I work for a newspaper and their web site stores articles as .txt files on the webserver and indexes them in a database. When a user reads a story, the text file's contents are dumped into a PHP/HTML page template so it looks nice and works in a browser.

My problem now is that I don't know how to provide readers with an effective search feature. I realize it's easy to get a Google-enhanced search bar and everything, but I don't know if that will a) search the fulltext of the stories in .txt form, and b) allow the results' links to be in the form of the URL for the form page (return the link www.newspaper.com/story.php?id=23 rather than www.newspaper.com/story23.txt).

I have absolutely no clue how to write or implement a search feature, so I am completely in the dark and am just looking for some ideas or feedback. The site's structure works perfectly for everything else, but this isn't something we have the expertise to do ourselves. Any input?