Add a Search Box to Your Blog’s Design in WordPress - dummies

Add a Search Box to Your Blog’s Design in WordPress

By Melissa Culbertson

Including a search box in your blog’s design is a must have. Visitors expect to see a search box on your blog so they can search for blog posts they’ve read previously or blog posts on a particular topic.

Some themes already come with a search box added to your blog design layout. If not, you can usually add this popular feature to your blog via your blog’s administrator dashboard. For example, offers a search box as a widget within your WordPress admin area. To add a search box to your sidebar using WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your dashboard.

  2. Choose Appearance→Widgets.

    The Search widget is available under Available Widgets.

  3. Add the Search widget to your sidebar by either clicking the Add button or by dragging the widget to your sidebar.

    The option you use depends on the theme. The Twenty Eleven theme uses the Add button. After the widget is in the desired location, you can adjust the title of the Search widget.


You can always add a touch of personality to your search box’s title or tie the title to the topics you write about. For example, a food blogger could title a search box Search for Deliciousness.

To customize the search box in the Twenty Eleven theme, find the following code in your style.css file:

input#s {
   background: url(images/search.png) no-repeat 5px 6px;
   -moz-border-radius: 2px;
   border-radius: 2px;
   font-size: 14px;
   height: 22px;
   line-height: 1.2em;
   padding: 4px 10px 4px 28px;

How to customize your search box really depends on your design preferences. You might want to change the search box height or change the font size. In addition to adjusting this code, you can also add to it. For example, adding background-color: gray before the closing bracket (}) makes the inside of the search box gray.

If your blog is brand new, consider not adding a search box until you have a few blog posts under your belt. Otherwise, you might leave visitors underwhelmed when search after search returns no content.