Regularly on our site Magento's search feature stops working and when a user tries to search for a product nothing comes up in the search. Once we re-index Product Flat Data, Category Flat Data, Category Product and Catalog Search Index it begins working again.

Any idea why this happens, it happens very regularly, every week I guess. Is there anyway I can stop it from occurring or ways to debug why it is happening?


To clarify, this is occurring when the user performs the search from either the Quick Search box or the Advanced search page.

The search seems to work by redirecting the user to catalog search page i.e. http://www.example.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=shirts

But the catalog page displays no results just the message. . .

Your search returns no results.

The rest of the page renders correctly, by which I mean the header, footer & left hand column etc.

There are no errors in the browser console or server logs.

Once we re-index Product Flat Data, Category Flat Data, Category Product and Catalog Search Index it begins working again.

  • Could you clarify a few things - I think with a few updates we can get to the root of the problem & provide an answer...Are you executing your query from the Quick Search box or the Advanced search box? Are you redirected to a search results page? If so, is does it list anything at all, or does it render a completely blank area where the search results should be? Is there any error details output in the UI or in the log files? Magento's reference docs might help: merch.docs.magento.com/ce/user_guide/system-operations/… Feb 23, 2016 at 17:50
  • @Bryan'BJ'Hoffpauir, thanks. I updated my question with more details.
    – Holly
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


The scenario you describe is quite common. You should perform a cron reindex on your Magento install.

You can do it addding to your crontab the following command:

php -q /yourmagentopaht/shell/indexer.php --reindexall

I strongly suggest to run it during the night.

  • The key whether you use cron or any other scheduler is that the Indices for Categories, Products, and Product Attributes have to be updated EVERY single time any change is made to the above objects. I've never seen this straight up fail the way the OP has described, although I have seen situations where multiple users were making multiple changes to Categories, Products, Prices, Attributes (custom and default) and they had the auto-indexing option enabled. Each change triggered a new reindexing job, often before the currently running one could finish, causing failures. Feb 23, 2016 at 17:55
  • Cron may get the search results displaying after it runs, but until that runs any changes made to the catalog may not be necessarily be reflected in search results, at least until the re-indexing job has completed Feb 23, 2016 at 17:56
  • In my experience I've seen this kind of failures a lot of times. It usually depends on custom modules or custom importers. To be honest, the only effective way to solve it is to use the Enterprise Edition :) . Feb 23, 2016 at 17:59
  • I certainly can't argue with your own experiences, but I have never seen it occur like you describe. The CE code works & there exists tests to validate the behavior in the last few releases of 1.9.2.X CE - I've seen problems with misconfig of the Admin (which is just as easy with EE), misunderstanding of the internal behaviors that trigger re-index in flat catalogs to work (also the same with EE) or plugins breaking functionality, which EE doesn't prevent...AFAIK the index jobs are separate from search functionality, tho related, which is why you can replace with solr or Algolia in EE or CE Feb 23, 2016 at 18:05
  • In a standard installation you are absolutely right, my guess is that here we have some custom module or importer compromising the "update on save" reindex (i.e.: A SQL direct injection). Unfortunately there are a lot of modules doing this. Feb 23, 2016 at 18:23

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