Algolia Indexer and Search Functionality

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1.4.7 2022-03-11 01:30 UTC

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Last update: 2022-05-15 21:40:29 UTC


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composer require "wilr/silverstripe-algolia"


☑️ Supports multiple indexes and saving records into multiple indexes.

☑️ Integrates into existing versioned workflow.

☑️ No dependancies on the CMS, supports any DataObject subclass.

☑️ Queued job support for offloading operations to Algolia.

☑️ Easily configure search configuration and indexes via YAML and PHP.

☑️ Indexes your webpage template so supports Elemental and custom fields out of the box


Algolia’s search-as-a-service and full suite of APIs allow teams to easily develop tailored, fast Search and Discovery experiences that delight and convert.

This module adds the ability to sync Silverstripe pages to a Algolia Index.

Indexing and removing documents is done transparently for any objects which subclass SiteTree or by applying the Wilr\SilverStripe\Algolia\Extensions\AlgoliaObjectExtension to your DataObjects.

🛠️ Setting Up

First, sign up for Algolia.com account and install this module. Once installed, Configure the API keys via YAML (environment variables recommended).


Name: algolia
After: silverstripe-algolia
      adminApiKey: '`ALGOLIA_ADMIN_API_KEY`'
      searchApiKey: '`ALGOLIA_SEARCH_API_KEY`'
      applicationId: '`ALGOLIA_SEARCH_APP_ID`'
            - SilverStripe\CMS\Model\SiteTree
              - 'filterOnly(objectClassName)'

Once the indexes and API keys are configured, run a dev/build to update the database and refresh the indexSettings. Alternatively you can run AlgoliaConfigure to manually rebuild the indexSettings.

Configuring the index names

This module will assume your indexes are setup as dev_{IndexName}, test_{IndexName} and live_{IndexName} where the result of your environment type is prefixed to the names listed in the main YAML config.

If you explictly want to disable the environment prefix (or use a custom approach) use the ALGOLIA_PREFIX_INDEX_NAME environment variable.


Or for testing with live data on dev use ALGOLIA_PREFIX_INDEX_NAME='live'

Defining Replica Indexes

If your search form provides a sort option (e.g latest or relevance) then you will be using replica indexes (https://www.algolia.com/doc/guides/managing-results/refine-results/sorting/how-to/creating-replicas/)

These can be defined using the same YAML configuration.

Name: algolia
After: silverstripe-algolia
      adminApiKey: '`ALGOLIA_ADMIN_API_KEY`'
      searchApiKey: '`ALGOLIA_SEARCH_API_KEY`'
      applicationId: '`ALGOLIA_SEARCH_APP_ID`'
            - SilverStripe\CMS\Model\SiteTree
              - 'filterOnly(ObjectClassName)'
              - IndexName_Latest
              - 'desc(objectCreated)'
              - 'typo'
              - 'words'
              - 'filters'
              - 'proximity'
              - 'attribute'
              - 'exact'
              - 'custom'


If installing on a existing website run the AlgoliaReindex task (via CLI) to import existing data. This will batch import all the records from your database into the indexes configured above.

./vendor/bin/sake dev/tasks/AlgoliaReindex "flush=1"

Individually records will be indexed automatically going forward via the onAfterPublish hook and removed via the onAfterUnpublish hook which is called when publishing or unpublishing a document. If your DataObject does not implement the Versioned extension you'll need to manage this state yourself by calling $item->indexInAlgolia() and $item->removeFromAlgolia().

AlgoliaReindex takes a number of arguments to allow for customisation of bulk indexing. For instance, if you have a large amount of JobVacancies to bulk import but only need the active ones you can trigger the task as follows:

/vendor/bin/sake dev/tasks/AlgoliaReindex "onlyClass=Vacancy&filter=ExpiryDate>NOW()"

If you do not have access to a CLI (i.e Silverstripe Cloud) then you can also bulk reindex via a queued job AlgoliaReindexAllJob.

Customising the indexed attributes (fields)

By default only ID, Title and Link, LastEdited will be indexed from each record. To specify additional fields, define a algolia_index_fields config variable.

class MyPage extends Page {
    // ..
    private static $algolia_index_fields = [

Or, you can define a exportObjectToAlgolia method on your object. This receives the default index fields and then allows you to add or remove fields as required

use SilverStripe\ORM\ArrayList;
use SilverStripe\ORM\Map;

class MyPage extends Page {

    public function exportObjectToAlgolia($data)
        $data = array_merge($data, [
            'MyCustomField' => $this->MyCustomField()

        $map = new Map(ArrayList::create());

        foreach ($data as $k => $v) {
            $map->push($k, $v);

        return $map;

Customising the indexed relationships

Out of the box, the default is to push the ID and Title fields of any relationships ($has_one, $has_many, $many_many) into a field relation{name} with the record ID and Title as per the behaviour with records.

Additional fields from the relationship can be indexed via a PHP function

public function updateAlgoliaRelationshipAttributes(\SilverStripe\ORM\Map $attributes, $related)
    $attributes->push('CategoryName', $related->CategoryName);

Excluding an object from indexing

Objects can define a canIndexInAlgolia method which should return false if the object should not be indexed in algolia.

public function canIndexInAlgolia(): bool
    return ($this->Expired) ? false : true;

Queued Indexing

To reduce the impact of waiting on a third-party service while publishing changes, this module utilizes the queued-jobs module for uploading index operations. The queuing feature can be disabled via the Config YAML.

  use_queued_indexing: false

Displaying and fetching results

For your website front-end you can use InstantSearch.js libraries if you wish, or to fetch a PaginatedList of results from Algolia, create a method on your Controller subclass to call Wilr\SilverStripe\Algolia\Service\AlgoliaQuerier


use SilverStripe\Core\Injector\Injector;
use Wilr\SilverStripe\Algolia\Service\AlgoliaQuerier;

class PageController extends ContentController
    public function results()
        $hitsPerPage = 25;
        $paginatedPageNum = floor($this->request->getVar('start') / $hitsPerPage);

        $results = Injector::inst()->get(AlgoliaQuerier::class)->fetchResults(
            $this->request->getVar('search'), [
                'page' => $this->request->getVar('start') ? $paginatedPageNum : 0,
                'hitsPerPage' => $hitsPerPage

        return [
            'Title' => 'Search Results',
            'Results' => $results

Or alternatively you can make use of JS Search SDK (https://www.algolia.com/doc/api-client/getting-started/install/javascript/)

🔍 Inspect Object Fields

To assist with debugging what fields will be pushed into Algolia and see what information is already in Algolia use the AlgoliaInspect BuildTask. This can be run via CLI

./vendor/bin/sake dev/tasks/AlgoliaInspect "class=Page&id=1"

Will output the Algolia data structure for the Page with the ID of '1'.

Elemental Support

Out of the box this module scrapes the webpage's main HTML section and stores it in a objectForTemplate field in Algolia. This content is parsed via the AlgoliaPageCrawler class.

    <!-- will be indexed via Algolia -->

If this behaviour is undesirable then it can be disabled via YAML.

  include_page_content: false

Or you can specify the HTML selector you do want to index using YAML. For instance to index any elements with a data-index attribute.

  content_xpath_selector: '//[data-index]'