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Smart Search quickstart guide

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Contents

Preparing Search Plug-ins

For content to be displayed in search results it must first be indexed by one of the Finder Search Plug-ins. Before starting the indexer, it is recommended that you review the available plug-ins and disable any that will not be necessary for your site.

To review the available plug-ins log in to the Joomla Administrator interface and use the Components menu to navigate to Finder. Once in the Finder interface, click on the "Search Plug-ins" link in the submenu. Disable any plug-ins that will not be necessary for your site by clicking the checkbox next to the plugin name and then pressing the Unpublish button in the toolbar. Running the Indexer

After the search plugins have been reviewed, it is time to start the Finder indexer. Use the Components menu to navigate to Finder. Click on the Index button in the toolbar to start the indexer. This will cause a modal window to load with some indexer status information and a progress bar. Depending on the size of your site, this can take a few minutes to a few hours to complete. The indexer uses AJAX requests to complete the overall process in small chunks so as to avoid timeouts and memory problems. Indexing is complete when the progress bar disappears and you see a message indicating that it is not safe to close the modal window.

Once all of the indexer is finished, closing the modal window will cause the Indexed Content screen in the background to refresh with an updated list of all the indexed content. If you would prefer that specific items not be displayed in search results, you can unpublish them from the Finder database by selecting the checkbox next to the title of the item and then pressing the Unpublish button. For more information on the Indexed Content screen, see: Managing Indexed Content.

Exposing Finder to site Users

Now that the Finder database is prepared and ready, you need to expose Finder to your Web site's users. Finder offers two ways to do this: The Module Interface

Finder comes with a module named mod_finder that can be enabled to display a simple search form on any page in virtually any position. To enable mod_finder:

  1. Navigate to the Module Manager in the Joomla! Administrator interface.
  2. Press the New button in the Module Manager toolbar.
  3. Select Finder from the list of module types by either clicking on the text or by selecting the radio input next to the module title and pressing the Next button in the toolbar.
  4. Configure the module by entering a name, selecting the module position, and adjusting the pages for it to display on if desired.
  5. Click on the Save button in the toolbar to publish the module.

The Component Interface

Finder can also be linked to via a Joomla! menu item so that users can navigate directly to the main search form. To create a menu item link to Finder:

  1. Navigate to the desired menu under Menus in the Joomla! Administrator interface.
  2. Press the New button in the Menu Manager toolbar.
  3. Select Finder from the list of Internal Link types by clicking on the text. This will cause the tree to expand. Click on the Search view link in the subtree.
  4. Configure the menu item by entering a title and adjusting the parent item if desired.
  5. Click on the Save button in the toolbar to publish the menu item.

Testing, Testing, Testing

To test Finder, navigate to one of the menu items you created and enter a query in the search form or enter a query in to one of the instances of mod_finder. You should be taken to a list of search results if any could be found for the word or phrase you entered. If no results could be found, a message will be displayed indicating that no results could be found. If no results could be found and the system has a search suggestion based on your term, the suggested search phrase will display above the message indicating no results could be found.

Finalizing the Switch

To finalize the switch to Finder, you should remove all instances of mod_search and all menu items linking to com_search. Finder does not interact with the Joomla! Core's search system and exposing both systems will create a negative user experience by giving inconsistent and confusing search results.

Removing Joomla! Search Modules

  1. Navigate to the Module Manager in the Joomla! Administrator interface.
  2. Use the module type filter drop down box in right hand part of the screen just above the list of modules to limit the list to instances of mod_search. If mod_search does not appear in the options, there are no instances of mod_search and you can skip this part.
  3. After the page reloads, select the checkbox at the top of the table to select all of the items in the list. Once all the instances of mod_search have been selected, press the Delete button in the Module Manager toolbar. Be careful that you do not accidentally delete any other modules in the process.

Removing Joomla! Search Menu Items

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to remove all links to the Joomla! Search system. To remove all the menu items to the Joomla! Search system, you will have to browse the menu items in each of your site's menus and manually remove the links. To make this process somewhat quick, adjust the order of the table to list menu items by type in reverse alphabetical order. Now scroll down and look for links with type "Search >> Search". Delete those menu items by checking the checkbox to the left of the title and then pressing the Delete button in the Menu Manager toolbar.