Frequently asked and answered questions

This page covers many frequently asked or answered questions that relate to the RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro stacks. Please take a few minutes to browse the topics discussed on this page, before raising a support request.
 
What is the difference between RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro?
At face value, RapidSearch is cheaper to buy and easier to setup; because it reuses search result data provided by Google. RapidSearch Pro does not rely on third-party APIs (like Google) to return search results. RapidSearch Pro maintains its very own search index using MySQL full-text indexing. This means RapidSearch Pro will provide faster, more accurate, and more up-to-date search results. Also unlike its predecessor, RapidSearch Pro indexes your entire website within a matter of seconds; whereas RapidSearch plugin requires you to wait until your site is indexed by Google.
 
How long does it take RapidSearch to reflect changes in my website pages or content?
For brand new websites, new domains or websites that have been extensively restructured; expect it to take 6 - 8 weeks for Google to fully index your website. For more minor changes, Google will typically update it's search database within a few hours. In both instances you can significantly speed-up the time it takes Google to index your website by opening a free Google Webmaster Tools account and supplying all the relevant information about your website. The above does not apply to RapidSearch Pro; which bypasses Google and uses it's own instantly-updating search database.
 
RapidSearch Pro search content I am editing with Armadillo CMS?
Yes, it can. Armadillo doesn't currently generate a self-updating sitemap.xml file for RapidSearch Pro to use. However you can use a service like xml-sitemaps.com to crawl your Armadillo blog and pages; as it will create a 'snapshot' downloadable sitemap file for you. At this point, you can upload the generated XML file to your web server (via FTP or attaching it as a resource to the RapidWeaver project file) and then add it as a sitemap within the RapidSearch Pro online console.
 
How many websites can I use the stacks on?
Our policy of one domain per-stack has recently changed and been relaxed. We now welcome you to install RapidSearch or RapidSearch Pro onto any number of RapidWeaver websites that you're owner of and actively managing. However we can only provide free support for the first website you purchase RapidSearch or RapidSearch Pro to use on. We cannot provide free help for the setup of RapidSearch Pro databases (this is the responsibility of the web hosting company to do).
 
Where are the RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro page plugins for RapidWeaver?
Both RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro started life as page type plugins for RapidWeaver. There was strong demand to have 'mini' versions of the plugins available as Stacks. The Stacks API matured significantly and allowed us to make the stacks very feature-rich. Before too long, the stack versions were outselling the plugin versions at a overwhelming rate! So the decision was taken to discontinue support for the plugin versions (in August 2016) and focus purely on the stacks. So the plugins are now obsolete and are no longer being actively developed or supported. If you still use the plugins, it is recommended you switchover to using the stack versions. Upgrade discounts are available, so please get in contact and we'll be happy to help you. We cannot provide free support or license codes for the RapidSearch plugins anymore.
 
Why are my search results misaligned or distorted on the page?
Please check that any page loading animation effects in your theme or another stack are disabled. RapidSearch has to operate in a strict order. Special animation effects are known to distort the search results shown or cause other problems. If in doubt, duplicate your project file and try it against other themes.
 
Will adverts show in my search results?
If you're using RapidSearch Pro, adverts are never ever shown. If you're using RapidSearch (the non-pro version), then adverts or sponsored links may be displayed. It's important to remember that the search results come from Google. Therefore Google are within their right to display adverts or sponsored links in your search results. There is a scheme available whereby you can pay Google to remove adverts and sponsored links in your CSE account. Likewise you can also link your Google CSE account to Google Adsense; if you want a share of the advertising revenue.
 
Why does the search box look ugly, misaligned or broken?
This might be a conflict with the CSS in a RapidWeaver theme or external framework. Newer versions of RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro stacks do already include bug fixes for box-sizing issues in Bootstrap and Foundation themes. If problems persist, please open a new support case and provide a link to your RapidSearch or RapidSearch Pro page.
 
Why does RapidSearch Pro not find results for three or two letter words?
By default, MySQL only indexes words that have four or more letters. This is beyond our control and is intrinsic to MySQL itself. To change the minimum word length that MySQL will index, update the MySQL server configuration file with ft_min_word_len=3. If you are on a shared server, you will need to ask your database administrator or web host to make this change for you (if it is possible or permitted).
 
Why does RapidSearch Pro not find results for general search terms like "okay", "thanks", or similar?
By default, MySQL includes a list of "stopwords" that are automatically filtered out before performing a search. To disable this list of "stopwords", update the MySQL server configuration file with ft_stopword_file = "". If you are on a shared server, you will need to ask your database administrator or web host to make this change for you (if it is possible or permitted).

To see what words are part of the default "stopwords" list, visit this page: MySQL default stopwords
 
How do I generate a sitemap.xml file for my website?
This XML file is needed by both RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro. It's purpose is to provide a machine-readable list of your website pages, basic information about what is on each page and the date that the page was last updated. Therefore when you make changes to your website, the sitemap tells Google or the MySQL database about the changes that have taken place. The good news is that as of RapidWeaver 5 and later, the sitemap.xml file should be generated automatically (the option to turn it on and off is in your site settings). So under normal circumstances, you should not need to generate it yourself or change any settings. The sitemap.xml file always resides in the top (root) level of your website directory.
 
How do I create a MySQL database for RapidSearch Pro?
Most hosting providers have tools to help you quickly create a new MySQL database (e.g. phpMyAdmin or MySQL® Database Wizard in CPanel). If you require assistance creating a MySQL database, contact your server administrator or your hosting provider. Be sure you know the database host address, database username, database password, and database name. You may need the database port if your database server runs on a non-standard port.

Most better hosting companies provide illustrated knowledgebase articles or other support documents that can guide you through the setup procedure. Some hosting companies will even setup a MySQL database for you and list the settings for you to use in RapidSearch Pro. There are also some good video's to watch on YouTube that can show you how to create a new MySQL database. The creation of MySQL databases is very commonplace, because a great many web server scripts and software installs depend on MySQL for their data storage. We cannot provide free support for the setup of MySQL databases, because this is the responsibility of your hosting provider.
 
If I republish my RapidSearch Pro page, will I lose my search index data?
No. You can safely re-publish your RapidSearch Pro page without losing your search index data. This is actually encouraged, especially if you need to update your RapidSearch Pro account username and/or password. However, if you change your MySQL database details to a new database, you will need to re-build your search index since your previous search index data will be in the old database.
 
I don't see any search results in RapidSearch Pro. What is wrong?
RapidSearch Pro will not work in RapidWeaver preview, because it has dependencies on PHP and MySQL databases. If however your published example of RapidSearch Pro does not work, please check the following:

1) Have you built your search index? If not, you need to login and do that.
2) Is the path to your sitemap.xml file correct?
3) Does your MySQL database exist?
4) Are your MySQL database login credentials correct?
5) Is PHP and MySQL functioning on the server? Check the server status / health page.

If the problem still persists, contact us and be sure to include the URL directly to your RapidSearch Pro page. We may also request FTP access to your hosting account.
 
There is some code appearing in the search field of my RapidSearch Pro page. What's wrong?
Code may appear in the search field when the file extension for a RapidSearch Pro page has been changed to something other than .php in the RapidWeaver Page Inspector. RapidSearch Pro pages always require a .php file extension, so that the server-side scripting can run. The stack will make an effort and attempt to do this for you automatically, but if this issue is occurring please double-check the file extension via the Page Inspector, and fix if necessary.
 
Can RapidSearch or RapidSearch Pro search password-protected pages?
Any pages that have been password-protected will never show in the search results.
 
I can't access the RapidSearch Pro admin on cheap web hosting? What's wrong?
When using RapidSearch Pro with cheap shared web hosting companies (like GoDaddy, Namesco, 1&1, Zymla or 123reg web hosting), you may need to add a file called "php5.ini" to the root directory of your website, and the contents of that file should be as follows:

cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1

If that does not resolve the issue for you please contact us for assistance or open a support case with the web hosting company. You might need to change to a different web hosting company.
 
Is RapidSearch Pro compatible with MAMP?
RapidSearch Pro is fully compatible with MAMP, both the free and the pro versions. This is ideal if you want to test RapidSearch Pro offline on your own computer - without publishing test sites to an online web server. From the MAMP start page, you can create a your new MySQL database.
 
Will RapidWeaver ever introduce a native search function?
This seems highly unlikely. Other publishing platforms like Wordpress, Drupal, Modx, Magento and concrete5 are all database driven already; so these can easily add searching capability. However RapidWeaver generates static webpages and has no database. So there nearly always will be demand for searching addons like RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro, to add searching capability to websites. It's also worth noting that both RapidSearch and RapidSearch Pro are well-established search addons with a wide range of customizable options and a developer API. Even if a distant future version of RapidWeaver were to provide a search plugin, it's unlikely to rival what we can already offer you!
 
Can I create a custom search form to my own style?
Sure thing! You need a basic HTML form that will collect the search keywords and send them as a URL query string to your RapidSearch or RapidSearch Pro page. Our developer API has some sample HTML code to help you get started. You can add class selector names to style the form with a framework like Twitter Bootstrap, Zurb Foundation or UIKit. Alternatively you can write your own CSS code to create a stylish search form.

Another option is to use the free RapidSearch Helper stack, to generate a custom search box.