Getting Started with Search++

Search++ is a concrete5 package. It can be manually installed through FTP or cPanel and unzipping into your site /packages directory. If you do a lot of manual package installs, you may find Package Magic a useful tool. 

Once you have installed Search++, you will have

  • A Search++ Query block in the Forms group
  • A Search++ Results block in the Forms group
  • Dashboard pages at Dashboard > System & Settings >  Search++

All you need to do to get started is to edit your site's search results page and replace the existing search block showing search results with a Search++ Results block. The settings are similar to those for the core search block results settings.

Search++ splits the search block functionality between a Search++ Query block and a Search++ Results block. With that in mind, if you also need a search form above the results listing, you may also want to add a Search++ Query block to the page above the results.

Search++ is compatible with queries passed from the core search block, so in a page header search you can continue to use the core search block or replace it with a Search++ Query block. You can choose whichever is convenient for your site and styling.

The big advantage of the Search++ Query block is that it works with the Search++ autocomplete. Set up Autocomplete in the dashboard and enable for all Search++ Query blocks or just on the blocks that choose to enable it. If you want to make use of the autocomplete capabilities, you will need to use the Search++ Query block.

In the Search++ dashboard pages, the default settings are good for most sites. The main things you may want to configure are Synonyms and Abbreviations appropriate to your site and to configure Autocomplete and the search Cache.

If your site is not in English, you will also need to configure the default stemming langauge and any language specific characters in Full Text Serach. You may also want to configure Transliterations to handle how language specific characters are additionally mapped to and from a-z. Transliterations are handled in a similar way to synonyms, by adding variations of terms to a search without replacing the actual terms entered by visitors.

For reliable searching you should also make sure your site search index is configured and the Rebuild Serach Index job has been recently run. If your site is regularly updated, configure cron to ensure this is run frequently.