes it very easy to add this feature to your native WordPress search.
Want to learn more about what you can do with the SearchWP plugin? Check out our features page.
You can also check out other free and premium SearchWP extensions to learn how you can use them to improve your site’s overall search experience.