The other day, a colleague alerted me to an article on techcrunch about a new cloud-based search service, Algolia. Algolia will index your site and then provide an API to integrate search into your site with millisecond response times. The promised effect is not unlike OS X's Spotlight, including thumbnails and categorized results. I decided to check it out on this blog.
I started by installing the Maven Algolia plugin. Next, I registered on the Algolia website and got my API key. Once that was complete, I saved my API info in the plugin and Algolia began indexing my site. The improved search appeared almost immediately on my site and was clearly a better search experience:
In speaking with someone from Algolia, they can do secure cloud hosting. While it's not quite secure enough to satisfy Healthcare requirements, it should meet most other needs. The API can also be utilized by native mobile apps and in-app desktop environments.
Given the ultra-fast response times and out-of-the-box functionality, Algolia seems like a great solution for all but the most stringently restricted content.
UPDATE: My trial has expired on Algolia, so I can't demonstrate it on the site anymore. Unfortunately, $50/month is a little steep for a personal blog. You can see a demo of the functionality at https://www.algolia.com/.