The Episerver platform has sophisticated search functionality that lets you search through different types of website content. You can search for content pages, blocks, files, community objects and products, if Episerver Commerce is installed. The search results are based on access rights, so users only see content to which they have access.

The search is based on the open-source search engine Lucene, which is used by the different Episerver products when retrieving content. The search is provider-based, letting you extend and customize features. You can use the built-in basic search features or create your own custom filtering methods and queries.

Built-in search features

The following built-in search features are included in Episerver:

  • Full-text search features.
  • Indexing of all content types: document files, pages and blocks.
  • Event-driven indexing, meaning instant updating of the index and search results.
  • Search results filtered on access rights.
  • "Search-as-you-type," enhancing the search experience.
  • Supports basic boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT, + , - and *.

Search options

Depending on how your Episerver installation is set up and from where you are searching, there are different options:

  • When editing, the global search is available in the upper right part of the top menu. Depending on the configured search providers, this option can search all types of content on the website: pages, blocks, files, and catalog content if you have Episerver Commerce installed.

    Image: global search in global menu

  • When editing, a search option is available at the top of the navigation and assets panes, and in the link dialog box. This option searches for content in the panes and related dialogs.

    Image: Search field in Commerce catalogs

  • Searching in the CMS edit view is described in the Finding content topic.
  • Site visitors can usually search content through a search field and a search page on the front-end site, as in the Episerver sample templates.

You can add items directly from the search result list to, for example, a page or a block through drag and drop.

Search tips

  • Enter a few carefully selected keywords separated by space. If need be, narrow down your search query by adding keywords. For example: episerver product project.
  • If you know a page ID, search for the page by entering the ID in the search field.
  • When searching for specific phrases, combine keywords using quotation marks. Example: “episerver search tips”.
  • The search function is case-insensitive, so you can use both uppercase and lowercase letters. Example: New York and new york return the same result.
  • You can restrict the search by placing a plus icon + in front of the words that must be found to consider the page a match. Example: +episerver +search +tips.
  • Similarly, you can restrict the search by placing a minus sign – in front of the words that must be excluded to consider the page a match, for example -episerver -search -tips.
  • To match part of a word, place an asterisk * at the end of the word. Example: word1* word2 return content with the words word10, word123 and word2, but not word234.
  • You can use the boolean operators AND and OR.
    • AND means I only want documents that contain both/all words. Example: episerver AND search returns documents with both words.
    • OR means I want documents that contain either word. Example: episerver OR search returns documents with either episerver or search.

Sorting search results

The sorting of search results is determined by the search algorithm, which you can customize in many ways. Often, filtering is applied to the results, which can be based on many factors, such as categorization of content.

Configuring search

Episerver search has configuration options that are managed from the administrative interface in Episerver CMS. See the technical documentation on Episerver World for information about search functionality, configuration possibilities, and integration interface.

 Extended search with Episerver Find

To build more advanced search features based on visitor behavior, customized filtering and faceted content navigation, you can add Episerver Find to your solution (requires license activation); see the Episerver Find section in this documentation.