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Don't Frustrate Your Website Visitors: Let 'Em Search!

By Merle
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004

How to add a search function to your website

So last year when you published your website, you never envisioned it would grow so large. But it has. You've added more pages as time marched on, and managing all that information has become a full time job. Once your site gets to be over 20 pages, you really should consider adding a search function to make it easier for your guests to quickly find what they need.

If you think you don't need one, you may want to consider how many people leave your site in frustration when they can't find what they need. Keep em happy; give them a search option.

So you're saying to yourself right now, "How much is this going to cost me?" The good news is that you don't have to spend a dime.

There are a couple of ways to add a search function to your site: (1) You can use a free third party service, where you link your site to their server, which hosts your index... (2) Or you can download a script and configure it to work right on your site. Let's take a look at both of these options:

Third Party: They have the best reputation online and are one of the easiest of the services to add to your site. One nice feature is the weekly email reports you'll receive, of keywords people are searching for on your site and what pages they're visiting. Registration is simple. Once you fill out their short form, they will give you some HTML code to cut and paste onto your pages where you want the search box to appear. You can also customize it to more closely match the look of your website. They offer both free and a pay versions of their service. The free version is ad supported. This is an industrial strength search engine with automatic daily re-indexing and more. The paid version carries no advertising, and offers some additional options to choose from. This one is super fast to set up and also reports on your visitors' searches. Easy to install and offers unlimited searching. It's free to use as is, but if you want more layout control you'll have to go with the paid version. Although no ads appear on the search results page, it does include the picosearch logo. If you use the paid version, the logo is removed. Includes indexing of up to 1,500 pages of your site.

Downloadable Scripts:

Web Search: (

This shareware script allows users to search by keywords. Easy to set up and you can easily configure the number of results that show up on the download page. Free to try it, but 5.00 if you like it and decide to keep it.

Matt's Script Archive: (

This site is well-known for their quality scripts, so chances are you won't go wrong here. You'll find plenty of free Perl-CGI scripts for your enjoyment. The search script offered is called "Simple Search."

For a complete list of downloadable CGI scripts go to (

As you can see, adding a search function to your website is not all that difficult. It's just a matter of deciding how you want to go about it. By giving your site guests the option to search, you won't have to worry about them leaving out of frustration. Let 'em find what they need and they'll stick around a lot longer, and be a lot happier to boot.

About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (, ( and (


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