In the WordPress ecosystem, there are a lot of plugins, a lot of them are up-to-date, let say 50%. As a kind of game, I’ve got all of working plugins in a private directory. Working means that either people says the plugin works for the last version of WordPress, either the plugin is tagged as working by the author.
As it have more than 9,500 registered posts, some pages and custom post types, this directory was for me a very interesting posts database, which helped me when I tested plugins for search, and when I built WP-ISE.
Installation / Settings
Installing a plugin in WordPress is really easy, so we do not speak about install process itself, but about post-activation / before use process.
While WP-ISE works well out of the box without any special settings, the other plugins require an indexing of the site. If indexing with WP-Search2 was easy and without any issue, even if it took time, Relevanssi didn’t performed the transaction in a single shot. WP-Search also asked me write permissions for two sub-directories before indexing. Not so hard, but require to perform some tasks on FTP too.
I will not give you results for each plugin I tested, but here are 3 screenshots of search results page for the terms: contact form 7 with 2 well known search plugins (even better than WordPress default search engine), and of course with WP-ISE. Note that this directory is not regularly maintained, so they can be some differences between version displayed on screenshots and actual official WordPress plugins directory.
First screenshot is WP Search 2 results first page. Second one is the same page, with Relevanssi free edition. Last screenshot is for WP-ISE.
I let you assess results, and choose which plugin you want to install on your own website. Just a single comment: WP-ISE is the single plugin having contact form 7 plugin in it first results page, in pole position.
By the way, I do not say that my plugin is perfect. I do not say that it is the best in all circumstances. Those 3 plugins are free, or at least have a free version. So, try by yourself on your own dataset, and choose the one that fits your needs…