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Accessing information via the Internet is a regular task performed by people around the world and websites that include good search function capabilities provide a good user experience for their site visitors.
It is important that your visitors are able to efficiently find what they need on your website, so a well-functioning search is essential. If you’re not sure whether to stick with WordPress Search vs. Google Custom Search, consider this comparison between the two:
The core default search feature within WordPress is basic and simple to use, making it workable for smaller scaled websites. The basic search functionality enables site visitors to type in what they are looking for and after doing so, they are quickly presented with search results.
WordPress search results are arranged using the structure: full sentence matches from posting titles, all search terms which are present in the posting titles, any but not all search terms are present in the posting titles and lastly, full sentence matches within posting content. These search result groups are then filtered using publication dates or chronology.
While WordPress search has its limitations, it does provide a number of solutions that you can implement to improve the default search engine functionality. One significant limitation is that PDF content is not indexed in the search, so only titles are searchable, which limits the searchability of your PDF resources.
Google Custom Search
If you think your new website will need a more global approach to your website search function, then Google custom search may be the perfect solution. Two helpful features Google custom search can offer websites is the fact that it enables you to design a search engine that can produce search capabilities for multiple sites, not just one, and secondly, it provides you the ability to further customize the Google search so that it can direct search to certain websites, prioritize websites or even exclude specific websites altogether. It also allows PDF content to be indexed in the search, which the WordPress search does not. So, if it is important that the content of PDF resources is searchable, Google Custom Search may be the best solution.
Google Custom Search results are also indexed for public search on Google, which is great for reaching a larger audience, but if your site has member-restricted content, this may not be ideal. As well, newly added content is only searchable once it has been indexed by Google, so your website search will not be up to date with new posts until this has happened, which can take weeks to be completed. Therefore, if you are adding new content to your site regularly, and need it to be searchable quickly, the delay may be a significant problem.
After doing a comparison of WordPress Search vs. Google Custom Search, you will gain a better understanding on which one will work best for your website(s). An experienced WordPress developer will be able to help you decide which option is best suited to your particular needs.