Just like Hansel and Gretel in the dark forest, if you use breadcrumbs on your site, your visitors (hopefully) won’t get lost and waste time trawling through your site to find the right information. Typically, breadcrumbs consist of horizontal links near the top of your web page to enable readers to go back to previous pages, i.e. they can follow a trail back to their original entry point. Essentially, you’re providing your reader with visual signposts.
As Wikipedia explains, there are three main types of breadcrumbs:
- Path breadcrumbs: these are dynamic and act as your ‘ route map’ – i.e. they show you the route you took to get to the page you’re on
- Location breadcrumbs: these are static and are used to show where the page you are currently on fits into the site’s hierarchy (kind of like an atlas – where do you fit in the grand scheme of things?)
- Attribute breadcrumbs: these essentially categorize the page you’re on (a lot of e-commerce sites are using this as a way to show product categories, i.e. to encourage you to explore more and to buy more)
Breadcrumbs are a useful way to help guide readers through your website and ensure that they don’t end up in a scary, confusing forest of pages, with no way out…