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Joomla 4 is on its way to make more improvements and new features. Joomla smart search is an important feature that allows site users to search most of the site content from articles, tags, contacts, users etc with pretty fast speed. In Joomla 3.x there are 2 types of search system used: Search and Smart search. The com_search component is used to show search and the com_finder component is Joomla smart search. Joomla 4 will no longer use com_search (search) and it will be replaced by Joomla smart search with the improved codebase.

In this blog post, we will discuss the Joomla 4 smart search feature and how it differs from usual search.

Smart Search Joomla 4 - A new All in one Search Component

Smart Search Joomla 4

Smart Search in Joomla 4

Joomla 4 introduced a new improved smart search with new options for the active search index. Before Joomla smart search used to have a manual index option that required to run each time we add new content on the website. Joomla 4 smart search brings a new feature: Active search index, suppose we are adding a new article on the website or any new contact item. Joomla will automatically index the new items for the search result. Joomla smart search also brings new advanced options for search filter and content map. Here are some important features of Joomla smart search:

Active indexer search Joomla 4

Index Smart search Joomla 4

1. Active Indexer :

Joomla smart search provides active indexing, you do not need to index each time when you add new content, all processes will be automatically done in the background. For example, we have added a list of new articles in the Joomla article manager and smart search Joomla 4 auto fetched the articles.

auto index update search

Auto update index - Smart search Joomla 4

All articles can be visible on the Joomla 4 smart search index list.

2. Joomla Smart search filters :

In Joomla 4 smart search you can make a different type of search filters for articles, categories and contacts items with a different combination of filter rules based on author and date timeline. Each new filter can be used for a different type of smart search menu and smart search module Joomla.

smart search filter Joomla 4

Filters - Smart search Joomla 4

3. Content Map:

A content map is a new feature in Joomla 4 smart search that gives complete mapping details for site content used in the smart search Joomla 4. The core purpose of the content map option is used to provide complete details about the published and unpublished index content inside the smart search Joomla 4.

content mapping search Joomla 4

Content Map - Smart search

4. Statistics :

The statistics option in Joomla smart search brings all the search states that have been done by users. If users search smart search in Joomla 4 it will show the result to the user on frontend and also update the search stats on the back-end for how many times this search has been done with the search phrase, hits and no of results. This option will work only if it's enabled in Joomla smart search.

5. Advanced options :

Joomla 4 smart search extension also loaded with a more advanced option to control over the search results. Advanced smart search provides options to modify the search result page for Highlight Search Terms, Open search discovery, search suggestion, Result URL and many more. These options can be overridden by the Menu or module settings. Index tab in the advanced option allows restyling the Joomla smart search result page. These are similar options taken from previous Joomla versions smart search.

joomla 4 smart search advance options

Advanced options - Smart search Joomla 4

6. Smart Search Module:

As we are already familiar with smart search modules. Joomla 4 smart search module allows to publish the search module anywhere on the website using a module position and support different types of filter selection. You can publish multiple smart search modules using different types of search filters.

smart search module Joomla

Smart search module Joomla 4

7. Search Plugins :

Joomla smart search supports multiple types of content that include articles, contacts, category, tags and news feed. To use each feature on the search page we must enable the supported search plugins. Here is a list of the smart search plugins in Joomla 4:

  • Search - Tags finder tags
  • Smart Search - Categories
  • Smart Search - Contacts
  • Smart Search - Content finder
  • Smart Search - News Feeds

Please note: All these plugin uses plugin type Finder as another name of smart search is com_finder.

What if I want to use older search in Joomla 4?

Yes! You can use the previous Joomla search as well. Joomla developers decided legacy support for the older search. If you are updating your website from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4 the older search component will not be removed. It is only absent on the new installation of Joomla 4.

Summary :

Joomla 4 smart search is a more powerful search system loaded with advanced options to allow a real-time search on a website. The active Index and Content mapping is also very useful to get all search content up to date.

More tutorials on Joomla 4: https://www.joomlart.com/blog/joomla-4-tutorials-all-you-need-to-know-about-joomla-4

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