SharePoint 2013 - Search Center setup

Search in SharePoint 2013 is a big improvement to SharePoint 2010 standard search.

With Office Web App configured you have automatic preview of documents, you have refiners, and that funky little date refiner down left. The search results are much improved and have much of the FAST search engine implemented.

It's easy to setup, and there are others that covers this much better.
For some guidance on initial setup try:

But there are two tiny options I want to mention:

Create search url

When you create your Search Center site collection, first stop by Central Admin, Application Management -Manage Web Applications. Select your default SharePoint 80 Web app, and Managed Paths

Then Add a new Explicit path named search:

This is just for a nice short url for your search center, and it looks more professional.

You are now ready to create your Search center Site Collection .

Go to Application Management - Create Site Collections, and fill in a nice Title such as Search.

In the Web site Address section, Url, you can now select search in the dropdown,
Leave the last part of the url empty.

Further down in Template selection,  select Enterprise tab and Enterprise search center.

Fill in an administrator and leave the other settings as default.

Fill in Global Search Center Url

Now you are ready to fill in global search center url.
Head on into Central Admin again, Application management and select Manage service applications.
Select Search Service Application

On the new page coming up there you have Global Search Center Url. 

Change it to the url you just created, but first look closely on the instructions on the page:

As you can see you have to add /pages to your Search center url. 
So in our example: http://[yourserver]/search/pages

Not just http://[yourserver]/search as you might think.

And as you might have noticed in the image, if you have another translation installed, you have to use the localized name for pages.

It might seem like a lot to do, but it will probably take you 5 minutes to set up.
And when you have search center up and working, you will never turn back.

Watch out for the next post regarding Search Refiners, specifically how to set up 
Content Type search refiners. 

Until then.


  1. Very nice Henri. I am doing SP2013 as a small side project and finding these walkthroughs are perfect. At lot of bloggers expect that their readers have a good knowledge of SP, but underestimate that a lot of beginners are looking for posts like yours that are step-by-step from the start.

    Keep up the great posts!
    Fred van Donk

    1. Hi Fred, thanks for the positive comment.
      Glad it helped!

  2. Short and sweet, great article!
    A question: The "Global Search Center URL makes it possible to select where the users should be sent when using search. Do you know if its possible to find this function in SP2010? I want to send users from farm1(2010) to farm2(2013) and use the 2nd farms crawled content.

    1. Thanks George, just tried this ok in SP2010: Site Settings - Site Collection Administration - Search settings
      Select Enable custom scopes and insert the full url to your SP 2013 Search Center i.e http://server/Search/Pages
      You will have to do this for each Site Collection in SP2010 AFAIK.

  3. This article is really helpful. It saved me a lot of time from google-ing the errors I encountered in setting up our search center in SharePoint 2013. Thanks a lot!

  4. It took a bit more time than I expected, but your second shared link for some guidance on initial setup - got me through. Your write up is detailed - thanks.