Implementing Site Search with FreeFind
Thanks to the widespread popularity of search engines like Google, most computer users know that the answer to nearly any question can be found on the internet. The problem is that finding the specific bit of information they seek may be harder than they expected. If you can help your site's visitors find the information they need with a minimum number of clicks, you can make them very happy. You’re on your own to create compelling content, but this article can help you create a search feature your visitors will love.
FreeFind offers hosted search technology, so there's nothing to download or install.
FreeFind (http://www.freefind.com) along with other companies like Atomz (http://www.atomz.com) and FusionBot (http://fusionbot.com), have created robust hosted applications that perform a site search for your web site. For this project, we’ll look at FreeFind, a free and customizable site search service that automatically indexes your site (much like a "spider" in a traditional web search engine) and returns search results for your visitors. See an example of a hosted search service at Creative Fuel: (http://www.creativefuel.org).
So what's the catch? Your site visitors will see a few ‘Sponsored Ads’ at the top and bottom of your search page. Not a big deal for most informational websites, but it’s a deal-breaker for others who might get ads for competing companies in their search results. For those folks, you can move up to paid search services. The paid versions can be fairly expensive from companies like Atomz, which requires you to consult with sales staff to get a quote. Similar paid services from FreeFind or FusionBot are both inexpensive. Freefind offers paid service without ads as low as $5/month. FusionBot starts at $20/month.