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Removing Breadcrumbs in WordPress

In WordPress, breadcrumbs serve as a subtle yet effective navigational tool that helps guide website visitors back to their starting point. These invisible trails are beneficial for websites with complex hierarchies and extensive content structures. However, are breadcrumbs always essential or desired? In this detailed guide, we will explore the reasons behind removing breadcrumbs in WordPress and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

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2 MIN.

Natalia Barańska

Marketing Specialist

Introduction to Breadcrumbs

WordPress breadcrumbs are a vital navigational tool that appears at the top of your website, guiding users through your site structure. The term originates from the well-known fairy tale in which breadcrumbs were used to find the way back home.

Breadcrumbs play a crucial role in enhancing the user experience of your site. They offer a simple way for visitors to comprehend the structure of your content and easily navigate back to their starting point with just a click. From an SEO perspective, breadcrumbs are also essential in assisting search engines in understanding the hierarchy and relationships between different sections of a website.

However, not all users find breadcrumbs beneficial. For example, more experienced visitors may view them as a hindrance if they frequently navigate between different parts of the site. Additionally, breadcrumbs occupy valuable screen space, which can concern websites with creative or minimalist designs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Breadcrumbs

There are several methods to remove breadcrumbs in WordPress, which are:

Plugin

If a plugin is generating the breadcrumbs, just select the Plugins option and disable that particular plugin.

Manual

If the theme code contains the breadcrumbs, remove or comment out that particular line of code manually. Usually, the header.php file contains this.

Custom CSS

You can add custom CSS to WordPress without having to alter any of the installed theme’s stylesheets by using a dedicated area. Go to Appearance -> Customise -> Additional CSS to locate it. All you have to do is identify which CSS class is in charge of breadcrumbs and add the display: none; attribute.

Best Practices for Breadcrumb Customization

If you choose to keep breadcrumbs, or if you want to differentiate your design with custom breadcrumbs, here are some best practices to follow:

Be Predictable: Users subconsciously look for patterns to deduce their context. Ensure your breadcrumbs follow a consistent structure.

Make them Clickable: Allow users to quickly backtrack by making the breadcrumbs clickable.

Use UI/UX Best Practices: Ensure the design aligns with the user interface and user experience best practices.

Test on Multiple Devices: Breadcrumbs shouldn’t just function on desktop; they should also be mobile-friendly.

Match Your Site’s Style: Customization provides an opportunity for branding and design alignment.

The Impact on SEO and User Experience

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of removing breadcrumbs from your WordPress site. While breadcrumbs can be a usability enhancer and provide additional context to search engines, they are not a critical SEO element. 

SEO Implications

According to Google, breadcrumbs can enhance the search snippet display, but they are not a direct ranking factor. If your tech company’s site hierarchy and internal linking are already strong, removing breadcrumbs will likely have a minor impact on your SEO.

User Experience Considerations

For tech companies, overly facilitating navigation can actually disrupt the user experience. If your analytics reveal that breadcrumbs are getting few clicks, removing them may streamline your site’s UI.

Conclusion

Removing breadcrumbs in WordPress is not only about decluttering the interface but also about enhancing the user experience and aligning with your branding objectives. Whether you opt to simplify your design, completely remove breadcrumbs, or customize them, it is crucial always to consider the strategic implications for your site’s SEO and, most importantly, for your users.

Understanding the role of breadcrumbs in the WordPress environment and being proactive about when and why they should be utilized is a critical component of your overall web design and SEO strategy. By approaching breadcrumb management thoughtfully and intentionally, you will create a user experience that guides visitors and impresses them with your tech company’s innovative approach to design and functionality.