How to Display Breadcrumb Navigation on WordPress using Yoast SEO Plugin


Breadcrumb or Breadcrumbs trail–a name that comes aptly from the Hansel and Gretel story where the kids dropped breadcrumbs to find their way back home–is a secondary navigation scheme that helps a user trace back a trail to their original landing point. Breadcrumb navigation displays a user’s location on a website.

Breadcrumbs can be very useful on a website that has a large number of pages. We can see breadcrumbs mostly in websites such as online shopping portals. Such websites have a large amount of content organised in a hierarchical manner. One example of a breadcrumb is the one highlighted in red below:

Image Source:

Breadcrumbs are most commonly found as horizontally arranged links of text with the > sign between them. The greater than sign declaring the hierarchy.

Why should you use Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs help a user navigate through your website. It makes finding their exact place in the website easier. Not only that, even search engines can understand the hierarchy of your website through them. That way, it helps you get more views and increases your number of website clicks.

Breadcrumbs are most favorable for websites that are large and have a lot of categorical content. It acts as a compact and attractive element for efficient navigation. Also, it makes the users more aware of the relevance of the content to the rest of the website. Using breadcrumb navigation has a positive impact on your SEO and visibility as well.

However, if your website is small, single paged and doesn’t have a lot of content that can be effectively categorised, you may be better off without the breadcrumbs. They’ll turn more into a liability than an asset.

How to enable breadcrumb navigation with Plugins?

There do exist manual ways through which you can enable breadcrumb navigation. But the process is lengthy and requires a lot of coding. And with coding, you don’t want to get anything wrong and compromise the security of your website.

Additionally, WordPress should never be too difficult. That is why the Plugins were created to make any kind of user capable of using WordPress, even if their coding knowledge is zero. There are a number of plugins dedicated to breadcrumbs navigation. In this tutorial, you will learn to enable breadcrumb navigation with the Yoast SEO Plugin. This is an SEO plugin that is a complete SEO package. We ourselves use it religiously at DevotePress for our SEO needs.

Firstly, you’ll need to install and activate the Yoast SEO Plugin. For more information on how to install plugins, check out our tutorials here.

After your plugin is installed and activated, go to SEO → Advanced from your sidebar. You will see a page like the one below:

enable yoast breadcrumb

Click on the checkbox that says Enable Breadcrumbs (highlighted in the above picture). You can choose to change the separator, the “<” sign if you want. Change any other settings that you want to or leave it as default. Save your changes and you’re good to go.

Click on your website to check whether the breadcrumb navigation has been enabled. Some WordPress themes support breadcrumbs by Yoast automatically and the breadcrumbs should display perfectly.

However, if the theme you are using does not support Yoast SEO by default, then you might need to make a small tweak to your WordPress theme. Just go to your theme’s header.php file and add the following code snippet to the end.

<?php if ( function_exists(‘yoast_breadcrumb’) ) {
yoast_breadcrumb(‘<p id=”breadcrumbs”>’,'</p>’);
} ?>

And that is the end of this tutorial. You can now go to your website and enjoy the breadcrumbs navigation enabled on your website.

If you have anything to add to this or any queries, please write to us freely in the comments section.



2 thoughts on “How to Display Breadcrumb Navigation on WordPress using Yoast SEO Plugin

  1. Orit Adar says:

    My breadcrumbs do not show the whole trail. In a 5 step trail starting with “home” only one category prior to the post name is showing. The way it shows, though is home>blog>subcategory>post name. What it should be is: home>category>subcategory>subcategory>post name. What to do? Thanks.

    My site is still under maintenance.


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