RapidSearch Pro

 


So you may have already had a play with our popular RapidSearch stack and you might be thinking "this would be so much better if it wasn't tied to Google". If so, then RapidSearch Pro might be exactly what you're looking for!

RapidSearch Pro is the second search stack in our lineup. The main difference is that instead of relying on Google for search results, RapidSearch Pro is far more sophisticated and builds its own database of search results, in MySQL database format.

The key advantage of this system is that when something changes on your website, the search database updates almost instantaneously. You are not having to wait for an external search engine to find the changes. The other benefits include no 'Google' branding anywhere, no adverts or sponsered links and greater control over the search results returned (like support for boolean logic).

A built-in admin interface lets you login to your search engine and check the status of things; including lists of when pages were last indexed. Simple actions can be performed in the admin interface; like re-linking your sitemap.xml file (generated automatically by RapidWeaver), adding and removing pages or rebuilding the search index. Plus you can view statistics that include how many people have searched your website and what they have been looking for - extremely valuable information for improving your website.

In terms of perfomance, RapidSearch Pro is fast; because everything operates in-house on your own web server. RapidSearch Pro can confidently handle very large websites which frequently get updated. It's also a perfect search stack to use with popular CMS solutions for RapidWeaver.

System requirements

The RapidSearch Pro stack requires the following system requirements:

  1. An Intel Mac running RapidWeaver 6 or later from Realmac Software
  2. Stacks 3.0 or later from YourHead Software
  3. A web server with support for MySQL databases
  4. The web server must have support for a minimum of PHP version 5.6, but we recommend PHP 7 if it's available
  5. The 'libcurl' library is needed on the web server
  6. A modern, HTML5 mobile responsive RapidWeaver theme (optional, but recommended)

We generously provide a FREE demo version of RapidSearch Pro which you may download using the button above. This demo can be installed onto your computer, so you can fully explore all the options provided and ensure the stack meets your requirements. The free demo version is fully functioning; with the exception that automatic updates are disabled, a credit is displayed below the stack and the stack fades out of view after 60 seconds. If you decide to purchase RapidSearch Pro, you will get emailed a download link to an unlocked version of the stack; and any settings or content you've created with the demo will be preserved upon installing the paid version. The demo version is a good way to test if your server is compatible.

Example

You can see a working example of RapidSearch Pro below. The shadow effect was created using the free Shady stack from Stacks4Stacks. Try a simple keyword like 'rapidsearch'.

 
Setup instructions
It might look a bit cumbersome and scary, but RapidSearch Pro is not too difficult to setup. If you've ever installed Wordpress before, then RapidSearch Pro has a very similar setup procedure. From our experience, most better web hosting companies are happy to assist you with creating the empty database.

Start by logging into your web hosting control panel (e.g. CPanel). Use the phpMyAdmin tool or MySQL Wizard to create a brand new database. Your new MySQL database user should have CREATE, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, SELECT, ALTER, and DROP privileges for RapidSearch Pro to work correctly. Take a careful note of the details you enter for the database and database user. A plain text file is useful for jotting-down the details. Please contact your web server administrator or web hosting provider if you have any questions whatsoever about your database setup or configuration (you can point them to this page if you prefer).

To install RapidSearch Pro in RapidWeaver, download the .zip file. If you computer does not automatically unpack the file for you, double-click the .zip file to expand it. You should see a file named RapidSearchPro2.stack with a yellow lego brick icon. Double-click this icon or drag and drop it onto the RapidWeaver icon in your dock. You should see a message to say the stack was installed.

You would probably want to create a new Stacks page in your RapidWeaver project specifically to host the RapidSearch Pro stack on. So add a new stacks page to your project. It is wise to open the RapidWeaver Page Inspector and give this new page a sensible folder name of something like 'search'. The file extension of the page must be set to.php in the RapidWeaver Page Inspector.

The next stage is to begin the process of configuring RapidSearch Pro. Ensure that RapidSearch Pro is selected in RapidWeaver edit mode (with a blue border drawn around it). In the RapidSearch Pro settings, start by providing a simple username and password (this is to be used later for letting you login to RapidSearch Pro and perform simple administrative tasks). Then go-ahead and fill in the details for the MySQL database. Any of the other style or behavioural settings can be adjusted if necessary. Hovering your mouse over individual settings will display an informational tooltip about what each one does.

At this point, your work in RapidWeaver is done! The next stage is to publish your new search page and activate the search engine.

Managing Your Search Index
When you publish your RapidSearch Pro page to your web server, you will automatically have access to a secure online console or "admin" area. Once logged in, you can manage your website's search index and periodically check everything is running in a healthy state. This is also the place where you can obtain valuable statistics; relating to how many people are using your website search and what they are searching for!

Accessing the search index console
To access the online console, first make sure you know the full URL of your RapidSearch Pro page (the page that shows the search results). To access the search index console, append files/rspro/index.php/ to the URL of your RapidSearch Pro page. For example, if my RapidSearch Pro form is available at http://example.com/search/, I can log into the search index console at http://example.com/search/files/rspro/index.php/. The trailing slash at the end of the address is very important to include. When you see the RapidSearch Pro search index console login form, enter the username and password you setup in the stack settings.

Building your search index
After you publish your RapidSearch Pro page, log into the search admin, using the instructions above. The very first time you log into the search console, you should immediately add a sitemap.xml file and build your search index. RapidWeaver automatically generates a sitemap.xml file stored in the root directory of your website. So if your website is located at http://example.com the sitemap file will be located at http://example.com/sitemap.xml. This XML file contains data about each page of your website, including a short description and the date it was last modified.

To build your search index, click the Rebuild Index link. As your search index is built, you will see pages added interactively as they are indexed. You will be alerted when the rebuild process completes. After you build your search index, you and/or you website visitors may now search your website on your public RapidSearch Pro form.

You must build your search index immediately after you first publish your RapidSearch Pro page. You should also re-build your search index if you make changes to multiple pages on your RapidWeaver website. RapidSearch Pro will detect if the sitemap file has been updated recently, and will display a notification suggesting the search index be rebuilt.

Updating a page in your search index
Log into your search index console. Let's assume you have already built your search index. Let's also assume that you just updated a page on your website. If you want the new content of the updated page to appear in your search index, you will need to re-index the updated page. To re-index a particular page in your search index, find the given page line-item and click its Re-Index button. You will see the Last Indexed time update after the page is re-indexed.

Removing a page from your search index
Log into your search index console. Let's assume you have already built your search index. Let's also assume that you want to remove a page from your search index. To remove a particular page from your search index, find the given page line-item and click its Remove button. The page line item will be removed as soon as the page is removed from the search index. The page will no longer appear in search results.

Searching your website
RapidSearch Pro offers sophisticated searching capabilities, via a series of boolean logic operators. To make search integration more convenient for you, RapidSearch Pro reuses your page titles, META descriptions and page content.

Searching with boolean logic
RapidSearch Pro supports boolean logic operators so your website visitors can find exactly the page they are looking for. The following operators and descriptions are from the official MySQL documentation.

+
A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in each row that is returned.

-
A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any of the rows that are returned. The - operator acts only to exclude rows that are otherwise matched by other search terms. Thus, a boolean-mode search that contains only terms preceded by - returns an empty result. It does not return "all rows except those containing any of the excluded terms."

[no operator]
By default (when neither + nor - is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it are rated higher.

> <
These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The > operator increases the contribution and the < operator decreases it.

( )
Parentheses group words into subexpressions. Parenthesized groups can be nested.

~
A leading tilde acts as a negation operator, causing the word's contribution to the row's relevance to be negative. This is useful for marking "noise" words. A row containing such a word is rated lower than others, but is not excluded altogether, as it would be with the - operator.

*
The asterisk serves as the truncation (or wildcard) operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word to be affected. Words match if they begin with the word preceding the * operator.

"
A phrase that is enclosed within double quote (“"”) characters matches only rows that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed. The full-text engine splits the phrase into words and performs a search in the FULLTEXT index for the words. Nonword characters need not be matched exactly: Phrase searching requires only that matches contain exactly the same words as the phrase and in the same order. For example, "test phrase" matches "test, phrase".

Of course, few website visitors landing on your search page will know how to use boolean logic in search queries. In the past some RapidSearch Pro users have created a separate 'Advanced Search' page and included the above operators and descriptions for their users to follow. Feel free to do the same.

How to optimize your website
RapidSearch Pro indexes your site by analyzing each page's title, META description, and page content. Page titles are considered most important to page relevance, followed by META descriptions, followed by page content.

Page Title
This is the <title> tag in your HTML document. This should be unique and accurately describe the content and purpose of the HTML document. This is considered the most important factor when determining page relevance to search keywords.

Page META Description
This is the tag in your HTML document header. This should be unique and accurately describe the content and purpose of the HTML document. This is considered the second most important factor (second to the page title) when determining page relevance to search keywords. If a page does not have a META description, no excerpt of the page will be shown in results - only the page title and URL will be displayed.

Page Content
This is the content of your HTML document body. This should be unique and contain judicial use of relevant keywords that accurately describe the content of the page. This is considered the third most important factor (after the page title and META description) when determining the page relevance to search keywords.
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System requirements
This stack requires RapidWeaver and the YourHead Stacks plugin. It will not work with other platforms (like Wordpress). We recommend you aim towards installing the latest version of RapidWeaver that your computer is capable of running (preferably RapidWeaver 6 or greater) and Stacks 3 or later.

License agreement
You may use this purchased stack an unlimited number of times in personal or commercial projects, request technical support and receive free updates in future.

This stack can be installed or synced onto all computers that you own. You are permitted to make archival backup copies of the stack.

You may not resell or make this stack available for download, remove copyright credits or license information.

The software is provided "as is" without any implied or expressed warranty of merchantability or fitness for purpose. In no event shall the authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the software.

Refund policy
By purchasing this stack, you agree that your purchase will be available immediately via digital download and that you waive your statutory right of withdrawal.

All purchases are final and refunds will not be provided (we physically cannot un-download or remove stacks from your computer).

You are reminded to make use of the free demo version already provided on the website, to fully evaluate this stack for compatibility and suitability before purchase.

Customer support
If you have questions that relate specifically to this stack, you should make contact via the support page. We aim to answer all messages within 12 hours, Monday to Friday.

If you require a faster response at weekends or during public holidays, please post your question(s) to the RapidWeaver forums, where a support volunteer may be able to assist you quicker.