Yesterday, we reviewed Sphinx Search by Extendware and promised to tell a few words about another company’s search tool – Lucene Search. The difference between the two solutions is in their productivity. And while both provides similar relevancy of search results, Sphinx Search is aimed at big ecommerce stores and Lucene Search has a limitation of 10 thousand searchable products. Besides, Lucene can be used on a shared hosting, while Sphinx requires a VPS / dedicated server. Thus, if there are less than 10 thousand products in your store, check the following overview.
In the description of the Sphinx Search Magento extension, we mentioned why reliable search is important. If you haven’t read the article, let’s recollect some major reasons to improve the default solution. There are a lot of customers – almost a half – that use search to find the desired goods. Thus, irrelevant results become a reason to leave a storefront. Some visitors will stand up till the end, but most of them will browse somewhere else for better experience, and consequently you will lose profit.
To increase revenue and customer satisfaction, we recommend you to replace the default Magento search with a third-party extension, which is always faster and more precise. As for Lucene Search, it is a powerful and flexible tool that helps your customers find what they want. In addition to the aforementioned compatibility with shared hosting environments, it also offers a plug and play configuration that will be described further in the Magento extension tutorial dedicated to the backend section. Now, let’s see what other people think about the Extendware Lucene Search Magento module and proceed to the extension’s features.
- Relevant Search Results. After installing Lucene Search, you will forever forget about poor search results that Magento often returns by default. Replace the default solution with the extension, and you will be sure that only the most relevant results are shown to your store visitors.
- Less Specific Matches. Sometimes, less precise search algorithm becomes a positive improvement. Let’s imagine a situation when a visitor searches for “Samsung SWS15NB2XFB”. If your search algorithm is configured to show results that include the dull query, he or she will get only one item. But you can easily configure Lucene to all less specific matches that will be shown after the exact product.
- Leverage Attributes. Each product has attributes indexed for search. As a Magento admin, you can easily change the priority of each attribute? Making some of them more relevant for the algorithm when calculating relevance.
- Change Relevance Manually. After installing the Lucene Search Extension, you will be able to rank each product higher or lower than it would normally be. It is possible by defining a factor that will increase or decrease rankings.
- Synonyms Support. Synonyms are also supported, so your customers will find the desired products even if they use unpopular words. The extension understands both laptop and notebook.
- Multiple Languages. Extendware Lucene Search for Magento supports all languages you may use in your ecommerce business. At the same time, there are some useful tools for the most popular ones.
- Product Tags and Categories Indexing. If you want to make your product tags and categories searchable, you can easily achieve this goal with Extendware Lucene Search. The feature is especially useful when categories or product tags also contain relevant information.
- Shared Host. The extension does not require any external search server, since it successfully runs in a shared host environment.
- Caching. Note that search results can be cached providing even better search speed and performance.
- Stemming. The Extendware Lucene Search Magento extension provides stemming for multiple languages ensuring that singulars also match plurals.
- Stop Words. Stop words are also supported, so indexing size can be reduced, maken the module even faster.
- Tokenization. Numbers and hyphens tokenization is also supported by the module. The feature is useful in case your catalog contains product model numbers or skus with hyphens or numbers.
- UTF-8. If you are wondering whether Extendware Lucene Search supports UTF-8, we have a positive answer: UTF-8 is fully supported!
Now, let’s take a look at the Magento extension backend tutorial, which describes how to configure the module. Go to Extendware -> Manage Extensions -> Lucene Search -> Configure. Here, you can find three tabs of settings: General, Indexing, and Advanced. The first tab is divided into 8 sections: General, Primary Search, and Backup Search 1-6.
The General section, let’s you enable/disable the module.
As for Primary Search, it lets you choose Search Type (Phrase or Full Text which is more precise) and Search Mode (the precision decreases from Normal to Fuzzy) as well as enable/disable Generalize Query (stem query to a more general form; only works with stemming and inflecting).
All backup searches have the same settings. Thus, you can enable/disable the feature, set a number of results returned by the previous searches that will trigger a backup search if not overcome, choose Search Type, Search Mode, and Search Operator (And – all search terms should be present; Or – only one search term should be present), as well as enable/disable Search Synonyms and Generalize Query.
Indexing is divided into 2 sections: General and Advanced. The first one allows you to enable/disable Tag, Category, and Child SKU Inclusion (adding product active tags, categories, and child product SKUs to the index); choose Content Modification (None, Stemmer, or Inflector); Reduce Content (one unique word per field is indexed; less relevant); and add Stop Words.
The Advanced section provides the ability to configure Field Boosters (add a catalog attribute code and specify its weight; the standard weight is 1.0, so you can increase it – 2, 3, 10 – or decrease – 0.7, 0.5, 0.2); enable/disable Number Tokenization and choose Charts For Tokenization; specify a maximum word length (set 0 to index all words), a maximum number of buffered documents to store in memory before creating a new segment, and optimizer interval (the larger the value is, the faster the indexing becomes); and enable/disable Delete On Full Rebuild (the index is completely deleted prior to a full rebuild).
As for the Advanced tab, it lets you enable search cache, specify a maximum number of results returned by a search, choose a minimum length for performing a wild card query, specify characters that will be removed from both query and indexed words and ones that will be converted to spaces; as well as add synonyms.
As you can see, Lucene Search is another reliable search tool by Extendware. Unlike Sphinx search, it has such unique feature as Backup Search, so you can configure it in a slightly different manner. At the same time, the extension offers a user-friendly backend, so you can configure it without any help from third-party specialists. As for the price of the module, it is $149. For further information, follow this link: