I'm building a review site with lots of different categories.

Here's what the site strucure is shaping up to be:

  • backtoschool.com
  • backtoschool.com/reviews/
  • backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators
  • backtoschool.com/reviews/mechanical-pencils
  • backtoschool.com/blog/
  • etc

I'm trying to maintain a visual hierarchy of site navigation, e.g. users at "backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators" should be able to easily see that they're browsing the Calculators subsection within the Reviews section.

Here's where I've given myself a headache.

The problem is, I want my individual calculator and whatnot reviews to be located at the root directory, e.g. when users on "website.com/reviews/calculators" click on a link to my TI-83 Review, they should be taken to "website.com/texas-instruments-ti-83-review", NOT "website.com/reviews/calculators/texas-instruments-ti-83-review".

This leaves me confused as to how I can retain a logical breadcrumb structure (visually speaking).

I was thinking that I could write some kind of IF/THEN statement perhaps in single.php.

Maybe I could write something to the effect of IF post category=calculator-review, THEN load calculator-review.css AND write breadcrumb indicators aka "All Reviews --> Calculators" to the HTML just below the main navigation. On calculator-review.css, I would create styles that would give contrast to the main navigation "Reviews" section, and then below that give contrast to "Calculators" placed in the PHP-written breadcrumb.

OR - and here's where my head explodes

Should I instead create a custom post template like calculator-reviews.php for review section, and then just be sure to use the correct post template for every individual review? This seems easier but I like to keep plugins to a minimum.

I would greatly appreciate your help!

EDIT for clarity:

"backtoschool.com/reviews/" is a Page that contains a list of review types, e.g. calculators, pens, etc.

"backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators" is a Page that contains a list of individual reviews of calculators, which are Posts located on the root domain, e.g. "backtoschool.com/ti-83-review".

Those review Posts will need to somehow be marked so that the WP loop can get all the calculator Posts, and display an excerpt of (some of) them on "backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators/". The review Posts will also need to display breadcrumbs linking back to for example "backtoschool.com/reviews/" and "backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators" IF and ONLY if the user is viewing a review Post on a calculator.

Edit 2:


^^This site does pretty close to what I want mine to do wrt URLs and breadcrumbs

  • 1
    @Blizzard - Your question is unclear. What is 'reviews/calculators'; a post_type='page'? What about 'texas-instruments-ti-83-review'; a post_type='review'? Why would you need calculator-review.css or calculator-reviews.php? Do reviews exist in multiple categories or only one? What's wrong with using plugins? It doesn't matter if your code is in a theme or in a plugin the overhead is identical; don't accept superstition as a reason to create a sub-optimal architecture (sorry for being harsh on that, I'm tired of people demonizing plugins out of misunderstanding.) Dec 30, 2010 at 9:10
  • reviews/calculators is a page
    – Blizzard
    Dec 30, 2010 at 9:30
  • "backtoschool.com/Reviews/calculators" is a page. "backtoschool.com/ti-83-review is a post. I need to add something to the CSS to style the actual breadcrumbs that will be show up on individual posts found on the root domain. A TI-83 might have breadcrumbs as follows: Reviews --> Calculators --> TI 83 whereas a Bic 0.8 mechanical pencil would have breadcrumbs as follows: Reviews --> Mechanical Pencils --> Bic 0.8 Now that I think of it, the types of products could share 1 CSS file. The point is, some CSS is going to have to happen to style the breadcrumbs on individual review Posts.
    – Blizzard
    Dec 30, 2010 at 9:36
  • As for the "backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators" Page, it will be no problem to display breadcrumbs. What's confusing to me is how to display helpful breadcrumbs when users jump from "backtoschool.com/reviews/calculators" to "backtoschool.com/omg-ti-83-review"
    – Blizzard
    Dec 30, 2010 at 9:42
  • 1
    @Blizzard: You don't even have to do it with a custom taxonomy, maybe you can just use the categories? You can try this out by using %postname% as the permalink setting, creating some posts, and placing them in the categories Reviews/Calculators, Reviews/Pencils, ... Then go to the URLs you propose, and see how they work auto-magically!
    – Jan Fabry
    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


If I understand description and discussion correctly the issue seems to be using pages as nodes in structure. This is somewhat confusing since page are content entity, not structural.

I agree with suggestion that it would make sense to use taxonomies (custom or native categories) instead. That will give you:

  1. Clear hierarchical structure of content.

  2. Option to use it in links to make them more visual.

  3. Easier to handle structure for breadcrumbs.

  4. Convenient way to tweak looks and such with respective templates.

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