• Site Search
  • Government

City of Portland: Better Search Means Happier Portlanders

AT A GLANCE
  • 200,000
    pages on the site
  • 600,000
    site users
  • 1
    hour to implement the Elastic Site Search Service
Easy Implementation

The City of Portland quickly realized how easy it is to get started with Elastic Site Search (formerly Swiftype Site Search) after implementing a basic installation in about an hour.

Painless Maintenance and Updates

As content changes on the City of Portland’s website, Elastic Site Search automatically reindexes new pages and updates their search engine.

Happier Portlanders

Portland’s citizens now have a new website search solution, and they are much happier with its functionality.

Company Overview

With a population well over 600,000, Portland is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest in the Northwestern United States. Portlanders visit their city’s website for information about city codes, community events, utilities, and many other things that impact their lives.

Powering the Search for Happier Portlanders

The Elastic Site Search Service powers search on the City of Portland’s main website, www.portlandoregon.gov, which contains over 200,000 pages. The website is used by all of the bureaus and offices within the City of Portland to host both public and intranet content, as well as various web applications supporting such things as online payments, business license registrations, and stormwater calculations.

With such a large, diverse website, searching is a critical feature because it’s one of the primary means our [citizens and employees] use to locate desired information on our site.,Our experience has been so positive that we will keep [Elastic Site Search] in mind for use with future projects/sites.

Richard Davies
Web Application Developer | City of Portland
City of Portland’s Journey with Elastic

FINDING A GOOGLE SITE SEARCH ALTERNATIVE

When Google announced that they were sunsetting their Site Search product, the City of Portland set out to find a replacement. The website is used by all of the bureaus and offices within the City of Portland to host both public and intranet content, as well as various web applications supporting such things as online payments, business license registrations, and stormwater calculations. They knew they wanted a turnkey solution with robust functionality and eventually settled on the Elastic Site Search Service.

At the same time, many citizens of Portland complained about their website’s poor search functionality. Given that the city’s website is a critical source of information for hundreds of thousands of people, city leaders realized they needed to implement a better performing search engine.

1 HOUR IMPLEMENTATION

The City of Portland quickly realized how easy it is to get started with Elastic Site Search after implementing a basic installation in about an hour by leaning on Site Search’s performant web crawler and out-of-the-box relevancy.

Positive Public Response

Portland’s citizens now have a new website search solution, and they are much happier with its functionality. According to Davies, “Searching with Site Search is remarkably faster than our previous solution.” He added, “The total number of searches has gone down dramatically since our move to Site Search (about half of our previous total average),” signaling that citizens are finding what they need after one or two queries. These days Portland’s citizens are spending less time browsing through their city’s website and more time doing the things they love.