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Algolia vs Swiftype – Which Is Better?

Some brands still underestimate the importance of site search.

Data shows that up to 30 percent of website visitors use the search box when there’s one. A study from eConsultancy found that site search users convert at 4.63 percent — 1.8 times more than the average conversion rate across all websites.

For brands that are intent on getting results, offering an excellent internal search experience to visitors is not optional. But what’s the right site search tool for your website?

Let’s compare Swiftype and Algolia to help you streamline your search. At the end of this article, you’ll walk away knowing which one to choose.

What Is Algolia?

Algolia is a flexible AI-powered search and discovery platform.

Its API and UI toolkit allows teams to develop tailored, fast search and discovery experience that drives engagement, user satisfaction, and conversion.

The company started with two data centers in Europe and the USA. Today, it has over 70 data centers across 16 worldwide regions.

What Is Swiftype?

Swiftype offers a fast and powerful search for websites and applications.

The platform allows businesses to implement a site search and discovery experience code-free. It helps them deliver relevant search results and connect the audience to the content that matters.

The company participated in the Y combinator program and in 2017, Elastic acquired it.

Ease of Setup


Registering an account on Algolia is straightforward. You can sign up with your email address and a password, or automatically set up accounts with Gmail or Github accounts.

Algolia emails the confirmation link immediately to enable you to confirm your account.

Clicking the confirmation button prompts you to provide the following information.

  • First and last names
  • Phone number
  • Country
  • Company’s name and size
  • Field of work

According to Algolia, the information enables them to provide you the best onboarding experience.

Next, select the datacenter that’s closest to you — this enables better and faster indexing — and you can always change it.

Accepting the terms and conditions completes the account set up.


You can register an account with Swiftype with your email address and a password, or automatically with your Gmail account.

Next, select what you want with Swiftype — site search or app search.

It’s that simple.


Setting up accounts on both platforms is intuitive and straightforward. 

Algolia, however, allows users to confirm their accounts and select their datacenter — this ensures they receive the fastest service and provides an onboarding experience for new users.

Algolia is the winner here.

Data Indexing and Configuration


Algolia provides a Quickstart assistant that enables users to set up the search feature. 

To set this up, you’ll start with creating an index— the index stores the data that users want to make searchable on Algolia.

Choose a name for your index.

Upload your records — this is the information that you want to make searchable. You could accomplish this in three ways:

  • Uploading file
  • Using API to push the data
  • Adding manually

Uploading files could erase previous records. You can upload files in JSON, CSV, and TSV formats and it might require using a developer.

You can only add files manually in JSON format. You might also need a developer for this.

Configure the index after adding your records. This action ensures that searchers receive quality and relevant search results. The more attributes a user has, the more relevant the search results will be.

The configuration interface allows users to select attributes for searches, set up sorting and filtering, personalization, and enable AI reranking.

AI dynamic re-ranking uses AI to analyze trends and users’ actions on your website to serve the most relevant search results for a query.  It learns and adapts to each searcher’s needs.

You could also create indexes using the Algolia crawler. It crawls your website to extract and format content, then uploads it to Algolia. 

The crawler eliminates the need to upload any record and allows you to index content from multiple sites.


Swiftype requires users to enter their websites’ URL to set up a site search engine. They could also use API to create an index.

Swiftype will prompt you to choose a name and language for the site search engine after verifying the URL.

Click the button to complete the setup.

Swiftype crawls the website to populate the records. The platform offers users three ways to customize the search results — result rankings, weights, and synonyms.

Result Rankings allows you to reorder the search results for any query so that the most relevant results stay on top. To reorder,  search a keyword in your engine. 

Drag and drop to modify the search outputs. You can also add search results to the query.

You can manage the search results’ relevance in the Weight interface with a mere dragging of the slider.

The Synonym Set allows you to set interchangeable terms. 

For instance, if you add “car,” “motor,” and “vehicle” as synonyms, the engine will treat them as one term and shows the same results when searchers query any of them. 

If you search, for example, “car” and another person searches with the term “motor”, the engine will show you and the other person one result.


Swiftype makes setting up indexes easy and sweet. It doesn’t require coding or a developer to set up — the crawler does the hard work. Customizing and configuring the engine is another piece of cake.

Swiftype takes this category.

Use Case and Integrations


Algolia’s uses are broad. It offers meaningful search experiences for the following use cases:

  • Site search
  • Mobile search
  • Voice search
  • Geo search

The platform is suitable for the following industries.

  • eCommerce
  • Media
  • Marketplaces
  • SaaS
  • Headless commerce

Algolia integrates with 37 popular solutions and some of them include:

  • Shopify
  • Salesforce commerce cloud
  • Netlify
  • Magento
  • WordPress


Swiftype provides site search and app search experiences. It supports the customer service, media and publishing, and eCommerce industries.

The platform works well on most CMS websites. It integrates with Zendesk, typeahead, and supports the following API clients:

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Node.js
  • Ruby


Algolia is the winner in this category. It has more use cases.

Search Discovery


Algolia uses searchable attributes to define what shows up in the search result and custom ranking attributes to rank the results.

The Search Rule feature allows users to customize the search experience. They can pin or hide items, boost or bury categories, or filter results based on the search query.

Users can enable Rules for a fixed period, making them a great way of implementing sales or promotions.

The platform enables users to recommend query suggestions that show up when searchers begin to type similar terms.

Users can enable personalization. This action allows Algolia to serve personalized search results to searchers. It also supports location-based searches. 

Some other features of Algolia’s search discovery include:

  • Phrase matching
  • Autocomplete
  • Sorting
  • Understands synonyms
  • Faceted searches
  • Typo tolerance
  • Removing duplicate results
  • Intent matching (powered by AI reranking)


Swiftype uses reordering, weight management, and synonyms to ensure websites deliver relevant search results.

The Engagement Module empowers you to create content recommendations that are relevant to the search queries.

You can create recommendations based on:

  • Related Content (recommended based on the page visitors are viewing)
  • Search Term
  • Next Result (suggests next results based on visitors’ previous searches)
  • Recent Results (shows results searchers recently viewed)
  • Personalized Results (recommends results based on searches over time)

Swiftype allows users to customize how searchers view recommended content. You can choose from any of the seven module layouts available.

  • Slide up
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Slide from right
  • Medium rectangle (300px by 250px)
  • Half page (300px by 600px)
  • Leaderboard (728px by 90px)

The platform allows users to choose from two content display styles — content layout and content mapping. These styles determine how the content displays within the module.

Content layout supports three options — simple, small image, and large image.

Content mapping uses fields to display the content.

Swiftype generates the installation code when you save the setup. 

Some other features of Swiftype search discovery include:

  • Phrase matching
  • Sorting
  • Understands synonyms
  • Faceted searches
  • Typo tolerance
  • Autocomplete
  • Bigram matching ( matches relevant results for a given query even with spelling, spacing, or phrasing errors)


Algolia or Swiftype?

I’ll go for the former.  Although the two platforms are robust in this category, Algolia edges Swiftype slightly.

It stands out based on its 

  • Personalization
  • Rules
  • Geo-based searches
  • Proximity
  • Intent matching

Search User Interface and Speed


To get a feel of Algolia’s search UI and speed, I randomly queried the keyword “crawler” on its site search.

It’s super fast. Algolia shows the search results while typing — you don’t even need to strike the Enter key. It also provides a snippet of the content when you hover over any of the search results.

Algolia highlights the keywords in the search results.

Stripe uses Algolia. I tested the site search on its documentation page

It’s ultrafast and you get your results while typing.


On Swiftype, I queried the keyword “crawler,” and there was no activity until I struck the Enter key.

It presents the search results like a typical search engine — the search results show the page title, the URL, and a brief description. 

Swiftype highlights the keywords in the search results to make them prominent.

Asana uses Swiftype, so I tested the site search on its support page. The site search uses the Swiftype autocomplete feature. 

It suggests related search queries in a dropdown menu when you type a search term.

Selecting any of the autocomplete queries takes you to the content. However, opting for your original search term takes you to the search results.


Algolia is faster and the search UI is more aesthetic. It takes this category.

Analytics and Reports


Algolia provides detailed analytics for users. From the analytics interface, you can track and monitor total users (searchers), total searches, and the percentages of searches that return no results.

Other data you can monitor include:

  • Clickthrough rate
  • Conversion rate (percentage of searches that led to conversion, e.g., purchases, downloads)
  • No click rate (percentage of searches that returned results but didn’t generate clicks)
  • Top searches
  • Top results
  • Top filtering attributes 
  • Most popular values searchers filter by
  • Geographical origin of searches and the top countries

Algolia also shows how some of these data trends over time. You can gain more insight by integrating Algolia with Google Analytics.


You can see real time data on searches as they’re happening. Swiftype also provides the following analytics:

  • Searches
  • Autoselects (number of clicks from autocomplete dropdown menu) 
  • Clicks (number of clicks a search received)
  • Top queries
  • Top queries with no results
  • Clickthroughs
  • Conversions 

You can also use Swiftype with Google Analytics.


On this Swiftype vs Algolia comparison, both tools provide intelligent and detailed analytics. Although Algolia’s analytics appears to be more comprehensive, it lacks Swiftype’s real-time reporting capability.

You can segment data with Algolia and it retains data for up to 90 days, while Swiftype can keep data for up to six months for the Pro plan and custom retention for the Premium plan.

It tempts to declare a stalemate here, but I’ll reluctantly give this category to Algolia — it’s comprehensive and can show the geographic origin of searches. 



Algolia has three pricing plans — Free, Standard, and Premium.

The Standard plan charges $1 per unit search per month — a unit represents  1,000 search requests and the capacity to index up to 1,000 records. 

It charges $1.50 for the Premium plan per unit of search. But unlike the Standard plan, it offers advanced-featured AI-powered search, including Rules, Personalization, and Merchandising.

The pricing structure allows you to pay as you go and you can receive discounts as your usage grows.

Upon signing up, Algolia gives you a 14-day free trial of the Standard plan — no credit card needed.

Please note that the Algolia pricing plan may change at any time. Always visit the pricing page for updated information and the complete plan comparison.


Swiftype offers three pricing plans — Standard, Pro, and Premium.

1. Standard Plan – $49 per month. Some of the features this plan gives you access to include: 

  • Basic analytics data 
  • Basic multi-user access 
  • Customizable relevance model
  • 50,000 documents (individual records that you want Swiftype to return as results)
  • One engine
  • 100 team members
  • Unlimited synonyms, and more

2. Pro Plan – $199 per month. Some of the features include: 

  • Multilingual support
  • Additional search customization
  • Clickthrough analytics
  • 100,000 documents
  • One engine
  • 100 team members
  • Unlimited synonyms, and more

3. Premium Plan – custom pricing. This plan gives access to custom and mission-critical features. 

It gives new users a 14-day free trial of the Standard plan — no credit card required.

The pricing plan may change at any time. Kindly visit the website for updated information and the complete plan comparison.


Algolia is reasonably priced and it provides a free plan, unlike Swiftype. It gives 20 percent discounts when billed annually and ten free units for the Standard and Premium plans.

It wins this category.

Customer Support


Algolia offers live chat and email support. They also have an extensive repository of support articles, documentation, and FAQs. 

You can get help from Algolia’s online Community, Forum, and Stack Overflow — Stack Overflow allows you to get help from developers that have worked with Algolia.

Webinars on the platform provide proper guidance to users.


Swiftype provides email support but no live chat support. It has an extensive knowledge base and provides a community forum for users.

It also provides webinars and live presentations.


Algolia is the clear winner here. It takes this category.

Customer Satisfaction


How do users engage with Algolia and how often do they make referrals? Here’s what I found.

Algolia has spectacular web engagement numbers. It received over 4.9 million visitors within the last six months. Over 986,000 visited the previous month, spending an average of 2:32 minutes on about three pages per visit.

About 40 percent of the traffic was direct. There are three ways to interpret this number:

  • The visits were from returning web visitors — likely from people logging in and using their accounts.
  • It could be from nonusers visiting the website the first time — perhaps, after hearing about Algolia from satisfied customers.
  • Or both

But one sure thing is Algolia’s users feel satisfied.

There’s even more — 32.3 percent of its traffic last month was from referrals. 

Could we say Algolia has a fanatical fan base? 


Swiftype received a total of 760,000 visits in the last six months. Over 105,000 visited the previous month with a dwell time averaging 52 seconds and close to three pages per visit. 

Its direct traffic last month was 37.46 percent.

And about 13.6 percent were from referrals.


Both Algolia and Swiftype have impressive numbers, but the former takes this category. The fan base is fanatical — the total visits, direct traffic, and referral numbers are awe-inspiring.

Algolia and Swiftype Similarities

Algolia and Swiftype share some similarities, including:

  • Supports API indexing and crawlers
  • Allows customization
  • Offers a 14-day trial for their standard plans
  • Provides detailed analytics and reports that allow conversion tracking
  • Supports personalization, autocomplete, and content suggestions
  • Intelligent search discovery capabilities
  • Fast, highly secured, and SOC 2 and SOC 3 compliant
  • Provide exceptional support

Swiftype vs Algolia Differences

Here are the features that set the two apart.

Ease of Set-UpDoesn’t send confirmation emails or collects additional data for the onboarding experience.Sends confirmation email, allows you to select a data center, and collects additional personal data for the onboarding process.
Data IndexingIt requires zero coding skills to set up a search engine. The crawler crawls and indexes the pages.You might need a developer to set up the index correctly. You’ll need to upgrade to use the crawler.
ConfigurationIt relies on reordering, weight management, and synonyms to define how results show to searchers for any query.Uses searchable attributes and custom ranking attributes to configure relevance.
Use CasesSupports site search and app search.Algolia supports site search, mobile search, geo search, and voice search.
Search DiscoverySupports bigram matching and stemming.It supports search rules, geo-based searches, proximity matching, etc.
SpeedYou will need to press Enter key to load the results.It’s ultrafast and you can choose and change your data center.



  • It provides relevant and meaningful search results to searchers.
  • The platform provides a wide range of uses — site search, mobile, voice, and geography.
  • Free plan and reasonable pricing.
  • It provides highly personalized results.
  • Algolia provides comprehensive analytics and capabilities.
  • Live chat and a massive repository of support content.
  • It’s super fast.
  • You can A/B test search results on Algolia.
  • It uses AI to improve search relevance.


  • Users can set up code free. 
  • It’s easy to configure the search relevance for the queries — it takes a mere drag and drop to do that.
  • Swiftype returns relevant searches.
  • It provides real-time monitoring of searches.
  • Swiftype has a custom plan.
  • It can retain analytics data for six months.



  • Algolia will require you to upgrade to use the crawler.
  • It doesn’t provide real-time analytics.
  • It doesn’t include a custom plan.
  • It doesn’t support bigram matching and stemming.


  • It doesn’t support geo-based and voice searches.
  • The platform has no live chat.
  • Swiftype doesn’t have a free plan and it’s more expensive.
  • It doesn’t support A/B tests.
  • No confirmation email and it doesn’t provide an onboarding experience.

Final Verdict: Algolia vs Swiftype

Undoubtedly, when comparing Algolia vs Swiftype you’ll find them incredible for providing highly relevant searches for websites and applications. They allow you to measure how relevant your search results are and the extent to which they contribute to your conversion goals.

But I’ll take Algolia over Swiftype. 

Algolia is the winner because it’s reasonably priced, provides more search-relevant customization capabilities, and supports geo-based searches. Algolia is ultrafast and you can A/B test the search results.

The only serious downside is that Algolia’s initial setup can prove challenging to new users.