Friday, May 17, 2013

How To: Add a Search Bar on Your Blogger Homepage...and Why You Should.

Search Bars! Search Boxes! What the heck are those and why on earth would I want one on my blog?! Aww friend, I am SO glad you asked! Let me tell you all about this fun lil thing.

Search Bars/Boxes- What are they?
Simply put, a search box/bar works the same as any other search engine would (Ahem...Google, anyone?) except it's on YOUR BLOG and searches through YOUR STUFF! Wheeeeeeeeee! We like that.

For any Blogger users out there, this is in the form of a "Gadget", and is something we can SIMPLY add to our blog to give it a bit more blinggy-bling. 

Why Should I Have One on My Blog?
Well, there's a couple of reasons! For one, functionality! This little Gadget-O-Love adds a lot of functionality to your blog. It enables readers to search through all of your hard work and find exactly what they are looking for.

Why is that important? Because if any readers out there are ANYTHING like me, they don't have a lot of time to scroll through each and every post you've ever written until they find what they're looking for. They'll most likely give up along the way and go somewhere else (GASP!) to get their info. We definitely don't want that.

So, by adding a Search Bar/Box you are saying to your devoted readers, "Hey, I get it...time is money. Why not type in exactly what you're looking for and be on your merry way?"

That's exactly what it does. It creates a little internal search engine within your blog! So now, anytime you've tagged a post (I hope you're making precise tags within each blog post you publish) those tags get stored in your search engine. So let's say Sally loves your blog, is trying to do something she knows she's seen posted before, but can't remember when. By having a Search Bar/Box all she needs to do is kind of know what it is she's looking for (maybe..."fun fonts for free"), type those words into your bar, and hit enter. Your internal search engine will now do the work for her! It will search through each and every post you've written, and then bring up a nice little tidy list of previous blog posts that has something to do with her key words!

So instead of 700 posts, she now only has to go through a couple. Usually the search engine is so smart and precise, that it narrows it down to only 3-4. Badda Bing, Badda Boom. 

In essence, a Search Bar/Box makes your blog work the way it should, as well as making it engaging and helpful. This keeps your readers coming back time and again.

So now, How Do I Add One to My Blogger Blog?
Easy Peasy! Just follow these steps and you'll be there in no time at all :)


1. First and foremost, make sure you are signed into your Blogger account. Once you are, you're going to go to your blog's homepage and click "Design"- which is up on the top right!


2. By clicking "Design" you are able to see your blog's inner core- where you can do any and all changes you might want to make. There are so many lovely things you can do in this place, so play around! 

For our purposes we will need to find "Layout" and click it.


3. Next, you'll see you're now able to see your blog's "skeleton" (in a sense). This is an outline of what you have on your blog, where everything you've added is placed, and an easy way to make any changes- like moving something around, deleting something, or adding on.

Find where you want to add your new Gadget (a Search Bar/Box is indeed a Gadget!)- this place doesn't have to be exact- but has to be around where you're thinking of having it go. I suggest having a search bar somewhere close to your main information on your home page (i.e.: profile pic, social media, etc). We can move the Search Bar around once it's installed.

Click "Add a Gadget".


4. Now we are seeing a list of all the different Gadgets available on Blogger! There's some neat ones there, so look around! You might find something you didn't even know you could do! As you can see, Blogger lets you know what's already been installed by simply saying "Already Added" on the right side of each Gadget.

Scroll down until you find, "Search Box" and click the little "+" on the right. This adds it to your blog!


5. Now we need to simply configure our Search Bar/Box. All this means is we're going to make it do exactly what we want it to do.

A. Here you can title whatever you want your bar to be. Keep in mind that this "name" will show up on your blog for all to see. You can also leave it blank should you choose.

B. Make sure this box is checked! This allows people to type in key words (i.e.: How To, Blog Design, Blog Help...) and your Search Bar will search ALL throughout your blog's posts for any post related to those words! Neat huh?

That being said, I personally want the Search Bar to ONLY search my blog, so I unchecked the following two boxes. I don't want people seeing results from anywhere else, other than my blog :)

C. Here is where you will see a nice little preview of what your Search Bar will look like :)

D. When you are satisfied, click "Save". This will apply those changes to your Search Bar/Box.


6. Now as you can see we're taken back to our blog's skeleton. And, as you can see in A. our Search Bar is automatically up at the very top of my Gadget list. I'm not happy with it being there, so to move the box around all I need to do is click and hold down on the box, and drag to where I want it (within that area). Usually just up and down. If you're wanting it somewhere completely different, you'll need to delete (by clicking "Edit"), delete the Gadget, and start over someplace else on your skeleton.

B. When you think you know where you want it, click "Preview" to be shown a mock-up of what your blog will look like once you hit "Save". Click out of that box and come back here to make changes. I usually have to "Preview" 3 or 4 times before I've got it right.

C. Again, once you're happy with your placement, click "Save Arrangement"!


7. Viola! When I go to my homepage, displayed in all it's glory is my new Search Bar/Box! It's easy to see (up towards the top) and is titled appropriately (so my readers know what it is).


8. Here's how it works! Let's say you want to find an old blog post, or your reader really needs to know how to do something: Just type in the key words into your Search Box and BOOM a beautiful list of ANY and ALL YOUR BLOG POSTS that include those words, shows up! 

Neat. Tidy. Easy. That's what we like!
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70 comments:

  1. so great. I'm doing this right now!

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  2. Having a search box is super convenient even for authors because I like to link back to former posts and can get there quicker with my search bar!

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  3. i dnt knw y... but ma blog is not searching anything....

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  4. do i have to do any kind of changes in ma posts?? it does have labels, still its nt findin it...

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  5. This is really the worst search box. Why does it have to pull up a Google interface? Why not keep my website's interface. It is a lame search box.

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  6. check this search bar : use key word for demo Trivandrum

    http://esearchkerala.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks a lot! Just the information I was looking for as I'm a new to blogging.

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  8. My search don't do anything, it says.error 404?

    ReplyDelete
  9. hello
    this is my blog http://worldlyricsmaniac.blogspot.com/

    but my search gadget is not functioning at all

    any idea on how to make it work ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow nice idea also visit www.topgamespoint.blogspot.com

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  11. wow nice idea also visit www.topgamespoint.blogspot.com

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  13. Great post,thanks!!
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  14. I have a search bar that does not function and all of my posts have been labeled/tagged....I have researched many other popular blogs that have them and noticed that none of theirs worked either. I, also, just tried to use yours and nada....have you looked into this? It would be really fantastic if they worked.
    Please, share with us if you figure out how to get them to work!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It WAS working years ago but the last year or so, NOT. All my blogger friends also said theirs NOT WORKING either! May be u know why. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  16. For me when i tried to search my first blog post, it didnt do anything?
    But thanks for sharing that!
    http://happinessissiamese.blogspot.ca

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  17. gud one!!
    http://hotcelebsgalleries.blogspot.in/

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  18. thanks buddy not it's working on my blog....http://www.lyricsjar.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, I've got a problem with this I hope you can help!
    I've inputted the search bar just as you've told but it doesn't show blogs that have the term in only my labels. Is there a way to do this?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi it worked like a charm . Thanks
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  24. Even almost a year later, this tutorial is VERY helpful! Thank you!
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  27. Thanks! This helped a bunch.

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  28. Thank you so much!!! Never knew how to put a search bar in and I just learned.

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  29. thank you!! http://www.thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk

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  30. Great post! So easy to follow...thanks for taking the time to do this!

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  31. Here's an easier option for adding search to a website:
    http://sitecomber.com/getsitecomber/

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  34. You have used css in a very great way to style search boxes.Great work.I have also witten something on google custom search engine.I have put a lot of effort to help people regarding this topic.If you find it useful then please refer it to your visitors to help them..
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  35. You have used css in a very great way to style search boxes.Great work.I have also witten something on google custom search engine.I have put a lot of effort to help people regarding this topic.If you find it useful then please refer it to your visitors to help them..
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  36. You made my search easy. I am running a simple blog with almost no visitors but I wanted to add search blog. So thanks for help.

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  40. Good stuff - Thank you! Fortunately I have HTML experience, but I'm a newbie blogger, so need to get used to the templates and settings. You just shortened my learning curve and I appreciate it.
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