SearchWP 4 has arrived! 🎉

May 26, 2020

With the beta testing phase being complete, SearchWP 4 is now available to all active license holders! This is a major release with breaking changes, something that has not happened before in the life of SearchWP.

The big picture

There are a few high level points to be aware of:

  • Automatic update of a major version (from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4) is not available, updating to a new major version is a manual process
  • Automatic updates will be available within major versions e.g. SearchWP 3 and SearchWP 4 will continue to receive their own automatic updates when available
  • SearchWP 3 Engines, settings, Stopwords, and Synonyms will be migrated upon activating SearchWP 4
  • SearchWP 4 is available to all license holders, your license grants you access to both SearchWP 3 and SearchWP 4
  • Your license key is the same for SearchWP 3 and SearchWP 4
  • SearchWP 4 is a major release with breaking changes
  • Support is available to assist you with updating hooks from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4 equivalents (Note regarding Hooks: all tags have changed, some parameters, and some functionality)
  • A full Migration Guide has been prepared to assist with upgrading from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4

SearchWP 4 details

As outlined in the announcement post, SearchWP 4 has been in development for quite some time. Because SearchWP 4 is a full and complete rewrite, it’s a more powerful, smarter, better organized, faster search solution.

Some of the biggest changes for SearchWP 4 include:

  • Faster searches (twice as fast in most cases!) 🚀
  • Faster indexing (three to five times faster in many cases!)
  • Reduced server resource usage both during indexing and searching
  • Proper cross-site multisite search!
  • Custom database table content support
  • Granular control over results using Rules
  • User and developer experience refinements
  • WP-CLI support
  • … and more!

SearchWP 4 is also an even better WordPress citizen. It does a better job at its core competency and operates on a significantly better level than previous versions. This means less overhead across the board concerning everything SearchWP does.

SearchWP Extensions

All Extensions have been updated with SearchWP 4 support. You should update all of your Extensions to their latest versions prior to updating to SearchWP 4.

SearchWP 4 has unlocked the potential for a number of new Extensions that will begin development over the coming months. If you have any ideas for Extensions you feel would help you out please be sure to share your idea!

SearchWP 3 going forward

SearchWP 3 will continue to be supported for a reasonable amount of time. Updating to SearchWP 4 is optional and not required. There is no set end of life date for SearchWP 3.

If you choose to update from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4 it is recommended that you first do so on a staging or development site to ensure functionality. Do not upgrade from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4 on a production server without testing on a staging or development server first.

Before updating to SearchWP 4 please read the Migration Guide in full.

Because updating from SearchWP 3 to SearchWP 4 is a manual process, you will need to download SearchWP 4 from your Account area (where a download link to SearchWP 3 will also be available) and then follow the instructions in the Migration Guide.

Note that updating to SearchWP 4 from SearchWP 3 does not automatically remove the data/settings/index for SearchWP 3* — you can revert to SearchWP 3 after updating to SearchWP 4 by removing SearchWP 4 and re-installing SearchWP 3.

* If you have ticked the checkbox on the Advanced tab of the SearchWP settings screen to remove all data on uninstallation your data will be removed when you Delete SearchWP 3

If after updating to SearchWP 4 you would like to fully and permanently remove the data/settings/index for SearchWP 3 you can use the SearchWP Legacy Data Removal Extension. This operation needs to be done only once and the Extension can be removed when you’re done.

This is a big release!

The release of SearchWP 4 marks the next chapter of SearchWP going forward. A special thank you goes out to all license holders since SearchWP’s initial release in 2013: your support has directly contributed to what SearchWP has become. WordPress desperately needs an effective search solution that doesn’t require that your data be copied to a remote service, and SearchWP strives to be that solution for you.

Throughout the development of SearchWP 4, a number of new ideas for further improvements and enhancements have made their way on to the road map. If you have ideas or suggestions by all means please submit them! SearchWP is a customer driven product that was originally built out of a very specific need to solve a particular problem in a direct way. As a product it has only gotten better since then by listening to customer suggestions. Thank you!

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