High performance content search

The more content a website has, the more of a challenge it becomes to search for certain details.

First, it’s a performance problem because the database in which content is stored is optimised for searching in tables of data, using one or more columns as search keys. For example, give me all comments by user X is an easy task for a relational database. Searching for a combination of keywords in a body of text, though, is something completely different. The database has to crawl through all possible items again and again in order to do a full-text search. That’s why the built-in search functions in both Drupal and WordPress get slower and slower with every new content item.

It’s also a filtering problem because content search queries often are much more complex than just a single word. Sometimes, you’re looking for a phrase of words, or for a text that contains one word but not another. You might even need to filter by what’s called facets, e.g. give me all texts with ‘apple’, but only the ones about fruit, not the ones about computers.

freistilbox solves these problems by offering you a dedicated search engine service based on Apache Solr or ElasticSearch. Simply let it index your website content and see your application’s search performance go through the roof!

Apache Solr

The solution for all this is a specialised high-performance search engine named Solr, developed by the Apache open source software project. Solr takes text and turns it into search indexes that allow the fast retrieval of certain pieces. freistilbox provides Apache Solr as one of its hosting backend services. It can be used both from Drupal and WordPress websites by using a Solr module/plugin.


Elasticsearch has established itself as a viable alternative to Solr when it comes to quickly indexing and searching web content. At the moment, we offer Elasticsearch on request as a beta feature. Simply contact our support team to have it added to your hosting setup.

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