I'm trying to get search working on my Magento installation (200,000SKUs); we are wholesale so most products are just an SKU.

Of course with Magento you can type in part of the SKU and a bunch of results will come up that have absolutely nothing to do with what was typed in (?) seemingly regardless of how I have the search feature set up.

Does anyone have suggestions for an extension that won't break the bank or some form of changing settings; I've never had a search feature return such arbitrary results before.

I've researched improving it within Magento, but regardless of settings it always returns the same results. Plugins range in price from free (I tried a free one which did nothing) up to hundreds of dollars.


EDIT: To give you an example we have a product titled 14BL and even when searching for 14BL the obvious result (i.e. 14BL) will not show up even in the first page of results. What will show are a bunch of results that have nothing to do with the original search term (i.e. searching for 14BL the first 5 results are AD, 14SBNJ, BCAD, 18INLBJP, 14IND)

Also worth mentioning is that the website is focused on a large number of products for wholesale purposes (i.e. low traffic/private website with specialised search terms so paying large monthly fees for search is unfeasible).

6 Answers 6


I'm going to go against all my morals and recommend you take a look at this:

Better magento search - Lucene powered - $80

Have been using this for a year and a half & never looked back.

The pros:Extremely fast, accurate & simple to use. Excellent support staff & only a once off fee.

The cons: Code is obfuscated

I tried a bunch of other extensions prior to this in order to make search more accurate, but most of them had complex configurations, slowed down the search function & weren't as accurate.

You can give it a shot & if you don't like it they have a 7 day money back guarantee.


I went through a similar process recently considered the following extensions.

Blast Lucene: https://php4u.co.uk/blast-search-lucene-magento-extension/ Sphinx: https://mirasvit.com/magento-extensions/sphinx-search-ultimate.html?v=1 and Klevu: http://klevu.com/magento.html (which has a free, pro and premium version)

I ultimately chose Klevu PRO as it suited my needs best. You can play with the demo store for each of them to test them out.

At the top end of the price range ($1000+/month) is SLI, Celebros and Fred Hopper but these will "break the bank" depending on the size of your store.


Take a look at this one https://mirasvit.com/magento-extensions/sphinx-search-ultimate.html

Search query time for 200k will be ~ 0.1 sec (with sphinx engine) + you can set up weight (priority) for attributes (sku, name)

  • 1
    I've been using this plugin for over a year and haven't had any issues. The initial setup was straight forward and the configuration options are explained in their documentation very clearly.
    – Steven J
    Jul 10, 2017 at 16:27

Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, but Solr integration is basically built into Magento out of the box (at least EE, maybe it's not in CE). Solr will improve your search results dramatically. You basically install Solr on a server (it's free), install some definition files, point Magento to Solr (See System > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog Search), and you're done.

Edit: I see now by your tag that's you're on CE 1.9. Solr is still an option, this is a pretty detailed walkthrough for installation.


  • Well, 'done' unless you want to refine search results further, but even just an un-tweaked Solr server is going to provide dramatically better results (Magento search sucks pretty hard out of the box). Dec 8, 2016 at 20:49

I'm using the instant search and suggestions magento plugin. It's rather fast and search results include products, keywords, categories, etc. So i'm fully satisfied with this purchase.


You have below multiple options for native Magento search better.

1 ) 1. Change Search to Fulltext

The standard configuration is ‘search type’ set to ‘like’ which produces awful results. Go to System>Catalog>Catalog Search and change this to ‘fulltext’ and don’t forget to reindex the ‘Catalog Search Index’ before you can see the results of this (via System>Index Management)

Magento search settings

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  1. Remove Search Auto Complete

Why would we want to remove this you ask yourself? Well, it looks horrible for a start and shows the number of results against each keyword which is misleading at best. Another undesirable effect of the autocomplete is that when a visitor enters a search term, it’ll be added to the items in the auto-complete. So spelling errors, stupid product searches et al will be included for your other website visitors to see. NOT very professional and also not a very desirable ‘improvement’.

There is a quick and easy way to remove the autocomplete if you’re confident editing files via FTP. In your template files go to /template/catalogsearch/form.mini.phtml and copy the file and make a backup of it (just in case). Now look for the line towards the bottom of the file

searchForm.initAutocomplete(‘helper(‘catalogsearch’)->getSuggestUrl() ?>’, ‘search_autocomplete’);

then just comment it out, like so

// searchForm.initAutocomplete(‘helper(‘catalogsearch’)->getSuggestUrl() ?>’, ‘search_autocomplete’);

  1. Analyze and Optimise Customer Searches

Go to Catalog>Search Terms and you’ll find an invaluable record of all the search terms the visitors to your site have ever used. Click twice on the ‘Number of Uses’ column to sort from highest number of searches.

The great thing about this section of the Magento admin is that you can point particular searches to particular pages of your website. Click one of the search terms to edit it e.g. ‘pink’. Now enter the URL which shows all pink items on your website and you have full control over what your customer sees, i.e. hand-picked, pink items that you want your customers to see when searching for pink items.

Things to consider about search data:

There are some weird search terms that must be created by robots/automated programs. Possibly trying to hack/spam your site? Not sure! As long as your software is up to date you have less to worry about because it will have all the latest security patches applied. Anyway, you can ignore search terms like this ‘ or 1=1– If you’ve had the auto-fill enabled then you’ll see that people have used the autofill suggestions over and over again, skewing the data that would have otherwise been present had visitors been left to manually type in their own search terms. When you’ve implemented the above don’t forget to clear the website caches as well as your browser cache before you can see the changes. I’m sure you’ll be delighted with the improvements gained from these 3 configuration updates.

  • You can also use the free extension magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/… Jan 13, 2015 at 4:27
  • Thanks, I've done most of these steps. The problem with number 3 is we have so many SKUs for wholesale purposes so the number of customers are low and the search terms are very unique (they are no different to what is imported in database, just magento's search engine is unsatisfactory). It is unfeasible in terms of human-hours to spend time manually adjusting search for these items. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:34
  • Also website has not launched yet; so it hasn't been exposed to hackers etc that I know of. To give you an example we have a product titled 14BL and even when searching for 14BL the obvious result (i.e. 14BL) will not show up even in the first page of results. What will show are a bunch of results that have nothing to do with the original search term (i.e. searching for 14BL the first 5 results are AD, 14SBNJ, BCAD, 18INLBJP, 14IND) Jan 13, 2015 at 6:37

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