Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? Hansel takes a slice of bread when he and his sister go into the woods and leave a trail of breadcrumbs to follow home. Well, this is how you should think about WordPress breadcrumbs.
In the web world, we have something called “breadcrumbs” to help you find where you are (and birds cannot eat these breadcrumbs, so you won’t get lost like Hensel and Gretel!).
Breadcrumbs are typically a string of words, located at the top of the page content, showing you which page you are currently looking at in relation to its parent pages.
This is an example of what the breadcrumbs look like in a webpage:
(In this image above, you are viewing this Blog Post, under the “WordPress Tips” category, under the Home Page page)
Here is an example from a page on this site:
You can see that page here:
Why You Might Want to Use WordPress Breadcrumbs
You might or might not want breadcrumbs, depending on the type of the website you have.
Here are some more examples of other websites with breadcrumbs:
It’s all about making the experience better for your website visitors, so think about if this will be useful to your audience before adding or removing the breadcrumbs to/from your website.
How You Can Add Breadcrumbs to Your WordPress Site
Some WordPress themes give you a built-in breadcrumbs option. With the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes (https://christinasresources.com/elegantthemes my link) they have a breadcrumbs module built into the theme, and with the Beautiful Pro theme from StudioPress, you can easily turn on the “Breadcrumb” feature. Check your WordPress theme options to see if your theme has breadcrumbs built in.
And of course, there are plugins that enable you to add breadcrumbs to your site! Here are some you might want to look into:
Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast)
You might know this plugin as a great search engine optimization tool, but did you know it also allows you to add breadcrumbs if your website is compatible? (And even if your site is not compatible, they have instructions on how to make this work for your site.) It’s very easy to use, and according to Yoast, gives you an advantage in the search results pages as the breadcrumbs will be shown there as well.
Here is short video to show you how to do it:
Here is a screenshot of the settings in YoastSEO where you enable the breadcrumbs:
(Here is an advanced tip: If you want to change the separator between the breadcrumbs, this page has some nice arrows you can use: https://www.toptal.com/designers/htmlarrows/arrows/)
Other WordPress Breadcrumbs Plugins:
Breadcrumb NavXT is another plugin that makes it easy to generate breadcrumb links on a website. You can customize the look of the link, and if you are working with an advanced website developer, you can do even more with it.
Flexy Breadcrumb is a very lightweight plugin that uses shortcode to allow you to display breadcrumb navigation anywhere on your website. The text, links and breadcrumbs can be styled to be how you want them.
There you have it. Now it’s time for you to decide whether or not you want to use “breadcrumbs” for your website.
(This article first appeared July 28, 2015)
Thanks so much Christina!
You have the gift of bringing Word Press dashboard/backroom features into clear view using easy to follow language!
I was curious about the breadcrumb term. I didn’t know when or if I would ever take the time to attempt to learn and figure it out on my own… and then here you are.
The fact that you begin with a ‘Once upon a time’ fairy tale catches my attention immediately…your fun and playful use of story in the context of learning technology really helps me to keep from zoning out, makes it fun to ‘follow the path’ and to see where you will lead me next in discovering more wonderfulness in the ‘intriguing forest’ of WP.
Now…back to following that trail…
Thanks so much for your nice comments!
Yes, I love making WordPress fun and simple for my audence 🙂
Thank you for the information on Yoast SEO. I didn’t know about the breadcrumb connection with this plugin. Thank you for the ongoing education Christina.
Yes Yoast can do a LOT, and not everyone knows about all the features.
Use the breadcrumb if you like it on your site. Or not. WordPress gives us lots of options and features.
Do I need to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium to be able to use breadcrumbs?
No you don’t need to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium. I use the free version for the breadcrumbs.
I am running an e-commerce website on WordPress, as after reading your blog I get clearer about breadcrumbs and that helps me on my website.
Glad this helped!