This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.



McAvoy is a simple WordPress that logs site searches (and information about the people performing them) so you can get a better sense of what your audience is looking for. Is your navigation unclear? Are people regularly getting lost in your infinitely-scrolling homepage when they’re just trying to find the latest news on a topic? McAvoy is there, collecting the facts you need to make informed decisions!

Best of all, McAvoy is meant to grow with you, sending search query data anywhere you need to in order to get the most meaningful results.

Notice: In the interest of writing the best software possible, McAvoy requires a minimum of PHP 5.3. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

To keep up with the latest developments (or to contribute to ongoing development), please keep up with McAvoy on GitHub!


  • A list of recent searches made on a site – judging by the terms, it sounds like someone was hungry!


  1. Upload the plugin files to /wp-content/plugins/mcavoy or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress.


Eww, this plugin adds a new database table? Can’t I put the data somewhere else?

Absolutely! Creating a new database table isn’t ideal in a lot of situations, so McAvoy has been built from the ground-up to be flexible in the way the data is handled.

For example, if you want to send the data to something like Firebase, you can easily do so by creating a new callback attached to the mcavoy_save_search_query action:

    /**      * Save a search query to Firebase.      *      * @param string $term     The search term.      * @param array  $metadata Meta data that should be saved with the query.      */     function save_search_query_to_firebase( $term, $metadata ) {         // do something with this data!     }     add_action( 'mcavoy_save_search_query', 'save_search_query_to_firebase', 10, 2 ); 

What’s all this about requiring at least PHP 5.3?

McAvoy has been written using PHP Namespaces, which is super common in the larger PHP community but rather rare in WordPress (as WordPress strives to support as many people as possible). For most users, this minimum requirement shouldn’t be of any concern (after all, security patches stopped being delivered for PHP 5.3 in mid-2014).

If you are affected, however, I urge you to please upgrade your server (or change hosts) as soon as humanely possible. Besides the obvious benefits of having current security patches, newer versions of PHP are more performant than ever.

Who the heck is McAvoy?

This plugin was designed to answer five questions about your site’s audience, specifically those searching on it: «who», «what», «when», «where», and «why.» Those even somewhat familiar with journalism probably recognize the importance of those five questions, and as such I found it fitting to name the plugin after a journalist. Edward R Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Dan Rather were all contenders, but ultimately ACN Anchor Will McAvoy won out.


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Contributors & Developers

“McAvoy” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


For a complete changelog, please see McAvoy’s GitHub repository.


  • Fixed the mcavoy_searches table schema to accommodate more searches.


  • Fixed issue with WordPress Multisite wherein McAvoy would not properly set up the DatabaseLogger dependencies when network activated.


  • Fixed cross-site scripting (XSS) bug where search terms weren’t automatically escaped.
  • Fixed fatal error (Fatal error: Call to undefined function McAvoy\Admin\get_logger()) when deleting saved queries that resulted as a side-effect of namespace juggling.
  • Added method access modifiers to the ListTable class.


  • Initial public release.