Create a Custom Search With Toolset That Helps Customers Find Exactly What They Want

Create a Custom Search With Toolset That Helps Customers Find Exactly What They Want

Customers are becoming more and more demanding and have much shorter attention spans. It’s your job to help them find exactly what they are looking for, as fast as possible!

For WordPress developers and site owners, that means you need to install a custom search tool on your site. Custom search will not only help customers locate products faster, it will also improve your sites usability.

Imagine searching for your holiday dream home on Airbnb. Those filters and display listings are the result of a brilliant custom search.

Airbnb custom search tool
Airbnb has a high-powered custom search tool

The default custom search tool in WordPress is not great. You need Airbnb quality search, but the problem is, this type of custom search requires hours of work and a lot of complex PHP.

That’s where Toolset comes in.

Toolset’s custom search is a powerful engine for WordPress that includes advanced features like multiple custom filters and the ability to display results on a map.

From developers to WordPress beginners, Toolset will improve your site search without having to add a single line of PHP.

In this post we’ll show you exactly how a Toolset custom search can improve your conversions. But first, let’s look at who might need custom search.

Which Websites Need a Custom Search?

If you’re running a website with multiple items, such as products, multi-location businesses or thousands of blog posts, you need custom search.

If it seems like some of your search results are out of place, you need an upgrade. A custom search pulls relevant items for your visitors so they can purchase exactly what they are looking for, without having to hunt all over your website.

Here are the types of websites which benefit most from a custom search:

  • eCommerce websites such as Amazon
  • Listing and directory sites such as Craigslist
  • Advanced custom sites such as Airbnb

Think your site could benefit from a custom search but don’t have the time or technical skills to set it up? Think again.

Why You Can Easily Build a Custom Search With Toolset

Something as complex and advanced as a custom search might seem like a daunting task, but Toolset makes it simple.

Toolset does the hard work and gives you complete control over both function and layout.

Toolset custom search in action
Custom search for a personal trainer website built using Toolset… super sleek

Here is a custom search we set up for a personal trainer. Super clean, right?

Usually, something this complex would require custom PHP, but using Toolset I just customized some HTML and CSS.

For our developer friends, Toolset comes with some super fly advanced features.

Multiple Filters Make It Easier to Narrow Down Your Search

The Multiple filters feature gives users the ability to narrow in on exactly what they are looking for.

Let me show you with my personal trainer website. A client may know exactly what service they want, but don’t want to spend a bunch of time looking through the entire list of available trainers. Even with a search bar, if they don’t know the trainers name, they will struggle to get a meaningful result.

A custom search with multiple filters makes it easy. By using the filters, they are able to find the best trainer based on price, qualifications, and specialties.

Multiple filter options in Toolset
Toolset lets visitors limit the options to the ones that fit their needs

Don’t forget, you can add as many filters as you need. The options are really endless.

Display the Results How You Want

While you want to make it easy for users to enter what they are looking for, it needs to integrate with the look and feel of your site.

Fortunately, with Toolset, both grid and list views just work.

Not only can you decide how to display results but you can also sort them on the front-end.

For example, on my personal trainer page, a user’s first thoughts might be cost. Set your search to sort results with the lowest price first. Check it out.

Toolset custom search results priority
Toolset custom search lets users prioritize search results

As you can see, with a Toolset custom search you can prioritize results.

Display the Closest Results to You on a Map

In some cases, the location of the product or service is an important factor. The easiest ways to search locations is on a map, something which Toolset’s custom search offers.

In my personal trainer site, the user might want to see where the instructors are based to identify the one closest to them. Of course, you could just offer the gyms’ addresses as part of the results, but inevitably the user will have to copy and paste them into a Google Map to find the best one. What you are effectively doing is asking the user to work harder to find what they want.

Toolset lets you plot locations on a map. Not only can you see the results, but you can also filter them to only display ones within a certain radius. Pretty sweet.

Toolset map and search integration
Make it easy for users to find the nearest location

Now if a visitor only wanted to see gyms within a two-kilometer radius of our London location, they can.

Wrapping Up

Just like a Google search, users expect to be able to browse your website and find what they want within seconds. This is possible with a Toolset custom search. Not only can users find results quickly, but it will take you less time.

And because Toolset is one off the WPMU DEV partners, our members get an exclusive discount. It’s a win win! Just jump on over to our partner page to claim your special offer.

Not a member yet? Sign-up free for the next 30-days to get access to our partner discounts.


Have you ever used Toolset to build a custom search for your site? What other tools have you used to improve the WordPress search engine? Tell me about it in the comments.


Joshua Josh Dailey is a sales copy and content marketer for WPMU DEV. He built a successful media production and marketing business using WordPress products and services before joining WPMU DEV in 2012.