I evaluated WPFTS on a few demo and staging sites with an eye toward buying pro. I really wanted it to beat out the other options I’ve been testing.
I gave it 3.5 stars and round down because the review interface says 3 stars is “Good” and 4 stars is “Great,” and for my use cases, that’s what it is.
I really like that WPFTS uses the standard WP Query loop. This should ensure compatibility with pretty much every page builder and other plugins.
WPFTS indexed 2383 items on a site with a few hundred posts, and it took a very, very long time. Hosted on Flywheel.
The plugin needs options to select post types for indexing. It’s not good to balloon the index with posts that should not appear in search results. There’s no need to index media files, for example, if attachment pages are disabled (e.g., with an SEO plugin). This is a standard option in the UI of other search plugins.
I like the “cluster” search weighting scheme for customization, but a cluster for each taxonomy should probably be included by default. This is a standard option in the UI of other search plugins.
The option to index taxonomy terms would also be good. Indexing archive pages can be important if your theme is set up like that. Relevanssi Pro will index taxonomy terms (categories, tags and custom taxonomies). Searching for taxonomy term name will return the taxonomy term page.
Custom field integration with ACF/Meta Box requires custom coding. Other search plugins have this built in.
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