This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Instant Search & Suggest


Add Google style instant search and search suggest to your WordPress powered site. This plugin will begin displaying search results as soon as your site visitor starts typing into the search box.

The plugin requires very little configuration and should work out of the box with most themes. The plugin has its own options page to configure the plugin to work with your theme if you require it.

a plugin by Scott Evans


  • Admin interface with settings for Instant Search & Suggest
  • Search suggestions on twentyfifteen


To install this plugin:

  1. Upload the instant-search-suggest folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Tweak the settings in Settings -> Instant Search if required

Visit for a comprehensive guide on in how to install WordPress plugins.


Hooks & Filters

The plugin has two filters, both of which allow you to customise the search suggestion results. The filters are: wpiss_post_tempalte and wpiss_taxonmy_tempalte.

You should return a valid mustache template to both of these. You can see an example in assets/inc/iss-theme.php.

Variables available in your mustache template for posts/cpts are: title, permalink, postdate, posttype, categories and image.

Variables available in your mustache template for taxonomies are: title, permalink, taxonomy and count.

How do I setup Instant Search?

For around 70% of WordPress themes instant search will just work. If you find that your instant search feature is not working then you will need to tweak the settings from within WordPress.

Head to the administration menu for the plugin within your WordPress admin panel. You will find it in Settings » Instant Search.

HTML pages are made up of various sections (usually DIVs) and these sections have unique names to describe what they do. For most WordPress themes the main content area is wrapped in a DIV with an ID of ‘content’. Therefore the default setting for Instant Search is “#content”. If instant search is not working then we need to change this value to match your current theme layout.

How do I turn off Instant Search?

Leave the Instant Search #id/.class setting empty to disable instant search.

What is Magic Mode?

With Magic Mode enabled the user is automatically transported to the post, page, custom post type or taxonomy they have selected in the suggestions list. With Magic Mode enabled the user is automatically transported to the post, page, custom post type or taxonomy they have selected in the suggestions list.

How do I turn off search suggestions?

Uncheck all of the taxonomies and post types in the Search Suggest setting.

Does the plugin support custom taxonomies and post types?

Yes. You can control which of these appear in the suggestion list from the setting screen.

How do I customise the look and feel of the suggestions?

We have purposely left the styles on the suggestion dropdown simple to fit many themes. If you wish to customise the CSS copy the iss.css file from the plugin folder (/assets/css/) to the root of your theme and edit the CSS to match your design.

If you wish to change the output of the suggestions please see the hooks and filters section above.

You can also dequeue iss.css and move the styles to your own CSS file using: wp_deregister_style('iss');


April 1, 2017
Some extras would be great! Maybe a pro version? or some updates; “OR” query for tags Sort by tag counts


January 14, 2017
No compatibility with latest PHP and jQuery versions. Needs an update!
September 3, 2016
Best autocomplete search plugin so far in my opinion. The only thing missing for 5 stars is an option to search only in titles and/or in custom meta fields
September 3, 2016 1 reply
Continuate nel supporto anche per l’ultima versione di wordpress …. e mettete la possibilità di nascondere dai risultati le date di creazione delle varie pagine grazie ….
Read all 12 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Instant Search & Suggest” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • Correctly filter search results to match settings


  • Inital release on