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How It Works

This tutorial is an overview of how FreeFind adds a site search engine to your site.

This tutorial is not a web/html primer and assumes that you already know how the process of "web surfing" is accomplished (i.e. a browser requests a page from a server which then returns the page to be viewed), and what an HTML "form" is and how it works. If you are not familiar with these concepts please read a basic web/html primer.

How does it work?
When a visitor goes to your site they will see your "search box" and use it search your site. When they do the request is sent directly to the FreeFind servers which determine which pages of your site contain the desired words. We then display a list of those pages so the user can choose one.

How do you determine which words are on which pages on my site?
Our servers "spider" your site(s) ahead of time to gather this information. The spider works just like a very persistent visitor to your site, browsing page after page until it has followed all the links that it can find which lead to other pages of your site. It does not find the pages of your site by scanning your server's hard disk.

What happens when I update my site?
You can wait for the search index to be automatically updated or, if in a rush, you can log in here, go the "build index" page and use the "index now" link to tell our spider to re-index your site immediately.

Where do I get the search box to add to my site?
Log into your account here then go to the "HTML" page. There are a variety of search box options on that page.

Where should I place the search box on my site?
The industry standard location is in the upper-right corner of your page header. Our experience shows that if you place it anywhere else very few people will find and use it. Don't make your visitors "search for search"! You can place the search box on as many pages as you like.

Can I put more than one search box on my site?
Yes, and we recommend that you do. Ideally it will be in the upper-right corner of every page of your site.

Won't the visitor realize they have left my site?
No. Because you can customize the search results that we display to look just like your own site, the vast majority of people do not realize that it was our server which provided the results. Your visitors have a seamless experience. You can also use our "overlay" option which will display the search results over your page.

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