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Website text search

Current behavior:
There is no content search function for website pages or attachments

Desired behavior:
Search engine to search web pages, and ideally attachments as well.
ideally, search public and restricted content depending on current user access

Use Google search widget. This only works for publicly accessible content

Biggest challenges:
1) implementing good search algorithms (most site searches are either too narrow or too broad)
2) indexing attachments of various types
3) Indexing restricted access content

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Dmitry Buterin shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • AdminOleg Nesterkin (Product owner, Wild Apricot by Personify) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In upcoming 5.2. release we are planning to release a beta version of Site text search. It will allow to search across all site content except attachments and will include not only public, but restricted areas as well. You can check more details on how it will look like and scope of initial release in presentation below.


    5.2. release is currently planned for beginning of December 2014 and contains number of other enhancements. You can always track current progress in Roadmap thread http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8827717-roadmap-2015-plans-releases-expected-dates .

    Feel free to post your comments here, this will help us to determine next steps.

  • damuehlbauer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree that the ability to search the Forum pages would be a huge benefit. We are not a large organization, but the very nature of discussion pages is that people post questions for which there have already been answers but with more than 15 pages in one of our forums, people are not going to go through every page to see if the topic has been posted before. Personally, I don't think it would be necessary to search through the content of attachments to posts -- just to the post itself.

  • Ian Beecher-Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm not sure how to vote for this facility on the WA site, but a search facility for all the documents on the site and return all relevant documents indicating whether they are for open for everyone or not.

    This would be a fantastic feature - amongst all the others you offer!

  • jenpen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Wow, here we are about to launch and I only just realised that WA sites don't have a search function. This is serious. I really hope you guys get it together soon.

  • WLR commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yay! This is a definite must for us as well. We are promoting our Resources for Members Only. They are on restricted pages. Our members state they don't have the time to go through pages searching for what they need. It is becoming a membership retention hot topic.

  • CindyWhitley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


    I would LOVE it if there was a way to add a content search box (instead of just a members data base.) Is there any way to add this feature. I would truly make my site complete.

    Thank you,

    Cindy Whitley

  • Woody35 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We at DAMA-MN also have a need for protected content search. It does no good to have your documents out there if you cannot index and search them. Sad.

  • Robert Thomas Self commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Why is it possible to have a search box at the top of this page when we can't? Isn't this a restricted area too?

    We are using the WA interface to manage a website for our publication business. We use the blog features to post articles in a restricted area for our subscribers. WA provides the ability to charge for memberships so doesn't it seem reasonable that they would provide the functionality to search for the content within those areas?

    I am new to WA and have been extremely impressed with their product, service, and support. But… complex to provide or not, a search feature is a basic requirement that all good websites must offer their customer base. Things are just too competitive out there and visitors will quickly gravitate to other sites when you can't offer the goods! This doesn't have to be fancy, just functional!

    Please make basic text search functionality a #1 priority!


  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Sorry - that note is outdated, we have revised our roadmap since then based on the ongoing feedback and requests. There is currently no defined timeline for this functionality.

  • AusLSA commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Search functionality for restricted areas is really important to my site - knowledge sharing is core component of our program, so we develop and share a lot of content within the restricted area.

    I noted in reading this thread that in 2010 WA planned for this in the next release (or perhaps the one after) citing a 6 - 8 month lead time.

    Is there any update on when the functionality will be delivered?

  • Thomas Wolff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I asked Wild Apricot Support about this same subject and was kindly directed to this thread.

    We use Google Custom Search to good effect for our public content but we want to make our members-only Newsletter Archives searchable from a search box on our members-only page. We might be a candidate for Colin's clever solution, but we stopped paying for our old host site when we migrated to WA and it seems like a lot of work for something that should be available from WA. I don't think we care about having a highly sophisticated or functional search engine for this matter. We can continue to use public search engines. But we would like WA to implement something soon so that we could provide search for this protected content. Whatever WA came up with could always be improved or not according to user feedback.

    Thanks, Dmitry and the rest of the WA team.


  • colinshead commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi all

    I have a workaround solution for searching in protected areas, that will work for some users.

    Basically our solution consists of periodically creating a complete and exact mirror copy of the protected data on a PC. In our case this is the entire Resources file structure, which can easily be copied to a PC using the WebDAV functionality.

    This off-line copy is then indexed on the PC using a search engine application, in our case we use Zoom details at http://www.wrensoft.com/ Zoom has the capability to vary the Base URL for indexed items, so that it is easy to ensure that the URL's of searched items correspond to the actual URL's on Wild Apricot, and not the 'host' PC.

    The Zoom index files (including the Zoom CGI or PHP application) are uploaded to a normal web site (not Wild Apricot). On this web site you also need to include an html file, which links to the indexes, and provides the on-line search form which your members can use to enter search criteria.

    To create a search page on Wild Apricot is easy, simply include an Iframe linking back to the html file containing the on-line form.

    This approach only works well for data that is being updated relatively slowly, in our case a technical reference library. We update the search indexes whenever a significant change to content has occurred, typically every couple of weeks. Once you have it all set up (and the Zoom search facility takes a while to configure properly) it is easy. The off line indexing takes just a couple of minutes, plus the time to upload the new index files to the server.

    Our own members are delighted with the facility, it works really well.

    If anyone would like more information on this approach, please let me know.

    All the best


  • Chairman JRA commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Searching the forums within restricted areas is becoming more and more important for us, as we have much technical content that needs to be referred back to. Searching the content pages, including links to pdf files, within restricted areas is also necessary. Google works well enough on our public pages and forums.

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