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ACF Compatible Search Options

  • I’m building a website for a financial institution and I’m in need of a high-quality, robust search that works with ACF in terms of searching within fields and displaying the fields as excerpt text.

    Every solution I’ve found so far that claims to include custom post types and ACF or custom fields has only been a partial solution.

    Help topics on different search plugin’s pages say its an ACF issue, and I’ve seen posts on ACF help topics that say its a search plugin issue.

    I would post the solutions I’ve tried, but I’d really appreciate a ground up approach on this issue. The site currently gets around 175,000 sessions a month and we’re not beyond a paid solution.

    Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • Have you tried https://facetwp.com/, they also have an add on for Relevanssi. Both of these premium plugins work with ACF.

    Other than this, what types of fields are you attempting to search and what issues are you running into with doing it?

  • I haven’t tried FacetWP because it seemed more tailored to retail products. We have a locations, staff, news, account products, and services custom post type made up of ACF fields, and our content pages are made up of Flexible Content fields with text and repeater fields embedded.

    When I tried out Relevanssi, not only were the excerpts still not working, but my search.php page wouldn’t return any results either. If I deleted the page and let it default to using index.php the results would list but still no excerpts. The closest I got was this: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/include-all-custom-fields-in-search-excerpt-1 which allowed top-level fields to display but when it came to the deeply embedded fields they’d either display “Array array array” or partial content with interspersed field names as the excerpt.

    Honestly if I could find a real solution to a search results page with excerpts from a page or post content regardless of the ACF field, I’d be happy. Once I get what I’d consider basic search features working, I’d consider adding on FacetWP functionality.

  • I think you’re looking for 2 things. One is the ability to search custom field. FacetWP will likely do what you want.

    Adding the values of custom fields to the excerpt on the other hand, or displaying them on a search page, I don’t know of any plugins that will do this for you. Showing ACF fields on a search results page in some way would be the same as showing them on any other type of template.

    If you have an “Archive” page for your “Locations” post type archive-{$post_type}.php FacetWP will find the loop that’s displaying the results and use that loop for showing results, but you’d need to code that loop to show what you want shown for each location.

    I’m afraid there’s nothing available that will remove the need to code templates to show ACF fields, no page builders that work with ACF, at least not that I’ve seen or heard about.

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