Version 5 supported

Searching blocks


Content created through Silverstripe CMS can be searched in various ways. A popular option is the silverstripe/fulltextsearch module, which integrates with search services such as Solr.

For information on configuring Solr please see the fulltextsearch documentation.

If using this indexer, be aware that HTML tags will be stripped from the content before it is indexed. The Solr search results may add in emphasis tags or other formatting around matched key words, so you may need to allow unescaped HTML in your search results template. You should use the $Excerpt property (see SolrIndex::search for more) to display the relevant search matches.


You can add elements to your search results by adding them to the appropriate index for the solution you've chosen.

Elemental content which is ready for indexing is available through the getElementsForSearch method added to your Page class through the DNADesign\Elemental\Extensions\ElementalPageExtension. This method renders out the full content of all elements, strips out the HTML, and indexes it as one field.

You can define whether each block is included in your search index using the search_indexable configuration variable on the block, which is true by default:

  search_indexable: false

You can also customise the content that is indexed for your blocks. By default the block is rendered in full using the templating engine, and the resultant markup is included in the index. You can override the getContentForSearchIndex method on your elemental blocks to change that. This is useful, for example, if your templates include hardcoded text or references to other content you don't want to be indexed.

If you want to use a specific delimiter between each block, that can be configured as well. The default is a space, but you might for example want to use an ellipses to make it clear in search results where one piece of content ends and another begins.

  search_index_element_delimiter: ' ... '

CMS page search

CMS page search will include search results for pages with elements that match the search query.

By default it uses the same method as the search indexing where it will fully render every element that is being searched. This is an expensive operation and can cause performance issues if you have a large site with a lot of elements.

To increase performance by a large amount, likely more than doubling it, you can disable the rendering of elements and instead just look at the database values of the elements directly.

  render_elements: false

If render_elements is false, then all fields that have stored as a Varchar or Text like are searched. Individual fields on blocks can be excluded from the search by adding fields to the exclude_fields_from_cms_search array config variable on the element class. e.g.

    - MyFieldToExclude
    - AnotherFieldToExclude

If the above is still not performant enough, searching elements for content in CMS page search can be disabled entirely:

  search_for_term_in_content: false