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Sphinx search plugin for Hikashop

Knowledge base
Note: these are just general instructions on how to install and use Sphinx search for Hikashop component. It requires some basic knowledge in some cases, also some additional steps may be necessary depending on your operating system version and its components. If you're just a regular user and you don't want to mess up things, simply order our plugin with installation option, so we can handle setup for you.

Installing and configuring Sphinx search server with Hikashop Sphinx search plugin

Before installing plugin, you must install Sphinx search on your server. If you think you've already installed Sphinx search, make sure about this by typing under your ssh client/terminal:
searchd --help

you should see following output (version can be different from the one below):
Sphinx 2.2.10-id64-release (2c212e0)
Copyright (c) 2001-2015, Andrew Aksyonoff...

it means you have installed the Sphinx search package on your server. If you don't have installed Sphinx search, read installation instructions below. Login to your server as root using your favourite ssh client (for example Putty) Change dir to tmp (or any other preferred):
cd /tmp

Download Sphinx search server package (depends on your server distribution and x64 or x86 versions), below is an example for Debian 8 x64, all available downloads can be found at sphinxsearch.com:
wget "http://sphinxsearch.com/files/sphinxsearch_2.2.11-release-1~jessie_amd64.deb"

Install downloaded package:
dpkg -i sphinxsearch_2.2.11-release-1~jessie_amd64.deb

Now you can install our plugin. Installator will try to initialize Sphinx search service, however if you don't have php function "shell_exec" available or you don't have a permission to run shell command it will fail with the info:
Check if you have Sphinx Search service properly installed on your server

and you'll have to start the service manually (later about this). If everything goes well you can go to Extensions -> Plugins and edit the Hikashop products Sphinx search plugin, Setup all required fields and under Advanced tab select YES from a dropdown list called "Recreate sphinx.conf file" and click "Save" button. Now your sphinx.conf file will be created. Next, under ssh client/terminal (also as root) run the indexer (replace "/your/full/path/to" with your actual path to Joomla website root directory):
/usr/bin/indexer --config /your/full/path/to/media/plg_hs_products_sphinxsearch/sphinx.conf --all

and run the Sphinx search daemon:
/usr/bin/searchd --config /your/full/path/to/media/plg_hs_products_sphinxsearch/sphinx.conf

You can setup cron job for reindexing your products, command is as follows:
/usr/bin/indexer --quiet --config /your/full/path/to/media/plg_hs_products_sphinxsearch/sphinx.conf --all --rotate

That's pretty much all at server side. You can go and create Hikashop filter in your website backend and setup the same way as standard Hikashop search input field.

Where created conf file is placed?

It's placed under your Joomla root directory /media/plg_hs_products_sphinxsearch/sphinx.conf and it's not available over http.

How to recreate Sphinx search conf file?

For recreating Sphinx search conf file (if you changed plugin settings), go to advanced tab in your plugin settings (Extensions -> Plugins -> Sphinx search for Hikashop) and from dropdown list "Recreate conf file?" select "Yes" and hit save button.

What this plugin actually does?

It's replacing standard Hikashop mysql query "%text%" with Sphinx full-text search - it reduces mysql query time and server load while it returns products ids with the given search results. It's highly recommended for big stores or shops with many users (traffic).

What this plugin does not?

It will not speed up all your pages on the website! It's working while filtering or searching for products, but it will not (for example) reduce the total time needed to load your category view or product view while not filtering or searching and/or using any other filters with many options.

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