Add search

Empower your users to search your website content for keywords so that they can quickly discover relevant content.

If search is enabled, a search icon will automatically appear in the navigation bar and a search box will appear in the sidebar of any content using the docs/tutorial layout (as can be seen on this site). Clicking the search icon will toggle the search dialog.

Keyboard shortcuts are available to facilitate searching. Pressing / will toggle the search dialog and pressing ESC will close the dialog.

Enable users to quickly discover relevant content by searching from the navigation bar.

It’s possible to customize the search system to your needs. The search feature may either be powered by the built-in algorithm (default) or powered by Algolia. Alternatively, you can disable the integrated search engine and instead create your own third party (e.g. Google) search widget by following the guide in the Alternatives section below.


Wowchemy comes with its own integrated search engine. If it’s not already enabled, it can be enabled by setting engine = 1 under [search] in config/_default/params.toml.

Note that this search engine runs entirely in the web browser on the visitor’s device. Thus, it is not scalable to an extremely large number of pages. If you have a very large amount of content and find the search running slowly, we recommend opting for a server side search engine such as Algolia or Google (see below).


  1. Register a free Algolia account and follow their wizard to create a new search app
  2. Build your site by running the hugo command in Terminal or Command Prompt
  3. Upload the generated public/index.json file to the Indicies page in your Algolia dashboard
  4. Paste the Algolia App ID, API Key, and Index Name from the Indicies and API Keys pages of your Algolia Dashboard into the [search.algolia] section in config/_default/params.toml
  5. Under [search] in config/_default/params.toml, set engine = 2 to activate the Algolia search engine
  6. Serve (or build and upload) your site and test out the shiny new search widget on your home page 😄

Note that whenever your content changes (e.g. you add a new page), you will need to re-build and re-upload the search index to Algolia.


To disable searching, open config/_default/params.toml and set engine = 0 in the [search] section.


Alternative search providers, such as Google search, are not integrated with Wowchemy, but can be implemented by creating your own custom widget. For example,

  1. Create a custom widget in your /content/home/ folder
  2. Signup for Google Custom Search Engine
  3. Paste the HTML which Google provide into the body of your custom widget