Phlo’s interface is just two text boxes – one for the query and the other for site you want to search. The app comes with a pretty wide-ranging selection of the 50 most-common sites you’d be searching.
You can customize the list of sites by adding your own or removing ones you won’t use. You can add any site that has a consistent search URL (and most should). Adding The Next Web to the list was a snap.
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of my time searching for stuff online, so Phlo has the ability to easily save me minutes each day. I’ve developed several pretty bad habits, such as googling for a specific Wikipedia page, that tend to slow me down.
Phlo’s default keyboard shortcuts are intuitive enough that it feels a lot like the Spotlight function baked into OS X. You can choose to show the app’s icon in the dock or the menubar.
While I appreciate the usefulness of Phlo, its $3.99 price tag is going to be a hard sell for many. It isn’t that much money, but it does feel a bit expensive for an app that’s just a shortcut to other pages. If you’re an efficiency nut, the app will easily pay for itself within days, but others may be content just heading to the sites themselves
If you’re looking for a free solution, the Quicksilver launcher, which recently emerged out of beta, supports shortcuts to site searches as well. The process is a bit more involved, but certainly a good option, especially if you’re already using Quicksilver in your workflow.
Image credit: Fuse