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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

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