How Relevanssi works compared to the default WordPress search?

5 stars rating reviews for WPSOLR search plugin

Table of Contents


In the vast digital landscape, finding relevant information quickly and efficiently is crucial for a seamless user experience. The default search functionality in WordPress may fall short when it comes to delivering accurate results. Fortunately, there are plugins like Relevanssi that aim to enhance the search experience for WordPress users. Relevanssi is a powerful search plugin that offers advanced features, indexing capabilities, and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to improve the search functionality on WordPress websites. In this article, we will explore how Relevanssi outperforms the default WordPress search, delve into its technical details, examine its popularity among websites, highlight its best features, identify missing features, and discuss any potential performance issues.


How Relevanssi Helps Compared to the Default WordPress Search

The default search functionality in WordPress uses a simple keyword matching approach, which often leads to subpar search results. Relevanssi, on the other hand, significantly improves the search experience by providing the following advantages:

1. Better Relevance: Relevanssi employs a relevance-ranking algorithm that takes into account factors such as keyword proximity, partial word matches, and term weighting. This ensures that the most relevant results appear at the top of the search results.

2. Full-text Searching: While the default WordPress search searches only post titles and content, Relevanssi extends the search to custom fields, taxonomy terms, and even PDF content, if configured properly. This allows for more comprehensive and accurate searches.

3. Phrase Searching: Relevanssi supports phrase searching, meaning users can search for exact phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. This is particularly useful when looking for specific phrases or product names.

4. Fuzzy Matching: Relevanssi employs fuzzy matching to account for misspellings or variations of search terms, ensuring that users still receive relevant results even if they mistype a word.

5. Stopword Handling: Relevanssi allows customization of stopwords, words that are typically ignored in search queries. This feature ensures that common words like “and,” “the,” or “is” are taken into account when searching, improving search accuracy.


Technical Details and NLP Capabilities

Behind the scenes, Relevanssi employs robust indexing and NLP capabilities to enhance the search functionality:

1. Indexing: Relevanssi creates an index of the WordPress database, enabling faster and more efficient searches. The plugin can index post titles, content, custom fields, taxonomy terms, and even shortcodes, depending on the configuration.

2. Stemming and Lemmatization: Relevanssi applies stemming and lemmatization techniques to recognize word variations and reduce them to their root form. This helps ensure that searching for “run,” “running,” or “ran” will yield the same results.

3. Synonym Support: Relevanssi allows the configuration of synonyms, enabling users to search for related terms and receive relevant results. For example, searching for “automobile” could also retrieve results for “car.”

4. Phrases and Proximity Searching: Relevanssi supports searching for phrases and considers the proximity of words to further refine search results. This is particularly useful when users are looking for specific combinations of words.


Websites Using the Relevanssi Plugin

Relevanssi has gained popularity among a wide range of WordPress websites, including:

1. E-commerce Websites: Online stores benefit from Relevanssi’s improved search capabilities, enabling shoppers to find products quickly and easily.

2. News and Magazine Websites: Relevanssi helps news websites deliver relevant articles to their readers, ensuring a seamless browsing experience.

3. Educational Websites: Educational platforms can leverage Relevanssi to enhance search functionality for courses, resources, and other educational content.

4. Corporate Websites: Relevanssi aids corporate websites in providing accurate search results for their product catalogs, documentation, or knowledge bases.

5. Blogs and Content Websites: Relevanssi ensures that readers can easily discover relevant articles, blog posts, or other content on WordPress blogs and content-rich websites.


10 Best Features of Relevanssi

1. Relevance-ranking algorithm for improved search accuracy.
2. Full-text searching in post content, titles, custom fields, and more.
3. Phrase searching for exact matches.
4. Fuzzy matching for handling misspellings.
5. Customizable stopwords handling for better search precision.
6. Indexing of PDF content, enabling search within PDF files.
7. Stemming and lemmatization for recognizing word variations.
8. Synonym support to retrieve related results.
9. Phrases and proximity searching for refined results.
10. Integration with popular plugins like WooCommerce, bbPress, and Advanced Custom Fields.


10 Missing Features of Relevanssi

1. Multilingual search support out of the box.
2. Real-time indexing for immediate updates.
3. Faceted search to refine search results based on categories, tags, or custom taxonomies.
4. Support for searching within comments.
5. Advanced filtering options based on custom fields or metadata.
6. Voice search capabilities.
7. Automatic suggestions or autocomplete for search queries.
8. Search analytics and reporting.
9. Integration with external search providers like Elasticsearch or Algolia.
10. Enhanced search UI customization options.


Performance Issues

While Relevanssi significantly enhances the search functionality on WordPress, there can be potential performance considerations:

1. Database Size: Large databases with numerous posts and custom fields can increase the indexing time and affect search performance. Regular optimization of the database can help mitigate this.

2. Resource Consumption: Relevanssi’s indexing process and advanced search features may consume more server resources, especially on shared hosting environments. Consideration of hosting resources and caching mechanisms can help maintain optimal performance.


Relevanssi is a powerful search plugin that offers advanced features, indexing capabilities, and NLP techniques to greatly improve the search experience on WordPress websites. Compared to the default WordPress search, Relevanssi provides better relevance, full-text searching, phrase searching, and fuzzy matching, among many other features. While Relevanssi has gained popularity among various websites, it does have a few missing features such as multilingual search support and real-time indexing. However, its overall performance is commendable, with only potential concerns related to database size and resource consumption. With Relevanssi, WordPress users can provide their visitors with a more accurate and efficient search experience, leading to increased user satisfaction and engagement.

Read more related content