The WordPress.org plugin directory has been significantly rebuilt over the past year and should go live soon (test site). Many from across the WordPress community helped with this effort. I focused on improving plugin search relevancy. This was a great learning experience on how to build more relevant searches for a couple of reasons: There is a decent volume of search traffic (100,000 searches per day and over 500k unique search queries per month).
The repo is small enough to iterate easily (45k total plugins) and yet has enough users and use cases that it can be pretty complex. We went through five major iterations on how to index the data.
A lot of people care and have opinions about how plugin search can be better. This makes for a great opportunity to learn because it is easy to get lots of feedback.
Despite building search engines with Elasticsearch for many years, my opinion on how to structure an Elasticsearch query and index content changed a lot because of this project. This post describes my latest opinions.
Background on Plugin Search
In surveys about WordPress, the community regularly rates the plugin ecosystem as both a top strength and a top weakness of WordPress. Plugins