Forum search sort

Hi! New user here. Trying to troubleshoot my first install without success and looking to avoid reposting duplicate issues. Any chance the sort order of the forum search could be returned in descending order of recent activity? It appears random at this time making it extremely hard to find recent news on an issue.


  • The backend of the forum's search tries to return the most relevant results first. At times, these results can be rather old. There's currently not much I can do about it, my time is very limited.

  • @raoul thanks so much for the reply. Would it be reasonable to say that any keyword "hit" most recently discussed in ANY "discussion" is, in fact, quite likely to be "most relevant" regardless of initial "discussion" date?

    Any keyword I have tested so far offers search results on "mostly" useless discussions because they are so old. For instance, searching for Ubuntu gives topics about versions 10+ years old most at the top.

    I know nothing of vanilla forums... so i went looking and found this: If it helps?

    I could investigate further, spin up a vanilla forum instance and do some testing, if you feel this might be helpful.

  • As a quick test searching on any of the below just now, this discussion thread does not appear to be returned in any search result:


    forum search

    forum sort


  • Hey @sparrow thanks for doing some digging!

    We're actually using the Sphinx search engine for the search here. There was a semi-working plugin for Vanilla that I used at the time, and had to mess with to get it working.

    The main reason for using Sphinx over Vanilla's built-in search was because Vanilla's search (at the time) was even worse than Sphinx.

    Also, the forums do need to be upgraded to a more recent version of Vanilla, but I just haven't had the time or head-space to do it. I'm also not totally in love with Vanilla, but I don't particularly feel like trying to migrate all our posts to another forum software (which again takes time).

    But if you'd like to spin up Vanilla, and see what you can do, please feel free to!

    I recently deployed Flarum forums, which seem kinda nice, and were easier to get up and running in Docker than Vanilla when I last used it, so that may be an option too, if we can figure out how to migrate the posts.

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