Nextopia Search Integration

We’re on our third search integration in the last few years. We used to use SLI Systems for search. They have a phenomenal service for search, but its a little more expensive than our small company can afford. So, last year, we decided to switch to the Google Mini. We had heard some good feedback from some other sites that had implemented it and decided to go for it. The cost for us was only $3,000 for the Google Mini device, the $200 a month co-location fee we pay, and some development time.

In the end, the Google Mini just didn’t give us consistent results for the how we were using search. We were able to implement a pretty cool solution that let you refine results by price and category, something I hadn’t seen anywhere else. But at the end of the day, not being able to get a result for something as simple as an item number was just too frustrating. I tried a lot of different techniques with the Mini to get the results to come back properly, but at the end of the day, it just didn’t cut it. I’m not sure if its because of the fact that it depended on spidering the site or not that gave us issues, but we had to start looking at other solutions.

My boss sent me an article about three different search solutions and compared them for readers. After reading, we decided to give Nextopia a shot. SLI was one of the other choices, and as much as I liked their service, we just still couldn’t afford it. The reasoning for trying Nextopia was that it provided similar features that SLI had and the price was way more appealing. You can get search for as little $995 a year. We’re paying a bit more than that for our three sites that get decent traffic, but its still affordable for our small company.

Nextopia provides you with a search page and template, but it didn’t fit in with the look and feel of our site. Since I wasn’t happy with the code they wrote for it either, it was more work to modify their version than to roll my own. Luckily, the code we had for our SLI and Google Mini implementations was written well enough that I was able to abstract that code even more (had to refactor a bunch of it) and roll a Nextopia version of our pre-existing search pages. What’s nice is now we have a C# library with 3 search integrations and the ability to roll new ones at any time we want.

The integration process took about a days worth of development and testing, which isn’t bad for integrating a 3rd party search solution. Granted, the refactoring of our search library took more time, but the actual Nextopia integration took a day. We’re really happy with the results it can provide and how quickly it can provide them. This definitely gives our users the robust search solution they need to find out products reliably and quickly. I’d say the only downside to the integration though is I can’t automatically send them a feed of our products. I have to update it manually on a regular basis, which is kind of annoying but not the end of the world. Anyway, if you’re looking for an e-commerce search solution, I highly recommend Nextopia.

4 thoughts on “Nextopia Search Integration

  1. Daniel Lesage


    If you like Nextopia, please give my company Exorbyte, a look. We offer a true enterprise level error tolerant search and merchandising solution for the same price as Nextopia. We are easier to implement, and far more accurate than they are. Here is an example:


  2. WebmasterBongo

    Spelling correction & SEO was big for us on a recent project. Looking @ Exorbyte doen’t impress me.

    We picked EasyAsk and the implementation is going well – does anyone have experience with EasyAsk’s SaaS product?

    For one thing the spelling correction is automatic & the system overall is super flexible.

  3. Bill

    EasyAsk looks pretty interesting and that a few popular and successful e-commerce sites use them. Any idea what they charge for their solution?

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