Relevanssi – A Better Search


Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. You’ll get better results, better presentation of results – your users will thank you.

This is the free version of Relevanssi. There’s also Relevanssi Premium, which has added features. For more information about Premium, see

Do note that using Relevanssi may require large amounts (hundreds of megabytes) of database space (for a reasonable estimate, multiply the size of your wp_posts database table by three). If your hosting setup has a limited amount of space for database tables, using Relevanssi may cause problems. In those cases use of Relevanssi cannot be recommended.

Key features

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
  • Multisite friendly.
  • bbPress support.
  • Gutenberg friendly.

Advanced features

  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Support for WPML multi-language plugin and Polylang.
  • Support for s2member membership plugin, Members, Groups, Simple Membership and other membership plugins.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
  • Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
  • Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

Premium features (only in Relevanssi Premium)

  • Indexing attachment content (PDF, Office, Open Office).
  • Improved spelling correction in “Did you mean?” suggestions.
  • Searching across multiple sites in the same multisite installation.
  • Search and index user profiles.
  • Search and index taxonomy term pages (categories, tags, custom taxonomies).
  • Search and index arbitrary columns in wp_posts MySQL table.
  • Assign weights to any post types and taxonomies.
  • Assign extra weight to new posts.
  • Let the user choose between AND and OR searches, use + and – operator (AND and NOT).
  • Export and import settings.
  • WP CLI commands.
  • Related posts.
  • Redirects for searches.

Relevanssi in Facebook

You can find Relevanssi in Facebook.


  • Cristian Damm for tag indexing, comment indexing, post/page exclusion and general helpfulness.
  • Marcus Dalgren for UTF-8 fixing.
  • Warren Tape for 2.5.5 fixes.
  • Mohib Ebrahim for relentless bug hunting.
  • John Calahan for extensive 4.0 beta testing.


  • Overview page
  • Indexing settings
  • Searching settings
  • Logging settings
  • Excerpts and highlights
  • Synonym settings
  • Stopword settings


  1. Install the plugin from the WordPress plugin screen.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Go to the plugin settings page and build the index following the instructions there.
  4. That’s it!

Relevanssi uses the standard search form and doesn’t usually need any changes in the search results template.

If the search does not bring any results, your theme probably has a query_posts() call in the search results template. That throws Relevanssi off. For more information, see The most important Relevanssi debugging trick.


To uninstall the plugin remove the plugin using the normal WordPress plugin management tools (from the Plugins page, first Deactivate, then Delete). If you remove the plugin files manually, the database tables and options will remain.


Knowledge Base

You can find solutions and answers at the Relevanssi Knowledge Base.

Contextual help

Answers to many common problems can be found from the contextual menu. Just click “Help” in the top right corner of your WordPress admin dashboard on the Relevanssi settings page.

Relevanssi doesn’t work

If you the results don’t change after installing and activating Relevanssi, the most likely reason is that you have a call to query_posts() on your search results template. This confuses Relevanssi. Try removing the query_posts() call and see what happens.

Searching for words with ampersands or hyphens doesn’t work

Please read Words with punctuation can’t be found. This is a Relevanssi feature, but you can fix it from Relevanssi indexing settings.

Where are the user search logs?

See the top of the admin menu. There’s ‘User searches’.

Displaying the relevance score

Relevanssi stores the relevance score it uses to sort results in the $post variable. Just add something like

echo $post->relevance_score

to your search results template inside a PHP code block to display the relevance score.

Did you mean? suggestions

Relevanssi offers Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions. See “Did you mean” suggestions in the Knowledge Base for more details.

What is tf * idf weighing?

It’s the basic weighing scheme used in information retrieval. Tf stands for term frequency while idf is inverted document frequency. Term frequency is simply the number of times the term appears in a document, while document frequency is the number of documents in the database where the term appears.

Thus, the weight of the word for a document increases the more often it appears in the document and the less often it appears in other documents.

What are stop words?

Each document database is full of useless words. All the little words that appear in just about every document are completely useless for information retrieval purposes. Basically, their inverted document frequency is really low, so they never have much power in matching. Also, removing those words helps to make the index smaller and searching faster.


I was using Relevanssi Premium to do multisite searching and was running into an issue. I reached out to Mikko for support and he quickly responded and solved the issue. Awesome support! In addition, the premium version comes with a development version which includes PHPUnit tests. This is awesome as the current multisite project I am working on is requiring a lot of custom search scenarios. I have been using those included PHPUnit tests as guides on writing new tests to ensure that any custom functionality I write to interact with Relevanssi is verified to work before I deploy to the live site. I appreciate that Mikko has gone the extra steps into writing these PHPUnit test. It increases the reliability making it a high quality plugin. Thank you, -Steven
Its unbelieved how this pulgin works.Its just amazing, does the work,super fast support, once you paid the premium seat down and relax because the pulgin does everything by it self! i will recomend this pulgin to anyone in the business. well done, keep it up with AMAZING work.
This plugin is fantastic; I really appreciate that it's available for free. I've used the pro/paid version on a couple projects and the support is excellent.
264 (az összes) vélemény olvasása

Közreműködők és fejlesztők

“Relevanssi – A Better Search” egy nyílt forráskódú szoftver. A bővítményhez a következő személyek járultak hozzá:


“Relevanssi – A Better Search” 8 nyelvre lett lefordítva. Köszönet a fordítóknak az áldozatos munkájukért!

“Relevanssi – A Better Search” fordítása a saját nyelvünkre.

Érdekeltek vagyunk a fejlesztésben?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Változási napló

  • For some reason the plugin files didn’t update in the previous update, ie. 4.7.2 is equal to 4.7.1. This is the real 4.7.2 update.
  • Minor fix: Media Library searches failed if Relevanssi was enabled in the WP admin, but the attachment post type wasn’t indexed. Relevanssi will no longer block the default Media Library search in these cases.
  • Minor fix: Adds more backwards compatibility for the relevanssi_indexing_restriction change, there’s now an alert on indexing tab if there’s a problem.


  • Minor fix: Media Library searches failed if Relevanssi was enabled in the WP admin, but the attachment post type wasn’t indexed. Relevanssi will no longer block the default Media Library search in these cases.
  • Minor fix: Adds more backwards compatibility for the relevanssi_indexing_restriction change, there’s now an alert on indexing tab if there’s a problem.


  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_post_content_after_shortcodes filters the post content after shortcodes have been processed but before the HTML tags are stripped.
  • Minor fix: Adds more backwards compatibility for the relevanssi_indexing_restriction change.


  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_admin_search_blocked_post_types makes it easy to block Relevanssi from searching a specific post type in the admin dashboard. There’s built-in support for Reusable Content Blocks rc_blocks post type, for example.
  • New feature: The reason why a post is not indexed is now stored in the _relevanssi_noindex_reason custom field.
  • Changed behaviour: The relevanssi_indexing_restriction filter hook has a changed format. Instead of a string value, the filter now expects an array with the MySQL query in the index ‘mysql’ and a reason in string format in ‘reason’. There’s some temporary backwards compatibility for this.
  • Changed behaviour: Relevanssi now applies minimum word length when tokenizing search query terms.
  • Changed behaviour: Content stopwords are removed from the search queries when doing excerpts and highlights. When Relevanssi uses the untokenized search terms for excerpt-building, stopwords are removed from those words. This should lead to better excerpts.
  • Minor fix: Improves handling of emoji in indexing. If the database supports emoji, they are allowed, otherwise they are encoded.


  • Changed behaviour: Phrases in OR search are now less restrictive. A search for ‘foo “bar baz”‘ used to only return posts with the “bar baz” phrase, but now also posts with just the word ‘foo’ will be returned.
  • Minor fix: User Access Manager showed drafts in search results for all users. This is now fixed.


  • New feature: New filter hook relevanssi_disable_stopwords can be used to disable stopwords completely. Just add a filter function that returns true.
  • Changed behaviour: Stopwords are no longer automatically restored if emptied. It’s now possible to empty the stopword list. If you want to restore the stopwords from the file (or from the database, if you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Relevanssi and find your stopwords missing), just click the button on the stopwords settings page that restores the stopwords.
  • Changed behaviour: Changes to post weights in the relevanssi_results hook did not affect the relevance scores shown in excerpts. That’s changed now, and the displayed scores are now taken from the $doc_weight array, which is returned in the return value array from relevanssi_search().
  • Changed behaviour: Excerpt length and type are now checked outside the loop that goes through the posts. This reduces the number of database calls required.
  • Minor fix: Searching for regex special characters (for example parentheses, brackets) caused problems in excerpts.
  • Minor fix: Improvements in handling highlighting for words with apostrophes.
  • Minor fix: Disregard hanging commas at the end of post exclusion settings.
  • Minor fix: Sometimes excerpts wouldn’t have an ellipsis in the beginning even though they should.


  • Major fix: Returns the missing stopwords.


  • New feature: It’s now possible to exclude image attachments from the index with a simple setting on the indexing settings page.
  • New feature: Page builder short codes are now removed in Relevanssi indexing. This should reduce the amount of garbage data indexed for posts in Divi, Avada and other page builder themes.
  • Changed behaviour: The relevanssi_page_builder_shortcodes filter hook is now applied both in indexing and excerpts, and has a second parameter that will inform you of the current context.
  • Minor fix: Stopwords weren’t case insensitive like they should. They are now. Also, stopwords are no longer stored in the wp_relevanssi_stopwords database table, but are now stored in the relevanssi_stopwords option.
  • Minor fix: A comma at the end of the custom field indexing setting made Relevanssi index all custom fields. This doesn’t happen anymore and trailing commas are automatically removed, too.
  • Minor fix: Accessibility improvements all around the admin interface. Screen reader support should be better, feel free to report any further ways to make this better.
  • Minor fix: Doing searches without search terms and with the throttle disabled could cause problems. Relevanssi now makes sure throttle is always on when doing termless searches.
  • Minor fix: Untokenized search terms are used for building excerpts, which makes highlighting in excerpts work better.
  • Minor fix: Indexing did not adjust the number of posts indexed at one go like it should.