The new release of IntegerNet_Solr offers many advantages to those online stores which invest in content maintenance. But we don’t stop there and have added some more goodies to this new version which improve probably its most important part of our Solr extension: its search algorithm.

Content is king – in your store’s search, too

Content commerce, storytelling, emotional sales strategies – the latest marketing trends lead to many stores creating better content pages which offer both information on the product line in general as well as specific product values. These individually created contents should get the attention they deserve, so our Solr extension is now able to index them. All CMS pages are searched, ranked according to boosting factors and then presented in the autosuggest box for a matching search term.
When customers look for shipping costs, general terms that don’t match any product or your contact information, the autosuggests will be there to guide them.

IntegerNet_Solr rewards content creators’ efforts

Next to CMS pages the Solr index is now also able to index category pages. Up to now categories were shown inside the autosuggest box only if they contained products that matched the search term. Now you can switch to search the categories’ texts instead – category names and descriptions are analyzed by the search algorithm. If your categories contain a lot of descriptive text, they will be a lot easier to find using Solr search.

IntegerNet_Solr includes CMS pages in its autosuggestions

IntegerNet_Solr includes CMS pages in its autosuggestions

Weighting of categories and info pages

Just like it works for products and attributes you can also set a Solr priority for categories and CMS pages, directly adjustable in your Magento backend. Vested with a higher Solr priority, these pages are listed further up in your search suggestions. Content managers are able to adjust individually for any shop content how well it should be considered – no developer skills needed.

Hand-picked content selection for the Solr index

It’s not always advisable to index all CMS pages and categories. For example, a 404 error page managed via Magento’s CMS should not be offered as a search suggestion. Therefore, you can decide for each element individually – product, attribute, category and cms page – wether it should be part of the Solr index.

Some CMS pages just should not be offered as search results. Exclude content from the Solr index with just one switch.

Some CMS pages just should not be offered as search results. Exclude content from the Solr index with just one switch.

Customization of filters

Amongst our customers you’ll find online stores with an extensive product range and various filters with many filter options. Magento usually sorts filter options in your layered navigation by the number of matching products. For customers, however, this can be very confusing, making it hard to get an overview.

Limit filter options and sort them alphabetically

For that reason, IntegerNet_Solr now offers even more options to customize layered navigation. Switch to sorting filter options alphabetically to make them easier to scan. Set a maximum amount of displayed filter options to avoid neverending lists. Filters should make it easier to navigation search results. These new features will help you achieve improve the user experience.

In this case, Magento's usual sorting by matching results would certainly be confusing. That's why IntegerNet_Solr can sort filter options alphabetically.

In this case, Magento’s usual sorting by matching results would certainly be confusing. That’s why IntegerNet_Solr can sort filter options alphabetically.

Hide category filter on search results page

Not just filter options have been revised, but also the general appearance of filters can now be modified even better according to your store’s need. For example, you are able to hide the category filter on search result pages.

Better search algorithm for IntegerNet_Solr

The search algorithm is the central part of any product search. It determines what is considered a match and shall be found. The newest version of IntegerNet_Solr takes the search algorithm to a new level, for example for search terms that are a combination of a word and numbers. Also long search terms are handled a lot better now.

Improved compatibility and more

In most Magento stores there is a number of different extensions installed. They don’t always play well together but you can improve your odds by paying special attention to compatibility during the development process. In the case of IntegerNet_Solr we have now increased the compatibility with third party extensions even more, e.g. fixing a conflict with an extension from Amasty.
Furthermore, we have included some more bugfixes in this release which straighten out some minor issues.

We keep on improving

We are already working on the next release, improving existing functionalities and considering new features. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback as a valuable input for our product’s roadmap. Send us your feedback either here in the comment section or via e-mail at solr@integer-net.com.

Sonja Franz

Author: Sonja Franz

Sonja Franz is the Marketing Manager at integer_net. She especially enjoys organising events. Sonja is a Magento Certified Solution Specialist for Magento 1 and Magento 2 and has been awarded as a Magento Master in the category “Maker” in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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