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How To Make WordPress Search Image Files Thumbnail

Do you want to make WordPress search image files on your website?

The default WordPress search is primarily designed to index text content within posts and pages. It does not index the image metadata.

As a result, when a user searches using keywords within an image’s alt text, caption, or description, the default search cannot show relevant results.

Therefore, if you run a website that relies heavily on images, it’s high time to make WordPress search image files, as it can significantly boost your growth.

Key Takeaways:

  • The default WordPress search is designed to search text content, not image files.
  • So, it cannot show relevant images in the search results. But it can be fixed easily.
  • Using the no-code search plugin SearchWP, you can index all image attributes and their metadata.

Why You Need To Make WordPress Search Image Files?

Whether you’re a photographer showcasing your portfolio, an eCommerce site showcasing your products, or a blogger enriching your posts with infographics, images are crucial to decorating websites.

It’s not just aesthetics but plays a critical role in persuading visitors to take action. So, making images findable can enhance user experience and engagement.

If you’re relying on the default WordPress search for your website, it only shows images in search results if their titles match the search terms. This means most of your images remain hidden from visitors.

Not only is this costing you business, but you cannot even measure how many sales opportunities you’re missing out on.

So, let’s learn how to make WordPress search image files of your website.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files

The easiest way to enable advanced image file indexing and search on your WordPress site is by using the SearchWP plugin. It’s the most powerful tool that extends beyond basic search functions, allowing for a deep search into the image metadata and other crucial attributes.

SearchWP ensures that your images are searchable by their titles and metadata, such as alt text, caption, or description. On top of that, you can also make the EXIF data searchable with SearchWP.

Additionally, SearchWP supports other file types and offers features such as:

  • PDF and Office Documents Indexing: Makes document content searchable by parsing PDFs, Office documents, and plain (and rich) text documents.
  • WooCommerce Integration: Automatically integrates with WooCommerce, enhancing search capabilities for product images and more.
  • Keyword Stemming: Expands search flexibility by finding similar keywords, improving the comprehensiveness of search results.
  • Multiple Search Engines: Allows the creation of custom search engines tailored for different content types, such as one specifically for images.

Now, let’s get started with setting up SearchWP to make your image files searchable.

Step 1: Setting Up SearchWP on Your Site

Get the SearchWP package that suits your needs. Then download the plugin file from the “Downloads” tab of your Account page.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 1

Make sure to copy the license key from the same page, as we’ll use it later to activate the plugin.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 2

You can install and activate SearchWP like any other WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you have the option to use the “Start Onboarding Wizard” for a step-by-step guided setup.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 3

Or, you may opt to manually configure the settings by going to SearchWP > Add License Key.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 4

Now, insert the license key you copied earlier into the appropriate field and click ‘Verify Key’ to finalize the activation.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 5

If the verification process is successful, your licensing details will be displayed below.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Installing SearchWP Step 6

Now, we are ready to make WordPress search image files.

Step 2: Set Up SearchWP Engine To Make WordPress Search Image Files

SearchWP has replaced the default WordPress search on your website once it was installed. Next, to make images on your website searchable, you just need to configure the search engine.

Now, you have the option to modify the default Engine or create a new Supplementary Engine specifically for searching image files. Let’s create a new Engine for this task. To do so, click on the “Add New” button.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 1

Next, in the popup window, ensure that the “Media” option is selected and give your engine a suitable name. Click “Done” to save these settings.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 2

Now, click the “Add/Remove Attributes” button on the Media tab to specify which sources to index.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 3

Choose the sources you want to index from this popup, and then click “Done” to save your changes.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 4

Lastly, we’ll confine this search engine to only returning image files in the search result. You can totally skip this step. If you do, the default behavior is that the search will return all types of media files, such as images, videos, audio, documents, etc.

To do so, click on the “Edit Rules” button.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 5

You can manipulate how and which results will be displayed using this Engine from this popup. Play around to come up with new ideas.

To keep the search results to images only, we need to create a new rule. So click on “Add Rule.” from there, set the rule to Only show entries if: File Type: is In: Images. After that, click “Done.”

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 6

Finally, click Save to store the new settings.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 7

Now, you may be asked to rebuild the index so that the new settings can be applied. Click “Rebuild Index” to start the process manually.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 8

Depending on the state of your website, the following popup may appear. When an image or document file is indexed in SearchWP, it extracts all indexable data and stores it in its database.

If you want to completely replace the previous index data with the new one, select the “Remove stored Docment Content ….” checkmark and click on “Continue Index Rebuild.” You’re done!

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Configure SearchWP To Search Images Step 9

Congratulations! You have successfully made WordPress search image files on our website. You can repeat this process to make other media files such as audio, video, PDFs, and office documents searchable in WordPress.

Now, you can use this Engine with any search form created with SearchWP. You can do that by going to SearchWP > Search Forms > Add New.

Next, give your form a name, and then choose a Layout theme for the search form.

You can tweak the search form as needed. Most importantly, we need to assign an Engine to this form. To do that, find the Engine and select the newly created “Image Search” from the dropdown.

Once you’ve made other modifications to your liking, you can click “Save” to store your settings.

Now, visitors can only see images in their search results whenever they use this form to search. There are multiple ways to embed this search form into your website. Click the “Embed” button next to “Save,” and you’ll see the instructions.

How To Make WordPress Search Image Files: Embed Search Form Options

Pick the embed method that suits you best. This comprehensive tutorial provides a detailed guide on creating an advanced WordPress search form.

Wrapping Up

In this tutorial, we have learned how to make WordPress search image files. This fairly simple effort can help you boost your sales and grow your business significantly. Using SearchWP, you can implement advanced search features on your website.

Get SearchWP today to give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors.

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See what SearchWP customers have to say

  • “With SearchWP, you can add weight to categories, tags, taxonomies and even custom fields. This yields a much better and richer search than the basic WP search. My clients love it.”

  • “SearchWP plugin integrates well with other plugins, is well coded and performs well. Good investment.”

  • “Great plugin! I implemented a bulk product search option for my wholesale platform. I was supported very quickly by the SearchWP team, and we met our complex goals. Recommended!”