Installing your own search script

If your site supports server side functionality such as CGI, PHP, or ASP, you have the option of installing a script to handle the search function for you, on the house. As you look over the below scripts, pay close attention to the efficiency factor, for your server's sake. Generally, the commercial ones are better tuned to handle large sites. I've listed a few of the better known search engine scripts for the three languages listed above:

  • Google Internal Site Search script (JavaScript, free)
    Need a powerful internal search engine script to allow visitors to search the contents of your site? This script uses Google to enable comprehensive search on your site. Cut and paste installation that works on any type of sites.

  • Sphider (PHP, free)
    Sphider is a lightweight web spider and search engine written in PHP, using MySQL as its back end database. It is suitable for adding search functionality to small or medium sites (up to around 20,000 pages). It also works great as a tool for site analysis - finding broken links, gathering statistics about the site etc.

  • TSEP (PHP, free)
    TSEP is a search engine for a website for your website! You can put a "Search this site" anywhere on your website and let people quickly find what they are looking for.

  • Zoom Search Engine (PHP, commercial $49-$99)
    Zoom is a robust PHP script for adding powerful custom search engine to your website, intranet, or CD/DVD.

  • Perlfect Search (Perl, free)
    An integrated, general purpose, site indexer and search engine. It comes as a pair of distinct scripts. The indexer, that automatically, scans and indexes a web site, and the search engine, a cgi script that serves search queries for keywords over the index, and displays results pages in html, in a standard format including title, description and relevance ranking for each matching document.

  • CGIWorld Site Search (Perl, commercial $25)
    SiteSearch gives you the ability to search your website quickly & easily by the use of the password protected browser based administration area. Set the path of the directory you want searched, set the files & directories you want searched, and also the directories & files you do not want searched. SiteSearch is a great tool for the average website of around or below 500 pages.

  • Fluid Dynamics Search Engine (Perl, free and commercial versions)
    FDSE is an easy-to-install search engine for local and remote sites. It returns fast, accurate results from a template-driven architecture. Freeware and shareware versions are available with Perl source.

  • ASP Site Search (ASP, free)
    This ASP Site Search application is commented on each line of code to make it easier for a beginner to follow or to customise. The Site Search application comes in two versions the Advanced version has more functions but requires that the web server has the VB Scripting Engine 5 or above installed.

  • Site Search Pro (ASP, commercial)
    Site Search Pro 2.0 is comprehensive search script for ASP or PHP sites.

In conclusion

We recommend in most cases outsourcing this aspect of your site to someone else. The hassle saved will take years off of you, maybe even your server.