Breadcrumbs are an essential part of precisely every good website. These little navigational aids don’t just tell people where they are on your site, but they also help Google work out how your site is structured. Since it has such advantages, it makes a lot of sense to add these ‘helpful little pointers’ on a website. Before jumping into the technicalities, let’s know what breadcrumbs are:
What are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are the links that allow users to track and analyse the path from that page where they are presently looking to the homepage of a website. It appears at the top of the web page and reflects the navigation structure of a website.
They can also add context to the innermost of pages and reduce several negative factors that can improve the user experience of a website.
Type of Breadcrumbs
There are different types of breadcrumbs, the three most common ones are:
1. Breadcrumbs: Hierarchy Based
These are the most common type of Breadcrumbs. It tells the user where they are in a site structure and how many steps they take to return on the homepage. For example:
Home > Blog > Category > Post Name
2. Breadcrumbs: Attribute-Based
Attribute-based breadcrumbs are seen most commonly on e-commerce websites when a user has performed a search. Breadcrumb path is made up of product attributes. For example:
Home > Product category > Gender > Size > Color
3. Breadcrumbs: History-Based
History-based breadcrumbs are ordered according to what the user has been doing on a website. Think of these as an alternative to the internet history bar. For example:
Home > Previous page > Previous page> Current page
When To Use Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are used for large websites (like e-commerce) and websites that have hierarchically arranged ‘n’ number of pages. They should not be used for single-level websites where there is no logical hierarchy of pages or any grouping.
The best way to determine how much a website will benefit from the breadcrumb navigation is to construct a sitemap. It will be a diagram representing the navigation architecture of the website.
Analysing if the breadcrumbs will improve the navigation ability of the user between various categories on a website is also critical.
The breadcrumb navigation is an extra feature, and it should play no role in undermining the effectiveness of the primary navigation menus. It is only a convenience feature that allows users to find where they are and help them in easily navigating through the website, just like a secondary navigation scheme.
Features of Breadcrumbs
- Breadcrumbs may be implemented to any page: Static (node/1) or Dynamic (node/%nid).
- It is possible to load contexts from URL and use them as tokens for breadcrumb path or title
- Import and export breadcrumbs (supports single operations, features and Ctools bulk export)
- Breadcrumbs can be cloned to save time while building navigation
- The module provides rich snippets support for breadcrumbs (RDFa and Microdata)
- Breadcrumbs can be hidden if they contain only one element
- Disabling and enabling of breadcrumbs is possible
- All breadcrumb titles are translatable
- Usable interface