What are Breadcrumbs in WordPress?

Breadcrumbs in WordPress

I have been blogging for a few years now and have wondered the entire time,”What the heck are breadcrumbs?  Can they make my blogs better?”  Clearly they aren’t required for a WordPress blog, but can they make a WordPress blog better?

What are Breadcrumbs?

Simply put, breadcrumbs enable you to put a navigation aid at the top of your page.  When you see at the top of a webpage such as:

Home –> Articles –> WordPress –> What are Breadcrumbs in WordPress

you are seeing a trail of breadcrumbs.

Beginning WordPress does not use breadcrumbs because the site navigation in so flat that they are not needed, but if your site has a complicated navigational structure they can be very useful to your readers.

How to Implement Breadcrumbs in WordPress

The simple answer is get yourself a plugin.  You could write some code into your site’s functions.php file (or find some online that somebody else has posted), put I am a fan of plugins because they are so easy for a non-technical person to implement.  A search on WordPress.org for “breadcrumbs” reveals 89 results!  That’s a lot of choices.

You may already have a plugin that does breadcrumbs as sometimes this gets added in as extra functionality.  I personally use the Yoast SEO plugin (not an advertisement for the plugin, that’s just what I use), which has the functionality built in.  So if I wanted to implement them for this page I would literally go and click a check box, define the character(s) that separate layers of the navigation (such as the –> I put in my example above), and they would be automatically be implemented throughout the site.  That is why I love plugins.

Concluding Thoughts on Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs can definitely be a useful addition to your webpages, but are certainly not required.  For a very flat hierarchy such as this page has they’re not necessary.  For a more complicated hierarchy they are very useful.

I would personally use a plugin to implement them, especially since I already have a plugin that does it for me.  The ability to quickly set them up and then not worry about them again is huge for me – simple is good.  In addition, if I ever decide to take them back out I can do it in just a few seconds.  Definitely the way to go.

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