Relevanssi – A Better Search – WordPress plugin Free download

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Relevanssi – A Better Search


Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. You’ll get better results, better presentation of results – your users will thank you.

This is the free version of Relevanssi. There’s also Relevanssi Premium, which has added features. For more information about Premium, see

Do note that using Relevanssi may require large amounts (hundreds of megabytes) of database space (for a reasonable estimate, multiply the size of your wp_posts database table by three). If your hosting setup has a limited amount of space for database tables, using Relevanssi may cause problems. In those cases use of Relevanssi cannot be recommended.

Key features

Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
Multisite friendly.
bbPress support.

Advanced features

Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
Index the contents of shortcodes.
Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
Support for WPML multi-language plugin and Polylang.
Support for s2member membership plugin, Members, Groups and Simple Membership.
Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

Premium features (only in Relevanssi Premium)

Indexing attachment content (PDF, Office, Open Office).
Improved spelling correction in “Did you mean?” suggestions.
Searching across multiple sites in the same multisite installation.
Search and index user profiles.
Search and index taxonomy term pages (categories, tags, custom taxonomies).
Search and index arbitrary columns in wp_posts MySQL table.
Assign weights to any post types and taxonomies.
Assign extra weight to new posts.
Let the user choose between AND and OR searches, use + and – operator (AND and NOT).
Highlighting search terms for visitors from external search engines.
Export and import settings.
WP CLI commands.
Related posts.

Relevanssi in Facebook

You can find Relevanssi in Facebook.


Cristian Damm for tag indexing, comment indexing, post/page exclusion and general helpfulness.
Marcus Dalgren for UTF-8 fixing.
Warren Tape for 2.5.5 fixes.
Mohib Ebrahim for relentless bug hunting.
John Calahan for extensive 4.0 beta testing.


Overview page
Indexing settings
Searching settings
Logging settings
Excerpts and highlights
Synonym settings
Stopword settings


Install the plugin from the WordPress plugin screen.
Activate the plugin.
Go to the plugin settings page and build the index following the instructions there.
That’s it!

Relevanssi uses the standard search form and doesn’t usually need any changes in the search results template.

If the search does not bring any results, your theme probably has a query_posts() call in the search results template. That throws Relevanssi off. For more information, see The most important Relevanssi debugging trick.


To uninstall the plugin remove the plugin using the normal WordPress plugin management tools (from the Plugins page, first Deactivate, then Delete). If you remove the plugin files manually, the database tables and options will remain.


Knowledge Base

You can find solutions and answers at the Relevanssi Knowledge Base.

Contextual help

Answers to many common problems can be found from the contextual menu. Just click “Help” in the top right corner of your WordPress admin dashboard on the Relevanssi settings page.

Relevanssi doesn’t work

If you the results don’t change after installing and activating Relevanssi, the most likely reason is that you have a call to query_posts() on your search results template. This confuses Relevanssi. Try removing the query_posts() call and see what happens.

Searching for words with ampersands or hyphens doesn’t work

Please read Words with punctuation can’t be found. This is a Relevanssi feature, but you can fix it from Relevanssi indexing settings.

Where are the user search logs?

See the top of the admin menu. There’s ‘User searches’.

Displaying the relevance score

Relevanssi stores the relevance score it uses to sort results in the $post variable. Just add something like

echo $post->relevance_score

to your search results template inside a PHP code block to display the relevance score.

Did you mean? suggestions

Relevanssi offers Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions. See “Did you mean” suggestions in the Knowledge Base for more details.

What is tf * idf weighing?

It’s the basic weighing scheme used in information retrieval. Tf stands for term frequency while idf is inverted document frequency. Term frequency is simply the number of times the term appears in a document, while document frequency is the number of documents in the database where the term appears.

Thus, the weight of the word for a document increases the more often it appears in the document and the less often it appears in other documents.

What are stop words?

Each document database is full of useless words. All the little words that appear in just about every document are completely useless for information retrieval purposes. Basically, their inverted document frequency is really low, so they never have much power in matching. Also, removing those words helps to make the index smaller and searching faster.


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