What is Breadcrumb Navigation?
Breadcrumb navigation helps users easily understand their location within a website’s hierarchy. Breadcrumbs are small text paths at the top of a web page that guides users on where they are on a website.
The name comes from the familiar fairytale “Hansel and Gretel,” where the characters drop breadcrumbs to help them find their way home.
In web design, breadcrumb navigation acts in the same way, guiding users back to their starting point and allowing them to easily retrace their steps.
What Are The Types of Breadcrumb Navigations?
There are three types of breadcrumb navigations: location-based, attribute-based, and path-based.
Location-based breadcrumb navigation shows users where they are within the website hierarchy. For example, location-based breadcrumb navigation for a search engine optimization website might look like this: Home > Blog > Glossary > Breadcrumb navigation. This breadcrumb trail lets the user know they are currently on the “Breadcrumb navigation” page, which is within the “Glossary” section of the “Blog” category.
Attribute-based breadcrumb navigation provides additional information about the page the user is on, such as filters or search criteria. For example, a user might filter a product search by price range or color, and attribute-based breadcrumb navigation would show these filters in the breadcrumb trail.
Path-based breadcrumb navigation combines the location and attribute-based breadcrumb navigation styles. It shows the user their current location within the website hierarchy and any filters or search criteria they have applied. This type of breadcrumb navigation is most commonly used in e-commerce websites and can help users easily refine their search results.
What Are the Advantages of Breadcrumb Navigation?
There are three main advantages of using breadcrumb navigation on your website:
1. Improved User Experience
Breadcrumb navigation provides a clear and concise way for users to navigate a website. It helps users understand where they are within the website hierarchy and how they got there. This makes it easier for them to find what they’re looking for and complete their intended task.
2. Increased Usability
Breadcrumb navigation makes a website more usable by reducing the number of clicks required to get to a particular page. It allows users to quickly and easily navigate back to previous pages without using the browser’s back button or starting their search from scratch.
3. Better SEO
Breadcrumb navigation can also improve a website’s search engine optimization (SEO). By providing clear navigation paths and internal links, search engines can more easily crawl and index the website’s pages.
How to Set Up Breadcrumb Navigation
Step 1: Decide which type of breadcrumb navigation you want to use. As mentioned earlier, there are three types: location-based, attribute-based, and path-based. Consider the type of website you have and what type of breadcrumb navigation would be most useful for your users.
Step 2: Determine where on your website you want to place the breadcrumb navigation. Common placement options include above the page title, below the page title, or in the sidebar. Choose a location that is easily visible and won’t interfere with other important elements on the page.
Step 3: Use HTML or CSS to code the breadcrumb navigation. If you’re not familiar with coding, there are several website builders and content management systems that offer breadcrumb navigation as a pre-built feature. You can also use third-party plugins or widgets to add breadcrumb navigation to your website.
Step 4: Test the breadcrumb navigation to make sure it works correctly. Navigate through your website and make sure the breadcrumb trail accurately reflects your location within the website hierarchy. Make any necessary adjustments to the code or placement if needed.