Hi again, I think I've almost got everything sorted out. Really appreciate the help and support.
One other thing I'm stumped on - I have a few custom fields that are simple textareas (wysiwyg areas where the client can write a description of an item in the database). I am trying to set the search up to look in those custom fields for any keyword matches. The dropdown/checkbox/radio options don't work for this, since I don't know in advance what the client will be writing in each description - it could be anything. So I need the search to simply look for keyword matches within those fields.
Is this possible? I know I can add a string search, but that seems to only look through wordpress post content/titles, not my custom fields.