It feels wonderful when we get some suggestions based on the words we type in the search bar and see the results accordingly. It seems the system reads my mind and suggests the exact thing I meant to search. Such interactive search system is called live search which is basically an input field that has been programmed to load suggestions from a specific dataset. It is a lot like Google or Bing Search where people enter data to find their desired results. Live search in your application improves the user friendliness of your site regardless of whatever back-end technology your site is on. 

Live search has a lot of benefits compared to traditional searching. Some of the benefits are.

  • Results are shown as you type
  • Results become narrow as you continue typing
  • If results become too narrow, it removes characters to see a broader result

Adding such functionality to your site is much easier with jQuery live search plugins. We'll introduce you to some of the useful jQuery live search plugins that you can use for your site.

AJAX Live Search

AJAX Live Search is a PHP search form that is similar to Google Autocomplete feature and displays the result as you type. AJAX Live Search is totally free. It is well documented and works perfectly on all across the browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and IE8.

jQuery UI Autocomplete

The jQuery UI Autocomplete widget provides suggestions while you type into the field. The plugin is a part of the jQuery UI library. It enables users to quickly find and select from a pre-populated list of values as they type.

PixaBay jQuery-autoComplete

PixaBay jQuery-autoComplete is an extremely lightweight autocomplete jQuery plugin for your site. It is completely free and requires no dependencies except the jQuery library. It has a fully flexible data source, smart caching, delay and minimum character settings, callback system etc.

jQuery Typeahead Search

The jQuery Typeahead Search is a wonderful plugin that suggests search results from the character(s) that were typed in the search bar using JavaScript. It gives a search preview from Json object(s) via same domain Ajax request or cross domain Jsonp and offers data compression inside local storage. The plugin is built with a lot of options and callbacks to allow customization.

W3Schools Ajax Live Search

W3Schools Ajax Live Search lets you have live search without needing to have dependencies and implement a solution with pure JavaScript. It can be used to create more user-friendly and interactive searches.


List.js is a JavaScript library, you don’t need jQuery to make this work. List.js is a very small, invisible and simple, but a powerful and incredibly fast vanilla JavaScript library that adds search and flexibility to plain HTML lists. It is a perfect library for adding search, sorting, filtering, and flexibility to tables, lists, and other many HTML elements.

Ajax AutoComplete for jQuery

Ajax Autocomplete for jQuery lets you create autocomplete/autosuggest boxes easily for text input fields. It has no dependencies other than jQuery. It is very lightweight and easy to use.


EasyAutocomplete is a highly configurable jQuery autocomplete plugin for you to make a search bar that suggests what users type in there. The plugin supports local and remote data sets (JSON, XML, and plain text), uses AJAX method calls, allows to search, sorts and matches the response phrase. EasyAutocomplete lets you use a couple of default list templates and you have the option to create your own list template. 

There are plenty of other live search plugins that can help you make your search bar more useful for the users. Some of them are given below.

All of the above plugins are free. You can use them on any of your projects. Having such live search on your site, visitors will feel more comfortable and will be able to find their desired things easily. Use any of those plugins and smile.