Searchable Databases in WordPress?

A department at our institution wants to build a simple searchable database of community partners that students could use to search for internships (based on criteria like discipline, location, availability, etc.), and I am wondering whether this might be possible to build in WordPress using Posts and plugins. Does anyone have recommendations for a way this could be done that would allow students to perform faceted searches and filter their results, and would not be too difficult for staff members in this department to maintain on the back-end? Thank you very much for any suggestion you might have!

I know @bionicteaching has used quite a bit. Check out the demo to see how it looks. Here’s a post from him that covers what it can do. It’s a paid plugin but well worth it for how much it can broaden what WP is capable of.

Yep. I’d suggest FacetWP if you are up for a paid plugin. It’s pretty powerful and flexible. I’ve used it on lots of sites similar to what you’re describing. Since the tutorial Timmy pointed out (2014) they’ve done a good job making it so you can build the templates with a visual builder rather than code. Alternately, you can build templates into themes via PHP if that’s more your style.

The nice thing is that changes to categories, tags, custom taxonomies will be reflected in the facets so faculty can update things in normal WP ways without any interaction with FacetWP.

You’ll want to either create custom taxonomies (Discipline for instance) or make sure that the you structure the data as children using Categories (Discipline being the parent and children being the discipline). You’ll want to consider whether location is just a place (Joe’s Gator Farm) or if it’s an address. With the latter, you’ll be able to do map stuff but other things become more complex.

Here are a few other examples and happy to answer questions.

Early engineers lesson search
Antiracism People Browser
Article browser
Field Botany (ugly but dealing with large scale - 3k or so posts I think)

Thank you both – this is very helpful! This looks like just the kind of thing they had in mind, so I will share with the department and see if they are up for a paid plugin, then go from there. I appreciate your help, and will check back in if any questions come up – thank you again!

@steelber I would be looking at plugins that can create custom taxonomies, and a plugin that can filter custom taxonomies.

This prototype for our future community site used Taxopress to be able to create additional taxonomies beyond Categories and Tags, and then the Search and Filter Plugin to create the advanced search feel. I paid for the pro advanced search plugin so that I could get the instant AJAX type search where as soon as you click a checkbox or a dropdown menu the cards adjust.

I also found it was really helpful to use a Full Site Editing theme so that I can show all of the custom taxonomies I created.
I wrote it up here:

@Ed_Beck thank you so much for your suggestions – I will look into these options as well!

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