Minitek Smart Search

Minitek Smart Search is the most advanced search engine for Joomla!. Based on the Joomla core component Smart Search, Minitek Smart Search allows you to incorporate more advanced search features into your website.

  • Native support for all Joomla core content
  • Supports any 3rd party Joomla component that includes smart search plugins (eg. K2, EasyBlog, EasySocial and many more)
  • Scans the content of your website and builds an index for fast and intelligent searching
  • Suggests search terms as you type
  • If no results are found, suggests alternative search terms
  • Ajax driven
  • Highlights search terms in search results
  • Custom filters and filter groups
  • Beautiful and clean front-end interface
  • Supports template overrides
  • Can be used on multi-lingual websites

To install Minitek Smart Search:

  1. Login to Joomla administrator control panel
  2. Go to Extensions > Manage
  3. Click on Upload Package File
  4. Select the zip file of the extension and click on Upload & Install
    Installation

  Minitek Smart Search is based on the Joomla core component Smart Search. This means that the Joomla component Smart Search and all the Smart Search plugins must be enabled in Extension Manager > Manage.

The extension must be authenticated before you can update it. To authenticate and update Minitek Smart Search:

  1. Go to Downloads Section and download the latest version of the plugin Minitek Updates Authentication.

  2. Install the plugin in your website via Extension Manager.

  3. Open the plugin, publish it and paste your Download ID into the Download ID parameter. Click on Save & Close.

    (You can find your Download ID here)

  4. That's it! The extension will now notify you whenever there is a new version released. Please note that you will be able to receive updates only for the duration of your subscription at Minitek.gr.

Minitek Smart search scans the content of your website and builds an index that enables fast and intelligent searching by your site visitors. The component indexes every possible individual word and phrase. Each indexed item is also mapped to content maps that can be used to filter search results. Note that only the content of the components that include a Smart Search plugin will be scanned and indexed.

For content to be displayed in search results it must first be indexed by one of the Smart Search plugins. Before starting the indexer, it is recommended that you review the available plugins and disable any that will not be necessary for your site. To review the available Smart Search plugins use the following procedure:

  1. Log in to the Administrator
  2. Go to Extensions > Plugins
  3. Filter the plugin list so that only Smart Search plugins are shown by selecting "finder" from the "Select Type" filter drop-down.
  4. Review the list of plugins and disable any that will not be necessary for your site by clicking on the green tick icon in the Status column for the plugin. This should change to a red circle to indicate that the plugin is disabled.

  Why is there a separate Smart Search content plugin?

This plugin monitors all changes in the content of your website. Changes to content will not update the Smart Search index if you do not enable this plugin.

After you have reviewed the search plugins, it is time to start the Smart Search indexer. This will scan the content on your website and build an index that will enable fast and intelligent searching by your site visitors. To run the indexer use the following procedure:

  1. Log in to the Administrator
  2. Go to Components > Minitek Smart Search
  3. Click on the Index button in the toolbar to start the indexer.

    Running the indexer
  4. This will cause a modal window to load with some indexer status information and a progress bar. Depending on the size of your site, this can take a few minutes to a few hours to complete. Do not close the modal window unless the process is complete. The indexer uses AJAX requests to complete the overall process in small chunks so as to avoid timeouts and memory problems. Indexing is complete when the progress bar disappears and you see a message indicating that it is now safe to close the modal window.

    Running the indexer
  5. Once the indexer has finished, closing the modal window will cause the Indexed Content screen in the background to refresh with an updated list of all the indexed content. If you would prefer that specific items are not displayed in the search results, you can unpublish them from the Smart Search database by selecting the checkbox next to the title of the item and then pressing the Unpublish button.

  Important

If your site has a large amount of content, or particularly large content items, or has restricted disk space, you should read about Smart Search on large sites. Note that in this case, Minitek Smart Search will require a large amount of disk space for the database tables, depending on the amount of content being indexed.

In Minitek Smart Search filter groups serve as containers for filters. Later on, we will create filters that will be assigned to a filter group.

To create a new filter group:

  1. Go to Minitek Smart Search > Filter groups and click on New

    Creating filter groups
  2. Enter a title for the Filter group and select the filters type

    Filters type: Without content types

    In this case, the filters don't have a parent content type. Take a look at the following image:

    Creating filter groups

    If you select the filter (content map) Category 1 then the search results will retrieve indexed items from all content types that are assigned to the content map Category 1.


    Filters type: With content types

    In this case, filters have parent content types. Take a look at the following image:

    Creating filter groups

    If you select the filter (content map) Category 1 then the search results will retrieve indexed items from the content type "Articles" that are assigned to the content map Category 1.

  3. Click on "Save & Close"

Now that you have created a filter group, it's time to create some filters.

To create a new filter:

  1. Go to Minitek Smart Search > Filters and click on New

    Creating filters
  2. Enter a title for the Filter and select a Content type

    This field limits search for this filter only to the selected content type. You can leave this empty if you don't want this filter to search in a specific type only. In this case you must assign the filter to a filter group where the field Filters type is set to Without content types.

  3. In the field Content type label enter a label for the content type of this filter. You can translate this text manually in Extensions > Language(s) > Overrides.

      This field is not required if you have not selected a content type in this filter.

  4. Now you must select the content maps that will be displayed in this filter. Note that the selected content maps must belong to the selected content type. For example, if the content type is "Articles", then you must select (check) content maps that belong to Joomla articles. If the content type is "K2 Items", then you must select (check) content maps that belong to K2 Items, etc.

  5. Click on "Save & Close"

In Minitek Smart Search, a branch is a group of content maps that belong to the same map type. For example, take a look at the following image:

Branch titles

As you can see in the image above, we have created a Filter of Content type: Articles and we have selected 6 content maps for this filter:

  • User 1
  • User 2
  • User 3
  • Category 1
  • Category 2
  • Category 3

The first 3 content maps

  • User 1
  • User 2
  • User 3

are all authors, therefore they belong to the same Author branch. This branch will automatically get the label: COM_MINITEKSMARTSEARCH_FILTER_BRANCH_AUTHOR_1. It's up to you to translate this text string as you prefer. You can do that in Extensions > Language(s) > Overrides.

The other 3 content maps:

  • Category 1
  • Category 2
  • Category 3

are all Joomla Categories and form a Category branch with the label: COM_MINITEKSMARTSEARCH_FILTER_BRANCH_CATEGORY_1.

  Minitek Smart Search auto-detects the content maps, automatically places them in different columns and creates different labels for each one of them.

Follow the steps below to create a menu item for Minitek Smart Search:

  1. Go to any menu in Menu Manager and click on New.

  2. In the field Menu Item Type click on Select. Then click on Minitek Smart Search > Search.

    Creating a menu item

  3. Under the settings tab General select a Filters group. The Filters group must contain all the filters that you want to diplay on the search page.

  4. In the field "Content types", enter some content types (optional). The search will be limited to this content types if the user does not select any filters or if the selected filters don't have content types. If you leave this field empty and the user does not select any filters then a search will retrieve items from all content types.

  5. Click on "Save & Close".


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