Integrate your WordPress site with the Sitka Insights platform

v2.1.1 2020-08-12 18:36 UTC


Travis CI build status

Integrate your WordPress site seamlessly with the Sitka Insights suite.


Installing Manually

Go to the GitHub releases page and download the .zip archive of the latest release. Make sure you download the release archive, not the source code archive. For example, if the latest release is called v2.x.x, click the download link that says (You can also use the tar.gz archive if you want - they are the same code.)

Once downloaded and unzipped, place the extracted directory in wp-content/plugins. Activate the plugin from the WP Admin as you normally would.

Installing via Composer

Add the requirement to your composer.json:

composer require sitecrafting/sitka-insights-wordpress --prefer-dist

NOTE: if you are tracking your WordPress codebase as one big monorepo, the --prefer-dist flag is important! It tells Composer to find and download the .zip archive instead of the full Git repository. Without this flag, it will create the plugin directory as a Git submodule and strange things will happen.


Getting Started

After installing and activating the plugin, go to the Sitka Insights section of the WP Admin. Enter your API Key, Collection ID, and Base URI as provided by Sitka. All settings are required.


With Sitka Insights, you can override the default WordPress search functionality, which is extremely limited by default, with results from the ElasticSearch crawler that powers Sitka Search. To do this you must first enter your settings as described above, in Getting Started.

Once you've entered your Sitka Insights settings, but before enabling overriding WordPress search globally, you can test from the command line to see if you get results. To do this, run wp sitka search <search term>. You should see a JSON object like this:

{"results": [{"url": "", "title": "Example Page", "snippet": "Some content"}, ...]}

Once you've entered the settings above correctly, you're ready to enable Sitka Insights Search to override the default WP search. Enable the option Override default WordPress search and save the settings again. You should now see a basic search results page rendered by Sitka Insights whenever you perform a search.

Search Shortcode

Out of the box, you can use the [sitka_search] shortcode in any RTE that supports shortcodes. This is the recommended approach for most cases.

However, basic searches (using WordPress's standard s query param), will still render your theme's default search.php template (assuming there is one). You can redirect global searches to the page your shortcode lives on in the Settings. Go to Settings > Sitka Insights and select Redirect searches to a specific page. Type the URI, e.g. /search, in the text box that appears.

Save your changes and you're good to go! Default searches will now redirect to your page. Note that all query string parameters will be preserved except s, which will be renamed to sitka_search to avoid conflicting with WordPress's default functionality.

Using the Sitka WordPress API directly

If you want a bit more control, you can use the provided WordPress API directly. Place something like the following in your theme at search.php:

// NOTE: the client may throw an exception!
use Swagger\Client\ApiException;

// Call out to the API
try {
  // search with some sensible defaults
  $response = Sitka\search();
} catch (ApiException $e) {
  $response = [];


// Render results
foreach (($response['results'] ?? []) as $result) : ?>
  <article class="search-result">
    <h1><a href="<?= $result['url'] ?>"><?= $result['title'] ?></a></h1>
    <p><?= $result['snippet'] ?></p>
<?php endforeach; ?>

<?= Sitka\paginate_links($response) ?>

<?php wp_footer(); ?>

For more custom behavior, you can pass params directly to Sitka\search():

use Swagger\Client\ApiException;

// Override your site's pagination settings.
$count = 25;

// Note that we can't use $paged here, because WordPress core won't
// necessarily report the same number of pages as Sitka, leading to 404s
// in cases where Sitka has more result pages than WP would.
$pageOffset = ($_GET['page_num'] ?? 1) - 1;

// Call out to the API
try {
  $response = Sitka\search([
    // Pass the user's search term to the API.
    'query'     => get_query_var('my_search_param'),
    // Tell the API how many results we want per page.
    'resLength' => $count,
    // Tell the API which page of results we want.
    'resOffset' => $pageOffset * $count,
    // Tell the API to only return results of a certain type
    'metaKey'   => $_GET['my_content_type'],
} catch (ApiException $e) {
  $response = [];

// Render results
foreach (($response['results'] ?? []) as $result) : ?>
  <article class="search-result">
    <h1><a href="<?= $result['url'] ?>"><?= $result['title'] ?></a></h1>
    <p><?= $result['snippet'] ?></p>
<?php endforeach; ?>

<?= Sitka\paginate_links($response) ?>

Search Autocomplete

In addition to providing superior search results, Sitka Insights also adds search autocomplete to your search template out of the box. You don't need to do anything to make this work, although you may want to override the default jquery-ui-autocomplete styles.

The only assumption this module makes about your HTML is that the search input can be found at the selector form [name="s"], i.e. a form element whose name attribute is "s". Because of how WordPress search is implemented, this assumption will hold true unless your search functionality is overriding WordPress core in an advanced way.

For the curious, this feature works by registering a custom WP REST route at /wp-json/sitka/v2/completions and telling jquery-ui-autocomplete to grab its autocomplete suggestions from that route.

WP-CLI Custom Commands

The plugin implements WP-CLI commands for major Sitka Insights REST endpoints, such as search:

wp sitka search tacos
wp sitka s tacos # `s` is an alias for `search`
wp sitka completions
wp sitka c taco # `c` is an alias for `completions`

This will automatically use the credentials you've configured in the plugin settings.

Run wp sitka --help to list subcommands.

As with other WordPress options, you can configure the plugin options with wp option:

wp option get sitka_api_key
wp option get sitka_collection_id
wp option get sitka_base_uri
wp option get sitka_enabled
wp option set sitka_api_key supersecure
wp option set sitka_collection_id 12345
wp option
wp option set sitka_enabled 1


To build a new release, choose the Git tag name and run:

bin/ <TAG>

This will create a .tar.gz and a .zip archive which you can upload to a new release on GitHub.

If you have hub installed, the script will detect it and prompt you to optionally create a GitHub release directly.