What is Smart Search?

Smart Search allows users to search your Joomla website content that contains specific words or phrases. A search box can be assigned to a module and placed wherever you wish on your webpages. It is an extremely powerful tool that aids your visitors and also makes it inviting to spend more time on your site. Search features are one of the best things about Content Management Systems. The Smart Search feature has many more features than the basic Search feature in Joomla 3.+ which is based on older technology. 

Smart Search is not enabled by default. You need to go into Extensions -> Plugin Manager. Type Search into the text box and you will see various Search Plugins. Enable the Smart Search Plugin

Once Smart Search is enabled, you need to index the existing content. Go in Components -> Smart Search and click on Index. Depending on the size of your site, this may take a few minutes.

Global Configuration for Smart Search

smartsearchglobal

The Global Configuration for Smart Search will allow you to set the default settings regarding the Smart Search Component.

Search Tab

Gather Search Statistics: Click Yes to this if you want to record the search phrases entered by the visitors to your site. This could be helpful to see if they are finding what they are looking for.

Result Description: This sets whether the description is presented with the search results. The "description" is a snippet from the page content that contains the search term.

Description Length: This limits the length of the description

Allow Empty Search: This allows an empty search box if a search filter is being used.

Result URL: This toggles whether the url for the page is shown with the results for the search term

Search Suggestions: This toggles the display of automatic search suggestions

Advanced Search: This toggles whether the button for Advanced Search options is displayed. Advanced Search gives the visitor the ability to filter by Author, Category, Language or Type.

Advanced Tips: This toggles whether the Advanced Tips are shown with the Advanced Search

Expand Advanced Search: Setting this to Yes will cause the Advanced Search area to be expanded automatically.

Date Filters: This will add Date Filter options to the Advanced Search area.

 Sort Field: This pull down gives you options for how to sort the results. Relevance, date or price.

Sort Direction: This toggles if the results are sorted in a descending manner or ascending manner.

Highlight Search Terms: This will highlight the search terms in the description in the search results AND if the user visits that page from the link.

OpenSearch Name: This is the name for your site if you are sharing your site with OpenSearch from opensearch.org

OpenSearch Description: This is the description for your site if you are sharing your site with OpenSearch from opensearch.org

Index Tab

The Index Tab sets parameter for how the Smart Search component indexes your website. These settings can be important for large sites.

Indexer Batch Size: As the component indexes your site, it does it in a batch at a time. Large batches require lots of memory, smaller batches take longer to process.

Memory Table Limit: It is suggested that you do not change this number unless you are getting errors.

Title Text Weight Multiplier, Meta Data Weigh Multiplier and Path Text Weight Multiplier, Miscellaneous Text Weight Multiplier: as the component searches the site and displays the results, these settings control how much importance is given to if the search term is found in the title, in the meta data,  the url of the page, or text such as comments, alt tags etc..

Enable Stemmer and Stemmer: these are settings for those that have multiple languages on their site.

Enable Logging: Setting this to Yes will create a log file when you do your indexing. This may be important for troubleshooting, but keep it set to no if you are not troubleshooting the indexing of your site.

Permissions Tab

This tab allows you to control the permissions for which access level can configure the Smart Search settings.