Adding Search To Your Site (In 5 Minutes)

Many of us today have a website. Some of them function as blogs, some are link repositories, and some are just shrines to our interests, but all of them have content of some kind. And when people come to our site, they want to be able to find the content they’re looking for:

“Where is that great article he wrote comparing the Zune to the iPod?”

“I want to find that article he wrote on tips for new Twitter users. Where do I start?”

This article is about adding that functionality to your site, for FREE, in about 5 minutes. There’s only THREE steps, in fact. And believe it or not, this simple, free solution is from Microsoft. There is a Google solution as well, but requires API keys, and a more intimate knowledge of Javascript and writing code.

So where do I start?

You can start here: http://search.live.com/siteowner. The rest of my example will walk you through the “Advanced Search Box” option, but there is also a “Basic Search Box” as well.

Step 1: Pick a search type

In this first step, you need to choose a “Display Name” for your search box, as well as the site you want to search. In my case, I am going to use jeffblankenburg.com. I also have another website at juxtaposeblog.com that is a little outdated, but has some good content as well. I clicked the “Add Another Site” button, and now my box will search both sites.

Once you’ve got your site entered, you can already test your search box. There’s a button the bottom right side of the screen. Once you’re done, you can click Next. (If you’re interested in the Search Macros that are available, you can read about them here.)

Step 2: Customize it

This step just allows you to choose a size and color for your search box. I went with Blue, but there’s a few other colors for you to choose as well. Make your choices, and proceed to the next page. That’s where you’ll get your HTML for your web site.

Step 3: Copy the HTML snippet

This step is as straighforward as the title. Copy the HTML they provide you, and paste it into your pages. In my case, I just added it to the right navigation of my Master Page, and it was magically on every page of my blog. Hopefully it’s that simple for you as well. You can see my new search box on the top right side of my blog.

4 thoughts on “Adding Search To Your Site (In 5 Minutes)

  1. There is a term for that type of thinking. =)To say there is only 1 search provider is a bit narrow minded closed thinking. You might argue that one is better than the other or that you prefer one over the other (the later obviously being the case here) but a simple Live search will easily show that your statement is untrue. But I believe in helping people out so here ya go Mr Anon (btw, have the guts to own up to your statements will ya) Clue.

  2. As someone who recently posted about the value of content in obtaining a following, you should realize that posts like this lead one to question your perspective and perhaps your integrity. You lead with a title like “Adding Search …” and then proceed to ignore the 800 pound gorilla. Readers value objectivity.

  3. Mr. Blankenburg offered free technical content to you and your response is to attack his integrity? Personal attacks from an anonymous user show far less integrity than any shown by this site’s owner.At least Jeff has the integrity to provide his real name.

  4. LOL, that lmgtfy.com is pretty funny. I’ve never seen that before. Great answer to the ridiculous comment about only one search provider. Thanks for the great article, Jeff.

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