Everyone knows you can add a custom google search to your site. But what if you need something more robust? In this article I'm going to talk about an open source search engine you can install onto any site.

When I say "any site" I mean any site running PHP and a MySQL database. The software I use to add a search engine to a site is called Sphider. Sphider is

a popular open-source web sphider and search engine. It includes an automated crawler, which can follow links found on a site, and an indexer which builds an index of all the search terms found in the pages. It is written in PHP and uses MySQL as its back end database (requires version 4 or above for both).

You can read more about Sphider on the official website. You can download the latest version of Sphider from the official website.

Sphider is an actual search engine that will crawl your website the same as a normal search engine would. It can search multiple domains and will index each of your pages.

To add Sphider to your site, all you need to do is add a search form (input box) that has an action pointing to your Sphider install. You have to login to the admin of Sphider and tell it to crawl your site.

<form action="http://nickyeoman.com/search/index.php" method="get" method-post="">
<div class="search"> Search </div>
<input name="zoom_query" type="text" id="zoom_query" size="20">
<input name="searchButton" type="image" src="http://www.nickyeoman.com/image/go.gif" alt="Go" align="top">
</form>

Overall Sphider is really easy to use. Another great benifit of using Sphider, is how it helps teach you about search engines.