Breadcrumb NavXT Guides Visitors

Stephen Yagielowicz
Looking for an easy way to help your website's visitors find their way around? Why not drop them a few breadcrumbs and let them follow the trail...

For those unfamiliar with the concept of breadcrumbs or a breadcrumb trail as a navigational aid, these link systems are often found on heavily interactive websites such as message boards and software user interfaces.

Inspired by the fairytale in which Hansel and Gretel laid a trail of breadcrumbs in hopes of finding their way back home, today's digital version likewise provides users with a means of knowing their current location (a specific item, web page or content category, for example); as well as easy-to-follow links back to their starting point and the stops they made along the way.

Breadcrumb trails most often appear across the top of a web page, and usually employ a "greater than" symbol between navigational steps. For example, the trail seen at might look something like this, depending on the page the visitor is viewing: Home > News > Story Title.

While some developers scorn typical breadcrumb trails, seeing them as unnecessary replacements for using the browser's "back" button and session histories; dynamic session states can cause problems with "back" button usage; while usability dictates that the more navigational options available, the better — especially when the breadcrumbs form a text link trail as an alternative to less cross-platform compatible JavaScript or Flash-based navigational systems.

For webmasters seeking to add such a system to their WordPress-powered website, one easy means is available via the Breadcrumb NavXT plugin.

According to its makers, Breadcrumb NavXT is the successor to the popular WordPress plugin Breadcrumb Navigation XT, which generates locational breadcrumb trails for your WordPress blog.

"These breadcrumb trails are highly customizable to suit the needs of just about any blog," stated a company rep. "The Administrative interface makes setting options easy, while direct class access is available for theme developers and more adventurous users."

Breadcrumb NavXT requires PHP5 and is distributed with translations for English, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.