WP FullText Search – The Power of Indexed Search


This plugin extends the standard search capabilities of WordPress by creating a transparent word-based index. This allows you to quickly search not only by the title and content of posts, but also by meta-fields, custom types of posts, shortcode content and even by the contents of the attached files. Yes, all this is possible!

WPFTS does not require the installation of external indexing software and therefore works even on shared hostings. It does not require any refinement of your site, thus all other plugins will also automatically use the word-based index after installing the WPFTS.

You will be able to justify the relevance function by specifying the weights for the title, the content, and each of the meta-fields in your posts.

Unlike other search plug-ins, WPFTS does not replace the standard WP search, instead, it significantly expands its functionality. Thus, all built-in functions of WP_Query are saved, in addition, other plug-ins begin to use advanced search automatically.

There is a built-in Live Search functionality. You can simple switch it ON simple by using WPFTS’s native flexible Search Widget. The custom search widget can be installed to any place of your page/post with a special shortcode ([wpfts_widget]).

The extended (pro) version of the plugin allows you to automatically index the text content of the attached files (for example, PDF files, full list of supported files is listed in Documentation) and perform a quick search on them.

Here is a short summary of capabilities in this FREE version:

  • TRUE indexed text search within title, content, shortcodes, meta field values or programmatically-created text data
  • Dramatically extends the native WordPress search (and at the same time works via WP_Query())
  • Supports phrase search (gives a relevance bonus for phrases)
  • Supports multisite
  • Supports powerful index clustering system (to assign different relevance weights to different parts of the post)
  • Supports AND and OR logic
  • Ordering results by relevance, date, post ID, title, slug, type, random, comment_count
  • Free version does not require 3rd-party libraries or services, everything happen inside your website!
  • Displays search results like Google does (it shows sentences with queried words and highlighting them, check screenshots below)
  • Supports Live Search (you can see the list of search results right in the search input box!)
  • Works well on shared hostings
  • Supports language translations (English, Deutch, Russian and Ukrainian are ready now)
  • Removes HTML tags and comments from post content before indexing it (useful for Gutenberg-driven sites)
  • Does the text search inside the shortcode content
  • A TRUE relevance algorithm is used (improved TF-IDF)
  • Relevance formula can be justified via settings (post title, content and each meta field can have different weights)
  • Make default search WP ordering configurable (very useful for WP site search via ?s=)
  • It has API and full documentation to customize plugin’s behaviour
  • Works well with PHP 5.6+ to PHP 7.4+
  • Supports add-ons, we have a big library of them, and you can write your own extensions, it’s simple.

Please note, the PRO version of this plugin also supports:

  • File attachments search by their content (PDF, DOC, DOCX and other files currently supported)
  • Filter file search by filetype
  • Display file content in search results using Smart Excerpts
  • External service to extract text information from files can be used (license included)
  • Technical support (with installing, configuring, fixing conflicts)
  • Regular automatic updates (it works the same way as WP repository updates)
  • A bunch of add-ons which makes it possible to index and search the content and files generated by other plugins and themes (for example: file search add-on for WordPress Download Manager plugin, add-on for Filebase Pro, add-on for Delicious Downloads, and many more). Pro user may ask us to build a custom add-on for their own websites.


The plugin interface was translated by these great people:

Ukrainian: Lera Suhanova
German and German_formal: torkeller (@torkeller)
Russian: (translated by myself, @epsiloncool)
Dutch: Peter Smits @psmits1567


Please refer Documentation.


  • Smart Excerpts (Google-like search results) and styling settings
  • Main control panel
  • Calculate Relevance settings
  • Sort Results settings (applied to default WP search too)
  • Find Records settings
  • Indexing engine settings
  • Search Engine Status widget
  • Live Search widget example


  1. Unpack and upload fulltext-search folder with all files to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Press Rebuild Index button to initialize index (actually this function will run automatically on first plugin install)


Where can I put some notices, comments or bugreports?

Do not hesistate to write to us at Contact Us page.


May 5, 2021
This plugin does an amazing job, searching in our uploaded PDF files, in Armenian language. We purchased the Pro version and I came here to write about how amazing, fast and helpful is the support team. Good job!
April 27, 2021
I installed this plugin in order to facilitate the search when looking for something that was in the content of a document. However, from the moment I installed this plugin, whenever I add a new document to the website, it is very slow because it is running the indexing simultaneously with the upload. I was told that it would be possible to have the plugin do the indexing asynchronously and that it would take a few days. However, months have passed and still no answer. Still with regard to this matter, whenever I tried to talk to them, which happens almost daily, no one answered me.
March 19, 2021
This plugin was recommended to me by one of the devs of Better Search if I remember correctly. I wasn't happy with the search results quality of Better Search, and he indicated that WP Fulltext Search might improve the results. I installed it, built the index, and the search results stayed exactly the same. No improvements whatsoever, nor any observable differences. I still kept the plugin, thinking it must have improved something. But then I started not being able to find certain images in the Media gallery when I searched on terms I knew were present in the gallery. I had no idea what caused this. Today, our web developer indicated that WP Fulltext Search has created database tables that take up 50% of the total size of our database contents, and using the wrong prefixes. This made me decide to uninstall WP Fulltext Search, because why keep something that doesn’t do what I got it for, and takes up so much space (not) doing it? And guess what? After uninstalling WP Fulltext Search, the Media gallery search works perfectly again! This plugin may work for some people. For us, it has only caused problems and offered not a single noticeable improvement.
November 18, 2020
I have been looking for an advanced search plugin that can handle > 50.000 posts, is reasonably fast & accurate AND is no hog on server resources. As an online newspaper with an open archive, we just need a reliable search. What can I say? WPFTS absolutely RULEZ! We started with about 50.000 posts: yeah, it took some hours to build the index 🙂 Despite the very long running time of the process, it went flawless. After generating the index, the plugin worked right out of the box. It is VERY fast, even now as we crossed the 100.000 posts margin! It gives us exactly what we need: highly relevant results, sorted by date, with amazing speed. Also very nice: the Google-like presentation of the results, with snippet and highlighted search term. Bravo! And since you can turn a WP search into an RSS-feed, we can offer highly specialized feeds which we can automatically feed into special-interest facebook groups, thus vastly expanding our reach. One last word about the support: I have to give it an A+ Simply outstanding! Timely and competent, and a fun to work with. Keep up the good work, Alexey! Alex Dittrich, Founder & Editor in Chief of "Der Neue Wiesentbote" Online Newspaper
Read all 22 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“WP FullText Search – The Power of Indexed Search” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“WP FullText Search – The Power of Indexed Search” has been translated into 2 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “WP FullText Search – The Power of Indexed Search” into your language.

Interested in development?

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



  • Improved style/js loading code (thanks to @nextendweb !)


  • A course is taken to significantly improve the functionality of the plugin. Changed the design of the admin panel


  • Added primary keys to temporary tables to let 3rd-party plugins (like backup tools) work better with wpftsi_* tables


  • Added fail detection to the indexer to prevent stops because of 3rd party plugins’ fails


  • Fix: enforce indexer via AJAX in case the server is local with wrong DNS/hosts file or disabled CRON


  • Replaced TRUNCATE with CREATE-RENAME-DROP to avoid system locking


  • Added a checkbox to switch ON/OFF the search inside WP admin
  • Improved indexer execution for hostings where DNS is configured incorrectly and/or native WP cron does not work properly
  • Added a fix (optional, with the checkbox switch) for MariaDB issue with new experimental search option
  • WPFTS Index Optimizer is switched OFF by default now (you can bring it back using the switch)
  • Rebuild Index button from Attachment Edit page now works again
  • Optimized IDLE mode for indexer
  • Added wpfts_set_pause() method
  • Visual issues fixed
  • Fixed main_search tweaker routine


  • Added Flare support
  • Fixed a bug in autocomplete widget
  • Added ‘wpfts_is_force’ parameter to WP_Query


  • Fixed MySQL error (thanks Daan!)
  • Clean up some code to remove extra Flare&Fire calls


  • The indexer sequence and algorithm was completely rebuilt
  • Pause mode was added to the indexer
  • Improved indexer logging
  • Added search index status to the Edit Post page


  • Added shortcode [wpfts_widget] that lets you install search widget to any place of post/page or template


  • Improved input parameter processing to remove dependency with is_main_query() and is_search() for repeated WP_Query calls
  • Bugs fixed
  • Improved compatibility with 3rd-party themes and plugins


  • Fixed Live Search console error
  • Fixed 5 minor bugs


  • Fixed 8 bugs and issues
  • Added shortcode content search support!
  • Improved Smart Excerpt preparation (removed html entities)


  • Fixed 10 big and small issues
  • Added: extension port in free version
  • Improved indexing speed


  • Some fixes in the code
  • Fixed forum and documentation links


  • Word indexer was optimized for low-memory webservers
  • Fixed some notices appeared for rare cases


  • Fixed an issue with AND settings (now works again, thanks to @clapierre)
  • Fixed 2 other bugs
  • The notice on the Smart Excerpt Settings page was fixed


  • Translation-related fixes

= 1.33.92=
* Fixed an issue with index length on VARCHAR fields
* Confirmed compatibility with WordPress 5.5
* Fixed language domain and code to be compatible with WordPress Translate service


  • Added support for x86 platforms (by x64 software emulation)
  • Fixed notices when result is empty (thanks to Mihajlo!)
  • Fixed DB collation issues (now WPFTS is using the same collation as WordPress does)


  • Fixed “expected to be a reference, value given” bug, thanks to @gregamer!


  • Fixed found_posts / max_num_pages issue
  • Fixed text typo


  • Added new algorithm that supports sentences
  • Deep search is now faster (no more afraid to use it)
  • Character limit (3 chars) was removed
  • MyISAM support was dropped
  • Faster index rebuilding
  • Fixed some UI/UX issues
  • Fixed around 15 issues in the code


  • Fixed some UI bugs
  • Added German and German-formal translations (thanks to torkeller (@torkeller) !!!)
  • Improved Russian translation


  • Fixed UI second-level tabs bug
  • Some new texts prepared for translation


  • Changed UI logic: now tabbed
  • Approved compatibility with WordPress 5.4
  • Fixed 3 small issues


  • Fixed Smart Excerpts view issue
  • Added more code for custom widgets
  • Attachments caption and description are searchable now!


  • Fixed design (now looks much better)
  • Fixed text typos
  • Fixed 4 small issues


  • Fixed texts and typos
  • Improved indexing speed
  • Some code preparations for sentence-enabled search


  • Fixed 3 issues
  • Updated the plugin description


  • Fixed notification windows dismiss function


  • Fixed incompatibility with Gravity Forms and possible some other plugins


  • Added modern design of the plugin backend. All forms and controls were rebuilt
  • Fixed 5 bugs and issues


  • Added alpha Live Search functionality


  • Justified design
  • Fixed 2 bugs


  • Tested and approved compatibility with WP 5.3
  • Fixed 3 secondary issues


  • Fixed number to string conversion for some locales


  • Added CSS style editor for Smart Excerpts block
  • Added external parameters for WP_Query: “word_logic” and “wpfts_disable” (refer documentation)
  • Fixed: Smart Excerpts now works well for content contains non-UTF-8 characters


  • Fixed: The Smart Excerpts algorithm was completely rebuilt. Now working on any post and excerpt length. Thanks to Kathy


  • Fixed: single UTF-8 quote issue made some “beautifyed strings” unsearchable. Fixed now. Thanks to Sophia.


  • Fixed: make text search case insensitive not depends from MySQL config. Thanks to Sophia


  • Fixed: search result items with zero relevance does not show anymore (BIG thanks to @bolus150 for the bugreport!)
  • Added possibility to set up cluster_weights as a WP_Query parameter
  • Added wpfts_cluster_weights filter
  • Added Settings option to strip_tags before put post content to the index (useful for Gutenberg driven sites)


  • Localization improved (new pot file, added __ in some places the code)


  • Big update: lots of functions was moved from the Pro version to the Free WPFTS Version
  • Interface bugs were fixed
  • Relevance formula was completely rebuilt
  • Reindex algorithm was sufficiently improved (now 5 times faster!)
  • Word max length was increased to 255 characters


  • Code optimizations
  • Indexing speed increased


  • Improved compatibility with WordPress 5.2.2
  • Fixed 3 small issues


  • Fixed an issue with database locking with MYISAM
  • Small interface fixes


  • Fixed an issue with indexing
  • Added compatibility with WordPress 5.2


  • Fixed 3 issues


  • Improved compatibility with WP 5.1
  • Fixed 7 issues


  • Added Google-like Smart Excerpts


  • Fixed 5 tiny bugs (thanks users for reports!)


  • Added Multisite support


  • Fixed 9 warnings and 21 notices while optimizing plugin for PHP 7.2
  • Added support of PHP 7.2


  • Added Main WP Search Tweaks settings


  • Fixed a bug – it was a reason why plugin can’t activate correctly on some hostings


  • Added InnoDB support
  • Added a switch of MySQL table type (InnoDB/MySQL)
  • Fixed a bug with popup message


  • Fixed MySQL queries: search speed sufficiently improved


  • Added “Deeper Search” flag and functionality


  • Added support for internal query filtering
  • Added wpfts_search_terms filter
  • Fixed some indexing speed issues


  • Fixed Readme.txt
  • Fixed queries to WP multisite support


  • Compatibility with WP 4.8.1
  • Indexing speed increased a bit (code was optimized)


  • Added support for sites with specific DB table names


  • Cosmetic changes


  • Changed regexp which is splitting texts to words (non-english characters are now supported)
  • Added wpftp_split_to_words filter which enables you to define your own “text splitting” algorithm


  • Added complex query analyzer (support quotes)


  • Added plugin icon
  • Fixed description


  • Lowered save_post hook priority to index metadata correctly


  • Small bug fixes
  • Debug logging removed


  • Added cluster weights capability
  • Plugin assigned to GPL license


  • First WordPress version


  • Automatic indexing were added, over 30 bugs were fixed


  • Initial edition. Basic functions added