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Set Up a Freefind Search Box on Your Website

FreeFind offers free search boxes, with ads for sponsored products (like Google) as well as ad-free versions that are available for $19/year (for a site with up to 25,000 pages). Either version is considerably more accessible to use and configure than Google's Web Elements tool.

The HTML provided by FreeFind creates a form (as opposed to the external JavaScript file that powers the Google search box). And the setup process at FreeFind makes it relatively easy to configure options like excluding some of your pages from search results, or defining the order in which search results appear.

Signing up for a free, or ad-free-but-for-fee, search box at FreeFind is pretty intuitive. You indicate your site URL, and you get an account. The first step is to click the Index Now link at the Welcome page, which generates the index (searchable database) that powers your search box.

You can simply accept the default options for a search box, and then copy generated HTML into your web page to create a working search box. But here are some valuable options to consider when configuring your account:

Use the options in the Build Index tab of the FreeFind site to assign a "weight" to the folders at your site. For example, if you have five pages that you really want to show up at the top of search lists, you could put those in a folder at your site, and then assign a higher relevance value to that folder.

For instructions, click the Page Relevance link at the Build Index tab.

Use options on the Customize tab to generate HTML and CSS to format your search box and results pages.

On the HTML tab, you can choose between different search boxes with different options, including adding an "advanced search" link that lets visitors configure their search in more detail, or a search-the-web option to let visitors search either your site, or the entire web.

On the Reports tab, you have easy access to reports on visitor activity so that you can find out what visitors have been searching for.

After you configure settings and generate HTML, you can paste that into your page. Because the generated HTML uses a form and form field tags, you can edit the appearance of the form, including adding a Reset button, resizing the text input field, and using HTML5 placeholder text and validation parameters.

FreeFind search box

Here is the code for a FreeFind search box:

<!-- start of freefind search box html -->
<table width="400" border=0 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 >
  <tr>
    <td style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 7.5pt;">
      <form  id="ffresult_sbox0" style="margin:0px; margin-top:4px;" action="http://search.freefind.com/find.html"
      method="get" accept-charset="utf-8" onsubmit="ffresults.show(0);">
        <input type="hidden" name="si" value="1870143">
        <input type="hidden" name="pid" value="r">
        <input type="hidden" name="n" value="0">
        <input type="hidden" name="_charset_" value="">
        <input type="hidden" name="bcd" value="÷">
        <input type="hidden" name="sbv" value="j1">
        <input type="text" name="query" size="32" placeholder = "enter search text here" required> 
        <br>
        <input type="submit" value="search">
        <input type="reset" name="Reset" id="button" value="Reset">
      </form>
    </td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td style="text-align:left; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, 
        sans-serif;font-size: 7.5pt; padding-top:4px;">
      <a style="text-decoration:none; color:gray;" href="http://www.freefind.com"  
          onmouseover="this.style.textDecoration='underline'" 
          onmouseout="this.style.textDecoration='none'" >site search by<span style="color: #606060;">freefind</span></a>
       <a id="ffresult_adv0" onclick="ffresults.show(0);" href="http://search.freefind.com/find.html?si=1870143&pid=a&sbv=j1">advanced</a>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

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Offers in-depth reviews and case studies of existing sites created for a variety of purposes and audiences, such as blog sites and non-profit sites

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Plan, build, and maintain a site that does exactly what you need, with Building Websites All-in-One For Dummies

More Web Design Coding Issues:
• Create a Simple, Effective PHP Form for Your Web Site
• Update Your Entire Website Instantly Using Server Side Includes (SSI)
• How to Set Up a Google Search Box on Your Website
• Syndicate your own content Using aspSyndicator
• Web Design Troubleshooting Guide
• Creating a Secure Website Using Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
• Understanding SSL Certificate
• Six Ways to Center an Element on a Webpage
• Seven Effective Ways to Build Your Own Web Site
• Why Aren't You Using CGI?

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