Search Boxes: Good or Evil? — 13 Comments

  1. Lesa,
     Personally I immediately look for a search box. I usually do know what the site is about and want to find some specific text or product. It is important to verify your search box’s value before just axing it. Thank you for sharing about relevanssi.

  2. Hi Lesa,

    Good discussion. I too was recommended to remove my search box by a marketing friend about 2 years ago.

    His reason was because there wasn’t enough posts to justify having a search box and that it took up a valuable part of the blog which I could have placed a banner instead.

    Like you, I chose to keep it.

    My reasons were I like knowing what my readers search for so I can cater content for them and secondly I don’t agree that having a search box is bad thing.

    I’m the sort that don’t take advice blindly either 🙂

    Great argument and I agree with your points.

  3. HI Lesa, thanks for the nifty post. Never even gave my search box a thought to be honest… unless I’ve used it to find something! 🙂

    That plugin sounds pretty neat… being able to see what others use it for. I think I just may install that.

    I agree you don’t need to blindly make decisions based on the thoughts of others… in fact… I am writing a post on a similar subject for early next week.



  4. Hi Lesa,

    I not only have one search box but I have two! There is one at the very top and I have one placed on the bottom side as well. (I have over 300 posts but I also had the search box when I had less than 50 posts.) I use it to find my own posts and I also use other people’s search boxes when I am looking for a post I read before but didn’t save.

    Whenever I read advice on blogging from an expert (or anything for that matter) I always take into account my experience and thoughts on the matter. What works for one person may not work for another. Very little in life is actually one size fits all.


  5. Hi Lesa,

    It seems that there are different strokes for different folks. I was advised to put a search box by a top traffic generation expert and here is another expert putting some great argument about how it is not good until at a particular point.

    Well, personally I dont pay too much attention to my search box analytics though i know I should.

    I think I need to play a closer attention.


  6. Hi Lesa,

    I really can’t imagine someone feeling horrible if they couldn’t find an item during a search. It’s not that serious! I have a search box on my blog and I intend to keep it. One blog that I visit on a regular basis, doesn’t have a search box. This blog has over 2 years of posts, but no search box. So you have to look through the archives to find something. I much rather have a search box instead of looking through 2+ years of posts. But that is the choice of that blogger. To each his own, right?

    • Jamella, you hit on the other side of this argument: organization matters. When your return visitors can’t locate content they know exists, you, as the blogger, lose. There are other ways to organize your content so people can fine it besides a search box for those who don’t want one, so there is really no excuse, in my opinion, for making it difficult for people to locate material on your site.

  7. Hey Lesa,
    I still have my search box, and I only have over 100 post. I used my search box to search my own post.
    When I go to other blog, I also use the search to search on a particular topic.
    I agree with Jayne, “you don’t need to blindly make decisions based on the thoughts of others”.

  8. Lesa this is such an interesting post that I don’t think I’ve seen written about anywhere else!

    I do check what people are writing in my search box which is always interesting to see. I think my search facility could be hugely improved though as it’s not specific enough.

    Very helpful – thanks:)

    • Lilach,
      You have a large number of posts on your blog, so you might benefit from the paid version of Relevanssi. The free version is great for most smaller blogs, but the paid version gives you much more control over what results are display, posts over pages, etc. You might want to check it out and see if it offers features that would make search on your blog more relevant. (Oh, and just to be totally upfront here: I am not an affiliate for the company and will not be compensated in any way if you buy something from them. It’s just a product that I love.)

  9. I’m with you Lesa and would keep the search bar even if I didn’t have over 600 posts on my site.

    They say you learn something new everyday, and I feel like I’m about to….

    where do you pull the search data from? Is it built into WordPress?

    • Warren,
      The Search Box feature IS built into WordPress. Most themes incorporate it into the design. If yours doesn’t, check your Widgets. There should be an option called Search. Simply drag it into the sidebar where you’d like to see it. I like to have it in the menu bar, but it isn’t necessary to have it there. You could place it above the header or in a sidebar– those who use it will find it.

  10. Hi Lesa, great discussion about keeping search box. I actually look for a search box when I am about to find something what I want.

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