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Ways to Create Breadcrumbs in WordPress

Written by Hirsch Fishman on April 29th, 2009

WordPress doesn’t have a default way of creating breadcrumbs, so when you’re designing a website in it, you have to include them on your own, either by adding some code to your theme’s files or by using a plugin. Here are some ways to create breadcrumbs in WordPress for you to consider.

(If you don’t know what breadcrumbs are and want to find out more about why and how to use them, read through my previous post on the subject, “Hansel and Gretel Would be Great Web Designers“.)

By adding some code

If you feel comfortable working with your WordPress theme’s files, here are 3 different ways to incorporate breadcrumbs into your WordPress website. Choose a method depending on what content you want to use them for on your website.

Simple breadcrumbs for individual blog posts

A post over at WP Hacks details how to make simple breadcrumbs menus using basic PHP template tags. All you have to do is insert the following code into the single.php file wherever you want the breadcrumbs to appear:

<a href="<?php bloginfo('home'); ?>">Home</a> &raquo; <?php the_category(); ?> &raquo; <?php the_title(); ?>

You can style this with CSS to make it look a little nicer; my recommendation is that you wrap everything in a list like as follows, which will give you more options when it comes to styling:

<li><a href="<?php bloginfo('home'); ?>">Home</a></li>
<li><?php the_category('') ?></li>
<li><?php the_title(); ?></li>

I include the code here because this method is so simple to use. I’ve used it before, and it serves it purpose if you only want to include the breadcrumbs on your blog posts. The only drawback is that there is no flexibility to use it anywhere other than the posts on your WordPress website.

Advanced breadcrumbs for both pages and posts

When you want to add breadcrumbs to more than just blog posts, you need something a little more advanced in order to do that. Here are 2 different methods; both incorporate more advanced code to display breadcrumbs on both pages and posts:

With both methods, you just have to copy and paste some code into your functions.php file, and then insert some PHP code into your theme’s files wherever you want the breadcrumbs to appear.

I haven’t tried either one of these out myself, so if someone has used them, or tries them out on their website, leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

By using a plugin

If you’re not comfortable editing the code in your WordPress theme’s files, there are plugins available that give you the ability to style and manage them through the WordPress admin section, such as:

I haven’t tried out any of these plugins myself, so I can’t speak from personal experience about how well they work or if one is preferable over another. If you have used one of them or have any feedback about these plugins (or others I didn’t mention), leave a comment about it below.


Do you have a preferred way of creating breadcrumbs on your WordPress website? If so, share your thoughts with everyone by leaving a comment below!

About Hirsch Fishman

Hirsch Fishman is the owner of Addicott Web and is a professional web designer who specializes in building Wordpress websites for small businesses and organizations. Originally from upstate New York, he has lived in New York City and Chicago, and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.

4 thoughts on “Ways to Create Breadcrumbs in WordPress

    1. Addicott Web Post author

      My guess is that this is happening because you have multiple categories selected. If you can get away with having only one category selected, then that should work – otherwise, it would involve a bit more advanced coding that you’d have to research.

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