This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Smart Search Engine


Bring a REAL search engine into your WordPress website in 5 minutes, for free!

Smart Search enhances the WordPress search engine by querying Microsoft BING and its Search API.
The search query is performed in the context of your website url, just like you would type the following search query on BING:

site: find this and that in New York


URLs from the BING result set are converted by Smart Search to WordPress post IDs, thus the display process is the same your theme implements for regular searches.
Search results come from Microsoft BING. This means semantics and relevance on board!!

You can also choose to cache the search engine’s results for a defined period of time, which basically means that your site will load a little bit faster if the same search query is used.

In order to use it, you must have a valid Windows Account key and you will need to activate at least the free subscription here or here

Easy, simple and fast!
If this is your way and fits your needs, you could consider Smart Search Pro and its extended features.

Note: your blog content must be indexed by BING in order to see the matching result set. Go here to submit yuor site to BING.
Feel free to leave a review here. To get in touch with me you can drop me an email.


  • Works with built-in post types. Custom post types are supported as well
  • Highlight occurences in search results with custom background and text color
  • Auto detect misspelling and synonyms words
  • For post title and post excerpt, whether to display the WordPress or the BING one
  • Define how long to store search results for each query. This cuts down response time and saves transaction amount
  • Custom endpoint for empty search results
  • Use a custom domain as the search context, useful for testing purposes


  • You can see the semantic at work: search for something generic in a geographical region. No custom fields or data here, everything comes from the search engine!
  • Smart Search lean and effortless options page


Once you have the Windows Account key and the basic plan active:

  1. Upload smart-search folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Under the Plugins menu click on “Smart Search Engine” or visit
  4. Fill in the required settings:
    • Insert the Windows Account Key you’ve obtained from the link in the “Description” section
  5. Adjust optional settings:
    • Increase or decrease the cache lifetime to store search results and save time for the same search query
    • You can set a different domain to be used as the search context, eg: “” will be used to search like so: “ the search query”
    • You can also customize the endpoint url which will be used when search results are empty
    • Customize displayed text by choosing between WordPress or BING data
    • Customize highlight background and text color by typing Web Colors
  6. Be sure that your blog is already indexed by BING typing. Visit and type site: in the search input, you should see all indexed pages.
  7. You’re now able to search through your posts:
    • by filling your theme’s search input box
    • if your theme doesn’t have a search form use

      it will display the content of the searchform.php template in your Theme or the WP built-in form if this file is missing

    • or simply by URL:


Why should I install this search goodness?
  • You don’t have to setup and mantain an indexing engine since Microsoft BING crawls your website for you
  • Keep in mind that a large percentage of users, first will scroll the page looking for a search input box – [Steve Krug]
  • It is not always easy to provide a lean navigation structure, especially when you have a deep content structure. An efficient search and find approach leads to more page views.
  • Sooner or later, users will think “Let me find it” or “Let me see if is here”. Allow them to do it well!
  • User experience is more pleasant if you can easily find what you need
  • A website with a good search engine gains reliability
Why BING and not something else?
  • BING is free up to 5,000 search queries per month
  • No credit card required
  • Other plans over this threshold are competitive too
  • BING is the most competitive one I’ve been able to find for this kind of API
  • BING search results are always satisfactory as well as those of Google

On top of that Smart Search is flexible enough for developers who want to use a different search engine provider.

  • Highlighter is broken in title or is breaking something else
    This issue is generally theme related.
    Let me guess, your theme’s search.php file has a function call that looks like this:

<h2 title="”>

This happens because the_title() is not supposed to be used in HTML attributes. In this case the_title_attribute() should be used instead.
This is the correct usage:

<h2 title="”>

Have a look at this post to deepen.

  • Results are always empty
  1. Check if your website is indexed by BING: go to and type the following
    replace “” with your domain.
    If you see some results you’re on the good way, otherwise let BING index your blog.
    Important Note: Taxonomy pages like /category/news, /tags/politics, /author/john etc. are not included in search results because they’re archives, not posts or pages. This is one of the core features of Smart Search Pro
  2. If you have any other search related plugin active, try to deactivate it in order to avoid unexpected conflicts.


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Contributors & Developers

“Smart Search Engine” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “Smart Search Engine” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Admin feature: color pickers to choose highlight colors
  • Extended troubleshooting doc section

  • Multimatch highlighter fix


  • Extended emphasis themes compatibility
  • Removed direct function in add_filter to debug cache hits and miss
  • Added troubleshooting section to documentation
  • Tested compatibility with WordPress 3.3.1


  • Bugfix: do not use plugin’s features for search queries in admin section
  • Bugfix: prevented to apply rendering options to page elements other than search results
  • Bugfix: fixed words emphasis recognizer system


  • Highligth occurrences
  • Use curl instead of file_get_contents


  • First release with custom post types support