emma was working at implementing Elasticsearch on the site but we've run into a roadblock.
Elasticsearch needs a lot of ram to run well. We use just 200mb right now of the 1gb we have available. Upgrading would at least quadruple the costs of running the site.
This is the VPS service we use:
We're currently on the $10 a month package but could just as easily be using the $5 a month one with current traffic. If we upgraded to the $40 a month package (4gb ram), it might not be enough still - people seem to be saying 32gb is the ideal minimum for Elasticsearch, with 16gb being acceptable. These VPS packages could be expensive enough to make the site unsustainable in the long term - I doubt I can come up with $320 every month.
Another, far less appealing option is to add duckduckgo search to the site, which wouldn't cost anything but will probobly be a bit shit.
Any other ideas?