Designs & Code

Design, Development and WordPress

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You can change this option under the Display Results tab, in Settings.

There are two methods for displaying your results – you can use a Shortcode to position where your results appear – this can be placed in any post, or theme file – or you can choose to display your results as an Archive – this allows you to use a regular template from your theme provided it conforms to WordPress standards and uses the Template Hierarchy.

Shortcode vs Archive

There are pros and cons to each method which I’ll outline below:

Shortcode Pros

  • The shortcode method allows you to conveniently position where the Search Results appear in your site
  • Requires minimal configuation setup and better compatibility with other plugins – its runs its own query to perform a search – which means other plugins that modify queries are not as likely to intefer with the search results.
  • Faster searches when using Ajax –

Shortcode Cons

  • Only a demo template is supplied – you will likely need to customise the template in order for seamless integration with the styling of your theme.

Archive Pros

  • Use existing templates within your theme to display your results – super easy styling of results and instant integration with your theme.

Archive Cons

  • Ajax is slower
  • Themes that do not respect the Template Hierarchy, or use custom queries within templates rather than using The Main Loop may not work – there are some suggestions & workarounds provided in the FAQs on how you might overcome this.


If you want to use Ajax, and know your html/css – then I would advise to use the shortcode method, and modify the results template for integration with your theme.

If you want to use a template file from your theme for displaying results, or are not comfortable with making changes to templates then you want to use the archive method

Both methods will work with with/without Ajax, however the shortcode method is faster for Ajax searches (and also easier to configure), and the Archive method is easier to setup (in terms of styling & integration with your theme) provided your theme is following WordPress conventions/standards.