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Top 10 Joomla search extensions in 2020

Top 10 Joomla search extensions in 2020

Imagine you’ve written a great article, but no one can find it among the bolstering amount of content on your site. That wouldn’t be ideal, would it?

The Joomla search function comes to the rescue here, allowing users to pinpoint content quickly and conveniently

This article will show you how to create a search module on your Joomla site. It will also introduce the top-rated Joomla search extensions - all of which are highly recommended by users from the official Joomla library. 

Table of contents

The best Joomla search extensions

How to create & display search bar in Joomla

Summary

The best Joomla search extensions 

The default Joomla search function has limited settings and might not be optimal for users trawling through larger websites. 

Therefore, to improve user experience and maximize the search abilities on sites, you can use Joomla smart search or and a Joomla search extension.

We have created the list of top search extensions for Joomla users as below:

1. Universal AJAX Live Search

This extension is a live search module that comes with a professional and responsive design. It provides four different themes with many options for skins and settings. You can use the flat, minimal, elegant, or simple theme.

With the finest animations, AJAX Live Search goes above and beyond what a simple search module usually does. 

Besides improving the search speed of the default Joomla search, AJAX Live Search also integrates many highlight features.Universal AJAX Live Search

Advantages:

  • High searching speed
  • Excellent Support
  • User-friendly interface

Main features:

  • Four fully-customized themes 
  • Shows images in the result list
  • Keyword suggestions from Google
  • Supports various 3rd-party components: K2, EasySocial, VirtueMart, JReviews, EasyBlog, Community Builder, Phoca Gallery, and more. 
  • Module configuration with custom layout & font
  • Fancy 3D animations
  • Compatible with Joomla! 2.5 & Joomla! 3.x

2. Geek Elasticsearch

Using the Elasticsearch engine, the Geek Elasticsearch extension is a highly scalable open-source module to index data and get the most relevant results. It easily analyzes large volumes of data for big websites.Geek ElasticSearch

Advantages:

  • Efficient support service
  • Easy to use
  • Informative documentation

Features:

  • Powered by leading search engine- RESTful. 
  • Real-time searching.
  • A powerful filter system to show search results by content type, categories, language, author or custom field of Joomla.
  • Supports location-based extensions such as EasySocial, JomSocial, JEvents, and more to narrow the result within a specific distance.
  • Supports 3rd party extensions like Virtuemart, Kunena, K2, and so on. 
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.x

3. Articles Good Search

Articles Good Search allows users to search for content from any pages with custom filing to get the most accurate result. The custom field includes various filters to search content by tag, category, date, author, and more.Articles Good SearchAdvantages:

  • Fast with excellent support
  • Easy to use

Main features:

  • Multi template modules
  • Display with table style filter or sidebar-style single-column search module
  • Responsive, columned or single column style
  • Provides two display modes for search results: Standard or AJAX
  • Multi-language support
  • Allows searching Joomla content, J2Store products and SP Page Builders
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.x & Joomla! 4 alpha 

4. aikon Floating Search

The aikon Floating Search extension allows search bars to appear in any part of your website. With a specially-designed interface, it is an effective search tool for both beginners and professionals. aikon Floating SearchAdvantages: 

  • Quick and helpful support
  • Easy to install and set up

Main features:

  • Two different themes
  • Works well with K2, Virtuemart, EasyBlog, COM_CONTENT, and more
  • Works well with Helix, T3, Gantry, Artisteer, Yootheme, Wrap, and more
  • Can be integrated with Joomla Smart Search
  • The auto-responsive module on mobile and tablet devices to present the best user experience.
  • Works perfectly on all the available browsers.
  • Auto set result page.
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.x

5. JiFile 

This is a very powerful and versatile software that will render many types of documents for Joomla sites. With JiFile, you can retrieve content from a vast amount of documents and index it.

Besides, users are able to search for articles within Joomla or even within your own files. JiFileAdvantages: 

  • Great support
  • Clear documentation

Main features:

  • Supports recovery of content
  • Index a wide range of formats: 
    • Microsoft Official types (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pptx)
    • Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf)
    • Web page (.htm, .html)
    • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg,.jpeg)
    • OpenOffice.org Writer (.odt)
    • OpenOffice.org Calc (.ods)
    • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
    • Tagged Image File Format (.tiff)
    • File di testo (.txt)
  • Optimized PDF indexing 
  • Compatible with Joomla!1.5,  Joomla! 2.5 & Joomla 3.x

6. BT Smart Search - Free

BT Smart Search allows users to search for content on Joomla with a variety of criteria. The highlight feature of this module is that you can specify a large number of search parameters to get your desired result.BT Smart SearchAdvantages:

  • Easy to use
  • Supportive forum 

Main features:

  • Fully responsive on smartphones, tablets and desktops
  • Provide both basic search option and advanced search option 
  • Variety of fields including category, language, region, author, and so on
  • Can change the search button’s position 
  • Supports different types of browsers: IE 8+, Firefox 10+, Safari 3+, Chrome 8+, Opera 9+
  • Detailed support documentation with PDF manual and video tutorials
  • Compatible with Joomla! 2.5 and Joomla! 3.0

7. Mijo Search

Mijo Search comes with great features like searching statistics, adding extra fields and supporting other Joomla search plugins. All the search results will be found instantly without storing, thus it will not slow down your site. MijoAdvantages:

  • Easy- to- use user interface

Main features:

  • Works well with AJAX Search and relevant search results (component & module)
  • Searching from both front-end and back-end
  • Support all 3rd party components
  • Compatible with Google Analytics Site Search
  • Advanced filters system with extra fields
  • Compatible with Joomla!1.5, 2.5 and 3.x

8. RSSearch! - Free

With the RSSearch extension, it is easy to find any content on Joomla. The main benefit of RSSearch is that it’s so easy to use. RSSearchAdvantages:

  • Excellent support
  • Simple to download and set up

Main features:

  • Displays search results on the same page
  • Uses RSSearch module to display search box anywhere on your site
  • Configure searching area separately to bring more relevant search results
  • Search from 3rd-party components like RSEvent!Pro, RSMembership!, K2, Kunena, Mosets Tree, Sobi2, and Virtuemart.
  • Multi-language support
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.x

9. OS PDF Indexer

With the OS PDF Indexer extension, all your PDF documents on-site will be indexed and can then be searched based on their content. PDF IndexAdvantages:

  • Easy to use

Main features:

  • Index all PDF documents and save their content into the database for searching
  • Save time by indexing all documents with one click
  • Search indexed documents via Joomla standard search
  • Scan for deleted documents and delete them from indexed database
  • Integrated with popular download extensions: EDocman
  • Index word documents
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.x

10. Minitek Live Search

Minitek Live Search is a cutting-edge and feature-rich search component that upgrades the AJAX Search System for Joomla sites.MinitekAdvantages:

  • User-friendly interface 
  • Useful documentation

Main features:

  • Search by:
    • Joomla articles and categories
    • K2 articles, categories, and authors
    • Jomsocial users, groups, events, albums, photos, and videos
    • Virtuemart products
    • FAQ Book Pro Questions and Topics
  • Customizable Layout
  • Compatible with Joomla! 3.9 or later (including Joomla 4 Alpha)

To create and display a search module on your Joomla site, you will need to go through these steps: 

  • Step 1: Enable the search plugin
  • Step 2: Turn on 'Gather search statistics' feature
  • Step 3: Display the search bar in frontend 

Step 1: Enable search plugin

The default Joomla site will not show the search bar on the frontend until you enable the search plugin and display it. 

To enable the search plugin:

  1. Go to Extensions -> Plugins 
  2. In the search bar, type “Search” 
  3. Enable the “Search - Content” plugin

Enable search pluginThere is a list of plugins that you can enable for search functions like searching for contacts, tags, categories, news feeds, or content. Depending on what you want from the search bar, you can enable extra plugins.

From this table, you also can see the Smart Search plugins, which integrate more advanced settings for the basic Joomla search.

Step 2: Turn on 'Gather search statistics' feature

If you want to store the Joomla site search results, you will need to enable the ‘Gather Search Statistics’ option. This can help you to store and analyze the site’s content as well as make improvements in the future.

Go to Components -> Search -> Options:Gather search statistic optionNow, the search results will show as the picture below once you go to Components -> SearchSearch term analysis

Step 3: Display the search bar in the frontend 

The default Joomla site allows users to show a search bar through a menu item or a module. 

Option1: Display through a module

Here’s how to display it through a module. 

1. Go to Extensions -> Modules

2. Select New to create a new module

3. In Modules (Site) screen, choose the Search module 4. Fill in the required information and select a position for the Search module. To easily find and select suitable module position, you can read the article Find Module and Module PositionSearch Module SettingTo illustrate this task, we have created a ‘search module’ which will be displayed at the Top [position 1]. Here’s how it looks in the front-end.Search bar in front-end

Option 2: Display through a menu item

Another way to display the search bar is through the menu item. Here’s how to do it. 

1. Go to Menus -> All Menu Items

2. In the ‘Menus: All menu items’ screen, select New

3. In the ‘Menu Item Type’ option, select Search -> Search Form or Search ResultsJoomla search module4. Fill in the required information - Menu Title and Select Menu.Menu item settingWhen you finish, create a search menu item, then go to front-end to see the result:Search bar in menu item

Summary

The search bar is an invaluable function for your Joomla site to help you build the best user experience and keep visitors on your site for longer.

With these 10 best Joomla search extensions, we hope that you can improve the overall UX of your site and get more conversions as a result! 

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