Vantage Search Auto Suggest is a plugin that enables a Google-like “Auto Suggest” feature right into your Vantage theme. Search is an important feature of Vantage theme and is evident by the sheer preference given to the search box in the design, however a lot of us have been spoiled by Google’s Auto Suggest feature. Many users expect now every search to function like that of Google’s. This plugin gives you a chance to give the same functionality to your users.
Unfortunately, Vantage doesn’t have the Auto Suggest search feature. It was a requested feature in the forums too, so we decided to cook this plugin for you. Now, you can offer the “Auto Suggest” functionality to your visitors by enabling this plugin. As soon as, the users would start typing, the intelligent search engine would automatically suggest various posts or events making it easier for users to select.
Note -> Read Before You Buy: The plugin has been made compatible to default Vantage theme’s search box. Its CSS is not guaranteed to work with any of Vantage’s Child themes. You’d have to contact me to get the CSS to be fixed. It would attract an additional charge of $30-50 depending on how much time it takes.
My Answer To This Review (Click here to read review): In all honesty, I agree with Eric – The plugin will lose on speed because we have to make queries in the database rather than creating a JSON file for all the entries in your website. We had taken the JSON approach however had to switch to database because of the feedback from ITFind (1st site in Sites using The Plugin).
JSON file becomes too heavy in size if the listings are more. In case of ITFind – the size of the JSON file became 2 Mb in size when it could only process 3,000 entries. Whereas they had over 150,000 listings. That JSON file gets downloaded whenever the page loads – i’m sure no webmaster would want a page that heavy!
That’s my 2 cents in defense of this plugin and the hard work that we’ve put in it. The developer shouldn’t be blamed for poor web hosting. A good web hosting with good database server will certainly be able to deliver the results faster.
Sites Using The Plugin:
- ITFind.It: The site is running on a shared server and has got 150,000 listings!
- Punjabi Center: The site lists businesses focusing towards Punjabi community.
Please see the changelog tab for the changes.
Planned Changes –
1. Revamped UI for plugin’s settings.
2. Optimization of speed of the results fetching.
The plugin generates a JSON file & queries the JSON file. The file updates every time you make a change in the events or listings. [Not the case anymore since Version 1.2] On heavier sites with lot of content, there is an option to cache the JSON file and set it’s expiry time which can be done in the settings. You can access the settings through Settings->Vantage Search Auto Suggest[Not the case anymore since Version 1.2]
- You can also set the number of search results you want to Auto suggest with in plugin settings too.
- Download the plugin from AppThemes.
- Upload the plugin file using via WordPress or FTP.
- Click the Activate Plugin link.
- That’s it!
1.0 – Initial Release
1.1 – Major Update
- Changed how suggestions are shown. It now features Address & the category in which the listing was added right in the suggestions.
- Click or Enter on the suggestions takes user directly to the listing – thus saving lots of clicks.
- Earlier JSON file was regenerated every time a listing was added or removed. Now, the changes are incremented (if new listing is added) or updated (if changes are done in the existing listings) with each change. This makes the plugin scalable.
1.2 – Major Update
- Changed the way plugin worked. While implementing it on ITFind.it website (had 150,000 listings at the time it was implemented) figured out that JSON file was huge in terms of size. with just 3,000 listings only – the size of JSON file was 900kb. Now, plugin queries directly in the database, so no JSON file is generated anymore.
- Since the search call is made to the server (remotely), it takes some time before the search results are returned – Added an animation that notifies user that we’re waiting for the search result.
- User can now choose to show the category or address in the settings.
1.2.1 – Quick Fixes
- Add: CSS box in the settings that allows users to store the CSS settings specific to their site. Plugin works with Default theme – so buyer may have to edit the CSS specific to their theme/child theme.
- Fix: In Firefox, click on the search result wasn’t taking the user to the post.
- Fix: <Title> of the settings page.
1.2.2 – Quick Fixes
- Added option to include categories & tags in search results.
- Optimized search to show search listings starting with the character that was entered in search result.
- Only Active listings would be shown. No expired listing will be shown.
- Cross browser compatible for click redirection. It wasn’t working with Firefox earlier.
1.2.3 – Quick Fixes
- Added the option to select search type. “Broad” or “Narrow”
- Made changes in the CSS to ensure more listings can be shown.
1.2.5 – New Features & Fixes
- Added: User now has the option to set custom headings for categories, tags & listings in the search result.
- Fixed: Listing post or event post with same title will appear in suggestion list
- Fixed: If category name is empty, the search coloum will span full width according to the search field’s width.
- Added: Redirection Settings.
- Added: Feature listing now appear at top in search results.
- Optimized: Search result will fetch faster than before (20% – 30% time reduced)
1.2.6 – Small
- Fix: not redirecting to listing or event post after click
1.2.7 – Important
- Fix: Auto suggest would work even if events are disabled in Vantage settings. Earlier both post types had to be enabled.