13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips: Week 1 – The Search Bar

Welcome to another new feature for 2017 here on Hugh’s Views And News.

13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips

The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include some links to some blog posts I had read on other blogs. However, try as I might, I wasn’t able to find one of the posts I wanted to link to and there was no search bar on the blog concerned. It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for the blog post.

Something most bloggers crave is that their blog posts are shared. You can make it very easy for readers to find what they may be looking for on your blog by including a search bar. WordPress have a ‘search’ widget, and here’s where to find it and how to install it on your WordPress blog.

Click on My Sites (located in the top left hand corner of your blog).

Click on WP Admin in the left hand menu. You’ll now be taken to your blog’s dashboard.

In the left hand menu, hover your mouse over Appearance. A new mini-menu will open.

Appearances bar in WordPress dashboard

In the new mini-menu, click on Widgets and you’ll be taken to the widgets page.

Look for the Search widget and click on it. Depending on your WordPress theme, you’ll be offered a choice as to where to place the search widget on your blog.

Search bar widget

Once you decide where to place your search bar, click on Add Widget.

Open up one of your blog posts and check you are happy where you have placed the search bar. Make sure it’s visible and/or easy to find.

If you have any questions regarding adding a search bar to your WordPress blog, please leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

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  1. Perfect! I was wondering where mine went…Now the next issue. My SOCIAL tabs are broken! All except Twitter. That’s so weird. What can’t be reached? Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin…Can’t wait for you to address those issues! Thanks for all the help!

    1. It sounds as if you need to reenter all the links for your social media platforms to the social media widget on your blog, Angie. Go to the widgets page on the dashboard of your blog and reenter them on that particular widget. I often find links stop working for no reason. I check the links on my page at least once every three months. However, when I last changed my WordPress theme some of the social media icons were not displaying probably. That was a job for WordPress. Once I reported the problem to them they were quite fast in resolving it for me. The only social media link I was never able to fix myself was for Google Plus. However, the happiness engineers at WordPress helped me out with that as well.

  2. I started out with a search bar on my blog, but after some serious thought I took it out. I was really trying to keep the widgets in my sidebar to a minimum, and given I don’t tend to blog on particular topics I didn’t think anyone would have a use for a search bar.

    Having read your post, now I’m thinking about putting it back in. You’re right, what if someone does remember reading a post and wants to find it again? I certainly wouldn’t want to make it hard for them.

    1. Well, that was the one reason why I recommended bloggers add it to their blog. The blogger who did not have it missed out on me sharing their post. I agree that too many widgets can make a blog look messy, but The Search Bar, as many have said, should come as standard on all blog themes. Good to hear you’re adding it back in.

  3. Thanks for the great tip Hugh. I need to look at my blog set up and drag it into the 20th Century!!! Damnit! I mean the 21st Century! (Aalthough the 19th century would be a start!) Favouritiesd this so I can work through it later.

  4. Great, thanks Hugh, I managed to add the search button and a few others as well. Have you by any chance written a post on how to publish a finished post for a specific date and time? I just can’t work out how to do this.

  5. I think the search bar should be default on all blogs in the menu area. It frustrates me that I have to add one in on my music blog and it has to be so far down 😦

  6. Somewhere along the way (probably when I changed themes) I lost my search widget. I’m so glad you brought this up! Of course, now I’m seeing other problems with my widgets so I’m thinking it’s time to sit down and do a maintenance check on my blog! Thanks, Hugh!! 🙂

      1. It was a much needed reminder for me because I knew my search was missing. Like I noticed in the comments, I had gone searching for it to find a post and had forgotten about it until your post. 🙂

  7. I looked for mine and almost couldn’t find it. It’s at the bottom of my page and doesn’t say search so no one will know what to do with it. There are no options with my theme to change that. Thank you for all the information here. It never occurred to me to look for mine. I’ve looked for it on other blogs. ;/ Some days I’m a little slow.

    1. So you’re not able to move it to the top of your page? I noticed that the other widgets on your blog all had names. Were they already named when you added them? I wasn’t aware that some themes don’t allow you to name the widgets you add. If you’re happy with your theme then stick with it, but when you next change it, it may be worth choosing a theme where you can move and name widgets.

  8. Dang, I forgot to mention the importance of the search bar on my last post about blogging tips, you beat me to the punch Mr. Roberts, LOL. Great post as usual. It is soooooooo annoying when wanting to look up someone’s post that you want to refer to and there’s no search bar. I know from my experience that my readers use mine a lot because I’m astounded by the amount of comments I get on very old posts! 🙂 ❤

    1. I certainly use the search bars (where available) a lot, Debby. Our time is so valuable, and the last thing I want to do is spend valuable writing time looking for a post. If I can’t find it within 60 seconds, then I’ll move on.
      Your blogging tips are great. Keep writing them. The more we share, the better. 😀

  9. Good to hear you havs a search bar, Hugh. It was one of the things I made sure to put on mine before I launched it. That is always very helpful for readers to explore your blog and stumble across what you’ve written, past and present. Categorizing your blogs are great too and it makes filtering out topics that are of utmost interest to you 😊 Love this quick and easy, straightforward step-by-step adding the search bar to your blog 🤗

  10. Great tip, Hugh. I put the search bar on my WordPress blog as well and use it myself when I am looking for something in particular. I just have no idea whether others do…

    1. No, there is nothing we can use to find out whether anybody does use the search bar on our blogs, Liesbet. However, like you, I use the one on my blog to search out older posts I have written. It’s certainly very useful for that job.

  11. Thanks Huge.. I have had the search bar on my own blog I think since the beginning.. LOL.. I use it often to relocate quicker some of my old posts.. LOL… 🙂
    Thank you for sharing..
    I hope you are having a good week.. and are not snowed in…. 🙂 Sending thoughts for a peaceful weekend when it arrives..
    Hugs Sue xx

    1. It seems many of us are doing the same as you and using the search bar on their own blogs for the same reason, Sue. I certainly do. 😀
      No snow here. I’m wondering what all the fuss is? 🤔 But, I better not speak too soon.
      Have a lovely weekend.

      1. Ha ha.. Yes Huge.. no snow here this mid afternoon.. though I know lots of places have come to a halt.. Now the storm surge alert for the East Coast.. lets hope that comes and goes without a fuss too.. xxx You too enjoy your weekend

  12. When I changed my theme last summer. That search bar in the menu was invisible! That’s why I got know that there is one in the widgets. After the Happy engineers helped me to make that bar visible in my menu I still left it. There is a lot to find in the widgets!

      1. Yes, exactly! Only what you really need but even then it is a tough decision since there are so many ways to display something! I am glad that I can only put things to the footer. So at least it is not spread all over and you don’t get confused or overlook something. But here too, too much is not recommandable.

  13. Oh no, now I feel really stupid… I used to have a search bar on my page but took it out as I had no idea why I (or anyone else) might need one – oops… better go and fix it right away! 😦

  14. Thanks, Hugh. This is another of your new blogging series that I just love! I totally agree on the importance of having a search bar on your blog. I am self-hosted with Word Press and think that I have always had a search bar on my blog. I thought it just came automatically. If it didn’t, I must have added it during a frenzied blog set up session. Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to your next 12 weeks of tips!

  15. Reblogged this on Jemsbooks and commented:
    Check out Hugh Roberts’ blog for a series of quick blogging tools! He has an amazing fountain of blogging knowledge. Thank you, Hugh, for sharing your expertise! Xxoo

  16. a very good point; I hope you nag about the lack of an about page again because it bugs me if I want to say hello or thanks for a follow and there’s no where to put it except on a recent post so it feels a bit random. Good stuff oh guru of the blog! (that’s the WordPress equivalent of Stig of the Dump)

    1. I’ve written about the ‘about me’ page before, but it’s a good reminder, Geoff. The other one that bugs me is the ‘about me’ page that says “this is an example of an ‘about me’ page” and the blogger has not filled it in!
      I remember Stig of the Dump, but can’t for the life of me remember what exactly it was he did. I’ll have to google it.

    1. Good to hear, Cathy. I think most do, but I was rather shocked when, the other day, I couldn’t find one on a blog that I’ve been following for quite a while. It meant I could not link to their post unless I wanted to spend lost of spare time, I don’t have, doing an endless search.

        1. Yes, I’ve written about that as well. I know for many new bloggers it’s a huge learning curve, but I’m often shocked that some more established bloggers don’t link their social media accounts to their blog, and their blog to their Gravatar.

  17. Hi Hugh! I’ve always had a search bar on my blog… not sure if anyone ever uses it, but I do when I’m searching through my own blog posts when I’m not logged into WordPress. Hehe!

    1. Hehe, I’ve done the same as well, Ali. However, I do use the search bars on other blogs as well. They come in very handy when I’ve read a great blog post and I want to find out if the blogger has written other posts about the same subject.

    2. You and me both. But it only shows up when I’m using my laptop. When Im on my phone, I’m having a hard time going back to my old posts — even the ones I have just recently posted — because when I click on the “blogposts” it shows everything including my drafts which I actually have several as I do some oh them months in advance and it’s such a nuisance. Any tips you may want to share?

      1. Are you talking about the WordPress App or your internet browser when doing this on your phone? I have an iPhone and when using the WordPress App I can view any of my posts simply by clicking on the view link of the post.

  18. You make a very good point there, Hugh. We all want our posts to be easy to find, especially when it comes to sharing them. You have given some great instructions on how to add the search bar to those that don’t know how to do it. There is no excuse now not to have one!!!

    1. Exactly, Judy. I often use search bars, usually when wanting to link to a post. However, I’ve also used them when I like a post and then want to find out if the blogger has written any other posts about the same subject. It’s a very useful widget.

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