November 28, 2019

Relevanssi Plugin Review – Words of the People

So, you came across Relevanssi in your quest to find a search plugin.

You probably liked a few features, maybe you compared it to a couple of plugins. But still can’t make up your mind, huh?

Well, why not ask the people who already use Relevanssi?

We went through hundreds of genuine user reviews, so you don’t have to. And even better, we put them all in one convenient place.

Recommended for You: 7 Best WordPress Search Plugins – 2019

Why so much effort, you ask? Well, we understand that choosing the right WordPress search plugin can be hard, so we want to help you make an informed, unbiased decision about Relevanssi.

Now, without any further ado, let’s see what the people of WordPress world have to say about Relevanssi Search!

Before we start, Here are the Basics…

What is Relevanssi? – Search plugin for WordPress
Active installations – 10,000+
Average Rating – 4.7/5
People use it for
a. Improving the default WordPress search
b. Better search results on the website
c. Better control over the search results
Support – Highly praised
Issues resolved in the last 2 months on – 31 of 56
Updates & Fixes – Regular

*This data was last updated on 5th December 2019

Relevanssi Review – Best Features

Based on the reviews of people across the internet, we’ve been able to shortlist these are the best features of Relevanssi:

1. Indexing of tags, categories, custom fields and more

How well a search plugin indexes your content is an important criterion to consider. Afterall if your content isn’t indexed completely, users might not be able to satisfactorily using the search feature.

The fact that you can include content beyond your general pages and posts, especially tags and custom fields, seems to be a popular reason for people choosing Relevanssi.

“….In Relevanssi, search results are sorted in the order of relevance, not by date. Besides, it allows users to build custom excerpts and search for phrases with comments, quotes, tags, categories, and custom fields.”

Ma Channon via

“Search plugin that allows you to index Custom Fields…..For that reason, I give this plugin 5 stars. Very, very, very helpful!”

Taniav (Independent review)

“Needed to make tags searchable…Installed, indexed and working in 3 minutes”

Kyle M. Brown via Support

2. Search for Images

For any website that is image-heavy or showcases images, image search is important. This could be your photography website, artist portfolio or interior design showcase. Relevanssi seems to do a good job when it comes to image search.

“I tried at least a dozen search plugins before finding Relavanssi. I use a lot of images in my website and none of the other plugins pull up the images by title or description unless you are willing to do a lot of programming (even then, I could not get results.)
I was able to get this plugin up and working in three minutes and it returns beautiful results of my images. Just what I was looking for”

CajPaintings via Support

3. Sorting results by relevance

The end goal with any search plugin is to get the user where he wants to go, as quickly as possible. Showing him results relevant to his query tops the list of best methods to do that.

A lot of users seem to choose Relevanssi for this exact reason. Although, as one user points out, the option of customizing the relevance algorithm does shift the burden onto your shoulders. You have to be in charge of deciding what the most relevant results are.

“The only real option if you want to sort by relevance…Overall, this is a great plugin and the only one I found that actually successfully tackles sorting by relevance (Better Search tries but can only search the content and title fields). I like that you can customize the relevance algorithm, though of course, that puts a burden on you to decide how to craft the most relevant results”

Mojamba via Support

“I’ve recently discovered Relevanssi, which arranges search results by relevance rather than by date. I immediately installed it everywhere. It’s wonderful. There are a lot of plugins that improve WordPress’s search results, but this is the easiest to use.”

Stephanie Leary via Relevanssi testimonial archive

“ ….the free version is already good and sorts by relevance if it’s what you want to achieve.”

Mathias philippe via Quora

4. More control over the results

By using a search plugin, you get to have low-level control over the search results. Which is great! Relevanssi allows you to tweak the algorithm using weights so you can decide which attribute to prioritize with your search results.

“The last search plugin I used displayed way, way too many results. I was afraid all the search results would be overwhelming to the user. I like the way Relevanssi displays and allows you to narrow down results as you want.”

Kay Cunningham via  Relevanssi testimonial archive

5. Compatibility with other plugins

When adding a search using a plugin, also keep in mind the other plugins you use. Users should also be able to search through your WooCommerce shop or your bbPress discussion board.

Here are reviews from a few users that talk about choosing Relevanssi for compatibility.

With WooCommerce and WooCommerce SKUs

“We were distraught because we couldn’t figure out a way to get our site’s search feature to search through WooCommerce’s product attributes (sku, custom attributes, description, etc.). But then I found Relevanssi and in a matter of minutes had everything up and running beautifully!”

cwendt01 via Support

“Excellent for WooCommerce…Natively, WooCommerce search form does not look for custom attributes. But, using this plugin you can easily make it happen!”

Filipe Seabra via Support

With bbPress

“We were struggling with irrelevant search results on our bbPress forum, – the largest Danish Online Marketing Forum….The only plugin that fit our criteria (working with WordPress, bbPress and working behind a paywall) was Relevanssi, which also happens to be the best WordPress search engine…”

Anders Saugstrup via Relevanssi testimonial archive

With Advanced Custom Fields

“ Works with ACF :)……At first, I wasn’t sure if this would work with Advanced Custom Fields, but then I found the filter which lets you specify which fields to include, and it works flawlessly. Couldn’t be happier!…”

robfrancken via Support

With SearchWP Live AJAX search

“I was looking for a plugin that would work with SearchWP live search, as this truly replace WP default engine. Features that come with the free plugin are really cool!! Custom fields, tags, categories and more.. the premium looks interesting to invest on also.”

Jdwel via Support

Relevanssi Review – Improved Search for Increased Visibility

We also took a look at how Relevanssi helped businesses that use it. From what we gathered, it does what it promises- it makes search better. The general consensus seems to be that it largely improves the default WordPress search, making things a lot easier to find.

Here’s how Relevanssi helped enhance user’s websites.

1. Increased number of clicks

When relevant results show up, it’s a no brainer that visitors are more likely to click on them.

“Increases clicks from search pages……I’ve been using this plugin for years and it definitely increases the # of clicks from my search pages. Relevance, not date, should trump and I appreciate the time put into the settings, that it doesn’t create a new tab in WordPress, and how well it just works.”

Clicknathan via Support

This, in turn, leads to more people sticking around on your website and coming back to it later. Hello, more traffic!

“After more than two years of using the inadequate WordPress default plugin ,traffic appeared to improve steadily immediately following the installation of your Relevanssi plugin.”

Dr. Mike Sagman via Relevanssi testimonial archive

2. Made it easier to navigate their website

Better results get you to your destination quicker. It makes it way easier to find the correct pages on your website.

“Great UX => Findability……The way Relevanssi enables findability within a site is the most powerful component you can add to a user’s search experience. Synonyms and the ability to look intelligently within custom types and fields (to name a few) just opens up the content in a way that native search does not.

Stiaan via Support

3. Improved user experience

Search is an ever-present entity in our lives, thanks to google. Not having a search feature is bound to affect the user experience on your website.

“Essential for UX…..Relevanssi is an absolute must-have if you want to offer a better user experience on your WordPress website because we all know how important a good search function is (and how bad the standard WordPress search is)…”

Dr. John Gøtze via Relevanssi testimonial archive

4. Improved the default WordPress search

It does what it claims and does it well. Which, at the end of it all, was the whole point, right?

“Massive Improvement on normal WordPress search…..This plugin is top notch and has made search results more accurate. The support for the free version on is also very good and very quick which is rare. So highly recommended.”

WordDug via Support

“There is no comparison between default WordPress search and Relevanssi – the latter blows the former out of the water. [..] Not only that, Relevanssi is a piece of cake to set up.”

Tom Ewer via Relevanssi testimonial archive

“A huge improvement over the default WordPress search function and a real benefit to users. Custom search query highlighting and factor weighting are awesome.”

michaelnorth via Support

Relevanssi Review – Pros of the Plugin

1. Great Support

We could hardly find any reviews that didn’t highly praise the Relevanssi creator- Mikko. Relevanssi comes with prompt support and personal attention from the developer who goes out of his way to solve your issues.

“I can’t say enough positive things about Mikko. He responded to all my questions immediately, and I mean immediately.”

Kay Cunningham via Relevanssi testimonial archive

“Not only it is one of the best coded plugins but the support from Mikko and team is BEYOND outstanding. Their care, prompt responses and willingness to always help is simply unsurpassed and something I strive to bring to my business every day.”

Sven Drumev via Relevanssi testimonial archive

“After installing I had some initial problems getting the correct results to show. Mikko went way beyond the call of duty to help me resolve the issue and got me up and running with this great search tool!”

andrei808 via Support

“The best search plugin in wordpress and also a great attention by the technical service that helped me solve a complicated problem on my website. Thanks Mikko.”

miguele1981 via Support

2. Fast Configuration and Set-Up

Relevanssi also seems to be popular as an easy and quick alternative to setting up a good search from scratch. The easy setup and fast configuration is something users liked.

“I’ve used this plugin to improve search results on several client sites. Occasionally the plugin will probably need some attention as I have found the need to rebuild the index if there is a lot of posting activity on the site. Takes over the default WP Search functionality pretty seamlessly and requires very little configuration, which is a bonus.”

silent0 via Support

“.. we have a meeting with the clients tomorrow and the built in WordPress search didn’t meet the project requirements. Thanks to your plugin I was able to fix this in less than 15 minutes – I just installed, built the index, and boom!”

mthomas80 via Support

“I had a really high-end client that had a specific need and there wasn’t any other WordPress plugin out there that could handle it. We were looking at having to build something from scratch, to handle a large and unusual database. Fortunately, we found Relevanssi.”

PebbleArt Inc. via Relevanssi testimonial archive

3. Flexible & regular updates

The Relevanssi team is quite proactive at fixing bugs. They also update the plugin regularly to include more functionalities. In addition to that, Mikko, the developer, appears to help out customers with custom fixes for specific needs.

“Many options and regular updates…This is one of the plugins that are worth the cost !
It allows you to simply make the WordPress search better, and it does work just fine with WPML for instance”

aboudard via

Relevanssi Review – Cons of the Plugin

1. Need more control with actions/filter hooks

Only 4 stars because
– There should be more action/filter hooks to control it (see how WooCommerce is profligate with these);
– There are issues with custom fields – it seems impossible to weight certain custom fields differently to others (some of which may be Relevanssi)

jqz via Support

2. Doesn’t work with very large sites

The creators of Relevanssi are quite open about this limitation with Relevanssi. The plugin is not meant to handle sites over 10,000 pages.

“Great Plugin But Can’t Handle Large WP Site…..This is a promising search plugin but it constantly times out on one of my sites that has 25,000 posts and growing. I hope the developers look into this.”

 kangenguru via Support

Recommended for You: SearchWP vs. Relevanssi – Comparing WordPress Search Plugins

Relevanssi Review – Relevanssi in Real-Time

The best way to judge something is to see it in action.

Ergo, here are a few websites that use Relevanssi to power their search feature. Try out their search for yourself!

1. Media burn

What is it? – A video documentary archive
Visit Site:

Media burn Search Bar

2. Whisky Cast

What is it? – Collection of whiskey news, events, and distilleries around the world.
Visit site:

Try out their special search that prioritizes events and tasting notes

Whisky Cast Search Bar

3. Trader’s List

What is it? – Collection of customer reviews on
Visit site:

Search for reviews by name, city, zip code or state.

Trader’s List - Search Feature

More websites you can check out:

Li-An Blog – (French)

Tipps Tricks and Kniffe – ( German)

Kirjavinkit- (Finnish)

Relevanssi Review – by WordPress Experts

Let’s take a look at what some of the popular WordPress blogs have to say about Relevanssi.

1. Colorlib

“…Now since Relevanssi is a freemium plugin, you would expect the good features to be locked behind a subscription. On the contrary, the free version of the plugin provides these amazing features:
– Exact phrase match: If you surround your query with a quote, Relevanssi will only return those results that match the exact phrase
-Fuzzy search: Similar to SearchWP, Relevanssi offers a fuzzy logic search in the free version of the plugin…”

As part of the article titled “ 15 best Search plugins to make the most out of your search in 2019”

2. ThemeGrill

“Those of you looking for a feature-rich and configurable search engine for their site should check out Relevanssi. This plugin is quite powerful and allows for fuzzy matching, as well as phrase searching, and even allows you to set the weight of titles, tags, and comments…”

As part of the article titled “ 10 best free and premium WordPress search plugins “

3. Athemes

“…It will let you offer more comprehensive search results, as well as nice features like Google-style “did you mean?” search suggestions…..One important thing to consider with Relevansi is performance. The developers are quite open with the fact that Relevanssi uses lots of data, especially for a large site. They say you can expect to triple the size of your wp_postsdatabase table. On low-powered hosting, that might cause issues”

As part of the article titled “ 5 best WordPress search plugins”

What do You think of Relevanssi?

What are your thoughts about Relevanssi? Would you consider getting it for your website? Here’s a guide to set up search for your website if you have the plugin already.

Share your experience of using Relevanssi with us, we would love to hear from you!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post might be affiliate links. When you purchase through a link on our website, we receive a small commission, at no added cost to you, which helps us run Epitrove and keep producing great content. This does not influence our recommendations; we only recommend products we work with or love. Thank you for your support!

Lavanya Deshmukh
Lavanya Deshmukh

Computer Engineer, food enthusiast and die-hard Harry Potter fan that now writes content full time for Epitrove


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