Feature WordPress search Relevanssi Free Relevanssi Premium
Easy to install X X X
Index is updated automatically X X X
Newest posts first X X X
Best results first X X X
Search posts and pages X X X
Search comments and comment authors X X
Search post categories, tags and custom taxonomies X X
Search custom fields X X
Search shortcode content X X
Search post excerpts X X
Include user profiles in search results X
Index PDF content X
Indexing DOC, ODT, RTF, ePub… content X
Include taxonomy terms in search results X
Search arbitrary MySQL columns in wp_posts X
Show “Did you mean” suggestions x X
Search results show and highlight the matches X X
Posts highlight the search term matches X X
Exclude posts, pages, tags or categories from search X X
Use fuzzy matching to make getting hits easier X X
Choose between AND and OR operator in search X X
Change the operator on the fly if necessary X
Use the NOT operator to exclude search terms X
Adjust the weight of post content, titles and comments X X
Adjust weights by post type X
Adjust weights by taxonomy X
Adjust weights by post date X
Adjust weights manually with a filter hook X X
Log user queries X X
Use stop words to make search better X X
Expand queries with synonyms X X
WPML and Polylang integration X X
WordPress Multisite support * X
Throttling to make searches perform better on big databases X X
Export / import settings X
WP CLI support X
Guaranteed support from Mikko X
Have sticky posts in searches based on search term X

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Multisite support

Relevanssi Premium can be installed as a network plugin, making it available to all sites in the network. It is possible to search multiple sites in the network. There are some limitations to the multisite searching: not all the search filtering methods that can be used in single-site searches are available for multisite searches, and in large networks there may be performance issues.

Multisite searches do not work in the free version of Relevanssi. Free Relevanssi can’t be used on more than one site in a multisite network.

WooCommerce support

Relevanssi works well with WooCommerce and can search SKUs and all other product data and handle product variations in different ways according to your needs. Read our WooCommerce manual and see all WooCommerce-related articles in our Knowledge Base.

bbPress support

Relevanssi works with bbPress to some extent. Relevanssi can index the bbPress custom post types. Note that bbPress post types are by default set to be excluded from the search, so you need to uncheck the “Respect exclude_from_search” option. Also read this KB entry on Relevanssi and bbPress for useful tips.

Based on my earlier experience there have been some problems with Relevanssi and bbPress with some themes, but later tests seem to show the combo works better. So, no guarantees here, but it looks like Relevanssi does work with bbPress at the moment.

Features Relevanssi doesn’t have

As great as Relevanssi is, there are some things it doesn’t do. Here’s a quick list of the features people most often ask for but which Relevanssi doesn’t offer.

  • Relevanssi can’t search content that is stored outside the wp_posts database (except for user profiles and taxonomy term pages). If the content is in wp_posts as a custom post type, it can be searched, otherwise it’s not possible.
  • Relevanssi doesn’t do complex Boolean logic. You can choose whether to use AND or OR operator for the whole query and there are NOT and AND operators for search terms, but Relevanssi doesn’t support complex faceted queries like (cats OR tigers OR lions) AND (pumas OR cougars) NOT dogs.
  • Relevanssi doesn’t have live search suggestions as the user types. SearchWP Live Ajax Search does, and works splendidly with Relevanssi.
  • These plugins are known to be incompatible with Relevanssi.

If you need more features

If Relevanssi Premium doesn’t suit your needs, there are plenty of interesting options available. We would suggest you look into Apache Solr, Elasticsearch, Algolia, AddSearch or Swiftype.