Add A Search Bar To Your Website: Tutorial


Building a website involves making use of various components and that includes having a search box. It not only helps in better navigation but also helps in accessing the site better. Additionally, it also helps to anticipate what the user is looking for and that leads to more web traffic as well as retention rate. Having a search box also helps in guiding visitors to look for the website content through the search box.

Ways to Add a Search Bar to your Website

There are various ways through which the search box can be added to your site. Some of them are:

Google custom search: Everyone is aware of the google search engine and leveraging it by adding a Google Custom Search to your website is one of the best ways of incorporating search functionality. The search engine works well in finding the information the visitors are looking for and get high-quality results. The search has additional features like auto-complete and refinements among others to boost the search experience. Another advantage of using google custom search is that you can get to know the user behaviour by connecting to Analytics. Further, there are APIs like google search API JSON to make more customizations to the search bar as well as the results obtained.

Though there are many advantages of using Google Custom Search like it is free of cost trustworthy, needs very little setup and maintenance. The disadvantage of using it is that it looks more like the Google search and does not gel with the website designs. Also, using the API can be quite complicated and needs technical knowledge.

Third-party Search Engines

There are many third-party search engines that also provide search boxes. Some of them are free of cost while the ad-free version will cost a bit. Most of these are easy to configure and also have the option of excluding pages from the search results, prioritizing the search results order, and more. The major advantage of this is that they are free of cost and do not need knowledge of PHP or other scripts. The cons of this option are that there is no complete control of the way the output is displayed and may not fit as per the web design.

Customizing the Third-Party Search Engines

There are many third-party engines that can be integrated with your websites and make it customizable using the public search API. The search indexing is an automated process where the data can be easily accessed, collected, and stored. Once the index is built, the engine runs the query every few seconds to retrieve changed results. The best benefit of using such platforms is that it takes care of the complex development process and all you have to do is write the query.

Using Scripts 

One of the most common ways of adding a search bar to the website is to add a script using PHP, Javascript, or Perl. You can also lookup how to create a search bar in HTML and embed the script in it. The script can be written on the server-side and when the data is sent using the search bar the results are produced. The developer can control whether the crawling and indexing have to be done every time the search is run by the user or periodically index it. There are many advantages to using scripts to create a search bar. Chief among them is that it is easy to set up and there are no ads to ruin the experience for the users. Also since the code is written by the developers it increases the security of the website. The major disadvantage is that it takes time to do the coding and indexing is also hard to maintain.

Choose any of the above solutions to create the search bar for your website.


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