The New Literotica Search

The first of the new features that I want to discuss with you and get feedback from you on is the new Literotica Search.

The new Literotica Search was first launched a few months ago in BETA mode. Since then, thanks to a lot of feedback from users, we’ve released several upgrades and bug fixes. We still consider the search to be in BETA, but it seems to be pretty stable now and most of the initial issues have been resolved.

The goals of the new search included:

  • Full text search of the stories and poems
  • Fast search and less overloading during heavy usage
  • Create a scalable search that can grow with upcoming features
  • Make it easy to use and with better design than the old search

The first and second goals were solved by adding a dedicated server just for the search and using software that was specifically written for high volume full text searching. So far, we are happy with the speed of the search and the full text capabilities. There are a few small issues related to wildcards in searches and in calculating the exact number of results for a given query, but overall it seems to be working fine.

The third goal, creating a search that can grow with some of the new features we’ll eventually be adding is not really relevant right now. We’ll see how that works in the future. :)

The fourth goal is probably the one that we need the most feedback on. When we first rolled out the new search, the number of complaints that I got via email was pretty high. Part of that was that we annoyed just about everyone by adding a CAPTCHA to the search for non-logged in users. We also had a few technical issues with the search and even a couple of design issues with some of the less used browsers. It wasn’t a perfect launch, but we didn’t expect it to be. However, after a few days of updates and changes (and the removal of the CAPTCHA except for flood control), we got past most of the major problems.

What we were (and are) left with was a variety of differing user opinions. Some of you love the new design and some of you hate it. Some of you find it easier to use and some of you have said it’s confusing. It’s a big departure from the look of the old search, that’s for sure. During the design stage, Laurel and I wondered whether the tabs were the best way to navigate between different types of search (Stories/Members/etc.), and if the ajax “Advanced Search” was too tricky, and if the big “search” button was too big, and we had many other questions.

But, we can’t answer those questions ourselves. That’s why we went live with a BETA version of the search when we did. Basically, it works. Now we need to know – does it work for you? Not just work, but work in the way you want it to work? What would you do to improve it? What would you change? Do you love or hate the design? Does it make your eyes burn or bleed? How can the results formatting be improved? Are there any obvious options or features that you think are missing?

Now you know the story of the new Literotica Search. I want to read your opinions and suggestions (and even complaints) relating to this feature. Don’t be shy!

I guess that’s all I’ve got on the Search feature for now. There are a lot of other features coming soon, so get ready for lots of post and (hopefully) lots of comments from all of you.

Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you very soon! :)

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3 Responses to “The New Literotica Search”

  1. asdf says:

    When you click on the “Search Members – Try searching Literotica for members” link from the index page, it should take you to the members search tab of the search engine (http://search.literotica.com/search.php?type=member) not just search.literotica.com

  2. Manu says:

    Thanks for the suggestion – the Literotica member search link will be updated soon.

  3. aulus says:

    Hey, I haven’t been able to get search to work.

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