Faceted search


Söksidan, EPiServer, SiteVision

A user's first search query is often of a general nature, and there is a need for help drilling down in the results. Faceted search is a well established design pattern for guiding the user to the results she expects. When used for e-commerce and product catalogues this pattern will give the best conditions for quick and exact search results.

When using faceted search, the user is presented with a number of categories, called facet values, divided into one or more groups, called facets, after having performed the first search query. If the website contains a lot of information, it is possible to categorise in several steps, and in that way help the user to define the search query even further.

Implementing faceted search

This document describes how you achieve facets on the search page. There are different methods depending on which technical solution the search page is based on. This document will briefly describe the methods for each technical solution.

Categorising pages

One precondition in order to achieve faceting on the search page is categorisation of pages on the website. There are two different ways to indicate which documents each category contains, URL-matching and meta tags.

Faceting in EPiServer

In order to achieve facets in SiteSeeker for EPiServer (version 3), use the control Overview.ascx. It is included in the search page template Find.aspx, but you can of course use it in a customised search page. The control will show all facets and facet values matching the current search query, and it also allows the user to limit the search by clicking a facet value. The number of search results for each facet value is also displayed.

In addition to filter on categories, you can also filter on language and date. The languages that are displayed are the languages where there are pages that match the search query. Default date intervals are yesterday, last week, last month or last year. An editor may choose which facets to display in edit mode for the search page.

The control can be adapted to display the search results in tabs above the search field instead of in a regular vertical list. You can also combine the design of tabs with a list in the right hand column, to facilitate filtering in many levels with groups of categories.

Facets in the template search page

In SiteSeeker's template search page, the facets can be inserted by using the placeholder {CATEGORIES}. Add it to your page template, in the location that you would want the facets to appear. Each element in the overview has it own CSS-class, so there are many possibilities to visually adapt the facets according to taste and preferences. However, the options in the template search page are very limited compared to the integration modules.

Facets in the SiteVision module

In SiteVision, there is a facet list that is similar to the ones for EPiServer and the template search page. Adjustments to the look and feel are done through the Velocity templates that controls the search page.


When troubleshooting faceting and categories, beginning by checking that all pages are tagged with the category meta tag and that they are correctly formatted. Then check that the correct tag name is set in Metadata in SiteSeeker Admin. You also need to run a full crawl and index before you can use categories.

"Om ovanstående verkar stämma, bör man kontrollera i SiteSeekers mallgränssnitt om kategorierna är korrekta där. Är de det måste felet ligga i gränssnittskoden och felsökningen kan koncentreras dit."

If the points above seem correct, you should control the SiteSeeker template search page to make sure that the categories are correct there. If it is, the problem isrelated to the interface code and the troubleshooting efforts can be focused there.