Add search to your website

2 minute read


As a technical blog, with the increasement of contents, it becomes difficult to remember all the things you have written down. Thast’s why we need a Search function for our website.

Following this blog I started my journey.

As far as I know, there are several solutions:

  1. Lunr
  2. Google Custom Search Engine
  3. Algolia
  4. Simple Jekyll Search

As Cristianpb said:

There are two ways to implement a search engine:

  1. having a backend server that fetch the data and calculates the recommendation or
  2. using a frontend application to filter data on the client side.

The advantage of using a frontend application to filter data is the fact that you don’t need a backend service, so it works well with static sites. However, if your data is heavy, it may decrease the web navigation performance. A popular example of search engine on client side is lunr.js.

The backend service is then a more robust solution that can scale with your data. Some examples of engines that can be used for backend search engines are Apache SolR or Elasticsearch.

I wanted to have the advantages of both of them, having an scalable, fast and light search solution, so I decided to use Algolia search engine.

Inspired by him and after some survey, I decided to use Algolia. It is fast, instant, and free (in 10000 records). I followed part of this blog and finished the following steps:

  1. registered account on Algolia
  2. add the jekyll-algolia gem to your Gemfile
     group :jekyll_plugins do
        gem 'jekyll-algolia', '~> 1.0'
  3. add algolia application settings in _config.yml file (this part is from this blog):
     search                   : true # true, false (default)
     search_full_content      : true # true, false (default)
     search_provider          : algolia # lunr (default), algolia, google
       application_id         : "14DZKASAEJ"
       index_name             : "iBug_website"
     # nodes_to_index         : 'section.page__content p, section.page__content h1, section.page__content h2, section.page__content h3, section.page__content h4, section.page__content h5, section.page__content h6, section.page__content img, section.page__content blockquote, section.page__content li, section.page__content dt, section.page__content dl'
       search_only_api_key    : "a0d8cb9da2d6ad0d17dcd40c58c72a56"
       powered_by             : true # true (default), false
         searchableAttributes: ["title", "hierarchy.lvl0", "hierarchy.lvl1", "hierarchy.lvl2", "hierarchy.lvl3", "hierarchy.lvl4", "hierarchy.lvl5", "unordered(content)", "collection,categories,tags"]
         customRanking: ["desc(date)", "desc(weight.heading)", "asc(weight.position)"]
         attributesToHighlight: ["title", "hierarchy.lvl0", "hierarchy.lvl1", "hierarchy.lvl2", "hierarchy.lvl3", "hierarchy.lvl4", "hierarchy.lvl5", "content", "html", "collection", "categories", "tags"]
         attributesForFaceting: ["searchable(tags)", "searchable(type)", "searchable(title)"]
         - _pages/
         - _pages/
         - _home/status.html
         - _posts/2009/
         - _posts/2021/
  4. Here I followed Cristianph’s blog to continue the remaining steps.

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