Native WordPress Search will only consider entry Title, Content, and Excerpt when it finds results. Limiting search results to those three attributes means that your site visitors are likely not finding the content they’re looking for.
With plugins like Advanced Custom Fields having well over 1 million active installs it’s no secret that a lot of valuable search terms are being ignored by WordPress native search.
SearchWP integrates with any plugin that stores data using Custom Fields (post meta) including:
- Advanced Custom Fields (free and Pro)
- Meta Box and MB Custom Table data (see Meta Box Integration)
- Custom Field Suite
- and many more (probably the one you’re using)!
Taxonomy terms (Categories, Tags) also make excellent search keywords and can likely be considered to have more search relevance than content keywords because terms are meant to represent the entry as a whole.
SearchWP considers Custom Fields and Taxonomy Terms when performing searches. You can pick/choose which Custom Fields and Taxonomies make sense to search, and give each its own relevance weight.
Note that SearchWP works like you do: there’s an option to use ‘Any Custom Field’ as a single attribute, allowing you to consider content entered in any custom field for that entry. You can also opt to give more weight to Tags over Categories if your Tags usually have more pointed terms than Categories which are usually a bit more generic.
Find out more
There is much more to explain about how SearchWP finds more relevant results than native WordPress search. Here is some additional documentation to check out: