Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General / Overview

What can I do with Searchify?

You can use Searchify to create a finely-tuned search function for your web site or application. If you have content you want your users to find, but you don't want to deal with complicated coding and system administration tasks, Searchify is for you. Check out our clients and plug-ins page.

I am not a developer. What can I do with Searchify?

Searchify is a service intended to be used mainly by developers or system administrators. It's not a standalone web search engine, and we don't currently have a way for you to set it up directly through the Web. It requires writing a program to interact with our servers.

Please let us know what you would like to do with Searchify, and we'll do our best to help you. Thanks for your interest!

Do I download Searchify and run it on my computer?

Searchify is a hosted service, which means that it runs on our servers over your Internet connection, what we like to call "in the cloud." Using Searchify saves you from having to do any system administration tasks or pay for hardware.

How much set up and management does Searchify require?

Very little. You can be up and running in minutes, and we take care of all the maintenance.

What languages do you support?

We provide clients for Python, Ruby, PHP and Java. Our API spec is public and consists of REST calls that can be made through HTTP, so if you don't use one of our client libraries, it's easy to implement your own client or even use the API from the command line with tools like Curl. You can find open source clients in Clojure, Perl, C#, and more here.

What level of support do you provide?

We provide support via email at and via chat through the pop-up window in the lower right corner of our web site.

How do I get my data to you?

To index your existing data for the first time, you need to iterate through your document database and send each document to the index via the "add_document" function.

To keep your index up-to-date with the latest additions and changes on your site, you need to call the "add_document" function for new or changed documents, and the "delete_document" function for deleted documents.

How fast does Searchify deliver search results?

Searchify resolves most queries in well under the 100ms mark. For very large data sets and complex queries, times can go up to 300ms.

Can Searchify handle a large web site with a lot of users and a lot of queries?

Absolutely. Basic accounts support 20-30 queries per second out of the box. If that's not sufficient for your needs, we can set up custom accounts that can easily handle several hundred queries per second.

I have tens of millions of documents to index. Will Searchify work for me?

Absolutely! For more information about a custom plan tailored to your needs, please contact us.

Sign-up, Pricing and Billing

How do I sign up?

Go to our Searchify plans page and select a plan. For trial plans, we only need your email address and a password. For plans that require payment, we also need your billing information.

Can I cancel any time I want?

Yes. You can cancel your account at any time without any prior notification.

How do I cancel my service?

Send us an email telling us you want to cancel, and we'll take care of it.

When will you charge me?

We charge for paid plans in advance on a monthly basis. Signing up for a paying plan will immediately bill you.

Can I change plans?

Yes, you can upgrade or downgrade plans at any time from the change plans page.

How do I upgrade from the trial plan to a paid plan?

You can upgrade from the change plans page, or by clicking the upgrade link on your dashboard.

What is an index?

An index is a structure designed for quick and efficient keyword searches. Think of the index at the back of a book, and how you can find a page containing a particular word without having to scan every single page. When you create a new index in Searchify and start adding entries to it, it is as if you are starting with an empty book and updating the index every time you add a section.

For example, let's say you have a blog and you want to index it so your users can search through it. You index the first post (post #1) which contains the word "apple". The index will contain an entry for "apple" pointing to the post #1. When a user searches for "apple" the index shows that "apple" is mentioned in post #1.

You can also split your document into several fields and index them as separate entities. For example, your blog post might be composed of a "title" field, an "author" field and a "content" field, etc. When you index the document, you provide its unique identifier (the document ID, or docid for short) and the contents of each field. You can later restrict your search to a specific field by using the field name in the query, for example "title:apple".

Can I organize the results in different ways?

Yes. Searchify gives you the ability to fine-tune your search results based on your specific needs. You can define your own scoring functions and document variables to influence the search results.

What are scoring functions and document variables?

Searchify uses scoring functions to customize the order of search results. Scoring functions are mathematical formulas that we apply to every document on search time to calculate a value (score) for it. We then use this value to sort the results.

The scoring functions can refer to the document's age, its relevance to the query and special variables that you can supply for a document, such as number of votes, or any numeric value that you can associate with your document and that somehow describes the importance of that document.

Searchify is optimized to allow very frequent updates to document variables without slowing down the index.

You can define several scoring functions and choose which one to use for each query. When you change a scoring function, the new version immediately takes effect.

Scoring functions are different from typical database sort clauses in that they allow much greater flexibility.

See our Scoring Functions documentation page for more information.

How often will my data be indexed?

As often as you wish. Searchify doesn't actively fetch data from you as a web crawler would do. Instead, your application sends Searchify the data as soon as it is created or updated.

How is Searchify different than Lucene and Solr?

There are many functional differences. For example, documents added to a Searchify index are immediately searchable; document variables can be updated without having to re-index the whole document and they can be updated very quickly and at a very rapid pace without affecting the index performance; results can be sorted by arbitrary functions that include geolocation support.

But more importantly, Searchify is a cloud-based, robust and scalable service, so you don't have to worry about managing servers, configuring the software and scalabilty.

For a more detailed discussion of how Searchify compares to Lucene and Solr, download IndexTank's white paper, A Technical Discussion about Search Solutions.

Is Searchify better than Google Custom Search?

Yes. Searchify provides more complete, relevant, and timely search results, because we give you the ability to control what gets indexed, when it gets indexed, and how the results are sorted. Google Custom Search results are often stale or incomplete in comparison. Further, Google Custom Search requires you to show ads, which Google chooses in order to increase its own advertising revenue, so you may end up serving sponsored links for your competitors. Searchify does not require ads.

Is my data secure in the cloud?

Yes. From a security standpoint, we use Amazon AWS security best practices, and our servers are not accessible in any way except to provide the search service. Since each customer has a unique key to access their own index, no unauthorized access is possible. Your data is as private as you choose to make it.

In terms of integrity, storing your data in the cloud can be more secure than storing it on-site, because cloud data is typically replicated in several locations and supported by a lot more hardware than most companies want to own and maintain.

Can Searchify search though PDF or Microsoft Word documents?

Searchify, like other full-text search alternatives, indexes only text. However, for common formats like PDF or Word, it is very easy to parse them to obtain the readable text by using open source tools.

What types of queries work with Searchify?

Searchify implements Boolean operators (and, or, and not) and phrase queries.

Can I control what appears at the top of my search results?

Yes. Searchify's scoring functions have enormous flexibility and will help you build a scoring system that perfectly matches your data's semantics.