XenForo Enhanced Search 1.0.0 Released


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XenForo Enhanced Search (XFES) is an add-on that replaces XenForo's built-in search to provide high performance search capabilities to larger boards and to give your users more flexible search options.

XFES is built on top of elasticsearch, which is in turn built on top of Lucene. This gives excellent performance, even with millions of pieces of content. Elasticsearch allows nearly infinite scalability and redundancy by silently allowing searches to be run across multiple servers.

Additionally, you benefit from a very small stopword list and no minimum word length, allowing nearly any search to return meaningful results.

XFES also provides support for returning results based on how relevant they are to your search. You can select relevancy ordering on the advanced search page.

XFES also allows you to select a "stemming analyzer", which means that words are reduced to their roots before searches are performed. For example, a search for "tests", will automatically return results for "test", "tested", "testing", and similar words. (This is only accurate for English boards currently.)


XFES requires that you have elasticsearch 0.16.0 or newer installed. As such, this add-on is only applicable if you have root access to your server (such as with a dedicated server or VPS). XFES also requires XenForo 1.1.1 or newer.


XFES can be purchased with a new license via the purchase page or with an existing license via the customer area.

Installation and Configuration

Please see our XFES manual page for more information.


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Here's some feedback that we've received from a few of our testers.


FreddysHouse (~3.8 million posts):
XenForo Enhanced Search is a breath of fresh air for those forums having millions of posts and many concurrent searches. Eliminating most of the SQL I/O has reduced the load significantly on the SQL server when users are searching. XenForo Ltd again innovates by implementing an addon that utilizes a product which has been designed to massively scale and run in the cloud, elasticsearch. Under MySQL the total index consumed 4.5GB, but after changing to XenForo Enhanced Search that figure dropped to 2.9GB.

Being able to search with no minimum character length limit and improved speeds has made the user experience that much more enjoyable, something which XenForo has put at the front of it's design.

P8ntballer (~1.2 million posts):
In early December we had 90% of the foundations in place to finally switch P8ntballer to XenForo. Unfortunately the paintball industry is dominated with two and three letter acronyms for products which are used extensively by our member base. Whilst editing the default MySql search length was one option, it would have created an excessively large search table and required an unacceptable amount of downtime whilst indexing.

Shortly after some gentle persuasion, Jedi mind tricks and hostage taking, Kier and Mike graciously provided us with the much anticipated Big Board Search Solution (BBSS!), which, is based upon the Elasticsearch engine. Whilst we had a few minor difficulties getting the Elasticsearch service started (It requires the Java 6+ JDK to be installed), once it was running, we changed one line in the configuration of the Elasticsearch options to move the Indexed files to a dedicated partition on the server and installed the addon within XenForo.

As usual with a product from XenForo (even as an Alpha test version), installation was flawless and within moments we were looking at the simple, yet required and useful, configuration options for the new search solution. A few minor tweaks to the configuration to suit our server settings and then we began the indexing process. Whilst we have approximately 1.2 Million public posts, the index ended up going through approximately 2.1 Million items in all. Overall the entire Indexing process took approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Once indexed, we then sent over some of our users to our test board to put the new search through its paces. As expected it passed with flying colours, no errors were thrown at all during testing and the search was lightning fast, even with the dreaded two and three letter acronyms. After just over three weeks testing we were confident to finally move over to XenForo. On the 30th December 2011, P8ntballer finally went live with XenForo Enhanced Search in hand. As of today, it has remained as lightning fast as from testing with only one minor error found with our usual user base hammering the search function. A quick exchange with Mike followed and he provided us with an updated version of the search addon which resolved the issue.

In closing, we are extremely happy with XenForo Enhanced Search. Installation was quick and easy, indexing was quick and thorough, and the reliability and speed of searches is quite astounding. Our thanks go out to Kier and Mike once again for providing yet another product maintaining the XenForo high quality ethos and allowing us to make the much desired switch to XenForo.