Breadcrumbs : An Important Navigation Tool for Your Website

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Navigating through a website can be confusing, especially if users are not familiar with the layout, structure, and content. As a web developer or owner, your goal is to make your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. One solution that helps users understand the hierarchy of your website and the path they have taken to reach the current page is through breadcrumbs. In this post, we will explain what breadcrumbs are, how they work, and why they’re important.

Breadcrumbs are a set of hierarchical links that appear above or below the main content of a page and often provide a path back to the homepage. They act as a secondary navigation tool so users can easily trace their steps, understand the structure of your website and how to get to other pages. The name comes from the German fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel,” where the characters used breadcrumbs to retrace their steps through the forest.

Why Use Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs help users navigate your website more easily. By including breadcrumbs on your website, visitors have the ability to find their way back to a home page quickly, as well as browse through different categories, while the names of the breadcrumbs inform them of what page they’re on. The technique also helps promote ease of use and accessibility on mobile devices.

Why is it important?

Breadcrumbs provide users with a clear and concise understanding of their location on your website, as well as how to go back and access different pages. When users know where they are in your site’s hierarchy, they’re better able to understand how the content they’re viewing fits within the overall structure of your site. This leads to a better user experience and increased engagement.

How Does it work?

There are two types of breadcrumbs, Hierarchical and Attribute-based breadcrumbs.

Hierarchical breadcrumbs show users the navigation path they followed to arrive at the current page. These breadcrumbs show the user the path taken to get to the current page, usually by using a “greater than” symbol. For example, Home > Product > Apple > iPhone.

Attribute-based breadcrumbs show the user filtering options that were used to get to the current page, such as size, category, or brand. These breadcrumbs are especially useful in e-commerce sites where filtering options are commonly used.


Many websites, including Amazon, eBay, and Netflix, use breadcrumbs. Amazon uses both hierarchical breadcrumbs and attribute-based breadcrumbs to help users navigate their extensive product offering. Additionally, many WordPress themes have built-in breadcrumb functionality.

Common Questions and Answers


How do I implement breadcrumbs on my website?

To implement breadcrumbs on your website, you can use a plugin or customize your website’s code.


What is the best placement for breadcrumbs?

The placement of breadcrumbs depends on your website’s structure, but it’s often placed above the main content or in the header

Do breadcrumbs impact search engine optimization?

Breadcrumbs can potentially enhance SEO by providing more context and clear paths to pages, which in turn increases user engagement.

Breadcrumbs are a valuable tool that web developers and owners can use to help enhance the user experience, promote ease of use, and provide a clear path back to the homepage. By understanding what breadcrumbs are, how they work, and their importance, you can improve your website’s navigation, usability, and overall engagement. Whether you’re designing a new website or improving an existing one, consider implementing breadcrumbs to help users find what they’re looking for.

December 28, 2023 |

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