When designing and developing websites, we’ve found that search is often an afterthought. People are so familiar with Google, that they assume the native search functionality on any site will work the same way and do everything they want automatically. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A site’s search technology should be carefully selected to meet the needs of a site’s users. This is true for any CMS-driven site, but for sites that use Episerver, there is one option available that is particularly powerful: Episerver Find.
Episerver Find is available as a paid add-on to a standard Episerver installation, and in addition to its robust search technology, it provides a number of useful functionalities, such as the creation of targeted content and landing pages. We previously elaborated on this new functionality when it was launched, but since then, we’ve had more and more interest from clients who want to learn how it could play a part in their website redesign projects. Since search is so important, we wanted to focus on the search capabilities Episerver Find provides. With that in mind, here are 7 reasons Episerver Find is an invaluable addition to any Episerver project:
1. Cloud-Based Search
Episerver Find provides SaaS (Software as a Service) based search, and it is hosted by Episerver in their cloud. This means that you don’t have to figure out how to host and maintain your site’s search indexes; all the work of managing this data is taken care of automatically, cutting down on your maintenance efforts and freeing up your servers’ resources to handle the operation of your website.
Normally, sites need to be crawled and indexed in order for site content to be searchable, and while this process runs regularly, it isn’t performed constantly. Instead, the site will be crawled on a schedule, such as once an hour. Episerver Find doesn’t have this issue; it indexes site data almost instantly, providing nearly real-time results. This means that as soon as a page or document is updated, it will be findable in search right away, ensuring that users will always be able to find the most up-to-date content on your site.
3. Unified Content and Commerce
One of the primary benefits of Episerver is that it integrates content and commerce in a single platform. This integration extends to search as well, meaning that searches done on the site won’t be limited to either content or commerce, but will display the most relevant results across the entire site. This provides a seamless experience for your customers, helping them find the information they are looking for with every search.
4. Simple Configuration
Episerver Find is unbelievably easy to set up and configure, with minimal adjustment of settings needed to implement it on your site. In fact, the setup process only takes about 30 minutes, from the initial signup to the functionality being available for use on the site. Since configuring site search can often be complicated, this ease of use provides the peace of mind that your site search will be functioning correctly at all times.
As your website grows in size, complexity, and the amount of traffic it receives, Episerver Find’s search capabilities scale along with it. Since it is managed in Episerver’s cloud, you won’t need to worry about the site search slowing down as the site gets larger and more complicated, and you won’t have to handle any complex configurations for indexing your site. This is all handled automatically, so you can rest assured that users will always be able to get the best search results on your site.
6. Document Search
If your site contains any documents, such as PDFs, Word docs, or text files that users can download, you’ll often want users to be able to search within those documents for any information they need to find. The standard Episerver search functionality will only search the document titles and metadata, but Episerver Find will search the actual content of the documents. This functionality is essential for helping your users get the best results for what they are searching for.
7. And More!
This is only the tip of the iceberg for what Episerver Find provides. It includes plenty of other functionality, such as multi-language support, geo-searching, and faceted search (learn more here). You’ll find that it can handle nearly any needs you might have for providing the best search results for your users.
As you can see, Episerver Find is an integral part of the Episerver platform, and while it does require an additional cost to implement, the increased functionality it provides for your site is well worth it. Do you want to know more about how you can use Episerver Find to make sure your site meets your business goals? Do you have any questions about how to implement Episerver Find on your site? Please contact us to speak to an Episerver expert, or feel free to leave a comment below.