Home » All » Internet Explorer » Windows | All Categories

Published on 10.26.06 by Brent Trahan

Create a Custom Search Provider for Your Website in Internet Explorer 7 Search Box

This guide shows you how to create a custom search provider for people to search your site with your preferred search engine from Internet Explorer 7’s search box.

This guide shows you how to create a custom search provider for people to search your site with your preferred search engine from Internet Explorer 7’s search box. This feature will be available while people are surfing your site or they can add your custom search provider to their IE7 search box permanently so they can search your site at any time.

What is a Custom Search Provider?

Internet Explorer 7 brings a new search feature to the table. Now you can search the net from a search box located in the top right of the IE7 window. By default you can search the Live.com search engine for content on the web.

You can add your preferred search engine(s) by clicking the down arrow to the right of the search box, then click Find More Providers.

Webmasters can take advantage of this new feature and add a custom search provider to the IE7 search box that searches their site with a preferred search engine from the IE7 search box. When a custom search provider is added to a site the down arrow of IE7’s search box turns orange while people are surfing the site.

The surfer can use the custom search provider by simply clicking the orange drop down arrow and select your site’s custom search provider. A surfer can also install your custom search provider by clicking the orange drop down box; select add custom search providers, then select your custom search provider.

What’s Required

You’ll need a <link> tag just above the </head> in every page you want IE7 to notice you have a special search provider for your site and a specially formatted OpenSearch XML file that tells IE how to search your site from its search box.

Lets get started.

The <link> Tag

Place the <link> tag (example shown below) in the <head> of your website. You need to change everything in red to reflect your site. This tag will point IE7 to your OpenSearch XML file.

<link title="Search Provider Name" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml"
rel="search" href="
Location of OpenSearch XML Document">

An example of the <link> tag above is:

<link title="MAXIMUMpcguides Google Search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml"
rel="search" href="
http://www.maximumpcguides.com/iesearch.xml">

The OpenSearch XML File

Before you go any further you need to search your site with your preferred search engine with the word TEST like so:

site:maximumpcguides.com TEST

Copy the address of the results of your search and save them to a text document. You’ll need that later.

To create the OpenSearch XML file that tells IE7 how to search your site copy the code below and past it in Notebook. Make sure you change the code in red to reflect your site.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">
<ShortName>Search Provider Name</ShortName>
<Description>Long Search Provider Name</Description>
<InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding><Url type="text/html" template="SearchQuery"/></OpenSearchDescription>

Replace Search Query in the code above with the address of the search results you copied earlier. Replace TEST in the copied address with {searchTerms}.

An example of the above code is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">
<ShortName>MAXIMUMpcguides Google Search</ShortName>
<Description>MAXIMUMpcguides Google Search provider</Description>
<InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding><Url type="text/html" template="http://www.google.com/search?q=+site%3Amaximumpcguides.com+{searchTerms}"/></OpenSearchDescription>

Save the Notebook document as an XML file by clicking Save as, change save as type to all files, name the file something like iesearch.xml and click save. Make sure you add .xml behind the name of your file.

Upload the XML file to the location you specified in the <link> tag.

You’re Done!

Test your custom provider to make sure it’s working.

If you need more help with creating a custom search provider see Microsoft’s how-to.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

Related Guides:

4 Responses to “Create a Custom Search Provider for Your Website in Internet Explorer 7 Search Box”

Subscribe to this guide's comments RSS feed.

  1. Eli Aroshas says:

    I would like to Export/Import the providers search list
    between 2 pc’s. How can I do that?
    Thanks!

  2. this site rocks out loud !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. acai says:

    Information is key and forever be needed in this new age. I commend you for proving such worth in composition a well-written article about it. I will not show reluctance in giving out your site to my pals and other co conferences and I recognize they too will like your web site. Thanks keep up the great work.

  4. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the detailed guide. It helped me a lot.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to this guide's comments RSS feed.

Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation in no way endorses or is affiliated with MAXIMUMpcguides.com. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks of their respective companies. MAXIMUMpcguides IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for any damage or data loss to your computer from using this web site. All information on MAXIMUMpcguides is provided on an AS IS basis with NO WARRANTIES.

Copyright 2006-2017 Brent Trahan. All rights reserved.