When was the last time you tracked breadcrumbs? The answer to this question? Probably on the internet, which is why you should start thinking about how to add breadcrumbs to WordPress.
In fairy tales, it might be your dog following literal trails of breadcrumbs around the house, but in real life breadcrumbs usually refer to important navigational steps on a website, especially when talking about having hundreds or thousands of products e-commerce website.
Understanding breadcrumbs is fairly easy, and adding them to your website takes no more than a few minutes. If you want to learn more about breadcrumbs and put these valuable little features on your website, keep reading.
What are WordPress breadcrumbs?
If you’ve ever bought anything online, chances are you’ve at least seen breadcrumbs. They are a series of connected navigation links that show exactly where you are navigating to on a website.
Breadcrumbs are similar to standard navigation menus, except they form as you move through the site. Breadcrumb links form a link structure with a hierarchy showing the first page you visit, followed by the next, next, and next pages.
In fact, an example of breadcrumbs can be found on WPExplorer, when you click the Themes tab in the navigation menu, then select a theme category.
As mentioned, it’s common to see breadcrumbs on e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, where you’re probably digging deep into categories and product types.
Most of the time, these breadcrumbs are displayed at the top of the website, and users can click any link in the breadcrumb hierarchy to jump back and view their browsing history.
Why are breadcrumbs important?
Most companies choose to use breadcrumbs for two reasons:
- Breadcrumbs help users navigate your site.
- Breadcrumbs can boost your SEO.
When it comes to user experience, sometimes the navigation menu is not enough to guide users and make them feel good about where they are on your website.
Best Buy has thousands of product categories and products. When customers start searching for laptops, they immediately go down a rabbit hole of specific features, categories, brands, and products.
If that person wants to backtrack, the navigation menu (or search bar) will prove useless as it usually takes them too far. Instead, it’s easier for customers to see which pages have been viewed, and then click back on the page that makes the most sense.
In short, most brands use breadcrumbs when content becomes too bulky to sift through a navigation menu. So if you have thousands of products, files, or blog posts, breadcrumbs might serve you well.
This is also relevant to the SEO part of things, as breadcrumbs help move search engines around your collection of pages. This strengthens your internal linking structure so bots can more easily crawl and identify your site as one with a good user experience.
How to Add Breadcrumbs to WordPress via Themes
Once you’ve decided that breadcrumbs are right for your website, it’s time to activate them from the start, or add breadcrumbs to WordPress for an existing website.
If you’re just creating a new website with a lot of content, it’s wise to look for a WordPress theme with built-in breadcrumbs. For example, the following WordPress themes already have breadcrumbs as their main feature:
- all – Multipurpose theme with breadcrumbs.
- knowledge base – you guessed right. Knowledgebase WordPress theme with breadcrumbs.
- Smart Magnetic – Online magazine theme with breadcrumbs.
- flat – Popular eCommerce option with breadcrumbs.
- shop owner – Another great online store theme with breadcrumbs.
In fact, it seems that most of the best ecommerce themes have breadcrumbs by default. After all, developers have to assume you’re probably selling a lot of products, so it makes sense. In any case, do your research and test the demo before submitting a theme.
Enable Breadcrumbs on WordPress Using a Plugin
If you want to add breadcrumbs to your current site, and the idea of switching themes doesn’t make any sense for your brand, you’re still in luck.
Yoast SEO plugins are tools that you may already have installed on your website (for SEO purposes). SEO is great, but the great developers at Yoast have solved many of the problems that many WordPress site owners have. They end up with so much content that a breadcrumb hierarchy makes sense. The only problem is that their themes don’t have a breadcrumb feature.
So Yoast takes charge and makes it easier for all of us. Here’s how to add breadcrumbs to WordPress in minutes.
Step 1: Add the Yoast SEO plugin to your website
If you already have Yoast installed and activated, skip this step.For users without Yoast, please visit Plugin page download and install it.You can also do this on your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins > Add Newthen enter “Yoast SEO” in the search bar.
While it’s great that Yoast SEO provides the ability to get breadcrumbs on your website, we also recommend that you learn about Yoast’s SEO features. Not only will it improve your search engine rankings, but it will also give you a better idea of how to do it.
Step 2: Activate Advanced Settings
The breadcrumb settings won’t appear on Yoast initially, so you must first click the Dashboard tab.
Select the Features tab.
Scroll down to find the Advanced Settings page title. By default, this is not activated by Yoast. So click the button to make it show enabled.
After that, you will see more options under the SEO tab. Go to the Advanced tab to move on.
The breadcrumbs option is the first option shown, so you can see below it to enable breadcrumbs.
When enabled, several other settings appear below it. Most of these fields are filled with default settings, so feel free to leave them if you want. However, you may want to change how the separator works, or change the bolding of the last page in the breadcrumbs list.
Breadcrumbs are categorized depending on what you set for certain post types. You can leave these blank if you’re not interested in the post’s breadcrumbs, but you can also choose to edit them. Make sure to click the “Save” button before leaving this page.
Step 3: Insert Breadcrumb Code in Your Site Files
The breadcrumbs won’t show until you insert some code into your website. First copy the following code:
<?php if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) yoast_breadcrumb(' <p id="breadcrumbs">','</p> '); ?>
You should place your code wherever you want the breadcrumbs to appear. Some of the most common places include:
- in your single.php file.
- in your page.php file (above the page title).
- at the end of the header.php file.
notes: We strongly recommend using a WordPress child theme for any changes to the core theme files. This way, you can still install updates for your theme without losing your customizations.
Some people also find that the following shortcodes are the best way to use them for individual posts and pages:
By now, you should have successfully found a theme or used a plugin to add breadcrumbs to WordPress. If you have any further questions, Check out this Yoast article for processing this code. Otherwise, you should set it up with breadcrumbs on your website!
You can also drop us a note in the section below – we’ll be happy to help you with any questions about how to add breadcrumbs to WordPress for your readers.