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Enterprise Search

Enterprise Search was developed by WordPress VIP to expand the usage of Elasticsearch, providing both a search solution and a performance-enhancing layer to existing WordPress searches and queries.

In Enterprise Search, a fork of ElasticPress provides Elasticsearch indexing and search, and a fork of es-wp-query provides query offloading capabilities via an Enterprise Search adapter.

The Enterprise Search feature is enabled via code and its features can be enabled by VIP-CLI. Enterprise Search indexes can be indexed and versioned with VIP-CLI. Search Dev Tools and the VIP-CLI health command are available to assist with debugging and troubleshooting.

Enterprise Search can be enabled in a VIP Local Development Environment.


  • Search queries only return the first 10000 documents. If the query is trying to retrieve more documents, it will not offload to Elasticsearch, and instead will use a regular database query. Pagination does not alleviate this limitation.
    For example, a query for only 16 documents will not run against Elasticsearch if they do not exist within the first 10000 documents.
  • A default character length limit of 255 is applied to users with an edit_posts capability and 80 for users without. The vip_search_char_length() filter can be used to modify these limitations to a character limit between 0-255.
  • Data sync only copies production data to a non-production environment. It does not create, affect, or modify any Elasticsearch indexes in the target non-production environment. The target environment’s Elasticsearch indexes must be created or versioned following the data sync.
  • Throughout the Enterprise Search code, you’ll find _doing_it_wrong() calls are used to throw configuration warnings.
  • VIP applies rate limiting to protect the search services from instability caused by spikes in requests.
  • To query for and obtain post data (i.e. search results) in JSON format directly from a browser or other client via an AJAX request, a custom, cacheable, API adapter route should be built to limit the types of queries that can be made, and use only the post IDs from the raw Elasticsearch results. Any other details from Elasticsearch should not be used for constructing a user interface. To obtain any additional post or comment details from WordPress (e.g. post title, URL, etc.), use WordPress’s built-in data access functions.
  • Enterprise Search relies on a secure API to provide a powerful set of capabilities. VIP does not provide a public endpoint for running searches. Therefore, Elasticsearch results are rather raw, and VIP does not recommend attempting to proxy the search results.
  • The ElasticPress features Instant Search and Autosuggest cannot currently be enabled for Enterprise Search.

Last updated: February 09, 2023