How to Make a Search Bar in HTML: Simplified Steps for Beginners

By Cristian G. Guasch •  Updated: 09/18/23 •  9 min read

In the world of web design, adding a search bar to your site can be a real game changer. It’s not only a useful tool for visitors who want to find specific content or information, but it also enhances user experience and functionality. Today I’ll show you how to create one using HTML.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the standard markup language used in creating web pages. It’s fairly straightforward, even for beginners in web development. With some basic understanding of its structure and syntax, you’ll be able to craft an effective search bar for your website.

We’re going to dive into the step-by-step process of coding this feature. By the end, you’ll have acquired a new skill that can significantly improve your website’s navigability and user engagement. Get ready – here comes the magic of HTML!

Understanding HTML and Search Bars

When diving into the world of web development, one of the first things I learned was HTML. It’s like the skeleton of every website, providing structure to the content. To understand how to create a search bar in HTML, you’ll need some basic knowledge about this language.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It’s not really a programming language but more of a markup language. In essence, it constructs and organizes webpage content through various tags like <p> for paragraphs, <h1> to <h6> for headings and so on.

Now let’s talk about search bars. They’re an integral part of numerous websites—a functional element that improves user experience by making navigation easier. Ever wondered how easy it is to find something specific on a massive e-commerce site? That’s thanks to their efficient search bar!

Creating a basic search bar in HTML is surprisingly simple! Here’s an example:

<form action="">
  <input type="text" placeholder="Search..">

In this code snippet above, we’ve used two main elements: <form> and <input>. The form tag defines where the input field should send its data when submitted (which we’ve left blank for now), while the input tag with type “text” creates an area where users can type in their queries.

Now if you want your search bar to be more advanced or visually appealing, that’s when CSS comes into play—but let’s save that discussion for another day.

Remember though—while creating any webpage element including a search bar—it’s important not just to focus on its aesthetics but also ensure it adds value to user interface and overall functionality of your website!

When it comes to creating a search bar in HTML, there are some essential components you’ll need. Let’s dive right into them.

Firstly, you’ll require an HTML form element. The form element is the basis of any input field on a webpage, including our search bar. Here’s how to create a simple one:

    <input type="text" name="search">

The input tag within the form tag is what creates that spot where users will type their queries. You’ll notice the type="text" attribute, which specifies that this input field should be a text box.

Next up is the name attribute (name="search"). This isn’t visible to your site visitors but plays an important role behind the scenes when data gets sent from your page to a server.

Now, let’s enhance this basic search bar by adding more functionality with these additional elements:

  1. Submit Button: A button for users to click after typing their query. This triggers the search process.
  2. Placeholder Text: Gives users an indication of what they’re supposed to enter in the field.
  3. Label: Provides information about what the input field is meant for.

Here’s how we can add these elements:

    <label for="website-search">Search My Website:</label>
    <input type="text" id="website-search" name="search" placeholder="Enter keywords here...">
    <input type=”submit” value=”Go!”>

With just these few lines of code, we’ve created a fully functioning HTML search bar! The ‘Go!’ button triggers whatever action you defined when setting up your website (e.g., displaying relevant pages based on user queries).

Of course, this only scratches surface-level basics of constructing an HTML search bar. There are more complex elements and attributes you can use to further customize your search bar, such as autocomplete functions or dropdown menus for common searches. But understanding these fundamental components is a great starting point on your journey to mastering HTML. Happy coding!

You’d be surprised at the simplicity of setting up an HTML search bar. It’s not as complicated as it might seem at first glance.

To start with, we’ll need a basic form tag. The form tag allows us to create an area where users can input information, like in our search bar. Here’s what it looks like:


Now that we’ve got our form set up, let’s add the actual search field. This is done by using the input tag along with the type attribute set to “search”. Check out how simple this addition is:

  <input type="search">

As you can see, that tiny piece of code creates a functional search box! But we’re not quite done yet.

A search bar isn’t complete without a submit button, right? So let’s add one using another input tag with its type attribute set to “submit”:

  <input type="search">
  <input type="submit" value="Search">

And there you have it – your very own HTML search bar!

Feel free to play around with this basic setup and experiment with different attributes for customization. For instance, adding the placeholder attribute gives hint text:

  <input type="search" placeholder="Type here...">
  <input type="submit" value="Search">

The beauty of HTML lies in its flexibility and ease of use – even for creating interactive elements like a search bar!

I’ll be honest, crafting a functional search bar in HTML is just the first step. But let’s not stop there! We can still take it up a notch by adding some bells and whistles to improve its functionality. Let’s delve deeper into how you can enhance your HTML search bar with these nifty tips and tricks.

First off, leveraging JavaScript alongside HTML is an excellent idea. It lets your search bar react to user inputs swiftly, creating a more dynamic experience. Here’s a simple example:

<input type="text" id="mySearch" onkeyup="myFunction()" placeholder="Search..">

In this case, onkeyup attribute allows us to execute JavaScript code once the user releases a key on the keyboard.

Secondly, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can’t be overlooked when enhancing your search bar’s visual appeal. With CSS, you have total control over the style of your input box. You could change background color or border style like so:

input[type=text] {
  width: 130px;
  box-sizing: border-box;
  border: 2px solid #ccc;
  border-radius: 4px;

Another tip I’ve found useful over time is working with Bootstrap – an open-source CSS framework directed at responsive, mobile-first front-end web development. It provides pre-designed classes that allow us to quickly style our elements including our search bar.

Lastly but certainly not least; autocomplete feature comes in handy making searching easier for users by suggesting input values as they type into the field:

<input type="text" id="myInput" name="myCountry" list="countryList">
<datalist id="countryList">
<option value="United States">
<option value="Canada">

In the snippet above, datalist element contains a set of option elements that represent the possible options for the input field.

So there you have it! A couple of tips and tricks to get your search bar running smoothly. Remember, the goal here is not just to create a search bar; it’s also about creating an intuitive and user-friendly experience. Do remember though, it’s not always about how many features you can cram in but rather their relevance and effectiveness.

In Conclusion: The Impact of Effective Search Bars

I’ve walked you through the steps of creating a search bar in HTML, and now it’s time to reflect on the importance and impact of this simple yet powerful tool. It’s hard to overstate how crucial an effective search bar can be for a website.

For starters, let’s consider user experience – having an accessible, efficient search function can significantly enhance navigation and usability. People often visit websites with specific information in mind; if they can quickly key in their query and receive relevant results, they’re more likely to stay longer and explore more.

<input type="search" id="site-search" name="q"
    aria-label="Search through site content">

Not only does it improve user engagement but it also increases conversions. When users find what they need without wasting time scrolling through pages, they’re more likely to make a purchase or sign up for your services.

Another critical point is that implementing a well-designed search bar helps understand your users better. The data gathered from search queries provides valuable insights into what your audience is most interested in or looking for on your site.

<form action="/action_page.php">
  <label for="fname">First name:</label><br>
  <input type="text" id="fname" name="fname"><br>
  <input type="submit" value="Submit">

It’s clear that adding a functional search bar isn’t just about aesthetics or filling space—it plays an integral role in enhancing user experience, boosting conversions, providing valuable insights about user behavior.


To sum up my thoughts on this subject, having an effective search bar is like having a compass that smoothly navigates users through your website. So, don’t underestimate its potential! Go ahead and apply the HTML knowledge I’ve shared with you to create a remarkable search bar that not only looks good but also provides exceptional functionality.

Cristian G. Guasch

Hey! I'm Cristian Gonzalez, I created HTML Easy to help you learn HTML easily and fast.

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