If you want your guests to be able to search your site, there are a couple of options available. You can set up a Google Custom Search or a DuckDuckGo search box for your page. Both can be set up to search more than one website, but neither looks especially good without hacking the CSS and DuckDuckGo is only fully reliable when searching a single website.
If you don't mind advertisements above your search results, Freefind and SiteLevel Basic are both very good, both are customisable with Freesearch being highly configurable.
The problem with all of the above solutions is that you have no control over the regularity with which your site is trawled for fresh data, although with Freesearch, you can log in to your control panel and refresh the index manually.
There are a couple of RapidWeaver stacks which will place a searchbox on your web page – one of those is Live Search
from 1LD. Live Search just underwent a massive overhaul and now delivers reliable and highly professional looking results that match your site's theme perfectly.
First and foremost, Live Search
will carry out a private
search of your website, without involving external search engines. Hence, your search is not tracked and no advertisements will be displayed.
If you drop a Live Search
stack into your RW project, you can publish the page[s] and forget it. No setup is necessary whatsoever; there is no PHP support needed and no database to set up. Once you've published your page, you can search your site immediately. It's that simple.
It will take a couple of seconds for the initial load, but that is to be expected.
The simplicity doesn't, however, mean that Live Search
is not customisable. It is, in fact, as highly customisable as Freesearch, if not more so.
Search Bar Options
Show Suggested Search Terms; Allow Autocomplete
If you click the third option, Customise Appearance, you can then set the Border Radius; the Input Font; the Input Font Size and the colours of the Background; Border; Input Text and the Placeholder. And you can disable the Search Icon.
Search Result Options
Results per Page; Word Count; Open Links in New Window and Show File Path.
If you click Customise Appearance, you have the option of four different Themes — These allow you to choose between two display styles for the search results that either load as a pop up or load directly into a container that you declare. The Embedded options allow you to place the search bar in a sidebar or elsewhere, but have the results display in a container of your choice within the main content. There are also Four different colours for the Focus Overlay in addition to the Title Font and Font Size; the Text Font and Size and the Text Line Height. Then you will find options to set the colour for the Background; Text; Page Titles; Page Tiltles Hover and Term Highlight.
I'm not going to list all the options here; suffice it to say that you can alter all text and error messages to the language of your choice. Then there is an option to Search Additional Pages for pages not included in the menu bar. Additionally you can click Search These Pages Only.
There is the option Hide Description Terms, which will allow you to add a list of words that will not be searched for.
Finally there is an option to Declare Search Container, which will allow you to enter the ID of a specific container to search instead of a search of whole pages. Only one container may be added here, so make sure that you have set all of the containers that you want Live Search
h to look at to the same ID.
If you don't want a specific page to be searched, you can add <!--NOSEARCH--> to the page prefix and the page will be excluded from the search results. Similarly, if you have text areas that should be exluded, you can add the code before and after that text. Snippets are provided with the stack.
While Live Search
will not function in Preview mode – it must be published before it can index your pages – the changes that you make in the stack settings panel are displayed on RW's Edit page, so that you know exactly what your results will look like before you publish.
I have recently tested a number of different search engines and have come to the conclusion that for a private search of a single website i.e. a search that is not tracked by a corporation and is plastered with 'relevent' ads, Live Search
is the ideal solution that has the added plus that it is easily and fully customisable.