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Add and Configure a Search Module on Your Joomla Website

One of the big attractions of Joomla is the Search module, which lets users perform a search of all your articles. That’s often very hard to implement on a site that you build yourself from the HTML up, but in Joomla, which stores articles in a MySQL database, searching is a snap.

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When working with Joomla’s sample content, the Search module is pretty much a meat-and-potatoes affair. It doesn’t provide a cheery button marked Go! or Find It! Instead, the module gives us a field that does exactly what it says it does in one terse word: Search.

Despite the module’s lack of topical bells and whistles, as you see in the example results page, it gets the job done. Using the Search module couldn’t be easier: you enter your search term and press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard to search for that term.

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Use the search controls in Joomla’s Search module

Joomla offers a full set of search controls in its results page, including a Search Keyword text box and a Search button. When users enter a phrase to search for, they can set one of these search options: All Words, Any Words, or Exact Phrase.

Users can also set the order in which the search results are displayed by making a choice from the Ordering drop-down menu: Newest First, Oldest First, Most Popular, Alphabetical, or Section/Category.

Finally, users can restrict the scope of the search to Categories, Contacts, Articles, Newsfeeds, weblinks, or any other type of search for content that you may have installed to your Joomla site.

Making search more user-friendly

You can do quite a bit to make the Search module more friendly in Joomla. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Extensions→Module Manager to open Module Manager.

  2. Click Search to open that module’s administration page.

  3. If you don’t want the Search module to appear on all pages (the default setting), change the settings in the Menu Assignment pane.

  4. Adjust the appearance of the search box by changing the settings in the Basic Options pane.

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    Here are the parameters you can set to customize the Search module:

    • Box Width: Width (in characters) of the search text box

    • Text: The default text that appears in the search text box

    • Search Button: Whether a search button appears next to the search text box (the default is No)

    • Button Position: The position of the search button relative to the search text box (Right, Left, Top, or Bottom)

    • Search Button As Image: Whether to use an image as the search button

    • Button Text: The search button’s caption

    You may want to consider adding a search button to your Joomla site. Many users don’t know that they should press Enter or Return after entering their search term and expect to click a search button.

  5. Click Save or Save & Close to save your settings.

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