My name is Heath Anderson.
This is my website.

Simple Search

I often come across interesting ideas and tools that I have no current use for but seem like they may be useful someday, so I bookmark them and hope I will recall them when needed. That process is what led to the current implementation of site search located at the bottom of each page on this blog.

At some point I came across an article on the the Google Webmaster Central Blog about enhancing a site's 404 page. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, and I'm using it on this site. The required code is very short:

<script type="text/javascript">
var GOOG_FIXURL_LANG = 'en';
<script type="text/javascript"

The most interesting thing about it is that it adds a search form. It doesn't actually submit a form. It simply changes the current page's location to "" (with the text from the text box appended) using JavaScript. This limits the Google search to (in this case) pages from my site. It is a really simple concept that I would like to think I would of eventually thought of (but probably wouldn't have).

When I needed a search for this site I decided to try this technique. So here it is, a simple search script:

<script type="text/javascript">
function simpleSearch(form) {
var q = window.encodeURIComponent(form["q"].value);
var url = " ";
url = url + q;window.location = url;
return false;
You can search this site using Google.
<form onsubmit="return simpleSearch(this)" method="get" id="searchForm">
<input type="text" size="40" name="q" placeholder="Search this site...">
<input type="submit" value="Search">

I could have created the form element in JavaScript and appended it to the page, but that seemed more complicated than necessary. I also could have used an event handler instead of the inline onsubmit attribute, but again I point to the complexity. This way avoids most cross-browser pitfalls, and has the advantage of simplicity. I also added a link to Google inside a noscript tag for people that have JavaScript disabled.