If you’re looking to truly make your Lightspeed shop shine with a sophisticated search solution, there’s no need to dive headfirst into complex coding - our Lightspeed plugin will let you set up your new search in a matter of minutes. We'll be going through the installation process, as well as our platform in the article:
Lightspeed features overview
There’re just four steps you need to take to get the search up and running:
1. Install the plugin:
First things first, you need to add our plugin to your Lightspeed site.
You can either search for “Site Search 360” in Lightspeed’s App Store (found in the left side panel under Apps -> App Store) or follow this direct link to the plugin’s entry in the store.
Once you find the plugin, simply press the "Install App" button at the top right corner of the screen to be redirected to your project's Control Panel:
At this point you’ll be logged in automatically. The password will be sent to the email address of your Lightspeed store owner, but you can change it at any point under Account -> My Profile.
Protip: Once you install the app, you can access the Control Panel either on our plugin’s page in the App Store too or through the “Purchased Apps” section of the left side panel menu:
The part of the project page you’ll be redirected to is your Dashboard. On your initial login you’ll only see how many pages we have successfully indexed from your site, but when you start actively using the plugin, this is where you’ll find data about your search performance, like which search terms your users type in most often and which ones return zero results. You can learn more about the data we extract from the search activity in our article on Dashboard Analytics.
2. Connect Site Search 360 to a search bar:
This, among other things related to the look and feel of your search, is configured in our Search Designer.
Go to Design & Publish -> General and scroll down to the “Search Bar” section. There you can choose to either “Use existing search bar” or “Add a search bar to website”.
Most Lightspeed themes already come with a search bar that we automatically connect our search to. If you are not getting any results or if the button isn’t working when you activate the Site Search 360 app on your site, You can always tweak or provide additional CSS selectors to make sure Site Search 360 is initialized properly and linked to all search bars if you have more than one.
If you choose to add a new search bar, you need to provide CSS selectors that would point our app to where you want to put a new one.
Remember that if you want the search to be available in the exact same place on every page of your site, you need to choose a selector that is present on all of them.
3. Go through the settings available in Design & Publish and configure the look and feel of your search.
4. Activate the search on your site in Design & Publish -> General
This will activate the search on your site, either connecting it to the search bar you already have or adding a brand new one. You can start using it right away.
If you ever need to temporarily disable the live search, feel free to move the “Activate” toggle to OFF. You can then safely re-enable it without losing any of the configured settings.
Protip: you don’t need to activate the search to test out its settings. You can do so in your Control Panel: there’s a separate Search Preview tab where all changes to your search’s configuration are reflected as well as a preview window on the right side of the screen in “Design & Publish” where you can check out what the search will look like on the live site without actually changing anything about the site’s design.
And with that you’re all set!
Lightspeed features overview
Design & Publish
We’ve already established that this section corresponds with your search’s design and some of its settings. And there’s a lot you can do with it in both regards!
Read our article dedicated for Lightspeed's Search Designer for more details.
Data Sources section shows every source our crawler uses to populate your search results.
As stated before, we automatically pull data from your Lightspeed store when you register (though it may take up to 20 minutes to add all of the available pages to the search results, especially if you have thousands of products). The list of those pages is only accessible in Lightspeed’s control panel under "Products".
The Lightspeed Data section relates to how your Lightspeed-powered pages should be presented:
Keep in mind that you are by no means limited to Lightspeed pages when it comes to your search results. You can also add a dedicated FAQ page, create a URL list containing pages not found in your Lightspeed store (perhaps hosted on a separate domain) or even index your YouTube channel (though this one is an add-on feature not included in our plans by default).
This nifty section allows you to check out what your search will look like without switching to the Search Designer. It is quite useful, for instance, when you need to see if the changes you’ve made to your search configuration are indeed what you were looking for as well as test the search itself (say, to see which results will be returned for a specific query, which Result Groups they belong to, how your search snippets look, etc.)
Once again, filters and their values are, among other types of data, extracted directly from your Lightspeed store. Yet you can still change them up a bit right on your Site Search 360 Control Panel.
On the main Filters page you can, for example, choose which filters will be displayed in the search and which will not by simply moving the respective toggle to OFF:
For each specific filter you can also:
Change its name, choice logic and sorting order:
Choose which data points should be used as extraction criteria:
Configure which values should and shouldn’t be shown as well as move specific values to the top of the list and limit value selection from the top of the list to any value of your choosing:
Check out how the filters could function on your site in our Filters demo.
This section lets you rank some pages higher (or lower) than others. You can find more information in our article for Search Settings -> How can I change the order of my search results?
There are three separate sections in this tab, each more exciting than the last.
Result Mappings will allow you to:
Customize a unique set of results for any given query (and even automatically apply specific filter values to them)
Rewrite the query
Redirect a query to a specific page instead of showing default search results
In this section you can create two setups:
Display the queries that your users have searches for most often throughout the last 3 days
Suggest any queries of your choosing that will be displayed if they match the first few letters of the query your user actually types in (3 by default)
Unlike regular search suggestions, these queries will be presented as search terms rather than clickable pages.
You aren’t limited to pages our crawler has indexed from your Lightspeed database when it comes to setting up Result Mappings. You can also add pages from other domains to your customized search results and even configure custom ones (be it regular pages or promotional banners).
You can learn more about Result Manager in this comprehensive guide on the topic.
Dictionary works similarly to "Rewrite trigger to" in Result Mappings except you have to fully re-index the project to make the Dictionary changes reflect in your search.
You can either make search results for one query appear for another and vice versa by making those queries synonyms or create a unidirectional alternate spellings.
Protip: Synonyms are great when your search fuzziness is set to “strict” because you can continue having your search results match the search queries perfectly but make exceptions for particular terms. They will also allow you to automatically suggest relevant pages for queries that are often misspelled or return zero results (check your Dashboard Analytics to see what those are for your project).
This section is explored in more detail in our Dictionary article.
Again, there're four separate sub-sections in this section. Let's have a brief overview one by one.
These are the settings related to how the search will behave when in use. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s what you should keep in mind.
The Search Fuzziness settings refer to how closely the info extracted from the page needs to match the query. It ranges from “extremely strict” (aka matching the query perfectly) to “get more results” (aka somewhat matching the query - at least a few of the symbols entered). Fuzziness can be configured for your search results and your search suggestions separately.
The Search Snippet is the description shown under each search result.
Search Field Boosts allow you to configure the hierarchy between several strategies (i.e. title, content and data point) under Advanced Settings:
Protip: You can change and immediately test these settings under “Preview Settings” in the Search Preview tab - you won’t need to fully re-index the project to reflect these changes in the search.
In this section you can configure the extraction strategy for your PDFs’ titles, content, and thumbnails:
Note: By default all plans come with a PDF size limit of 15 MB. If your site has a bunch of larger files, contact us to set up a custom PDF indexing plan.
Besides blocking certain IPs from using the search and excluding others from your search stats,IP Settings sub-section can be used to enforce query limits - per IP per hour or generally, so as to avoid blowing past your search limit and paying an overage fee for each query over said limit:
By default, we ignore stop words, e.g. pronouns, articles, etc. in the queries. However, it could be useful to keep the queries as they are in some situation. For example, if you run a book store, you'd want your users to be able to search for a book called "Tell Me How It Ends", without the pronouns being stripped out from the query.
You can define a custom list of stop words that should be treated as meaningful terms in this sub-section.
The whole Search Settings section is described in more detail in our Search Settings article.
With this tab we move on from the intricate techy stuff to good old account management.
In addition to general information of your account, you can subscribe to insights digest of your projects at the bottom of this section:
This is where you need to go if you ever want to upgrade your project to another plan. You’re also by no means limited to our default plans - feel free to tinker with the settings and configure a custom one that would fit your every need.
If you choose to subscribe to a paid plan, here is where you’ll find your full billing info and all invoices, past and current ones, available for downloading.
If your store has multiple language versions, each will have its own project page. You can view all versions of your site and see basic stats for each of them, like the number of pages our crawler successfully indexed and the activity the search has had on that particular domain within the last day.
Note: if you choose to subscribe to a paid plan, you will only have to pay for the search installed on the main site - all other language versions will be included in your subscription by default.
You can have an overview of your user profile in this section.
The Index Log shows all pages our crawler has managed to index regardless of whether they’re pulled from your Lightspeed data or added as part of your FAQ, URL List or YouTube channel.
For easier analysis you can filter your search results by their indexing status, content type, data source and/or update time:
This Index section is also where you can manually re-index your project to apply config changes to the search or purge your Index of all pages:
Protip: Any page can be removed from the search results manually either by pressing the red “Remove” button on the right of said page or in the “Remove Multiple URLs” section of the “Index” tab. However, if the product is still in Lightspeed database, it'll be added back to the index during the next update.
And with that we’re ending our Lightspeed plugin journey. If you still have questions about the functionality of your search, do not hesitate to drop us an email at any time.