Have you ever gotten to a website and couldn’t find something that you were looking for? You headed to the “search” button, right? You then banged out whatever you were looking for (which has already made you mad because you’re already wasting valuable time and energy).
This feeling of “I can’t believe they didn’t consider my needs when I got to their site…!” and the classic feeling of entitlement, as if they should have created the website for you and your needs.
But you do it anyways.
You hit “search” and then the results start piling in. And guess what, the results suck. Anger is brewing hotter than a boiling cup of ramen noodles that you forgot about because you were playing Halo.
Search has really spoiled us.
But, it’s a very valuable self-lesson. If not getting the search results you want makes you mad, what about the people who visit your ministry and/or organizational websites? Are they getting what they want? Or perhaps more importantly, are they getting what you’d like them to get?
Have a good search system. Period. Make sure it’s robust. Period. Make sure it’s built “correctly”. And if necessary, invest in some of the pro’s that apparently know how to do search right.
You, and your users, won’t be disappointed. And imagine… how many less emails you might get that start with: “Hey… I couldn’t find _________________”
An additional resource that I would also highly recommend for those running self-hosted WordPress installs is the “Search Everything” plugin. This things a bad mammajamma:
Search Everything increases the ability of the default WordPress Search, options included:
- Search Every Page
- Search Every Tag
- Search Every Category
- Search non-password protected pages only
- Search Every Comment
- Search only approved comments
- Search Every Draft
- Search Every Excerpt
- Search Every Attachment
- Search Every Custom Field (metadata)
- Exclude Posts from search
- Exclude Categories from search
Can I get an “amen”?