XF 2.2 Search forums, SEO improvements and dev team news

Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 10.47.31.webpA new way to surface content

Forums are usually devoted to a single subject matter and the threads they contain relate to that subject matter, unless it's all gone wrong and your users are wandering off topic. Threads belong to their parent forums, so if your board separates posts about kittens from posts about puppies into separate forums, you are never going to see a kitten thread and a puppy thread sitting next to each other within your forum hierarchy. This is how it has always been, it's the basic nature of the discussion forum paradigm.

But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.

Of course, we already have a mechanism to find those threads that meet those criteria in the form of the search system, but wouldn't it be great to be able to simply click on a named forum and get those matching threads returned as though they actually belonged to that forum? Well, with XenForo 2.2, you can.

Introducing Search Forums


Search forums are a brand new type of node, which aggregate threads from your entire installation based on criteria of your choosing. This allows your members to browse a more diverse selection of threads as though they were all posted in the same forum.

The simplest use of search forums might be to display threads from a handful of different forums, but the same comprehensive criteria system available in the 'Batch update threads' tool is at your fingertips.

forum-search-add.pngAdd-on developers, as ever, are able to extend this system to provide new options.

To ensure this feature performs as well as possible, results are cached for each user. You can set how long the cache lasts to make the appropriate trade-off between accuracy and performance.


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My add-on does the forum permission checks up-front (which works surprisingly well), then "just" dumps a pile of nodes to fetch threads from into normal forum view code. Per-thread view checks are still done, but not over the entire result-set.

The XF "Search Forums" feature appears to be just a custom thread searcher exposed as a forum. I'm not sure if it is running an actual "search" (ie possible hitting ElasticSearch), or just a complex SQL query for threads with a post-filtering stage.

You mean your add-on performs better?
Can the node icon (magnifying glass) be changed to something else? like a jpg. I got all other nodes changed to my favorite jpgs.
Sorry if this has been asked somewhere in the previous 8 pages.

If I comment on a thread in the search node, will it take me back to the original forum or can I comment in place?

Edit: I've watched the video again and looks like if I click on a thread it will be opened in the original forum, with comments made in place in that forum.
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So, I've setup a few search forums, they are working well, and serve a good purpose, but I can see an even better function in the Resource Addon if Categories could also have a similar search function.

Lumping resources in categories is great, but sometimes one category isn't enough, like if you have a resource library with books by subject, but you also want to categorize them by author, search categories would be perfect for that.

I'd love to see that added as well!
Nice! :) I wish the noindex was extended to member as well as now I have to add it as a template modification to prevent engines from crawling spammers profiles :)

Search forums is supercool!
where did you add this template modification to prevent search engines from crawling profiles?
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