Joomla 4 brings improvements and new features. Joomla Smart Search is one of the important new features, which brings a lot of quality. With a “new search”, users can search for most of the site content (articles, tags, users) in a quick and easy way.
Joomla 4 only uses Joomla Smart Search (with the improved codebase.), and in this way replace solutions that were known before (Joomla 3 has used two search extensions in the core.)
How does Joomla 4 Smart Search work?
The new search works in another way than the Joomla 3 search. First, we need to find it. Open your Joomla 4 backend and navigate to “Components”. You’ll find the “Smart Search” on the list. Click it to open the component.
This extension works with an active indexer. It requires some activity. Open the “Index” item from the list.
Every time you’ll add a new article on the website or any new contact item, Joomla will automatically index them for the search results.
After adding a new category and article - the items are automatically indexed in Smart Search.
If you don't see anything on the list, press the "Index" button.
Joomla Smart Search brings more options: content map, filters, and statistics.
This feature gives you complete mapping info of all the content (published and unpublished) in your website's index.
This feature allows for creating filters for website visitors. You can create new types of search filters for articles, categories, and contact items basing on the publisher and date timeline.
If you'll make a search filter allowing users to see only content from a specified category they will see results only from this category.
The same applies to a filter based on the specified start and end dates.
These settings make the idea of search more flexible, as you can use it in different ways. So not only as a classic search but for example to filter only the newest content or only from a specific category, e.g. blog.
Creating a new filter
Open the “Filters” option and click “New”.
Now you can configure your filter.
Take a look at the example filter. After the successful configuration, it’s available on the filters list.
Joomla 4 Smart Search extension brings also many advanced options for controlling the search results. You can show/use:
- Result URL
- Search Suggestions
- Advanced Tips
- Advanced Search
- Highlight Search Terms
All options can be overridden by the Menu or module settings.
Navigate to the “Options” button and open it.
A useful option for those who are interested in seeing what site visitors really want to find and see, so you can improve your content and site.
To use the statistics it is required to enable them in the options.
Now take a look at what the main stats view looks like after running them.
To use each Smart Search feature on the search page it is required to enable the supported search plugins installed in the Joomla core:
- Smart Search - Tags
- Smart Search - Categories
- Smart Search - Contacts
- Smart Search - Content
- Smart Search - News Feeds
Additionally, you can publish the search module anywhere on your website at the chosen module position and with your selected configuration filters. There no limits - display different search modules with various filters.
Undoubtedly, Joomla 4's Smart Search is an efficient search system with an extensive web of options to search your site in real-time. The new search works much better than the old one. Each feature is useful here and has been added as an integral part of the search system.
You can customize your search results in many ways, and adjust the importance of different parts of the search results, such as titles, content, and metadata. What is also important, Smart Search can suggest search phrases.