The recent release of EverWeb 3.5 brings a much anticipated new feature the product: Website Search! Using Website Search in your site makes it easy for your visitors to easily find something specific in your site. As you would expect with EverWeb, this new feature is easy to set up with customization options available if you want to add to or refine Search.
There are three main Website Search features: The Search Field widget, the Search Results widget and search criteria. At its most basic level, you only need to use the Search Field widget for Website Search and this is what we will be looking in to in this blog. We will investigate the Search Results widget and setting up Search Criteria in blog posts one the next few weeks.
The Search Field Widget
At the center of website search is the Search Field widget which can be used as:
- A full width object
- A fixed width object and
- In a responsive page layout or
- In a fixed width, i.e. Centered or Left Aligned page layout
The widget itself is where you:
- Set up the language for the search related messages your visitors will see
- Set Up and customize the Search Bar
- Set Up and Customize the Search Bar Button
- Set Up Your Search Results to be displayed in either a drop down menu, popup window or on a specific Search Results page.
When visitors use the search bar, you can set the language option so that the messages received in the search e.g. ‘no search results found’, will be in the language of your site. There are nine languages available: English, Dutch, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. The Search Bar and Search Bar Button have complete customization options available so you can perfectly match the style of your search to your website.
The Search Results Behavior section of the Widget Settings is where you customize how your search results are displayed. As well as setting font styles, this is the section where you decide how many results per page you want listed. If you have chosen for your results to be displayed in a drop down menu or pop up window style, you can also choose whether you want to show a link to the page, open the link in a new window and if you want use the Web Page Description text (found in the Search Engine Optimization section of the Page Settings tab) as your summary text or not.
If you selected One of My Pages in the Search Results Field none of the above options will be available, You will only have the Search Results Page dropdown available. This option is not available when the dropdown menu or popup window option is selected. When using the One of My Pages option, you will need to tell EverWeb on which page the search results will be displayed. On that page, you will need to include the Search Results widget. If you choose a page that does not have the Search Results widget already on the page, you will see an error message. You can add the Search Results widget to the any page in site. Use the Search Results Widget Settings to customize its appearance.
Using the Search Field Widget in Your Site
It’s best to use the Search Field widget in a Master Page so that the widget appears on all of the regular pages that use the Master Page. This will make future customizations to the widget only a one step task. If you add the Search Field widget to each page of your site, it’s wasteful code-wize and on your time later on if you need to customize the widget.
At the top of this post we outlined where you could use the widget. If you are using the widget on a responsive page and have the widget set as a full width object, you may want to consider using the Metrics Inspector option ‘Set Maximum Width’ to restrict how wide the widget is across the page. By setting this value, for example to 600 pixels wide, you will stop the widget from appearing too wide on desktop devices. You can also use this setting in combination with the Metrics Inspector’s Left and Right Margin settings so that the widget does not appear right up against the page’s margins.
How Does Search Work
the Search Field widget will use Text Based search so will scan the pages of your site accordingly to find any pages that use the searched for word(s). The widget will also use the Web Page Title in Search. We will look at how you can tailor your search criteria to suit the needs of your site and to help boost your SEO in a future blog post.
Setting up a website search feature in EverWeb is super easy and you don’t have to put much effort in to it if you dont want to. In our next post, we’ll take a close look at the Search Results widget!
If you have a question about EverWeb 3.5’s new Search feature, let us know in the Comments Section below!