This Documentation is for SearchWP Version 3

Attention WP Engine Customers (no results, LONG QUERY, KILLED QUERY notices)

Please note: SearchWP works great on WP Engine, but you may need to disable their query governor. Details below.

Final Update I have been in touch with the WP Engine development team and they suggest that you disable the query governor so as to not interfere with SearchWP’s performance. You can do that by adding the following to your site’s wp-config.php:

define( 'WPE_GOVERNOR', false );

The following content is left in tact merely for posterity, please see the FINAL UPDATE above.

Update April 7, 2015: I’ve received a couple of support tickets recently from WP Engine customers indicating that the SQL governor is still preventing SearchWP from working properly; I will reach out to WP Engine again.

Update January 20, 2015: I’ve been in touch with Jason at WP Engine and we are collaborating on a hopeful solution!

Update January 11, 2015: No response from WP Engine after trying to schedule a discussion

Update October 28, 2014: Attempted to contact WP Engine again but have received no reply, no update since May 6, 2014

Update September 2, 2014: Still no word from WP Engine on this issue since May 6, 2014

Update July 15, 2014: Still no word from WP Engine on this issue since May 6, 2014

Update June 25, 2014: I have not heard from WP Engine on this issue since May 6, 2014

Update May 26, 2014: I have not heard from WP Engine since the last update where they requested I update this thread.

Update May 6, 2014: I’ve been in contact with WP Engine over the past couple of weeks and am now in the queue to speak with their engineering team about the specifics of SearchWP on their platform. I’ve touched base with a number of engineers to date, but do not yet have a resolution. I can only imagine it will take a bit more time to work through the details as I can’t assume the WP Engine engineers have a ton of time to review plugins like SearchWP in conjunction with their day-to-day duties, but I’m happy to say that the conversation is in progress.

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If you use WPEngine for hosting, it’s important to know that they have applied a blanket limit to the length of MySQL queries. They do this for good reason on their platform: some plugins/themes run really long queries that are not optimized and therefore slow down WPEngine’s shared environment as a whole, which is a problem for their customers. WPEngine has chosen to classify the character length of a query to determine whether it has been optimized. SearchWP’s queries have been optimized, but they are actually quite long if you’ve looked under the hood. So long in fact they sometimes trigger WPEngine’s KILLED QUERY limit, returning no results. This is a problem I am trying to discuss further with WPEngine but to date have made no progress.

You can restore SearchWP’s behavior, however.


WPEngine has introduced this limit to protect themselves and provide a better service for their customers. While you can disable this limit, please know that it is disabled for your entire site, not just SearchWP. Other plugins/themes will also be unrestricted by this limit.

To prevent LONG QUERY and KILLED QUERY limitations in WPEngine, you can add the following to your wp-config.php between # WP Engine Settings and # That’s It. Pencils down:

define( 'WPE_GOVERNOR', false );

Again, it cannot be stressed enough that this is not an all-encompassing solution, and I might suggest reaching out to WPEngine directly prior to making this change.