Breadcrumbs WordPress: How to Enable Them on Your WordPress Site

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We all know Breadcrumbs from Hansel and Gretel’s story. When the wise Hansel dropped breadcrumbs to leave a trace. On a website, breadcrumbs serve a similar purpose. They inform the user about their current location. The user gets to know where the present page exists in the whole hierarchy of the website. 

Breadcrumbs are more vital for your WordPress website than you can imagine. Apart from providing a seamless user experience, they help search engines improve the ranking of your website. Google loves structure in a website and users who find it confusing to browse your website abandon it. 

You might think that adding breadcrumbs is a complex process, but it’s pretty simple. And if you are using the Yoast SEO plugin, you are already halfway through. Moreover, breadcrumbs from Yoast SEO are just one way in which you can put a breadcrumb on your website. Other methods help in adding a customized breadcrumb on your website.

WordPress Breadcrumbs: An Introduction

A breadcrumb looks like a small text path that appears at the top of the page, indicating the current page’s path. For instance, if you browse to the Yoast SEO plugin, the breadcrumb path might look like this Home > WordPress Plugins > Yoast SEO. This line that appears on the page shows that you are currently browsing the Yoast SEO plugin, but if you want to search for another plugin, you can browse that by clicking on WordPress Plugins.

As mentioned earlier, these are called breadcrumbs because, just like in Hansel and Gretel’s story, Hansel places pieces of bread crumbs so that they can come back to where they began their journey. These breadcrumbs became the basis of website development where the customers can browse their website. 

You might have seen breadcrumbs in Google search results. They appear in the search results with the correct structure of the website. In a search result, users can easily understand the landing page of your website.

Some of the plugins automatically structure the website – a breadcrumb path for your website. With just simple settings, you’ll see the source code and make little changes that can help you customize the breadcrumb as per your theme.

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The Importance Of WordPress Breadcrumbs

There are two reasons that most companies choose breadcrumbs. 

 

  1. Breadcrumbs make navigation easy for customers. 
  2. Breadcrumbs help with SEO. 


Because sometimes, just the navigation is not enough to guide the user regarding the current page position. It’s because the core reason is to ease the customer and make them feel comfortable. 

Mostly, eCommerce stores have thousands of categories and products. As soon as the customer starts browsing the website, it becomes challenging for them to get lost in the rabbit hole. They need to know where they are so that they can browse and buy whatever they need. 

A customer can quickly backtrack, but the navigational menu won’t help because it will help move back-and-forth in the website. Breadcrumbs can help in moving to any page by clicking the link in the hierarchy. 

Mostly, companies use breadcrumbs when they want to comfort users. The overwhelming feeling of sitting and browsing and finding their favorite product can help users forget about navigational menus and focus their efforts on other important stuff on the website. 

And in the long-run, breadcrumbs help with SEO too. When you use breadcrumbs, it gives users a structure. The search engine understands the structure of your website, making it easy for users to browse the website and improve the internal ranking, making a smooth user experience.

Best Practices Of Using Breadcrumbs

  • Know the hierarchy of your website. Breadcrumbs serve best when there are more than three levels of links. 
  • All the breadcrumbs must lead to the homepage since your website’s structure; the main page will be able to direct you towards any other page.
  • It’s better to make the breadcrumbs for mobile layout too. Because when the website expands, it must view clearly on mobile also. 
  • You need to consider the breadcrumb text size because a breadcrumb must be concise and in a straight line so that the user doesn’t get confused. 
  • Usually, the breadcrumbs are placed at the top, but these breadcrumbs can distract the user. Why not consider placing it somewhere else? How about at the bottom of the page? Maybe changing the place of the breadcrumbs can help the user focus on the order rather than moving back-and-forth to understand the UI of the website.

How To Implement Breadcrumbs Via WordPress?

One of the most popular plugins in WordPress is the Yoast SEO plugin. A plugin used to improve the search engine ranking and optimize content includes some hidden features. And one of those features is breadcrumbs. 

If you haven’t installed the plugin yet, install the Yoast SEO plugin.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you need to add this code to your theme. 

 

<?php

if ( function_exists(‘yoast_breadcrumb’) ) {

  yoast_breadcrumb( ‘<p id=”breadcrumbs”>’,'</p>’ );

}

?>

This code can be used for a whole website or even if you want to use breadcrumbs on a blogpost. You need to add single.php in the template file. 

And if you want to add the breadcrumb, you can add the code to header.php, and all your website will have a breadcrumb. 

You need to keep in mind that the theme update will override this code, so you need to navigate the Yoast SEO plugin to make the changes. If you think it is difficult for you, contact the developer, making the necessary changes.

With a WordPress theme, you can control the appearance of your website. Moreover, a theme changes the functionality of your website. And you can add breadcrumbs to your pages in a simple manner. 

If you have a theme that doesn’t have breadcrumbs in them. You can use plugins for that. Go back to the first method and use the plugin to apply breadcrumbs to your website.

If you are starting a website from scratch, you can use a theme that already supports breadcrumbs. You can also choose from the theme from
WordPress Theme Directory.

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As you’ve seen, the SEO benefits of breadcrumbs are endless. So, if you want to provide an enhanced user experience, you can do that by coding breadcrumbs.

To begin with, you need to create a skeleton function where you place the function name. 

 

function torque_breadcrumbs() {

/*This is for breadcrumb code */

}

You need to have some ground rules to make the variables so that when a new developer sees the code, they can change accordingly. 

 

$show_on_homepage = 0;

$show_current = 1;

$delimiter = ‘&raquo;’;

$home_url = ‘Main page’;

$before_wrap = ‘<span clas=”current”>’;

$after_wrap = ‘</span>’;

global $post;

$home_url = get_bloginfo( ‘url’ );

This code will place the breadcrumb on the homepage. Now, you need to place the URL code, which you can change later. 

You can add breadcrumbs with this code. First, we’ve placed the breadcrumb on the homepage, and now we are just using an ordered list to identify elements where you can add every element that you may need for the breadcrumb.

Adding a breadcrumb manually is not that difficult. It’s a simple process. You can generate a custom breadcrumb, and the list will be closed to end the breadcrumb process. 

The last line will just add the breadcrumb on the home page or any page that you want. It can be a single blog post or the whole website. 

However, if you are a novice developer, it is always recommended that you learn everything about breadcrumbs before implementing the code because you are making changes in the live code. 

But if you are an advanced developer, it will be easy for you to add the code and make the necessary changes on the go.

Closing Thoughts

Besides helping the user browse and navigate the website, breadcrumbs are used to help with SEO. Once you apply the breadcrumbs with the methods mentioned above, you will include the breadcrumb without any problem. 

Moreover, when you add breadcrumbs, it will improve the user’s experience of your website. With a plugin, it is far easy to add breadcrumbs rather than manually adding your own. 

Some of the plugins give the option to include the breadcrumbs and customize it. It is better to customize the breadcrumbs as per the structure of your website. Because when the user starts browsing your website, they look for consistency. And if there is no consistency, it would result in an adverse user experience that will have a similar impact on the bottom line of your business. 

In the end, breadcrumbs for WordPress are an easy way to gain some advantage over your competitors when you use them smartly. Because when you do so, your ranking on SERP will improve, and traffic on your website will increase. You are not just engaging users; you impress search engines to rank your website higher in search results.

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