Is anyone interested in coding a store search that will fix what’s wrong with cs-cart’s built-in search? It’s something every store needs.
Needs to support “quotes”. If a customer uses quotes around a phrase, they get zero results unless you happen to have that phrase in quotes somewhere… :eek:
Support for searching product features. Customers need to be able to search by any of these features. If the way that cs-cart saves the product features makes this too difficult, provide a better way to do the product features. For instance, a book store might have ISBN, author, publisher, genre, age level tied to each product. All of these fields should be easily searched and it should be possible to narrow search results by those features/fields.
Search results should include categories. If customer searches for a category name, a list of category(ies) with that keyword should be listed.
- Are search fields weighted? Is the product name more important than the description? Admin should be able to specify which fields are searched by default and weight if possible… product name, code, description, price, additional product fields (“features”), etc.
- There may be other things I’m forgetting right now…
If something like this already exists or I can do it with what I already have, please kick me and tell me where to look.
Here’s a developers perspective…
One puts in a bunch of work to make a search work like one would expect (the current is so far off that doing so isn’t that big a stretch). Then, next release cs-cart finds the error of their ways and releases something close that meets many people’s needs. Developer never recovers his/her development cost.
Search is also embedded into the core. Creating an addon to enhance it requires a lot of duplication for what already exists. Modifying the core is a maintenance nightmare since all customers will come back to you at every update release.
Search should really be done by an indexing engine that would actually crawl the site and index it locally. There are many free search engines for sites like cs-cart. However, free ones come with some embedded advertising (usually small and unobtrusive, but still there none the less). An example of this would be [url]http://www.atomz.com/[/url] or http://www.jrank.org.
Note that these are crawl/search sites. i.e. they crawl your site and index it on their servers. Search requests are then remote requests to get results. But they tend to return result with like thumbnail image and description rather than just a link, etc…
I thought of replacing the search with a site search script as I’m familiar with how they work and have used some in the past. Google site search is probably the best bet since there is nothing to install and results are very good.
However, ideally it needs to have all the features I listed… being able to search/narrow search by the product features is extremely important. Using a crawler will not consider the ‘search words’ that have been entered into the products. It won’t list the category names (it might have them interspersed).
The only thing I can think of is finding a script that will use cs-cart’s database. Then I’m back to square one… why not an addon that replaces cs-cart’s built in search…
The advanced search module I had installed on my old store replaced the built-in search. I sometimes go back to that store to find products I can’t find on my new store. And that’s bad since I know what I’m looking for…
Anyway, I guess I will have to be like snorocket and pay for development and then sell it to other people to recoup some of the cost. There’s no telling how much money the horrible search results are costing me every day.
Google’s site search (restricted to your site) is not free. It’s a few hundred a year.
When you want to spend some money, feel free to let me know. I’d be happy to do the work. Just make sure whomever does it for you does build an index and does not try to search the DB each time a search request is made. The addon should allow you to schedule the frequency the index will be rebuilt (run from cron).
You might want to let the user choose what to search (all, categories, products, product features, etc) and always include the search words related to the product (and maybe the meta-keywords and meta-description too). You should also be very clear on how you want search results presented to the customer. Thumbnails are always good. As you stated above, as the merchant, you should be able to prioritize results based on whether the object is a category, product, page, feature, search word, etc…
I was referring to the Google search for adsense. They actually pay you to use that if you have the ads. Not that I want to have ads in my store, but it would be better than the current solution.
I have an example of the search in my old store. It was done right. I could rebuild the index manually. I could set which fields to search and had all the additional product fields available for customers.
The key when developing improvements like this is to make it so good that even if cs-cart ever gets around to “fixing” it, your solution will still be better.
But I’m not necessarily trying to convince someone to do this for the community. That would be nice, but I’m tired of waiting around wishing I had certain features and I’m going to invest in fixing what’s wrong.
I’ll grab some screen shots and more details from my old store.
Did a little research on indexing and throughts about search specific to cs-cart.
Be interested to see if your screenshots match what my head was envisioning…
I am not certain what I need but I know that I am about to disable the default search as it is losing me sales.
- The search function should be built into the cart and not need updating with new upgrades
- If a customer types:
Black product type A
The return should be accurate and complete. Currently I get 100s of extra results that have Black product A and product B and so on which yields more incorrect results than correct ones.
90% of my customers won’t consider advanced search searches as too complicated and taking too much time.
Google site search I think is currently $100 per year for up to 20,000 searches.