In our content management system, users can create/delete/edit pages for their website. When editing a page we like to show breadcrumbs. For example someone creates an about-us page.

Should the breadcrumb be:

Dashboard -> Edit page -> About company X


Dashboard -> Edit page -> http://website.com/about-us


Dashboard -> Edit page -> /about-us

So the question is: What is most clear to a user, the title, the full url, or the url path. Or maybe a combination?

-- edit --

Please note; this is the breadcrumb for the backend, the user has logged into the CMS to edit his/her website. We use the same breadcrumb system aswell for when someone is adding a new forwarder to their e-mail management for example in that case it is:

Dashboard -> E-mail management -> [email protected] -> Set forwarder

  • Breadcrumbs normally show the path to the screen you're looking at, or the location of it in the site structure. I would find it highly unusual to find information on the state of the page (ie viewing, editing) in the Breadcrumb! Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:05
  • 1
    Your example gives an indication of how you display high-level pages in the breadcrumb, but what about pages far down the navigation tree (i.e. /about-us/our-history/early-days/company-beginnings). That will take up a lot of space in the breadcrumb, so you should plan for the largest length of characters to confirm the solution you go with is still usable when editing deeply nested pages.
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:06
  • @JoeDreimann Well instead of Edit page its actually Page management so Dashboard -> Page management -> ... So you are managing your page (these breadcrumbs are for the CMS).
    – jeffreydev
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:42
  • @JonW If the breadcrumb becomes too long we can do something such as /about-us/.../company-beginnings, we can do the same with long title names.
    – jeffreydev
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


These aren't breadcrumbs because breadcrumbs tell visitors how they got to the current page (path/history) or where on the site's structure they're located (location/hierarchy) and your system is showing what content is being edited.

Location breadcrumbs are usually structured after the URL. If the default mode of accessing the editor is through the resource itself, the breadcrumb can be something like

Dashboard > Pages > About/Board/John Dow > Edit

However, if the editing view is accessible primarily through the management dashboard and the resource is passed as a URL parameter, the breadcrumb will be Dashboard > Edit page. The content of the editing view changes depending on what page is loaded because it's a form not a layout template.

Just like in any other editing situation, the most important thing for the user is knowing where that resource is located in the site map because some pages can have the same title while being located in different sections. This information belongs to an element that can be named Resource location and it can be shown in 2 ways:

  1. As a URL slug (everything after .tld, such as /about/board/john-dow)
  2. As non-interactive breadcrumb line, such as
    Home > About > Board of Directors > John Dow, CEO (the last part should be editable as the page's title)

Your choice depends on how comfortable the users are with code (or you may even make it a setting in the control panel). Though, in any case, you should make sure that this element is clearly labeled as Resource/Page location and is visually distinct from other navigational elements.

  • The breadcrumbs you are describing are for the front-end of the website, the ones im talking about is for the CMS.
    – jeffreydev
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:36
  • I know you're asking about back-end breadcrumbs. That's why I said Just like in any other editing situation, the most important thing for the user is knowing where that resource is located in the site map. What you are describing isn't really a breadcrumb because you're essentially opening an editor and feeding a resource into it.
    – dnbrv
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 14:53
  • Thank you for explaining, the resource is only editable through the dashboard itself, but within an iframe. So the flow of the user to edit a page is, go to cms url, click on page management, click on a page you want to edit (on edit icon), this opens the page to edit inside of the CMS (The breadcrumb is located within the CMS). So considering users need to know where they are should it be: Dashboard > Page management > Edit: /about/board-of-directors/john-dow?
    – jeffreydev
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 15:34
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    No. Dashboard > Page management > Edit is the breadcrumb. Somewhere at the top of the editor UI, you should put Editing page: /about/board-of-directors/john-dow.
    – dnbrv
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 15:37

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