Support Home > Search > Legacy Search

Legacy Search

Jetpack Legacy Search allows you to add a more customizable Search system to your site. Maybe you might want to know more about our new Jetpack Search and Jetpack Search plugin.

This feature is available to users with a Jetpack Search subscription.

Jetpack Elasticsearch-powered Search on a Photography blog

You can use this feature out of the box without worrying about configuration options or you have the option to fine-tune the sorting and filtering settings for your site search.

An example sidebar showing filtering on a test site.
An example sidebar showing filtering on a test site.

Detailed Search Feature List

There are a lot of features in Jetpack Legacy Search that make a great search experience:

  • Supports millions of queries across millions of documents.
  • Real-time indexing of changes to your content.
  • Filter searches by tags, categories, custom taxonomies, authors( connected users only), dates, and post types.
  • Supports all languages with custom language analysis for 29 languages.
  • Sort by relevance or date.
  • Boosts recent content by default.
  • Phrase search.
  • Customizable search algorithm and an Elasticsearch Query API.
  • Transparently intercepts searches via WP_Query, for “search” style queries that are also the “main” query.

To use Jetpack Legacy Search, you must be a Jetpack Search subscriber. Once you’ve connected your site, go to Settings → Performance in your WordPress dashboard, and enable Search.

Performance options user interface for the Jetpack Search product

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is an open-source project for building distributed, scalable search engines. We power a number of our features using Elasticsearch instead of the MySQL database that is used for most of WordPress.

Elasticsearch is a trademark of Elasticsearch BV, registered in the U.S. and in other countries.

See our search feature page for an overview of the service.

Instant search and filtering prototype

The ability to handle instant sorting and filtering was added in Jetpack 7.9. Be sure to give that a try too!

How long will it take to index my content?

New and updated content is usually indexed within seconds. When you first install Jetpack, it may take a few minutes or hours before your content is fully indexed, but after that, the index is always up-to-date. If you are an existing Jetpack user, your content will be searchable as soon as you enable the feature.

What content is indexed?

We index all WordPress posts, pages, and custom post types as long as the post status is one of ‘publish’, ‘trash’, ‘pending’, ‘draft’, ‘future’, or ‘private’.

Does Search have content limits or tiers?

No limits, no tiers, no hidden costs. All your content in real-time.

How do I enable this in my theme?

Search works with WordPress’ own search widget, the search box in your theme (if there is one), or by using the Jetpack Legacy Search widget which can display a search box, sorting controls, and custom filters that let your site visitors select category, date, post type and more.

You can use the customizer or write custom code to add search features to your theme, including our powerful filtering.

Does Legacy Search have any filter or action hooks?

Of course! You can find those on our developer page. 

Can I use this for custom Elasticsearch queries?

Yes! You can send any valid Elasticsearch query (ES 2.4+) to Jetpack_Search::instance()->search( $query ). Security restrictions apply. See the API developer docs for more information.

Can I search post meta and custom taxonomies?

Post meta is not currently included in the index, we plan to start whitelisting post meta from popular plugins in the near future. Custom taxonomies are currently in the index, but the indexing structure will likely change so we do not recommend them for custom queries.

I added extra filters to the search widget, but they’re not showing on the page – how do I get them to appear?

Firstly, filters will only display in the widget on the search results page, after you perform a search.


Secondly, when you add an extra filter to the widget – for example, to refine a search by taxonomy – the links for taxonomy terms will only appear in the search widget if there is at least one taxonomy term for the given results. Results with zero matching taxonomy terms will not show the filter controls. This is to prevent user confusion by having redundant controls taking up space on the screen.

The search widget shown on the right is configured with Date, Post Type and Tag fields, but only the Dates and Post types are showing because no tags matched the results.

Where can I learn more about the API?

If you have questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us.

Privacy Information

This feature is deactivated by default, and activating/unlocking it requires an upgrade to a Jetpack Legacy Search subscription. If you ever need to deactivate the feature, you can do so by toggling the Enable Search setting in the Search section from Jetpack — Settings — Performance in your dashboard.

Data Used
Site Owners / Users


We use the blog ID in order to submit a visitor’s search request to the servers. Additionally, for activity tracking (detailed below): IP address, user ID, username, site ID and URL, Jetpack version, user agent, visiting URL, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, country code.

Site Visitors


We use any of the visitor-chosen search filters and query data in order to process the search request on the servers.

Activity Tracked
Site Owners / Users


We track when, and by which user, the feature is activated and deactivated. We also track when, and which, configuration settings are modified (and by which user), as well as when, and by which user, the Jetpack Legacy Search widget is updated.

Site Visitors



Data Synced (Read More)
Site Owners / Users


We sync options that identify whether or not the feature is activated and how its available settings are configured. This includes the Jetpack Legacy Search widget.

Site Visitors



  • Table Of Contents

  • Categories

  • Contact Us

    Need more help? Feel free to contact us.