The product search function comes with WooCommerce is often enough for most stores. When you enter a search term in the WooCommerce default search box, if the search engine finds a text match in title or in content, the result will return.
However, what if you want to search products by SKU, tags or catetgories? With WooCommerce default search function, you are out of luck.
The good news is, there is a good plugin that let you add SKU, tags, categories to the product search. It works with most themes too.
So, how to add the new search power to your site? Let’s find out.
Step 1: Install Advanced Woo Search
The first step is to install a plugin called Advanced Woo Search from WordPress.org repository. You can download it here.
The other method to install this plugin is to search for Advanced Woo Search from your Plugins->Add new panel. At the time of this writing, it’s at the #1 position:
After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll see its menu appears on the left:
Step 2: Configure Advanced Woo Search’s options to enable advanced products search on your site
click on that and we’ll get to the main configuration screen:
Here are the most important settings you need to pay attention to:
1. Re-index table: You need to click on this, wait for a while for the process to complete
2. Clear cache: As you first use the plugin, this button doesn’t hold much importance. However, it’ll be useful later.
3. Seamless integration: I would recommend set this option to On simply because it will enable the search functions for the existing WooCommerce search box. However, some themes may implement their own search functions so this is not guaranteed to work on all themes.
4. Cache results: Caching will make the search faster if the same term is searched over and over.
5. Sync index table: This option will update the index every time your products are updated. This will help bring fresh results. However, if you notice your site’s performance decrease, you should leave this off.
6. Search in: This is the most important feature of this plugin. It enables you to search in SKU, category, tags (fields that are not supported in WooCommerce’s default search function). You can even exclude title, content, excerpt from the search field if you want. However, I don’t see much sense in doing so:
7. Show out of stock: This is self-explanatory. Do you want to show out of stock items? If yes, select show.
8. Stop words list: Stop words are words that have little to no meaning and should be exclude from search. You can add or delete words from this list. Make sure to re-index (1.) after changing the text in this box.
9. Do you want to use Google Analytics to track search? If yes, click On. However, you need to setup your Analytics account if you select On for this option.
Now, you are done with 90% of the work. Click on save changes to save your options.
At this point, you can go ahead and try the search function on your site. If you choose seamless integration, you could see the result right away. Let me demonstrate:
Before I have the Advanced Woo search’s seamless integration enabled. I couldn’t search for SKU. For example, I have a product that has SKU is SNK111. Without seamless integration, I couldn’t find the product:
Now, with the plugin Advanced Woo Search enabled and seamless integration On, I can search for products with SKU:
The plugins does provide other tabs for users to customize the search function further and I encourage you to try those tabs out. The options are very straightforward and easy to understand.
Step 3: Add the Advanced Woo Search widget to your sidebars so your customers can use the advanced search option
If you have used WordPress for a few weeks, I think you don’t have a problem adding widgets to the website’s sidebar. In case you don’t know, let’s go to Appearance->Widgets:
Simply drag the AWS widget to the position on the sidebar you want to show the search box and click on Save. You now have a search box that is way more powerful than WooCommerce’s default.
As you can see, WooCommerce’s default search function stop at searching through text in title and content only. If you want to search a product by tags, by categories or by SKU, you need plugins like Advanced Woo Search. As a free plugin, it allows you to extend the search function, add stop words (words to ignore) and custom design your search box. That’s is great and I think it’s enough for most stores. If you need for more features, consider upgrade to the pro version. (I have no affiliation with the author).