The SearchAutocomplete WordPress Plugin does one thing and only one thing. That’s right, the plugin adds auto-complete to your WordPress search. And if your WordPress search is powered by Relevanssi you’ll be happy to know that SearchAutocomplete can query your Relevanssi index. Neat!
Reasons to love SearchAutocomplete
Although a simple plugin, SearchAutocomplete gets a number of things right:
It does 1 thing and does it well
Not to slag on mutli-function plugins but there is a time and a place for a plugin that does just 1 thing and only 1 thing. SearchAutocomplete only adds auto-complete to your WordPress search, nothing more and nothing less. And it does it well.
If ever you need to look through SearchAutocomplete’s code you’ll be glad to know the author wrote it really cleanly and it’s easy to understand what’s going on under-the-hood.
Just enough Filters
Code long enough for WordPress and you’ll start praying that all third-party themes/plugins include appropriate hooks & filters in the right place. SearchAutocomplete provides filters to allow you to modify the title, URL and the auto-completed data set. I haven’t found any free auto-complete plugin that provides actions/filters to modify the data set.
Unfortunately this also exposes one little issue I have with the plugin: the filter for adjusting the dataset does not have access to the object data of the auto-complete item (i.e. post type, taxonomy etc…). That information is strangely only available when modifying the title and URL.
Roll your own theme with jQuery UI
Don’t like the colour options provided by SearchAutocomplete? Create your own with jQuery UI. Or manually code it yourself, it’s up to you.
Integrates with Relevanssi
Yeah, I’ve said this already but I like Relevanssi.
One big strike against SearchAutocomplete is that it was last updated in April 2015. But it still works with current versions of WordPress (I’ve used it on v4.8). You’ll have to decide for yourself though.