Developer Tip: The Case of the Disappearing Breadcrumbs


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Today’s Y! Store Blog post comes from Yahoo Merchant Solutions developer partner Istvan Siposs, president of Y-Times Publications, LLC.

If your store has breadcrumbs, at one time or another you may have come across a page that, for whatever reason, was missing breadcrumbs. If you find yourself with this problem, before reaching for the phone and calling your developer saying your breadcrumbs are broken, read on.

Breadcrumbs help your customers navigate through your site.
Breadcrumbs help customers navigate your store.

Breadcrumbs typically work off the structure of your store. Any page that is a descendant of the home page one way or another will have a breadcrumbs trail. But how can you tell if a page is a descendant of the home page? On the published site, you really cannot. In Store Editor, however, the easiest way to tell is this: go to the page in question, and look in the yellow Editor tool bar. Do you see an "Up" button? If not, the page is definitely not a descendant of the home page. It is what some people call an "orphan" or "floater" page.

The Up button in Store Editor.
The “Up” button in Store Editor.

That page will not have breadcrumbs. If the page does have an "Up" button, click it, and as you land on the "parent" page, look for and click the "Up" button again. If eventually you end up on your home page, then the page you started from was a descendant of the home page. If it does not have breadcrumbs (and your store templates have breadcrumbs) then you can go ahead and call your developer. If, however, you cannot trace your way up to the home page by clicking the "Up" button, then the page and its entire hierarchy is a "floater" or "orphan" branch with no trace up to the home page – therefore, no breadcrumbs.

So what should you do if you discover that a particular page or branch is an "orphan," but you want breadcrumbs on this page? Remember, for breadcrumbs to work, a page must be a descendant of the home page. The easiest way to fix a situation like this is to enter the ID of the page in question (or the ID of the entire "orphan" branch) into the Contents field of the home page. This will fix the breadcrumbs issue, but it may have an undesired side effect: this page or branch may appear on your store’s navigation bar or in the body of the home page.

If that is not what you want, here is a very easy trick you can follow:

  1. Edit the home page, and click "New Property."
  2. Type contents2 for name, and select "Objects" as the property type.
  3. Click "Continue" when done.
  4. Enter the ID of your orphan page in this new contents2 field.

Once you update the home page, your previous orphan page will no longer be an orphan: it will be a direct child (or descendant) of the home page but without compromising the navigation bar or the visual contents of the home page!

Why does this work? A field of type "objects" establishes a parent-child relationship among the page that contains the field, and the pages whose IDs are entered in that field. These types of fields work exactly like the "Contents" field in Store Editor.

Thanks for this great tip, Istvan!

Istvan Siposs
President, Y-Times Publications, LLC
Guest blogger for Yahoo Small Business
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Pingback by Tweets that mention Official Yahoo Store Blog: Tips and Tricks for Ecommerce Success » Blog Archive » Developer Tip: The Case of the Disappearing Breadcrumbs -- — January 28, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

This tip totally did the trick for my Orphan page. Thank you Istvan!


Comment by Peggy — February 23, 2011 @ 1:30 pm