I promised I would not write too many entries about blogging, but I wanted to quickly tell you about a new feature on Egg Freckles I thought you might enjoy.
Searchpath is a new website indexing service being developed by Manton Reace. Aimed at tech-savy bloggers and developers, Searchpath offers website authors a new way to add integrated search to their websites without having to rely on the substandard tools packaged with most content management systems.
Searchpath is my first real attempt at search on Egg Freckles. Because Egg Freckles uses PieCrust, a static content management system, I have never had the option of offering integrated search before. All of the big third-party search services, like Duck Duck Go and Google, force visitors to leave your website when performing a search. Many inject ads into the search results. With Searchpath my visitors can search Egg Freckles without seeing an ad, or leaving the page. You can try Searchpath for yourself by entering a query in the search field at the button of this page.
Searchpath downloads pages from your web site and looks for links to additional pages. It continues this process until it can’t find any more pages to index.
Searchpath looks good on almost any website. Its popover behavior was designed to use the available space on your website, no matter where you put your searchbox. The style of its links and text are a direct refection of your design.
There are 4 directions for the .popover. pane that shows search results. Searchpath picks the best direction based on the position of the search box on your page. By default the links and text will get the color from your web page. You can customize this further by adding styles to your CSS file for the classes .searchpath_link. and .searchpath_summary.
It is still early days for Searchpath. Searching is fast and fluid, and Manton is making regular updates. I would still like to see more information about what people are searching for on the Seachpath web interface..
Searchpath attempts to find just the text on a page, removing any extra navigation or footers that aren’t relevant for search results. It also keeps track of titles that have a common prefix or suffix, such as your site’s name, and removes those from search results.
As far as I can tell my Searchpath results still show my website’s name, “Egg Freckles,” in the title of every link. Only once during the past month did I catch Searchpath down, but my visitors never knew. If the Searchpath servers are unavailable the search box disappears from my website.
At $8 a month, Searchpath does not come cheap. It takes guts to go up against Google, the 800 pound gorilla of search, but I think Manton knows his customers are willing to pay a fair price for a good service without ads. The more he does to allow website authors to customize their search results, the better value Searchpath will be.
Will Searchpath remain on Egg Freckles? That is up to you. If you find it useful, keep searching, and I will continue to contribute the $8 a month to make my articles easier to find.