Search Till You Drop! NO MORE!

Search has been something that user’s have been using more & more on 123Greetings to find that perfect card. We’ve been also getting a lot of feedback about what user’s like and dislike about our website search.

Over the years, our search technology has been fighting to keep up with the growing traffic, and when we moved to our new web 2.0 site, we realized that it just can’t handle all the data we were now getting back from the ratings, relevancy, tags & comments that the user’s were posting while interacting with the website.

We experimented with engines like Solr, iSearch, MnogoSearch, PHPDig, RiSearch, Sphider and TSEP before settling down on Sphinx. Our focus was to provide a more relevant result set that incorporated all the user data, and at the same time was much faster than our existing search, as users have got used to fast searches… thanx to Google.

We’ve added lots of customization on top of Sphinx, to allow for common spelling errors, blocked words, ‘like search’, indexing, weighted results and what not. A key challenge was the synonym’s database that we had to custom build as we couldn’t find anything else that was close to our requirements.


Looking at our access logs, we also saw that lots of users were typing in their e-card numbers in the search box trying to view the card that they received, so we made the new search box a single window for both search and e-card view!

As always, your feedback remains as our greatest inspiration to inspect, innovate and improve. Therefore, your inputs in the small box called “Feedback” remains the “most discussed” agenda for us everyday @!


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