A Better Sitewide Search for WordPress Mu

So far I’m loving WordPress Mu, but I’ve noticed two things: first, WPMu doesn’t even come with a site-wide search out of the box. And second, the search results you can get are generally pretty terrible. Searching this blog for “columnizer” wouldn’t even show the Columnizer Plugin Page until page 3 of the results. yikes!

The Old Options

Until today, the current remedies were:

I’ve had OneSearch installed on this site for a few months, and while I’ve loved that it gives me sitewide search, it still relies on WordPress’s search queries, so it’s search results are not near as relevant or targetted as I (or many others) would like.

I didn’t even bother installing a custom Google search page. I’m not a fan that (a) the UI is not terribly customizable at all, (b) it shows mandatory ads, and (c) I have to rely on Google’s index, which means new content wouldn’t necessarily show up in the search results until after some undefined delay. No thanks.

The Search Solution (almost)

I finally stumbled onto the fantastic WordPress plugin wpSearch. Kenny Katzgrau built wpSearch using the open source search engine Lucene for dramatically more accurate search results – and what’s even better – search result relevancy is incredibly customizable and extensible. The problem, as is common when searching for Mu plugins, is that wpSearch is WordPress only and doesn’t work as a site-wide search for WordPress Mu.

The Search Solution (yes, for real)

Enter wpSearchMu! A plugin excessively based off of wpSearch and specifically modified to work with WPMU. Kenny’s code is refreshingly clean, so I was happy to discover that modifying it to work with Mu was a relatively straightforward task.

Using the default settings, wpSearchMu will index every blog in the system giving you accurate and relevant results across your entire Mu site. Check out the project page for details and options, including searching all/some/one blogs, separate search indexes per blog, searching comments and custom fields, and of course, more accurate results!

For a better sitewide search for WordPress Mu, download and install the better than ever wpSearchMu Plugin! Check out the project page for documentation and details.

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