Checklist for searching problems

When you can’t find the results you want in the search, go through this list of common problems:

Is your search term long enough?

Relevanssi, by default, doesn’t index words that are shorter than three letters. Most punctuation gets removed, so if you’re searching for “40+”, that becomes “40”, which is too short.

Solution: Adjust the minimum word length from Settings > Relevanssi > Indexing > Advanced indexing options. Rebuild the index afterwards.

Are you searching for a stopword?

Searching for stopwords won’t find any results.

Solution: Remove the word from the stopword list at Settings > Relevanssi > Stopwords. Rebuild the index afterwards.

Is the post indexed correctly?

Look at the post you expect to find with the Relevanssi debugger at Settings > Relevanssi > Debugging. Does the word appear there?

If the word appears there, the problem is somewhere else. If the post is not indexed right, it’s time to figure out why. An excellent place to start is to look at the Relevanssi indexing settings.

Is the search using Relevanssi?

Try searching with the Relevanssi admin search at Dashboard > Admin search. Does that search find the results? If it does, your front-end search is not using Relevanssi. If it doesn’t, keep on digging.

Are there unwanted filters in the search query?

The best way to find out is by using Query Monitor to debug the query Relevanssi makes.

The main search works; the live search doesn’t

The live search is not using Relevanssi. That’s not unusual, as sometimes the live search is hardcoded to use the default WP search. The fix may be simple or complicated, depending on how the theme does the live search.

If you are using Flatsome, see these instructions.

Plurals are not working.

First of all, Relevanssi does not understand any language. Relevanssi doesn’t know that “hamster” and “hamsters” are the same word in different forms. Searching for “hamster” will also return posts with “hamsters” if you enable partial matching. However, it doesn’t work the other way. Searching for “hamsters” will not return posts with “hamster”.

The best solution for handling plurals (and other non-basic word forms) is to use the Relevanssi Snowball Stemmer. It supports multiple languages and stems the words to their basic form.

I’ve migrated my site; I can’t search, and indexing doesn’t work.

The migration probably didn’t include the wp_relevanssi database table Relevanssi requires. The easiest way to get that table back is to add this to your site:

relevanssi_create_database_tables( 0 );

Reload your admin dashboard, then remove this line. Doing this should restore the Relevanssi tables.

In multisite search, permalinks don’t work.

Multisite searching requires changes to the search results template. Otherwise, permalinks to different subsites don’t work. You can find the instructions here.

Contact support

If none of this help, contact Relevanssi support. If you use the free version of Relevanssi, please post your question to the support forums. If you are a Premium Member, you can use Premium support.

Please describe the steps you’ve already taken to determine what’s wrong in both cases.