Monday, January 25, 2010

UPGRADE: Search Feature Improved!

If there has been one complaint we have heard about the website, it was that our Search Engine results were way too broad. For example, if you typed in the words 'invisible deck' on our website search engine, it would return any product that had the word "invisible" and the word "deck" anywhere in the product description.

As you can imagine, this made it difficult to narrow down what you were looking for, since many, MANY items on our site have both those words 'invisible' and 'deck' in the description, but may have absolutely nothing to do with an "invisible deck."

So I put on my Software Engineering hat that I take out from time to time, and got to coding the backbone of our site, and I am happy to say that the search results are 150% IMPROVED!!!!

Now, when you type in some words, it will search the PRODUCT NAME first, then the product description, and rank the results based on relevance. It will then display that new list out to you on our website, severely narrowing down your results to more of what you're looking for!

I can't tell you how huge that is! So using the example above, if you were to now type in Invisible Deck, you would see it right near the top along with any other item that has "invisible deck" in the title, followed by more broader results where the two words are in the description.

(Note: There is only one limitation right now, which is the words you're searching for need to be more than three letters long, or else our database won't filter it correctly (and default to the broad search as before). This is something I am working on, but requires a reboot of our server and that would bring the site down for a few minutes, so I may save that update for an evening or a slower weekend when downtime will not be noticed)


One other thing we did. When most people come to our site, they simply click the "See New Items" link at the top of every page, and this takes them to a list of new products, sorted with newest on top and oldest on the bottom.

However, prior to now, if you were to click on an individual category, like DVD's for example, it would list all the DVD's alphabetically. Well now, when you click on an individual category, the results are returned CHRONOLOGICALLY, so that means you will see the newest items from that given category listed first!

Most people will still just use the New Items link to see all the new items, but this extra improvement with individual categories will go a long way to helping you find the latest items more easily.

That's it for now! Hope you enjoy the new improved Search Engine on our site!

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