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Ghost Search: A Catalog of Current Solutions

It’s time to add search to this blog. Where to start?

Ghost CMS is a fantastic tool if you’re looking for easy-to-use blogging software. However, the trade-off for Ghost’s singular focus is that the options for ancillary functionality like search and social features (like commenting) are sparse. WordPress, for instance, provides search and commenting natively. Moreover, WordPress has a robust 3rd party ecosystem that offers a broad range of free and premium plugins that make it easy to integrate alternative solutions.

Ghost does not have native search (technically it does have a rudimentary search but this can only be accessed via the admin console and is not public-facing). The only option for adding search functionality to Ghost is to find a 3rd party solution.

What follows is a listing of the search tools for the Ghost CMS.

Ghost Finder

Free JavaScript plugin that provides client-side search. Big downside is that it only matches on post titles (not the full content).

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Free JavaScript plugin that provides client-side search. Currently the most popular of the JS Ghost search solutions.

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Free JavaScript plugin that provides client-side search. Developer,, created an excellent set of live examples below.

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Offers a full-range of solutions from free, standard search element with Google results (advertisements and all) to paid custom search APIs that are ad-free and fully integrated.

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Free JavaScript plugin that provides client-side search. This is the newest of the JS search plugins. Fast and easy to integrate.

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Site Search 360

Fully-featured subscription model search service. A free-tier is available but is limited to 150 indexed pages and 1000 monthly queries (the next service tier is $9/month).

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There are other options that I haven’t listed above like Algolia, Bing Custom Search, and Elasticsearch. Lastly, there is the relatively crude option of just redirecting a 3rd party search query to a search engine like DuckDuckGo. This is the approach used by the popular blog Daring Fireball.

Over the course of the next week I will be evaluating a handful of the search options listed above that best meet my criteria (quality results, easy to integrate and free/inexpensive). I’ll post a followup on the chosen solution at a later date. If I’ve overlooked other viable Ghost search tools, please let me know.

Update (05.20.2020): Read my followup to this post.

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