A powerful search tool can boost your site's usability. The built-in search in WordPress doesn't really give that. Fortunately, there's Relevanssi.

An analyst interviewed me yesterday about our iPhone localization system. She asked what are the most popular languages to localize iPhone apps.

That's easy! I'll just find you the blog post I've written about this a few months ago. Unfortunately, the search box didn't return that post (at least not in the first few pages). I had to search Google for icanlocalize popular iphone localization languages to find my post on my site.

This sucks!

Basic WordPress search lists results according to date. Recent posts come first and older ones follow. If the best result is an older post, it will be buried under more recent entries.

Relevanssi (author site) fixes that by ordering the results according to relevancy. Once you activate Relevanssi, it replaces the standard WordPress search and improves your site's usability.

Besides an accurate search algorithm, Relevanssi also presents search results much nicer. You can set custom excerpts that show the part of the post that matches to the query, with the search terms highlighted.

As of version 2.7.2, Relevanssi is fully compatible with WPML. Mikko, the author, added a small piece of code that checks if WPML is enabled. If so, it filters the search results according to the current language.

When you search from an English page, the search results will be in English. From a Spanish page, the search results will be in Spanish.

Now that we're using Relevanssi, search works beautifully. Try it and see: