This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Compound Searcher


The plugin gives search boxes on the blog additional functionalities for operators among search words, such as Google’s. The other supported operators than the standard ‘and’ search are OR, -(exclude), *(any string) and parenthesis.

The plugin contains SearchWordsSQL and Genericons libraries. These are subject to the respective licenses. If you want to redistribute this plugin with Genericons, you may have to comply with GPLv2 (not lesser).

Search Operators

  • Specify words separated by space(s) to search posts containing all the words.
  • Quote a string containing space(s) by double quotes to search posts which contain phrase(s) consisted of those words only in the order.
  • Insert an asterisk (*) in a word without any space to search posts which contain the word(s) regardless of what the part of the asterisk is.
  • Prepend a minus sign (-) without any space to a word to search posts which do not contain the word(s).
  • Specify two words separated by ” OR ” in upper case to search posts which contain either of words or both. This takes precedence over words separated by space(s) only.
  • You can combine the above expression. Use a pair of parenthesis to group expressions if needed.

It searches in the bodies and titles of posts in a case-insensitive manner.


Requires PHP 5.3.6 or later with mbstring enabled. Tested on PHP 5.3.10.

  1. Extract the archive into the “/wp-content/plugins/” directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the “Plugins” menu in WordPress.
  3. Configure the settings in the general settings page.


The help icon is displayed on the weird location.

The feature could be incompatible with some themes and browsers. Twenty Twelve and Twenty Thirteen seem to be incompatible so far.

Are the searches case-insensitive?

Yes if your backend RDBMS is a MySQL.

What fields does it search in?

The body and title, including HTML tags in them.

The search result is incorrect. It seems to do a standard search, rather than a compound search.

If your query had a syntax error for a compound search, the search would fall back to the standard search mode. Check an error log of your server (e.g. Apache).


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Contributors & Developers

“Compound Searcher” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “Compound Searcher” into your language.

Interested in development?

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



  • Fix incorrect html for the icon.


  • Now the plugin runs independently of the name of the plugin directory.
  • Changed the license from LGPLv3 to LGPLv2.1 or later.


  • changed the plugin directory name.


  • Initial release.