ACF: Better Search


This plugin adds to default WordPress search engine the ability to search by content from selected fields of Advanced Custom Fields plugin.

Everything works automatically, no need to add any additional code.

Additionally you can search for whole phrases instead of each single word of phrase. As a result, search will be more accurate than before.

New search core: We modified the code of search engine. Content search is now faster by about 75% (depending on the level of complexity of searched phrase)!


  • Screenshot of the options panel


  1. Upload the plugin files to /wp-content/plugins/acf-better-search directory, or install plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. Activate plugin through Plugins screen in WordPress Admin Panel.
  3. Use Settings -> ACF: Better Search screen to configure the plugin.


How does this work?

Plugin changes all SQL queries by extending the standard search to selected fields of Advanced Custom Fields.

Where working advanced search?

It works for WP_Query class.

Do I need to add some arguments to my function to activate advanced search?

Everythings works automatically. For custom WP_Query loop and get_posts() function also if you add Search Parameter.

Whether the plugin works in the admin panel?

Yes. The plugin works same as for the search page.

In what fields does the plugin search?

Our plugin supports the following fields: Text, Text Area, Number, Email, Url, File, Wysiwyg Editor, Select, Checkbox and Radio Button. All these fields may be located in both the Repeater or Flexible Content field.

How does searching for whole phrases?

The default search in WordPress is to search for each of words listed. This feature allows you to search for occurrences of the whole phrase entered in the search field without word division.

How does Lite mode work?

In this mode, the plugin does not check the field types. Phrases are searched in all ACF fields. Thanks to this, the query to the database is smaller and faster by about 25%. However, we do not have control over which fields are taken into account when searching.

What version of Advanced Custom Fields is supported?

Advanced Custom Fields in version 5 (also free). ACF below version 5 has a different data structure in database and is not supported.


Excellent plugin!

Faster than expected with this plugin, my search functionnality work great with all custom fields created and selected on plugin options!

Would give this 5 stars except for constant begging

I run about 60 sites and this plugin is on most of them. There is no way to shut down the reminders that constantly crop up begging for donations or reviews.

Because I can’t disable that, it gets 4 stars.

UPDATE: Author has given us the ability to permanently disable reminders: 5 stars!

Mostly works

So, the issue has more to do with how it interacts with ACF than generally not working. This plugin works exactly as it is described, but it does not work with meta-data that was not stored using ACF.

However, the author changed my live web site without asking me and screwed up half our systems. Thanks.

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Contributors & Developers

“ACF: Better Search” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“ACF: Better Search” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “ACF: Better Search” into your language.

Interested in development?

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



  • Support for free version of ACF 5


  • Default hidden admin notice


  • Improved search engine
  • Support for AUTO_INCREMENT field in database other than 1
  • Possibility of permanent turn off admin notice
  • Modifications on settings page


  • Withdrawal of support for old WordPress versions
  • Minor fixes


  • Search in admin panel
  • Support for get_posts() function
  • Support for internationalization
  • Changes in plugin structure


  • Cleaning database after removing plugin


  • Compatibility fix for Polylang plugin


  • Support for File type field


  • Modification of admin notice


  • Faster search using lite mode
  • Improved PHP code


  • Turn off plugin core while searching uploads media items


  • Support for WordPress Multisite


  • Changed closing notice in admin panel


  • Support for WP AJAX
  • Changed access to settings page


  • Improved text search with apostrophe and quotation marks


  • Withdrawal of support for get_posts()


  • Fixes for PHP 7


  • Improved search engine
  • The ability to search whole phrases
  • Changed plugin settings page
  • Notifications in admin panel


  • The first stable release