Moving “Search Results” to Site Collections

The parts that need to be moved

  1. Site Collection Result Sources (it’s like a content type)
  2. Search Result .aspx Pages (it’s like a template file)
  3. Site Settings > Search Settings > Configure Search Navigation

How & where to move the parts

It’s very easy to export and import the search settings. However the hard part is exporting and importing the CUSTOMresults.aspx pages that drive the drop-down menu under the search box.

If you’re curious to know more detail check out:

Brendan Griffin on how to export with PowerShell

Chris O’Brien on how to import with .NET Client Side Object Model (CSOM) in PowerShell

TechNet on how to export and import search configuration settings

“Design Manager”

Did you read that technet article?  No!?  😉

“Design Manager” is a GUI tool that appears when the Publishing Feature is turned on in your site collection. I created one and cracked it open as a .cab file to take a peek inside but it seems to be a lot more than I want in this case.

In this case I really just want the CUSTOMresult.aspx pages that match my Result Sources. So it’s tempting to just download the CUSTOMresult.aspx files, however experience suggests they may not carry across all the configuration settings I need.

Should I move them?

Maybe it really is best to use local Site search boxes for local Site search needs in SharePoint 2013!

Here’s the business user experience:

Action Result
Search for a keyword in Site Collection root

Results found in “Bruce’s ON-PREM Sandbox (SP1)”

“Nothing here matches your search”

Select “Everything” from the local Site Collection search results.aspx drop down Go to Search Center’s “Everything” search experience

Select another “Search Experience” with a dedicated “Result Source”

Enjoy all the customizations of the Result Source and Result Page

It’s sort of logical and quick, as long as the end-user has been trained on what to expect and how to play the game.

Nope, I really want to move all these parts to many site collections & web sites!

“To be continued…”

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