Best Algolia alternatives for search

  • Learn about Algolia alternatives
  • Understand the pros & cons
min read

Algolia changed the game when it comes to instant search for developers. You can easily create autocomplete, typo-tolerant users for your users. However, Algolia has limitations – its expensive, and relies heavily on setting manual rules to handle nuances like synonyms and slang. So let’s look at some Algolia alternatives!

Elasticsearch – the OG search solution

Elasticsearch is the biggest name in the search game. Open source and based on the powerful Lucene engine, it can achieve just about anything you want to achieve when it comes to text search, filtering and faceting.

Algolia alternative: Elasticsearch

Pros

  • Extremely configurable
  • Lots of raw functionality
  • Open sourced
  • Has a hosted solution
  • Big ecosystem

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Difficult to productionize and scale
  • Tricky to implement instant search
  • No AI functionality
  • Requires manual rules to understand synonyms & slang

Don’t want to get stuck in Algolia’s expensive pricing system, or need more control over hosting? Typesense is an open-source Algolia alternative that provides simple, instant text matching.

If you’re willing to take on the challenges associated with self-hosting, but want an experience similar to Algolia, Typesense is a great option. If you want to do anything more powerful than text search – you may have to look elsewhere.

Algolia alternative: Typesense

Pros

  • Open sourced and free to use
  • Easy typo-tolerant, instant search implementation
  • Hosted option
  • Plugin library
  • Easier to filter/sort than Algolia

Cons

  • Difficult to configure & productionise
  • Smaller ecosystem
  • Less overall functionality than alternatives like Elasticsearch and Relevance AI
  • No AI functionality
  • Requires manual rules to understand synonyms & slang

Relevance AI – Instant search that can grow into AI discovery

A plug for yours truly, Relevance AI – but only because we’re a very good alternative to Algolia. Our Discovery API helps you implement instant search as easily as Algolia, but we are built on top of a powerful AI database that enables all sorts of magical discovery features as your product grows.

With AI features switched on, Relevance AI search is able to understand human meaning; and therefore handle synonyms, slang and context without any manual rules. Relevance AI is also able to search across multiple data formats; for example, we can search through images with text.

Algolia alternative: Relevance AI

Pros

  • Easy to implement typo-tolerant instant search
  • More generous free plan than Algolia (100K monthly requests, no credit card)
  • Easier to filter/sort than Algolia
  • Built on top of a powerful AI database
  • Requires no manual rules for synonyms/slang/context, just AI
  • Hosted with API + dashboard

Cons

  • Not open sourced
  • Smaller ecosystem
  • Using AI features requires understanding of “vector” data format

Conclusion

Hopefully this was helpful, if you’re searching for an Algolia alternative! If you have any others we should add to this post, leave a comment.

Best Algolia alternatives for search
Daniel Palmer
November 11, 2021