Advanced Search plugin review over at WPLift
Almost four years ago, Oliver Dale started his blog WPLift, where he writes about anything WordPress related. Since I started to work intensively with WordPress, developing plugins, themes and so on, WPLift became one of my main resources for news related to WP. And not just for me. Over 10,000 user subscribed to the newsletter and thousands of readers return to this page every day, to get the latest stuff.
Some days ago, Oliver told the story, how everything began:
One thing that concerned me when starting WPlift was whether I would have enough to write about just focusing on WordPress
An unnecessary worry, as it turned out since “you could write 10 posts a day and still not be covering everything “. Some time ago, I contacted Oliver (who overs reviews for premium plugins and themes for a small fee in order to support his blog), if he thought a review about my latest plugin would fit into his blog and he wrote a very nice blog post: Advanced WordPress Search
In this review he explains briefly the functionality of the plugin and how you can set it up. Since WordPress comes with quite a simple search field, its capabilities for a good search experience is limited. This search might be enough for a small blog like mine, but as soon as you run a complex website, like an online store, this search functionality turns out to be too simple. At this point, my plugin Profi Search Form comes into place. With a simple drag and drop interface you are able to create your own completely customized advanced search for your WordPress page.
Oliver demonstrates this with an example of his blog. He is writing quite a lot of WordPress theme reviews (till today there are more than 120!), which he saves in a Custom Post Type called “Themes”. He is using custom taxonomies for this post type like “Theme Company”, “Theme Colors” and so on and custom fields like “Price”. In his review he is using these attributes to create a search, where you can select, for example all white themes which cost between 10 and 50 USD.
This is a powerful plugin for improving the search capabilities of sites which make use of meta data / taxonomies.
But, of course, there are also some critical remarks. Not without a reason, Oliver states that he has seen more beautiful plugins, which is quite true. Until now, the first thing I want to provide is the functionality as such. A powerful yet easy to configure advanced search. The CSS and styling is rather basically and the ideal customer in my mind is someone, who knows CSS and knows how to adjust the HTML elements to his theme. Since most of the customers are WordPress agencies, this works fine. But of course I am thinking about theming my plugin. Since I am more on the programmers side of WordPress development, maybe I should have a look, where to find a good WordPress designer, so I can outsource this task a bit. One of the problems I see with theming a plugin is the different environments, it will be working in. If you read the comments for different plugins, one of the constant problems are CSS problems, where a beautiful theme meets a beautiful plugin and one CSS definition destroys the other. I always wanted to write a blog post about good and solid plugin styling. Maybe now its time to explore this issue a bit more.
Anyway, if you are interested in a second opinion about my plugin, please have a look for Olivers review over at WPLift: Advanced WordPress Search + Filtering by Taxonomy and Post Meta.