/wg/ - /stpg/

Startpage search bars

In this guide we will walk through the creation of a simple search bar to use in our startpage. Very simple and straight forward, with no JS required.

In our first guide we created a page that had the bare minimal requirements of a startpage. We will try to spruce it (or another startpage you made) up with a search bar!

By the time we are done, our startpage will look a little like this:

Startpage with basic search bar

Simple stuff

In a few lines of HTML we will have a fully functional search bar on our startpage!

<form action="https://duckduckgo.com/" method="GET">
  <input autofocus
         placeholder="search with duckduckgo...">

We can use this to replace our "Cool, eh?" header on our page, you'd do this by replacing the <h1> element with the above code. You should then change the styling of the bar by replacing the h1 {...} styles with form {...}.

Our search bar will look a little something like this:

A plain search bar in Firefox

So this is seriously all you need for a basic search bar. Obviously it will look a little out of place for this startpage, but we will style it up right now.

New tab worthy

Search bars are quite a ferocious battleground for opinion, so I will offer four quite simple styles of search bar you can use in your startpage here.

Search bar with colourful chevron

Search bar with dark background

Semi-transparent search bar

Search bar with window title

When it comes to user input, the sky really is the limit. Keep it simple or play around with fancier effects.

You can find some cool search bars on CodePen. I highly suggest looking there for inspiration when you are feeling a bit lost!

In lieu of posting all the code here, all of these search bars can be found in the CodePen collection we have made here.

The mighty bang

In this tutorial we used DuckDuckGo as our search engine, and there is a very good reason for that.

Apart from being a non-google search engine DDG offers a feature called bangs. It refers to what is more commonly known as an exclamation mark!

This feature allows you to type a query like !nf airplane and have DDG redirect you to Netflix's search page. They also have thousands of others you can choose from.

This means you hardly ever need to reinvent the wheel and write up your own JS search bar. Since the features most want are right there, in your three lines of HTML.

Here are some cool bangs I tend to use:

Obviously people would still want to roll their own solutions, since you may not like how long some bang "shortcuts" are, though we will have to leave that for another guide!