Designs & Code

Design, Development and WordPress

Will my lightbox or other fancy JavaScript work with this plugin?

Yes it should, but you may need to make some modifications to your theme:

If you do not wish to use Ajax for loading your search results then you should be fine – you might need to make some small modification to your theme however a search result page is much like an archive page – so if you can get it working there it shouldn’t be a problem.

If however you wish to use Ajax, then the answer is still yes, BUT, you must be comfortable to make modifications to your theme yourself.

When you load in search results via Ajax, results are dynamically added to the page, which means that your lightbox or other script you want to use on your results are not loaded on these dynamic results.  You must modify your theme so that your lightbox or JavaScript is re initialised when Ajax loading is finished.  Luckily Search & Filter provides a handy event to hook into:

We cannot provide support for your various JS plugins etc however we will try to point you in the right direction – you must know a little what you are doing!


My plugin won’t update to the latest version, how do I update it?

First you must activate your plugin using your license key (from within the Search & Filter menu in you WP dashboard), once you enter it and click submit, you will need to also click the activation button that becomes available.

If you are running on a local development server please make sure you have CURL enabled as this is how your WordPress website communicates with our servers for activating licenses and receiving automatic updates.

Updates may take a take a few moments to show up and will appear in your plugins page as a regular plugin update.


How do I remove CSS/JS files when I don’t need them?

Luckily WordPress provides a few useful functions for remove CSS/Scripts – add these to your themes functions.php to remove everything.

Note: removing some scripts on pages where there are Search Forms will cause them to break – only remove what you need to and use at your own risk!

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'remove_sf_scripts', 100);
function remove_sf_scripts(){
	wp_deregister_script( 'jquery-ui-datepicker' );
	wp_deregister_script( 'search-filter-plugin-build' );
	wp_deregister_script( 'search-filter-chosen-script' );

add_action('wp_print_styles', 'remove_sf_styles', 100);
function remove_sf_styles(){
	wp_dequeue_style( 'search-filter-plugin-styles' );
	wp_dequeue_style( 'search-filter-chosen-styles' );


My results won’t show, or my search results are not being updated?

First question is, how are you displaying your results?

If, under the “display results” tab in the settings box, you are using “as shortcode”.. then open a support ticket – otherwise read on.

If you are displaying your results “as archive” then 90% of problems can fixed by following the below information:

When using the archive method Search & Filter uses the pre_get_posts action to modify the The Loop with your search parameters (The Loop basically is the query that fetches all your posts).  However, in most cases when the results don’t seem to change then it is likely your theme not using The Loop or the Template Hierarchy – typical WP standards which this plugin was designed around.

What can I do to make my theme use The Loop?

Normally the fix is quite easy but can vary from theme to theme – typically themes that don’t use The Loop run their own custom queries inside the template files, which means these queries override the search results generated.  In most cases all we need to do is remove these custom queries from the template that will be used for displaying your search results.

First, as with all debugging with S&F, disable Ajax – its easier to locate and identify any potential issues with Ajax disabled.

Now I’ll demonstrate how to overcome this with a theme that does not use the main loop – Avada (it has its own templating system) here are some simple steps to follow:

1) Take a template from your theme that you wish to use for displaying results – for Avada I would take `search.php` (its up to you which template from your theme to use), and then duplicate your template to `search-filter.php`.

2) In S&F, under “display results” you will need to tick `use custom template` and then set the filename to `search-filter.php`.

Now we have S&F displaying your results using a copy of your template – this will still not work as we need to make some modifications – but at least we are telling S&F which template to use.

3) Remove any custom queries in the new template (`search-filter.php`) – its the queries within the template files that are usually the cause of the problem – all you will hopefully need to do is comment out or remove the lines with the queries on.  Take a look for any instances of `WP_Query`, `get_posts` or `query_posts` and remove these.  In Avada (at the time of writing) this would be line 71, remove the whole line:


And that’s it – the basics covered and will work for 90% of themes out there!

*NOTE, this was for an old version of Avada, but the logic applies to problematic templates – for Avada specific instructions (based on the latest version) please see below.

But I’m still having problems getting my theme to work…

Some themes need to know that the results are in fact search results – head to the “advanced” tab and tick `force is_search to be true`.

Any other options?

Well, there can be more issues with your particular theme as well as other plugins interfering with search results – in this case it is recommended not to display your results “as archive” but to use “as shortcode” – this setting can be changed under the “display results” tab.

A quick note for Avada Users

If you are using the archive method, and wish to use `search.php` to display results, you need to make 1 modification to the template.


<?php if ( have_posts() && strlen( trim(get_search_query()) ) != 0 ) : ?>


<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>

What is a license, and how long does it last for?

Licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase. A valid and active license key is required in order to get automatic upgrades and support for purchased extensions only.

You may continue to use your plugins/extensions without an active license.

A Developer license allows you to use S&F with updates & support on an unlimted number of sites.

A Single Site license is restricted to one site only.

What about software updates?

Updates are included for free for one year. If you have a valid and active license key, and your plugin(s) supports it, updates will be delivered automatically from the WordPress dashboard. If your plugin(s) does not support automatic upgrades, then updates can be downloaded from your account page.

How long am I entitled to Support for my purchase?

Support for purchased plugins is given up to one year after the purchase date (unless shown otherwise). If you wish to get support after one year, you must renew your license key, or purchase a new license for the plugin you wish to get support for.

What is your Refund Policy?

If you have problems getting plugins to work, we will be happy to provide a full refund within 30 days of the original purchase. After 30 days, no refunds will be given. Before a refund will be granted, you must allow us to try and help solve any problem you have by opening a support ticket. NOTE: refunds will not be granted if you simply decide not to use the purchased products. We stand behind our products and will assist you in solving any problem you have, but we also expect you to adequately understand what you are purchasing and why.

131 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Tony

    Hi there, we are a music school and would like to create a filter with the following criteria:
    Skill Level
    Musical Genre
    Lesson fee – minimum to maximum
    we are using WordPress DiviBuilder.
    Could you please advise if this plugin will do the job?


    • Ross

      Provided you setup your data correctly you should be able to 🙂 We can help point you in the right direction on support, but for now, I would say, if each field is a custom taxonomy, and the lesson fee is a custom field/post meta you should be good to go – more info.

  2. Ernst Wilhelm Grüter

    Good evening. Just playing with “search & filter” but it there are some issues (I am not a WordPress developer).
    I am using WP 4.7.3 and am running Kinetika as a theme.

    Search for a public taxonomy “attachment_keywod”, “attachment” is not listed as a public post type.
    The shortcode [searchandfilter fields=”attachment_keyword” types=”checkbox” headings=”Image search”] inserted in a page leads to a message

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/16/d663833562/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Geschichten/wp-content/themes/kinetika/page.php:7) in /homepages/16/d663833562/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Geschichten/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1179

    Can you guide me a bit

    • Ross

      From this part – `themes/kinetika/page.php:7` it looks like there is a PHP error on your page.php template, line number 7.

      When a PHP error is thrown and a redirect is being performed (which is what happens when you do a S&F search), you get an error thrown, and this prevents the search from completing.

      This is not an error in S&F, but in your theme – alternatively you could choose not to display errors like this, which would allow the search to complete, but its not really the best solution – fixing the problem is – if you were interested anyway take a look at WP_DEBUG and in the WP docs or contact your host about preventing these errors from displaying.


  3. Renato


    I have active single site licence, but I want to upgrade to developer licence. How to do that, and do I have discount?

    Thank you

  4. IDID

    Is it possible to use your plugin to allow a user to search past orders they have placed in WooCommerce?

    • Ross

      Theoretically yes, but I didn’t try it and will take some coding.

      From my understanding orders are a custom post type so this can be searched, however you may have to do some editing to the query to ensure it only searches the current users orders (how is an order linked to a user, by a meta value I would assume and in this case this could work), and also so that it only searches past orders (well, maybe this part requries no modification as any order placed becomes a past order). In order to achieve this you would need to use our filter for modifying the query –

      Hope that helps

  5. I have a bug trying to connect search field with ACF fields. it shows the field id but not its content “field_5836af197893f” for example. I want to create a search form that can get the options an ACF dropbox has inside the Search and filter Pro dropbox. I can see that this option is available. why doesn’t it work for me?

  6. trmhen

    Hi is it possible to update from a single license to a developers license by paying the difference or do i have to pay the full price?


    • Ross

      You won’t have to pay full price, if you choose “upgrade” via your account there will of course be a reduction in cost 🙂

  7. Dino

    Hi there,

    I have S&F Pro and I need to separate Search Form and Filtering to two separate places, but to have same results page.
    To understand easily, search is in header of site, filters are in sidebar (right hand side), but I need them to work with same data and show results in one place.

    How can I do that ?

  8. Angela


    If I purchase the Single Site License – $20.00 will the plugin still work if I don’t renew every year? Am I just going to miss out on updates?

    Also, what is the difference between single site and developer?


    • Ross

      Hi Angela, Develop is unlimited number of sites, and single site is single of course.

      RE renewals, you can carry on using S&F without issue after the year, you are correct though, you won’t get support or updates if you don’t have an active license.


    • Ross

      Unfortunately not, I think it would take a good bit of work to get them to play nice seen as searches are handled by an external service

  9. I’m trying to add an extra search page to a client’s WP site which is using Search & Filter. Unfortunately I have to hard code it because it falls outside of S&F’s features. Is there a way to exclude certain searches from the plugin? Right now any query I try to send to WordPress search is being blocked and sent to an empty ?sfid= page instead.

  10. Hello!

    Can you please tell, how can I display my results in 2 columns instead of 1? I`ve already tried to look up for this in support page and faqs, but could not find any info on this. I`m using PRO version and displaying those results using shortcode. And btw, is it possible to edit search field width? Because it is too tight.
    Thanks in advance. Great plugin! 🙂

  11. Norman Francis

    Pre-Sales Question:

    Are there hooks or template overrides available for customizing the markup of the search form’s filters?

    • Ross

      Hey Norman, I’m afriad not for the search form itself – this is coming in the next major update. Of course styling the results and changing the markup is not a problem.


  12. Jennife

    I have a question before we buy:

    1. Can you put multiple search results on 1 page? Can we display pagination for multiple search results on same page? I am trying to achieve something that looks like this:

    2. Can it search through title, content, tags, and all ACF custom fields (not only title and content like default)?

    3. Is there an option to search through ALL ACF custom fields without having to manually checkmark available checkboxes with field names?

  13. Andrew Turner

    Pre-Sales Question:

    When using the checkbox filter I won’t need it to allow multiple selections. So for example if I have two categories, North West and North East, they can EITHER select North West OR North East not both at the same time.

    Is this possible?.

    • Ross

      Yup, we use radio buttons for that, so a user can only select one of the options 🙂 You can choose from multiple input types when creating your fields

      • Andrew Turner

        Yeh a few hrs after posting this comment I realised I could use radio buttons, so went ahead and bought the plugin 🙂

  14. Gunter Harper

    Before we buy the plugin.

    We need to be able to do the following – so is it possible?:

    1) Display posts of a newsletter in a grid
    • There are Editions (these are custom taxonomies – 2016-01, 2016-02 …) and are created when the newsletter posts are created each week.
    • each Edition has Sections (custom taxonomies, Sport, Health, Food …) these ones are static and have been already created.

    2) To start with, we want to show all the posts of the latest Edition always first.

    3) A filter should show a dropdown box with all Editions (with the latest one on top). Then there should be an isotopic style filter with buttons of each Section. Selecting a Section (eg: Sport) shows the Sport posts of the selected Edition. So the user can quickly switch between the various sections of the selected newsletter.

    Hope this make sense.

    • Ross

      Hey Gunter, to answer:

      1) S&F doesn’t come with any templates for the results – you can either create your own following instructions here – – or you can use a template file from your theme – as long as its a regular WP template like `archive.php` or `search.php` – if you know html/css it wouldn’t be hard to create a grid layout I’m thinking

      2) You can create 2 default sort orders – most standard post attributes can be sorted as well as meta keys – so if the date is stored as post published date, or a meta field, then S&F should be able to order your results using this

      3) I’m afraid you’ve lost me there! Care to explain further?


  15. Web-Pepper

    Pre-Sales question:

    I want a search filter for my blog that is able to filter my posts on sub-categories, displaying all posts that are tagged with that sub-category. I want the search filter to be able to filter on multiple categories at the same time, so that it filters out only the posts relevant to all chosen categories.

    For example, three filters for my recipe page:
    – filter 1 says ‘type of recipe’ > dropdown with soup, bread, pasta, breakfast etc > reader chooses ‘soup’
    – filter 2 says ‘type of vegetable’ > dropdown with tomato, beetroot, pumpkin etc > reader chooses ‘beetroot’
    – filter 3 says ‘type of allergy’ > dropdown with glutenfree, lactosefree, sugarfree etc > reader chooses ‘sugarfree’
    – result: all soup posts with beetroot in it and no sugar.

    Of course the reader can also decide to filter on only 1 or 2 of the categories and leave the other one unspecified.

    For the Theme we use DIVI of Elegant Themes.

    I hope your plug-in can make this work. Please let me know!

  16. Emma

    Hi Ross
    it’s really hard to contact you i hope you get this
    Can your Search & Filter Pro 2.1 work with a real estate site?




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