Elferspot: Creating a Porsche-Quality Search Experience

Elferspot is the place for Porsche enthusiasts to share their passion for Porsche sports cars. With more than 2,600 listings, their rapidly growing digital marketplace is a key component of their website.

Porsche

Complex Data Search

Each vehicle listing on Elferspot includes 20+ data fields to help buyers find the Porsche of their dreams. In addition to model, price, mileage, and year, there are options to filter listings by country, retailer, condition, and more. With the built in WordPress search feature only searching titles and a limited “content” field, and a large database to search, Elferspot knew an alternate solution was needed.

Elferspot Website Search Specifications

“We started with a custom search based on WordPress queries, but the more cars we got, the more problems we experienced. There are 20+ fields queried in our search—this is not possible with the standard WordPress database because WordPress stores the metadata in single fields separated for each car… If we queried all of these fields for the 2000 cars we have, the server would not be able to handle it.”

—Alexander Altendorfer

Elasticsearch Delivers a Scalable Solution

When searching for a flexible, scalable search solution, Elferspot discovered Elasticsearch. Offloading data to Elasticsearch, a no-SQL data engine, meant they could include all search facets for all meta fields and still deliver lightning-fast search results to customers.

Extending the Search Experience

To connect Elasticsearch with their WordPress website, Elferspot used ElasticPress, 10up’s open source plugin that connects and optimizes WordPress for Elasticsearch. Instead of focusing on Elasticsearch server maintenance, the Elferspot team chose ElasticPress.io to host their Elasticsearch instance, enabling them to devote more time to business growth and development.

“We started to look at how we could implement Elasticsearch with our product, which is based on WordPress. Our research led us to ElasticPress—it’s a natural choice for connecting WordPress and Elasticsearch.

I dove into the ElasticPress plugin and the documentation and used the hooks and filters provided to customize the queries we needed and have the search reflect what our customers want to see. When we realized we needed more support, we signed up for the ElasticPress.io service and were really impressed because setting up an Elasticsearch server is not an easy task.”

—Alexander Altendorfer

With a fully-supported, end-to-end search solution in place, Elfterspot felt confident focusing on design customizations to align the on-site search experience with the prestige and beauty of the cars themselves.

Design-Forward Approach

The Elferspot marketplace connects discerning buyers and Porsche brand enthusiasts with their dream vehicle. This meant the website, including the search experience and search results delivery, needed to mirror the sleek, luxurious, timeless feel of the Porsche brand—and basic dropdowns and checkboxes wouldn’t cut it. The Elferspot team used a variety of customizations to create an intuitive, interactive search experience that includes advanced filters, weighted search results, and most importantly, design elements like tactical sliders and a visual color picker.

“There are many platforms that broker and sell used cars, but Elferspot is a platform for used Porsche cars. This means we have to up our game and do things differently—be more user-friendly and more beautiful—just like Porsche cars. We didn’t want to use ugly dropdowns or fields where they have to enter the mileage and price. We wanted to use beautiful sliders and selectors.”

—Alexander Altendorfer

Elferspot Visual Website Search

Ongoing Support

A primary benefit of our hosted ElasticPress.io service is top-quality support from our experienced engineering team. We encourage customers to contact us when they need help – even if they just need help figuring out how to extend WordPress using specific hooks and filters to get the results they need. Elferspot tapped into our team’s in-depth knowledge to build a premium search experience for Porsche enthusiasts.

While customizing the search experience, Elferspot identified an area of improvement with the number of search results shown for a given text query:

“What we do with the ElasticPress plugin is not something a lot of people do with it, so we ran into problems that were quite unique. We wanted to cap the search results shown so visitors only see relevant results so I contacted ElasticPress.io support. Your support is amazing. I’ve never had such an amazing support experience with any company. I had a problem with how I wanted to use ElasticPress and the support team worked with us to solve the problem together.”

—Alexander Altendorfer

Our team is proud to have helped such a passionate and dedicated team better serve their customers. We look forward to supporting them as they continue to add features.

If you’re interested in learning how ElasticPress and our ElasticPress.io service can elevate your onsite search experience, sign up for a free trial or speak with a specialist today.

ElasticPress is a fast and flexible search and query engine for WordPress.