WordPress Search Bar: An Ultimate Guide


A search engine is crucial for your website. It allows your web browsers to quickly find anything they need. In essence, a search box acts as the Google of your website, enabling people to locate critical information quickly. The simplest techniques to add a search bar to WordPress websites are discussed in this piece.

The majority of WordPress themes come with a search panel by default. However, you can also easily create your own custom search box if any theme doesn’t already have one or if you wish to. There are various ways to add a search bar to your website because WordPress is known for its modifiability.

We’ll demonstrate in this article how simple it is to add a search bar to your WordPress navigation.

What is a website search bar?

A website search bar is a bar that (usually) lives in a website’s top navigation and enables consumers to search for information rather than browsing your website utilizing the navigation options provided. The user enters a question into the search window, then clicks “search,” the magnifying glass symbol. Results are displayed below, similar to browsing on a search engine such as Google, depending on the closest match accessible to the word or terms supplied in the query.

Why You Need A Search Bar On Your WordPress

WordPress search bar is a component of a WordPress web design strategy that allows users to easily find material. A user’s search query can be entered by simply inputting specified words and phrases. And the backend mechanism will retrieve all relevant information from the website and display it to the searcher.

You may believe that having an intuitive interface will be enough to simplify your user journey. Well, smooth navigation is critical to the success of your website. However, incorporating a search bar is essential for providing speedy service to your guests.

Having benefits that are similar to the WooCommerce category page’s function, these are some advantages of including a search feature on your website:

1. Boost Conversion Rate

Including a search function on your website makes it easier for users to find what they’re searching for. It appears to provide a positive experience for users. Visitors are more likely to purchase something if they have a nice and easy experience on your site.

2. Increase the Average Time Spent

Visitors arrive at your website and, after a cursory peek or perhaps a half-scroll, find it difficult to discover the things they seek. This must cause them to quit your site. However, with the search bar, consumers may quickly find the information or items they’re looking for. This enables individuals to make more trustworthy judgments. And, of course, keep their concentration on your site for a longer period of time.

3. Enhances SEO

A superior customer experience encourages repeat visitors or customers to your business. As your website’s popularity and time spent on it grows, search engines like Google will deem it relevant and of excellent quality. This results in a higher rating for your website in search results.

4. Improve Your Audience Understanding

You may keep track of the search queries and specific phrases that users use to find content on your website. These questions can help you better grasp what people expect from you. You can also determine the phrase they use to search. Later, combine those phrases with related items or categories so that people may readily connect them to their needs.

How to Add A Search Bar to the WordPress page?

Here are four simple and straightforward ways to add a search bar to your WordPress site.

Method 1: Adding WordPress Search Bar From Widgets Panel

The first method is to add the WordPress search bar from the widgets panel.

This is the most basic and easiest method for adding a search bar to your website. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Navigate to Appearance > Widgets after logging into the WordPress admin area of your website. You can set your search bar in a variety of locations here.

Step 2: Let’s pretend you want to include your search bar in the default sidebar. Expand the Default Sidebar by clicking the arrow in the upper-right corner.

After that, click the plus sign (+). It shows the many block types that you can choose from.

Find the search widget after that, and add it by pressing it.

Step 3: At this point, your WordPress search bar is available. You have the freedom to alter the search bar’s title and other elements as well.


Finally, go to your website and look for the Search widget in the sidebar.

Method 2: Adding Search Bar Widget Using Elementor

Elementor is probably the most popular WordPress page developer, offering a simple drag-and-drop interface. Elementor comes with 400+ pre-designed themes and blocks, as well as a plethora of useful widgets, allowing you to create your dream website within minutes.

We’ll demonstrate to you how to add a search bar to WordPress using Elementor in the steps below.

Assume you’ve successfully implemented Elementor and completed all the basic setups. If you are a beginner in Elementor, you should read this Elementor guide to ensure a pleasant web development experience.

Step 1: Drag and Drop a Search Widget

To begin, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and select Add New Page or browse to the page where you want to add the search bar. When you create a new page, give it a title. After that, choose the blue “Edit with Elementor” button. It completely takes you to the Elementor Interface.

Once you’re in the Editor, look for the Search Form widget in the side panel search bar. The widget can then be dragged and dropped into the interface.

When you add the widget, you’ll see a Search Bar like the one shown below:

Now you can personalize it to your liking. You can, for instance, add a title, modify its size and color, align it, or add a custom link to it. You can also change the appearance of the button.

Step 2: Create a Search Bar

You may customize your search bar utilizing the Style tab, taking into account your theme color palette, website color scheme, customer preferences, and so on. We update the search text, change the color, add a border shadow, and modify the button style here.

Step 3: Give Your Design a Special Touch

Choose the Advanced tab for more options. Here you can change the margin, padding, position, and other settings. If you are experienced with CSS coding, you may add your own CSS Code snippet directly from there.

Moreover, you can enhance the advanced functionality by purchasing third-party Elementor Addons such as Happy Addons.

Method 3: Manually Add A Search Box to Your Website

You will need some technical knowledge for this procedure. As a result, you have complete control over modification and styling.

  • Navigate to the header.php or sidebar.php file (where you desire to include the search button).
  • Simply include the function <?php get search form();?> in your code. It will use the search function from your searchform.php theme. There is no difficulty if there’s no searchform.php file. By default, it will generate one.
  • Now, go to your site and look for the Search box in the side menu (if you put the function in sidebar.php) or the upper panel (if you inserted the function in header.php).

  • If you desire to alter the style of this box, access the style.css file and adjust the search-form location, size, or styling to your choice.

Method 4: Using Third-Party Plugins, Add a Search Bar to Your WordPress Website

Aside from these options, you may incorporate a search bar on your WordPress website by using a third-party plugin. In this article, I will use the Ivory Search plugin.

To start, install and enable the Ivory Search plugin. It’s an easy-to-use plugin with a lot of functionality.

You can quickly construct a WordPress search plugin for the sidebar and add it to the dropdown menu. It also allows WooCommerce for individuals who want to establish an online store.

You may activate the plugin from the Plugins > Add New portion of your WordPress dashboard.

Once the plugin has been installed and functional, go to Ivory Search > Settings from of the sidebar to add the search bar to your WordPress settings menu.

Select Menu Search from the drop-down menu to activate the menu’s search bar. Then you’ll be given a list of all the options on your site. Select which menus should be displayed in the search box and click the Save option.


You can now go to your website and see that you have a search bar in the navigation.

Some plugins that you can use to add a search bar to WordPress page

There is a multitude of free & paid search plugins. These search plugins are better than the default search widget I discussed previously.

Ajax Search Lite


Ajax Search Lite is a WordPress live search plugin. This flexible live search engine will improve your user experience by giving an easy-to-use ajax-powered search form – a live search bar. You can also use the categories and post-type filter boxes to narrow down the results. There is also Google autocomplete and keyword predictions.

Animations that are very seamless, with mobile device capability and regular updates. Use Ajax Search Lite to replace the default WordPress search with a more attractive and efficient search engine.

Enhance your visitors’ usage experience by giving a strong ajax search plugin. Custom post kinds, custom fields, and other features are supported. This custom-built live search engine will help your site’s search engine.

ACF Better Search


This plugin provides the feature of searching by content from Advanced Custom Fields plugin sections to the default WordPress web browser.

Everything works properly; no further coding is required. The plugin does not generate a search results page but instead alters the SQL database query to improve the performance of your search engine.

You can also search for full phrases rather than individual words. As a result, the search will be more effective than it was before.



Relevanssi is a great search engine that replaces the normal WordPress search with a plethora of features and customizable parameters. You’ll achieve better outcomes, and your users will appreciate you.

Please keep in mind that employing Relevanssi may necessitate a huge amount of database storage (for a rough estimate, multiply the size of your wp posts database table by three). Relevanssi may cause issues if your hosting arrangement has restricted space for database tables. In such instances, using Relevanssi is not advised.

BONUS TIPS for those who are running a WooCommerce online store

If you are running an online store with WooCommerce, you can also implement one of the 4 methods I mentioned earlier. But if you find it complicated, you can try Woostify theme. Woostify is one of the best WooCommerce theme focusing on increasing sales for online stores. Woostify offers various useful features for all online shop. Among of those is Ajax search that gives your users an extremely fast advanced Ajax WooCommerce product search bar with live search suggestions.


Final Words

The WordPress search bar can assist you in improving site navigation and turning more leads into loyal customers. After reading this blog, you should have all the information you require to get started.

In a nutshell, WordPress is simple to set up and configure. We’ve talked about four alternative approaches to installing a WordPress search bar here. You can change the existing search box in your theme, add a new one from the dashboard, or easily build one using Elementor.

Do you have any further questions regarding how to add a search bar to WordPress? Please let us know in the comments, and we will do our best to assist!

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