Breadcrumb NavXT

Breadcrumb NavXT, the successor to the popular WordPress plugin Breadcrumb Navigation XT, was written from the ground up to be better than its ancestor.

Table of Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Features
  3. Screenshots
  4. Download
  5. Installation
  6. Basic Usage
  7. Advanced Usage
  8. Add On Extensions
  9. Donate
  10. Version History and Changelog
  11. License


Breadcrumb NavXT is a WordPress plugin compatible with WordPress versions 4.9 and up. This plugin generates locational breadcrumb trails for your WordPress blog. These represent the hierarchy leading up to the current page rather than the actual path taken to arrive at the current page.

Breadcrumb trails are a good supplementary navigation system that aid in site usability. This is especially true for sites using WordPress as a CMS. Since Breadcrumb NavXT reveals the page hierarchy in a consistent manner, it can provide SEO benefits. This website runs Breadcrumb NavXT, feel free to browse the various sections to see how Breadcrumb NavXT behaves.

Features (non-exhaustive)



Latest Stable Release (Requires PHP7.0 or newer): Breadcrumb NavXT 7.1.0
Latest Stable PHP5.2 Compatible Release: Breadcrumb NavXT 5.1.1
Latest Testing Release: Breadcrumb NavXT SVN Trunk


  1. Download the plugin zip archive, see Download section.
  2. Disable any previous version of this plugin or Breadcrumb Navigation XT.
  3. Extract the contents of the zip archive into your plugins folder (wp-content/plugins).
  4. Enable the Breadcrumb NavXT plugin in the administration panel under the Plugins > Installed section.
  5. Continue onto the Basic Usage section, or follow instructions given by your theme (if applicable).

Basic Usage

Depending on your theme this section may be unnecessary. If you are using berry as your theme everything is done for you so you have no further steps to take.

Open the appropriate file for your theme (typically header.php). This can be done within WordPress’ administration panel through Presentation > Theme Editor or through your favorite text editor. Place the following code where you want the breadcrumb trail to appear.

<div class="breadcrumbs" typeof="BreadcrumbList" vocab="">
    <?php if(function_exists('bcn_display'))

Save the file (upload if applicable). Now you should have a breadcrumb trail on your WordPress powered site. To customize the breadcrumb trail you may edit the default values for the options in the administrative interface. This is located in your administration panel under Settings > Breadcrumb NavXT.

Advanced Usage

Examples on some advanced usage situations are available in the documentation.

Add On Extensions

Breadcrumb NavXT’s functionality can be augmented with free and premium Add On Extensions. Visit the Breadcrumb NavXT Extensions Store to view all available extensions.

Love Breadcrumb NavXT? Want to help development? Feel free to make a donation:


Breadcrumb NavXT now supports language packs. Want to translate Breadcrumb NavXT? Visit Breadcrumb NavXT’s translation project.

Version History and Changelog

  • 7.1 [7-17-2022]:
    Behavior change: BCN_SETTINGS_FAVOR_* constant behavior changed to take advantage of settings changes in 7.0.
    Behavior change: Settings page now warns if it detected CPTs that were added too late.
    New feature: Added bcn_before_loop filter which runs at the top of bcn_breadcrumb_trail::display_loop().
    New feature: Added JSON formatted settings import and export (successor to the old XML settings import/export format).
    Bug fix: Fixed PHP error caused by term archives that don’t know the active term.
    Bug fix: Fixed PHP error caused by introduction of namespacing in the legacy XML settings importer and exporter.
    Bug fix: Explicitly set option autoload values, avoiding inappropriate default autoload values being used.
  • 7.0.2 [1-4-2022]:
    Behavior change: Allow value of Hhome_template, Hhome_template_unlinked, hseparator, and hseparator_higher_dim to be overridden via bcn_settings_init.
    Bug fix: Fixed cause of “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” message when attempting to visit the settings page.
  • 7.0.1 [12-27-2021]:
    Behavior change: Moved bcn_settings_init filter to before establishing default setting values. This filter is no longer capable of changing the default values of settings.
    Behavior change: Moved setup of defaults to 9000 priority, intending to cover the majority of plugins that add CPTs.
    Bug fix: Fixed compatibility issues with PHP5.6.
    Bug fix: Fixed PHP error caused by some return value of page_ settings.
    Bug fix: Fixed PHP error caused by non settings settings in array passed into adminKit::settings_to_opts.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue with bcn_allowed_html not covering admin interface elements (mapped bcn_allowed_html to mtekk_adminkit_allowed_html).
  • 7.0.0 [12-17-2021]:
    Behavior change: Within the bcn_breadcrumb_trail object instead of passing term id and taxonomy, a WP_Term object is passed instead.
    Behavior change: Attachments now use parent post type for post type argument.
    New feature: Moved to adminKit 3.0
    New feature: Core bcn_breadcrumb_trail object now supports multi dimensional trails.
    New feature: Added bcn_opts_update_to_save filter.
    Bug fix: Fixed parameter order issue in REST controller that resulted in PHP Deprecated message in PHP8.
    Bug fix: Updated REST controller endpoint registration for better WordPress 5.5+ compatibility.
    Bug fix: Fixed compatibility issue with Widget settings not saving properly in WordPress 5.8.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue with the position count parameter within bcn_display when outputting a trail in reverse order.
  • 6.6.0 [10-31-2020]:
    Behavior change: Moved to using the post type of the parent post for the type archive rather than that of the current item.
    Bug fix: Fixed error thrown when a site does not have an administrator role.
  • 6.5.0 [06-12-2020]:
    Behavior change: Moved to using the taxonomy of the term rather than passed in taxonomy in various functions. As a consequence, this allows bcn_pick_post_term to override the taxonomy selection.
    Behavior change: Default template for unlinked breadcrumbs now includes breadcrumbList markup.
    New feature: Added new filter bcn_breadcrumb_linked.
    New feature: Introduced new WordPress capability: bnc_manage_options.
    Bug fix: Fixed XML settings exporter so that it no longer creates malformed files that cannot be imported when settings contain special HTML entities.
  • 6.4.0 [12-31-2019]:
    Behavior change: Attachment post type settings moved to Media, additional post type options made available.
    Behavior change: Privately published parent posts are now, by default, skipped over in breadcrumb trails.
    Behavior change: On single post breadcrumb trails, the hierarchical term code path is now used in cases where only a single term from a non-hierarchical taxonomy is present for the current post.
    New feature: Allow %link% tag in unlinked breadcrumb templates.
    New feature: Added bcn_show_post_private filter.
    New feature: Added bcn_show_type_term_archive filter.
  • 6.3.0 [5-3-2019]:
    New feature: Added Gutenberg block for displaying breadcrumb trails.
    New feature: Added bcn_display_attribute_array filter.
    New feature: Added bcn-aria-current template tag to facilitate WAI-ARIA Breadcrumb support.
    Bug Fix: Updated settings page to follow WP core standards for header structure.
    Bug Fix: Updated checkbox in adminKit to eliminate multiple labels to follow WCAG 2.0.
    Bug Fix: Fixed PHP error in circumstances of bcn_breadcrumb_trail::fill() falling back on treating an unknown item as a taxonomy.
  • 6.2.1 [10-26-2018]:
    Behavior change: Added span element wrapping the breadcrumb title in the default unlinked breadcrumb template.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue that caused PHP warnings and “the following settings were not saved” messages for hierarchical CPTs.
  • 6.2.0 [9-24-2018]:
    Behavior change: Cleaned up translations for default templates, simplifying and clarifying the translatable content.
    Behavior change: Default unlinked breadcrumb templates no longer contain BreadcrumbList markup.
    Behavior change: Breadcrumb NavXT REST API endpoints are no longer enabled by default.
    New feature: Added bcn_register_rest_endpoint filter.
    New feature: Added bcn_breadcrumb_assembled_json_ld_array filter.
    New feature: Added support for following the post parent hierarchy first then falling back to a secondary hierarchy.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where on loading the settings page immediately after migrating settings causes PHP warnings on CPT and custom taxonomy settings.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue that caused the settings reset option under the help drop down to not work.
  • 6.1.0 [6-1-2018]:
    Behavior change: Links to generate support requests migrated to the forums.
    New feature: Added support for BreadcrumbList (microdata format) in the included widget.
    New feature: Added new Root Page support for author archives.
    New feature: Added REST API endpoint for posts, terms, and author archives.
    Bug fix: Corrected label for the BreadcrumbList (RDFa format) option in the included widget.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where a PHP warning would be thrown due to get_term() returning something other than an instance of WP_Term.
  • 6.0.4 [1-26-2018]:
    Behavior change: Added auto migration of post type hierarchy settings to bcn_display*() functions.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where a PHP notice would be generated on the page for posts when the blog breadcrumb display option is set to false.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where a PHP notice would be generated on archive pages where attachments were included in the wp_query results.
  • 6.0.3 [1-1-2018]:
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where an improper breadcrumb would be generated in the trail for pages under some circumstances.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where the post and page roots were not updating to track user changes in Settings > Reading.
  • 6.0.2 [12-30-2017]:
    Behavior change: Added warning alerting that bcn_breadcrumb::type must be an array.
    Bug fix: Changed Breadcrumb Separator and Paged Template from an input field to a textbox to reduce confusion caused by HTML entities.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where the parents of a page may not show up in the breadcrumb trail.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where the $reverse parameter for bcn_display and bcn_display_list did not work properly.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where the bcn_display_list function did not include the li elements.
  • 6.0.1 [12-28-2017]:
    Behavior change: Removed unused Blog Template and Blog Template (Unlinked) from settings page.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where changes to the hierarchy type for any post type would not save.
    Bug fix: Fixed issue where the blog display setting was ignored.
  • 6.0.0 [12-26-2017]:
    Behavior change: bcn_breadcrumb_trail::display_list() deprecated in favor of using the $template parameter in bcn_breadcrumb_trail::display().
    Behavior change: bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_attachment() deprecated in favor of calling bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_post().
    Behavior change: bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_front_page() deprecated in favor of calling bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_home().
    Behavior change: bcn_li_attributes filter was deprecated in favor of bcn_display_attributes.
    Behavior change: bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_archive_by_date() deprecated in favor of calling bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_day(), bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_month(), andy/or bcn_breadcrumb_trail::do_year().
    Behavior change: bcn_breadcrumb_trail::find_type() deprecated and removed from bcn_breadcrumb_trail.
    Behavior change: Breadcrumb for 404 error pages changed to be a child of the front page.
    New feature: Added support for various HTML tags in the widget’s pretext field.
    New feature: Added bcn_default_hierarchy_display filter.
    New feature: Added bcn_default_hierarchy_type filter.
    New feature: Added $posttype_name as the third parameter to bcn_show_tax_private.
    Bug fix: Fixed UI/UX issue in the settings screen where enabling/disabling settings groups for the Home, Blog, and Mainsite breadcrumb settings did not work.
    Bug fix: Fixed UI/UX issue in the settings screen where not including the paged breadcrumb still allowed the paged breadcrumb template to be edited.
    Bug fix: Removed use of create_function in registering the widget as it was deprecated in PHP7.2.

To keep this page at a reasonable length, only versions 6.0 and newer are present in this changelog. For the entire changelog, including versions of Breadcrumb Navigation XT, visit the Breadcrumb NavXT Changelog page.


Breadcrumb NavXT is released under the GNU GPL 2.0 license and comes with absolutely no warranty. By downloading Breadcrumb NavXT you agree to the terms of the GNU GPL 2.0 license.



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19 thoughts on “Breadcrumb NavXT

    • Hi. Add this code to your style.css in the Theme editor:
      .breadcrumbs {
      padding: 7px;
      background: #eee;
      margin-bottom: 4px;
      font-size: 13px;

      .breadcrumbs a {
      text-decoration: none;
      font-weight: bold;

      You can see also an example live at ( if the admin approves :] )

  1. Hi John,

    I am trying your plugin by adding the breadcrumb in my single.php tp show category taxonomy. I am using categories that go 4-5 levels deep however the breadcrumbs only include the top 2. e.g I only see “home > cat 1 > cat 2 > post”. Cat 3+ are not shown.

    Is there a switch to increase this?


    • Brendan,

      Breadcrumb NavXT will pick the first hierarchical category structure it can find for a post, this may or may not be the deepest category hierarchy for that post. It is considered a best practice to not explicitly set a post to be a member of two categories within the same hierarchy (e.g. one that is a parent/grand parent/ great grand parent/etc or child/grand child/great grand chilt/etc).

      Breadcrumb NavXT has no limit to the depth of a category hierarchy that it will follow, and my testbed does test a 4 level deep hierarchy. I just double checked and the latest Breadcrumb NavXT behaves as expected in this case. One thing you should look into is ensuring that in your example, “post” isn’t explicitly set as a member of “cat 2” and “cat 4”, keep it an explicit member of only the deepest category as it automatically becomes a implicit member of the other categories.

      -John Havlik

  2. Dear mtekk,

    I wholeheartedly second practically everyone on the great utility of this plug-in. Thanks so much!

    I’m using WordPress as a CMS for a website I’m developing, in which I’ve implemented a dropdown menu. Functionally, the menu headers are pages which serve as the parent for the actual content pages, but the menu header pages themselves are not accessible through the dropdown and lack content. Using your breadcrumb plug-in, however, these pages are linked back to, and I’m wondering whether it is possible to delink these altogether.

    Example: Home > Resources > Bibliography. In this hierarchy, Home is an actual page that should be linked, but the Resources page only exists for the purposes of the dropdown menu.

    In the architecture of my site, the second item in the hierarchy (following Home) will always be one of these placeholder pages for the dropdown. I’m wondering whether it is possible to make it so that every single second item will by default not be linked.

    Thanks much in advance! /Rudo

    • Rudo,

      While doing this is possible, it isn’t easy. I would suggest not having placeholder/blank pages. If you are going to create them, treat them like archives, and link to all the child pages. This is especially necessary if you are using hover/dropdown navigation menus for users of touchscreen devices (tablets and phones) as they do not support the hover gesture very well.

      If you really want to remove it, you’ll have to remove that breadcrumb from the trail after the trail has been filled, but before the output is assembled (look at the ‘bcn_after_fill’ action). Figuring out what breadcrumb you want to remove may not be very straight forward (the trail under normal circumstances is a stack/LIFO data structure).

      -John Havlik

  3. can you please advise if breadcrumb leaves a cookie on a person’s website? i am researching this for the EU cookie directive

    thank you in advance

    • thaqt,

      The base plugin of Breadcrumb NavXT has never, and will never (as long as I am the maintainer) use cookies or any other means to track users. It only uses what is available to WordPress to determine what page is being served to the user. Since Breadcrumb NavXT generates locational breadcrumb trails, there is no need to use cookies, or track where the user has gone on the site and that’s why I do not see there ever being a time in the future when Breadcrumb NavXT would need cookies.

      -John Havlik

  4. I’m using your breadcrumb plugin in my footer. For some reason the last thing it always points to is ‘page 1’. However, when I put it in the header it does not do this. how could I make it not display ‘page 1’ in the breadcrumb trail considering my application? You can view this at

    • Franson,

      Since a shortcode would have to be entered in the post content for every post/page, it really isn’t a great solution. It is better to place the calling code in your theme, and just remember to do this every time you change themes (which on a typical site is not that often). Something like this wouldn’t make it into the plugin itself, but may appear as an extension plugin at some future date.

      -John Havlik

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