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How to Make WordPress Search in Post Content

Are you wondering how to make WordPress search in post content?

It might be challenging for your site visitors to find what they’re looking for if you have a lot of posts and pages.

In this article, we’ll show you how to limit WordPress search to post content and how to make it consider post custom fields.

Why Make WordPress Search in Post Content

If you want to succeed online, it’s important to ensure that your site visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.

A positive user experience makes them discover more of your content, return to your site over again, and even share a link to it on social media.

On top of that, the satisfaction of your visitors directly affects the ranking of your site in search engines. Since over 50% of web traffic comes precisely from this source, it’s essential to cover your audience’s needs.

One of the best ways to give your visitors more relevant search results is to limit searches to a certain type of content.

The thing is, by default, WordPress searches for title, content, and excerpt of posts and pages.

Due to that, there is usually a lot of clutter in the search results, making it much more difficult to find the right content.

Limiting search only to posts, or even to a specific part like content or title, helps solve this issue.

Now that we know why it’s important to search in post content, let’s look at how to do this below.

How to Make WordPress Search in Post Content

The fastest and most convenient way to make WordPress search in post content is to use a plugin like SearchWP.

SearchWP logo

This plugin allows you to get complete control over how search works on your site.

Using it, you can make searchable anything on your site, create custom search fields, track searches, and many more.

Over 30,000 WordPress site owners already use SearchWP to give their visitors the most relevant search results.

SearchWP also helps you:

  • Display search results in live mode. Want to instantly display search results on your site? Using SearchWP, you can do that with just a few clicks.
  • Make WordPress index PDF files. Do you upload any PDFs to your site? With SearchWP, you can make the content within them searchable, enriching your site’s search results.
  • Exclude pages from search results. Want to exclude specific pages from search results on your site? SearchWP allows you to do that in just a few clicks.
  • Enable fuzzy search. Do you want to make WordPress search for partial matches if there are no exact ones? Using SearchWP, you can turn on fuzzy search so your visitors can find more results.

Now, let’s take a look at how to limit WordPress search to post content only using SearchWP.

Step 1: Install and Activate SearchWP

The first step is to grab your copy of SearchWP here.

After that, navigate to your SearchWP account and go over to the Downloads tab.

go over to the Downloads tab

Then click Download SearchWP to start downloading the plugin’s ZIP file to your computer.

click Download SearchWP

Copy the SearchWP license key at the same tab as you’ll need it further to activate the plugin.

copy your license key

Once the download is finished, the next step is to upload the SearchWP ZIP file to your site and install the plugin.

Need help on that? Feel free to check out the how to install a WordPress plugin step-by-step tutorial.

When you install the plugin, navigate to your WordPress site dashboard and click the SearchWP button at the top panel.

click SearchWP

Once there, navigate to the License tab.

go over to the License tab

Paste the plugin license key you copied earlier into the License field and click Activate.

press Activate

That’s it. You activated SearchWP, and now you’re ready to make WordPress search only for post content.

Step 2: Customize Your Search Engine

To begin with, go over to the Engines tab.

go over to the Engines tab

Here you’ll find the list of search engines you currently have.

the list of your search engines

Think of a search engine as a set of rules and conditions that WordPress considers while performing a search.

SearchWP allows you to add and use multiple search engines with different sets of settings.

Right now, there is only one search engine called Default. WordPress uses it for native searches. By customizing it, you can edit how search works across your entire site.

By default, this search engine performs searches by 3 sources: posts, pages, and media.

Since we want to limit WordPress search only by post content, the first step is to remove all the sources except Posts.

To do so, press the Sources & Settings button.

press Sources & Settings

Uncheck Pages and Media sources so that there will be only Posts left.

uncheck Pages and Media sources

After that, press Done to save the changes.

press Done

Now, WordPress will only search by posts.

The next step is to change the set of post attributes that WordPress considers when searching.

You can think of attributes like a post’s parts. By default, there are 4 of them: title, content, slug, and excerpt.

posts attributes

To limit WordPress search for post content only, we need to remove all of the post attributes except Content.

To do so, press the Add/Remove attributes button.

press Add Remove attributes

Uncheck all the attributes except Content and then press Done to save the changes.

uncheck all the post attributes except Content

You can also change the relevance weight of attributes by moving the slider next to them left or right.

the Content attribute weight is low

The bigger the weight, the more attention WordPress will pay to an attribute when performing a search.

Let’s add relevance weight to the Content attribute by moving the slider all the way right. This way, WordPress will give the highest priority to this attribute when searching.

Here is how it looks on our test site:

adjust the Content atrribute weight

Press the Save Engines button to save the changes when you’re finished.

press Save Engines

That’s it. You’ve just made WordPress search for post content only.

Step 3: Test Your New Search

The next step is to try out your new search engine.

To do so, press the Visit Site button under your site’s name at the top left of the WordPress dashboard.

press Visit Site

We’ve added a post on our test site containing the word “Apple” in the content and “Orange” in the title.

First, let’s see if we find this post by the Apple search term.

we found the Orange blog post

As you can see, we were able to find the post because WordPress considers the post content and gives it the highest priority.

Now let’s see if we can find it by the title, which is Orange.

nothing found

There is nothing found. It means that our WordPress site now considers only the content of posts when searching, ignoring everything else.

How to Make WordPress Consider Post Custom Fields

Would you like to make your WordPress site consider post custom fields when searching?

Custom fields are the fields where you can put any additional information about the post. For example, you can specify its type, author, time to read, or anything else.

Making this data searchable is a great way to give your visitors more relevant search results.

a custom field

With SearchWP, you can make post custom fields searchable in just a couple of clicks.

add custom fields

For more details, follow the how to add custom fields search in WordPress tutorial.

In this article, you learned how to make WordPress search in post content. It’ll allow you to deliver your visitors more relevant search results, making their user experience much better.

If you’re ready to gain full control over the search on your site, you can grab your copy of SearchWP here.

Would you like to create a custom search form? Check out this how to create a custom search form in WordPress guide with easy steps.

Do you want to put specific pages at the top of your site search results? Follow the how to prioritize specific search results in WordPress tutorial.

Want to make your search awesome right now?

More than 30,000 sites have chosen SearchWP!

You can utilize all of the content that’s gone unrecognized by native WordPress keyword search instantly with SearchWP.

Get SearchWP for just $99

  • Committed Support
    If you need help, support is fast, friendly, and here for you
  • Streamlined Setup
    Installation and setup that’s optimized for speed
  • Great Documentation
    Helpful, clear, and usable documentation is a priority

See what SearchWP customers have to say

  • “SearchWP lets you easily configure a custom search engine placing more or less emphasis on whatever fields and post types that you want. Very clean interface. Super helpful plugin. Thanks!”

  • “I had problems with indexing umlauts on a German-language website. SearchWP support found a solution in a very short time. He also quickly found the right solution for my other suggestions. I can highly recommend the plugin.”

  • “I used SearchWP to index 40,000 images by a National Geographic photographer. It did a great job; the plugin has great hooks and filters; the documentation is excellent; and the developer was helpful. Thanks!”

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