My site is on a shared hosting plan that runs mysql server ver. 4.1.21-standard. I had the hosting provider to change the config to index words that are 3 characters and more (by default fulltext index will let you index 4 character and longer words only).
But there are still a lot of searches on the site for 2 character searches and my hosting company is unwilling to change the config any further.
I am not using "like" since the search criteria could be anything and I don't want to depend on the order of the values searched for vs how the data is stored.
Get another hosting provided. Just kidding!
If you host is unwilling to drop the fulltext indexing size (which I can fully understand, as you don't want "as","is","a" etc indexed) then you are going to have to deal with it client side.
I think you will find that most bulletin boards (forums) etc that utilise fulltext searching ONLY let you input words greater than three letters when you search. Thus i recommend that you follow suit.
However, if you're adament that you wish to utilise 2 letter words you might like to try a combination of LIKE and MATCH, which will involve you crafting an SQL statement based on the input in the text field provided.
My question to you is this : why/when do you need to search on a "to" letter word