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11 Must-Try Open-source Self-hosted Search Solutions for Your Static Websites

By admin Jan 30, 2024

A is a website that is composed of pre-built HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Unlike dynamic websites, static websites do not rely on server-side processing or databases to generate content.

Adding search functionality to a static website is important because it allows users to easily find specific information within the website. Without search, users would have to manually navigate through different pages or sections to locate the desired content, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Search functionality enhances the user experience by providing a quick and convenient way to access information.

Adding search to a static website is particularly useful when the website contains a large amount of content or when the content is frequently updated. It enables visitors to search for specific keywords, phrases, or topics and retrieve relevant results instantly.

Search functionality can also improve website engagement and retention, as users are more likely to explore and interact with the site when they can easily find what they are looking for.

In summary, adding search to a static website improves user experience, facilitates information retrieval, and enhances engagement and exploration within the website.

In this post, you will discover the top open-source libraries for seamlessly incorporating search functionality into your static website.

1- Pagefind

Pagefind is a static search library that can be integrated with various website frameworks. It aims to provide efficient search functionality while minimizing bandwidth usage and without requiring additional infrastructure.

Pagefind adds a search bundle and a JavaScript search API to the built files of your website, and also offers a prebuilt UI that can be used without configuration.

Pagefind can be easily installed and runs with: Nex.js, Astro, SvelteKit, Jekyll, Eleventy, Nuxt, and more.

The installation process is always the same: Pagefind only requires a folder containing the built static files of your website, so in most cases no configuration is needed to get started.

After indexing, Pagefind adds a static search bundle to your built files, which exposes a JavaScript search API that can be used anywhere on your site. Pagefind also provides a prebuilt UI that can be used with no configuration. (You can see the prebuilt UI at the top of this page.)

Features

  • Zero-config support for multilingual websites
  • Rich filtering engine for knowledge bases
  • Custom sort attributes
  • Custom metadata tracking
  • Custom content weighting
  • Return results for sections of a page
  • Search across multiple domains
  • Index anything (e.g. PDFs, JSON files, or subtitles) with the NodeJS indexing library
  • All features available with the same low-bandwidth footprint

2- tinySearch

tinysearch is an exceptional, lightning-fast, full-text search engine. It is meticulously crafted for static websites.

tinysearch is developed using Rust, and then compiled to WebAssembly for seamless execution in a browser. It seamlessly integrates with various static site generators like Jekyll, Hugo, Zola, Cobalt, or Pelican.

The test index file of my blog with around 40 posts creates a WASM payload of 99kB (49kB gzipped, 40kB brotli).

tinysearch is a Rust/WASM port of the Python code from the article “Writing a full-text search engine using Bloom filters”. It can be seen as an alternative to lunr.js and elasticlunr, which are too heavy for smaller websites and load a lot of JavaScript.

Limitation:

Adding search functionality to static websites has limitations such as only finding entire words and no search suggestions. This tradeoff reduces memory usage, but future research on compact data structures may improve prefix searches.

For small to medium-sized websites, the recommended uncompressed size per article is around 2 kB (~1 kb compressed) in the bundled search indices.

3- BloomJS

BloomJS is a JavaScript search engine for static websites that uses a static index generation and a client-side JavaScript script for search functionality. It stores the index in a binary file using BloomFilters to preserve bandwidth, unlike Lunr.JS which uses a JSON index.

It includes files for index generation, a Python script to generate the index, and libraries for handling bloom filters and implementing the Porter Stemming algorithm. It also provides example HTML search form and sample files for testing purposes.

4- Pitchfork

Pitchfork is an exceptional, local search solution for static sites. It excels in indexing HTML content, utilizes Lunr for efficient searching, and leverages Mustache for effortless front-end customization.

It’s comparable to Algolia DocSearch, but with the added advantage of not being reliant on an external service.

It can easily run using CDN, without any install on your website.

Static Search is an incredibly straightforward search API for static websites. It effortlessly retrieves data from a JSON file, which is generated during the static website’s building process, and securely stores this search index in Workers KV. You have the ability to effortlessly retrieve inform ation from the index by making GET requests.

The search functionality is highly customizable and implemented using Fuse.js, while the entire system operates seamlessly on Cloudflare Workers, ensuring a serverless experience.

6- BlogSearch

BlogSearch is a client-side search engine for static websites, powered by SQLite compiled to WebAssembly. It offers easy integration with popular blog frameworks like Jekyll, Gatsby, and Hugo, and requires no external services or server maintenance.

7- WebWebWeb

WebWebWeb is a zero-dependency alternative to ExpressJS that allows you to create web servers with APIs easily and in just a few lines of code.

The Run() function in WebWebWeb accepts several optional parameters:

  • useCORS (default: true)
  • Certificate
  • PrivateKey
  • CertificateChain

8- Lunr.js

Lunr.js is a JavaScript search engine library that is similar to Solr in terms of functionality but is much smaller in size and not as feature-rich. It is designed to be lightweight and efficient, making it suitable for use in static websites.

Lunr.js allows you to add search functionality to your website without relying on external services or requiring complex server setup.

It provides an easy-to-use API for indexing and searching text-based content, making it a popular choice for implementing search functionality in static site generators.

Features

  • Full text search support for 14 languages
  • Boost terms at query time or boost entire documents at index time
  • Scope searches to specific fields
  • Fuzzy term matching with wildcards or edit distance

js-search is a client-side search engine that adds full-text search functionality to static HTML pages, such as GitHub pages or offline API documentation. It uses a pre-compiled search index built by a PHP script, offering a simplified approach compared to Lucene.

9- Stork

Stork is a library for adding full-text search functionality to static websites. It consists of a command-line tool for indexing content and creating a search index file, and a Javascript library for building an interactive search interface.

Stork is built with Rust and WebAssembly, making it easy to customize and suitable for Jamstack sites and personal blogs.

11- staticSearch.

The staticSearch is an open-source codebase, developed by Joey Takeda and Martin Holmes, allows for the creation of a pure JSON search engine for XHTML5 document collections without the need for a backend server. It generates stemmed indexes of document text and creates an HTML search page with faceted search features. The search functionality is implemented using pure JavaScript and does not require any server-side code.

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