Searching on WordPress Blogs Part 2

by Martin Malden

Well – I have to eat my own words. Back here I wrote a post about how I improved the search functionality on this blog by searching for and adding a new plugin.

In that post I was critical of Google Custom Search.

Recently that plugin that I eventually installed was updated, a move which led to a series of problems. For me, at any rate.

And it didn’t take too long before I started looking for an alternative search solution.

Thesis comes with the Google Custom Search widget as part of the package so I decided to revisit the Google solution and try it again, from scratch.

So I hopped over to Google and set up my search engine. This time, though, I took a different route.

Instead of asking it to display the search results on a page on my blog I set it to display the results on a page hosted by Google.

I also moved my sitemap from my ‘blog’ directory to the root directory.

I then re-indexed my site and generated the code from Google, which I copied into my Google Custom Search widget.

And, as if by magic, it works brilliantly. Better than the plugin I was using before. Much better.

So now the search function on this site is powered by Google, and I’ve had to eat my previous words.

But don’t think I’m becoming soft on Google: they’ve translated my Google Friend Connect gadget into Chinese and don’t provide any way of allowing me to change it back.

Looks like another plugin/gadget/widget is about to bite the dust.

Update – 8th August, 2011

If you’re keen to try Google Custom Search I wrote a step-by-step process for setting it up and installing it on your site. You can find it here.

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