Relevanssi – A Better Search


Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. You’ll get better results, better presentation of results – your users will thank you.

This is the free version of Relevanssi. There’s also Relevanssi Premium, which has added features. For more information about Premium, see

Do note that using Relevanssi may require large amounts (hundreds of megabytes) of database space. If your hosting setup has a limited amount of space for database tables, using Relevanssi may cause problems. In those cases use of Relevanssi cannot be recommended.

Key features

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
  • Multisite friendly.
  • bbPress support.

Advanced features

  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Support for WPML multi-language plugin and Polylang.
  • Support for s2member membership plugin, Members, Groups and Simple Membership.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
  • Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
  • Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

Premium features (only in Relevanssi Premium)

  • Indexing attachment content (PDF, Office, Open Office).
  • Improved spelling correction in “Did you mean?” suggestions.
  • Searching across multiple sites in the same multisite installation.
  • Search and index user profiles.
  • Search and index taxonomy term pages (categories, tags, custom taxonomies).
  • Search and index arbitrary columns in wp_posts MySQL table.
  • Assign weights to any post types and taxonomies.
  • Assign extra weight to new posts.
  • Let the user choose between AND and OR searches, use + and – operator (AND and NOT).
  • Highlighting search terms for visitors from external search engines.
  • Export and import settings.
  • WP CLI commands.

Relevanssi in Facebook

You can find Relevanssi in Facebook.


  • Cristian Damm for tag indexing, comment indexing, post/page exclusion and general helpfulness.
  • Marcus Dalgren for UTF-8 fixing.
  • Warren Tape for 2.5.5 fixes.
  • Mohib Ebrahim for relentless bug hunting.
  • John Calahan for extensive 4.0 beta testing.


  • Overview page
  • Indexing settings
  • Searching settings
  • Logging settings
  • Excerpts and highlights
  • Synonym settings
  • Stopword settings


  1. Install the plugin from the WordPress plugin screen.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Go to the plugin settings page and build the index following the instructions there.
  4. That’s it!

Relevanssi uses the standard search form and doesn’t usually need any changes in the search results template.

If the search does not bring any results, your theme probably has a query_posts() call in the search results template. That throws Relevanssi off. For more information, see The most important Relevanssi debugging trick.


To uninstall the plugin remove the plugin using the normal WordPress plugin management tools (from the Plugins page, first Deactivate, then Delete). If you remove the plugin files manually, the database tables and options will remain.

Preguntas frecuentes

Knowledge Base

You can find solutions and answers at the Relevanssi Knowledge Base.

Contextual help

Answers to many common problems can be found from the contextual menu. Just click “Help” in the top right corner of your WordPress admin dashboard on the Relevanssi settings page.

Relevanssi doesn’t work

If you the results don’t change after installing and activating Relevanssi, the most likely reason is that you have a call to query_posts() on your search results template. This confuses Relevanssi. Try removing the query_posts() call and see what happens.

Searching for words with ampersands or hyphens doesn’t work

Please read Words with punctuation can’t be found. This is a Relevanssi feature, but you can fix it from Relevanssi indexing settings.

Where are the user search logs?

See the top of the admin menu. There’s ‘User searches’.

Displaying the relevance score

Relevanssi stores the relevance score it uses to sort results in the $post variable. Just add something like

echo $post->relevance_score

to your search results template inside a PHP code block to display the relevance score.

Did you mean? suggestions

Relevanssi offers Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions. See “Did you mean” suggestions in the Knowledge Base for more details.

What is tf * idf weighing?

It’s the basic weighing scheme used in information retrieval. Tf stands for term frequency while idf is inverted document frequency. Term frequency is simply the number of times the term appears in a document, while document frequency is the number of documents in the database where the term appears.

Thus, the weight of the word for a document increases the more often it appears in the document and the less often it appears in other documents.

What are stop words?

Each document database is full of useless words. All the little words that appear in just about every document are completely useless for information retrieval purposes. Basically, their inverted document frequency is really low, so they never have much power in matching. Also, removing those words helps to make the index smaller and searching faster.


Cannot Make Any Use of It

I am using Divi and the Divi Builder to create a product site. The product site has a Documentation section. Each topic in the Documentation is implemented as a WordPress page. Each page includes a navigation, the body of information and a search form. The navigation and search form are implemented as Divi Global modules, which get inserted on every page.

Relevanssi keeps picking up the content in the navigation tree as valid page content. Since the navigation is inserted on EVERY page, this completely futilizes the search feature.

I tried to remove the navigation; rebuilt the index; deactivated and reactivated the Relevanssi plugin. NO LUCK. Relevanssi keeps bringing results with excerpts of the navigation tree, despite the fact the THE CONTENT IS NOT THERE ANYMORE. I even manually emptied the “relevanssi” table; as soon as I rebuilt the index, the “phantom” content was back.

I do not recommend this plugin. It wasted a lot of my time and effort.

Excelent technical support

The best search plugin in wordpress and also a great attention by the technical service that helped me solve a complicated problem on my website. Thanks Mikko.

Really functional!

Great support from the author.
Compatible with native theme functions.
It can be expanded with filters and functions.
Supports custom posts.

I just have to thank

Leer todas las 213 reseñas

Colaboradores y desarrolladores

“Relevanssi – A Better Search” es un software de código abierto. Las siguientes personas han colaborado con este plugin.


“Relevanssi – A Better Search” ha sido traducido a 6 idiomas. Gracias a los traductores por sus contribuciones.

Traduce “Relevanssi – A Better Search” a tu idioma.

¿Interesado en el desarrollo?

Revisa el código , echa un vistazo al repositorio SVN , o suscríbete al log de desarrollo por RSS .

Registro de cambios

  • Actually working admin search.


  • New feature: You can now export the search log as a CSV file.
  • New feature: Admin Search page allows you to perform searches in WP admin using Relevanssi.
  • New filter: relevanssi_admin_search_capability can be used to adjust who sees the admin search page.
  • New filter: relevanssi_entities_inside_pre and relevanssi_entities_inside_code adjust how HTML entities are handled inside pre and code tags.
  • Numeric meta values (meta_value_num) are now sorted as numbers and not strings.
  • Pinned posts have $post->relevanssi_pinned set to 1 for debugging purposes, but you can also use this for styling the posts in the search results templates.
  • The Did you mean feature has been toned down a bit, to make the suggestions slightly less weird in some cases.
  • Post parent parameters now accept 0 as a value, making it easier to search for children of any post or posts without a parent.
  • Polylang compatibility has been improved.
  • Phrases with apostrophes inside work better.
  • The relevanssi_excerpt filter hook got a second parameter that holds the post ID.
  • Custom field sorting actually works now.
  • WP Search Suggest compatibility added.


  • Home page links were getting the highlight parameter even though they shouldn’t. This has been fixed.
  • Added support for WP JV Post Reading Groups.
  • Improved handling of HTML entities.
  • Events Made Easy Calendar shortcodes are now removed when building excerpts.
  • set_time_limit() was removed from the indexing; it’s no longer necessary, and it can break the indexing on sites that don’t allow the use of the function.
  • relevanssi_post_title_before_tokenize filter was moved a bit so that it’s the last thing that runs before tokenizing.
  • Disabled shortcodes are handled better in the indexing: the shortcode names won’t be indexed anymore like they were before.
  • Made sure there won’t be a warning for non-numeric values when searching.
  • New filter: relevanssi_clean_excerpt lets you remove unwanted highlights from excerpts.
  • Highlighting works better with pre and code tags.
  • New filter: relevanssi_comment_author_to_index lets you filter comment author names before indexing.
  • relevanssi_comment_content_to_index doesn’t include the comment author name anymore.

  • The privacy features caused an error notice with certain Relevanssi configurations, and the plugin required WP 4.9.6.


  • Privacy: If you log search queries, Relevanssi will suggest some additional content to your privacy policy page.
  • Privacy: Relevanssi now supports the new Privacy Policy and Personal Data tools in WordPress 4.9.6.
  • Saving synonyms with quotes worked, but the synonyms showed up wrong.
  • Relevanssi could in some situations override navigation menu links with links to the user profiles or taxonomy terms found in the search. This update fixes that behaviour.
  • Random order works again; using orderby rand didn’t work properly. The rand(seed) format is also supported now.
  • Fixed quotes and apostrophes in Did you mean suggestions.