Do you want to learn how to improve WordPress search by using Amazon CloudSearch?
Amazon CloudSearch is a platform powered by Amazon AWS that gives you more control over your WordPress search and provides you with faster and better results.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can improve the default WordPress search by using Amazon CloudSearch.
Why Improve the Default WordPress Search?
WordPress has a built-in search feature, but it’s pretty limited and doesn’t do the best job at finding relevant content for your visitors.
If you have a smaller WordPress website, then you might not need more advanced search features right away.
But, as your site grows, you’ll want a way to improve content discoverability, so your users can find what they’re looking for quickly.
There are many ways to do this, like using Amazon CloudSearch, but we believe the best and most beginner-friendly solution is SearchWP.
It’s the best WordPress search plugin in the market used by over 30,000 websites.
To learn more, see our quick and easy guide on how to improve WordPress search with SearchWP.
With that said, let’s show you how you can still use Amazon CloudSearch to improve your WordPress search.
Create Your Amazon Web Services and CloudSearch Account
The first thing you need to do is sign up for an Amazon AWS account. This platform powers Amazon CloudSearch and makes it easy to set up and scale a better search solution on your WordPress blog.
There are several pricing and billing plans, but you can also take advantage of the free trial.
Simply head over to Amazon AWS website and click the ‘Get Started for Free’ button.
Next, you’ll be asked to enter your login and billing information and complete your account registration.
After that, you can log in to the Amazon CloudSearch console using the same Amazon AWS login information.
This brings you to the CloudSearch dashboard, where you need to click the ‘Create a new Domain’ button.
This creates the initial search index that will power search on your WordPress site.
Then, you need to enter your domain name into the ‘Search Domain Name’ box and click the ‘Next’ button. This will be your domain name without the .com, .net, etc, at the end.
After that, you’ll need to answer a few more questions about your search domain. You can keep the default settings, unless you have very specific needs.
Once the initial index is completed, you’ll get a confirmation in your dashboard that includes your ‘Search Endpoint’. You need to copy this for the next step.
Set Up the CloudSearch Plugin to Improve WordPress Search
Now that you’ve created an account, you need to connect your Amazon CloudSearch account with WordPress by using the CloudSearch plugin.
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
After that, you need to go to CloudSearch » Settings in your WordPress admin panel and enter your ‘AWS Access key’ and ‘AWS Secret access key’ into the boxes.
You also need to select the region of your server from the dropdown.
You can find this information by going to your Amazon Web Services account, clicking the username dropdown, and selecting the ‘Security credentials’ option.
Then, click the ‘Access keys’ dropdown and click the ‘Create New Access Key’ button.
This brings up a popup with your ‘Access Key ID’ and ‘Secret Access Key’.
You need to copy these and head back to the plugin settings page and add them.
After that, you need to enter both the ‘Search endpoint’ and the ‘Domain name’ into the ‘Index settings’ section.
These were what you created earlier after creating your first Amazon CloudSearch domain index.
Below that, you can change the ’Schema settings’. The settings here will control what elements you want to appear in the search results.
For example, if you only want posts and pages to appear, then simply check those boxes. There will also be options to display other custom post types you’ve added or that may have been created by WordPress plugins you have installed.
Next, you’ll have options for customizing the WordPress search page in the ‘Frontpage settings’ section.
We’ll leave the default options selected, but you can create a custom search page, enable search filters, and more.
Once you’ve done that, you can change how the individual search results display in the ‘Results settings’ section.
Here, we’ll keep the default settings again, but you can pick which post or page information you want listed, change the text length, choose the order of results, and more.
There are more sections that let you customize the color of the text and background, enable search suggestions, and add additional support for custom fields.
Once you’ve finished customizing the plugin settings, make sure to click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page.
Now, when you use your WordPress search on your site, you’ll see much faster and more relevant results.