As promised back in the end of September, and almost at the same time that we all learnt about the WordPress 3.7 search improvement (released this week), I am proud to announce there’s a new version of geeSearch Plus plugin (1.3.0), a geeThemes‘ plugin, which was also launched at the exact same time of WordPress 3.7.

WordPress 3.7 brings an improved search engine, something that the WordPress community was claiming for some time. WordPress core team developed a new philosophy for the search results, primarily based on relevance and not on date anymore, giving more attention for searched terms that appear on titles than on content. It also introduces a stop words mechanism, capable of being localised for the site language. Cool!

So the question is, what can a search plugin offer more than what is offered with WP 3.7.

And the answer is a lot! The living proof is geeSearch Plus 1.3.0, released for free and with more than 2.800 downloads so far.

The new features

Order by date or relevance. With 3.7, the default search results will be ordered by relevance, as explained earlier. But, in the event you would still like to order by date, geeSearch will allow you to do so. Also, geeSearch extends the WordPress relevance engine to taxonomies and custom fields, if enabled in the plugin’s settings page.

Define your own matching rules. WordPress default search will try to match all the searched terms (after removing the stop words) on post title and content set. This is a AND-like query. geeSearch also allows a OR-like query, where the engine will try to match at least one searched term.

Full control over the highlight style. By default geeSearch will apply a custom defined background color to the highlighted terms when showing the results. If you’d like to style the highlight terms differently you may do so by defining the CSS rules for the gee-search-highlight class.

Plugin i18n/l10n (localisation). After a full plugin review, all the text labels (most of them at the plugin’s settings page) are now able to be localised. The plugin is shipped with the POT file, so you could translate it for your own language, and it’s already localised to Portuguese (pt_PT).

There are more bits under the hood, like hooks to filter some aspects of the plugin, which I’ll cover on another post.

So, give this plugin a try and let me know what are your thoughts. Consider leaving a review or leave here a comment.