Headway WordPress Theme Review: Why It Made My Life Easier

Headway WordPress Theme Review

When I informed that I was moving to WordPress and later I had delays with the transition from Blogger to WordPress, I never explained why I chose Headway WordPress Theme. I was crazy with problems on the moves, and as a pearl, I had my extra move from Intense Debate comments to WordPress. Wow this is a year of changes.

What about to tell you my own experience with Headway Theme? And what a better to way to show a vivid example with this blog – yes, this blog is based on Headway.

 

Headway WordPress Theme Review

 

Part of the planning of my move to WP, was to have already chosen a new WordPress theme. I considered several options, including free ones, but I decided to have a WP premium theme most because the support and lifetime updates available.

Also if you decide for a free WordPress theme, do it very carefully, they can have security holes and a tip: never – ever – Google for a WP free theme, you can find perhaps at top positions, free themes with “nasty gifts” already added. Explore instead on the WP repository and check out all the reviews.

There are excellent other themes like Thesis, Genesis, Elegant Themes, and so on, but I concentrated in having a theme that save me time, effort and I can use it almost without coding, great thing! Most of the themes need to code, a lot, to see some changes and I didn’t want more delays; I needed my site up and running soon.

The principal advantage of Headway is that you’ve near endless themes in one package and the possibility of tailoring to your needs, practically without touching code. The Visual Layout Editor lets me to configure the layouts I wanted, with the columns, as I wish. Yeah, with other themes you can set different layouts, but without the Drag & Drop function. After hitting publish and voila! you see the changes in real time, looking professional. The same apply with the header, navigation, dimensions, footer, sidebars, colors, backgrounds, etc.

Do you need prior knowledge building WordPress sites? The answer is no. Do you install it and in few minutes, you’ve a full website? Actually, the answer is no again. Why? As all software you need hours, perhaps very few days to acquire the necessary skills to manage the powerful VE. It’s depending all of your desires if they are basic, more “normal” or truly advanced. In my case, to have this blog working took me approximate two days of full work. Hey, have in mind that I’ve a job also!

Surely, you’ll want to add a button here, change layout there, and time is running. But I guarantee that the learning curve is very short, compared with other themes that you need to code, code and more code. I’m tired only of mentioning 🙂

Is Headway Theme for beginners? Yes! Is Headway Theme WordPress for experts at design or coding? Yes again! You can have almost complete control via coding, apart of the Visual Editor (VE), with Live CSS and Easy Hooks, for advanced users.

I have control of the layout of every single page/posts and I can disable the sidebar, or footer in very few minutes. Visit my resources page with blogging resources and you’ll see it in action. If you want the same layout for all the pages, no problem – use the linking options or use templates saving it for future modifications.

 

Headway WordPress Theme Review

Let’s dig into the principal technical characteristics of this Premium Theme:

 

Headway SEO

Headway WordPress Theme is completely SEO (search engine optimization) friendly, indeed I avoided installing many necessary SEO plugins, because their functions are already installed in the theme. As you know, less plugins is always better for speed on loading and less troubles.

 

Headway Theme is SEO Friendly - Image

 

Some SEO features:

– An automatic Slug Cleanup. (Slug the portion of sweetsfoods.com/slug or sweetsfoods.com/yourpost) vital to improve in SERPs (position on searches, the top the better)

Preview of the Title and Description. I’ve an idea beforehand on how it’ll look on Google, essential to improve in searches.

Complete control on posts/static pages about “nofollow” and “noindex”. Indispensable to tell to search engines of what to follow or index of your site.

And the list is extensive; you can manage them in Headway Configuration / Search Engine Optimization.

 

Headway Design

The core of Headway WordPress Theme is the Visual Editor (VE).

 

Headway WordPress Theme Visual Editor

 

– Styles and Design

Here I control general colors, font’s sizes/colors, etc. I recommend having in mind a clear idea of the style of your site, before touching all the possibilities – this will save you time.

If you’re installing from other site, copy the hexadecimal colors and fonts’ style somewhere and apply to the VE – this will speed up the process. If your blog/site is brand new, then experiment and experiment! Don’t forget to press Publish to save changes!

The element selector will help you to know all the characteristics when you put the mouse anywhere on the page; very useful.

– Leafs and Columns

 

Headway WordPress Theme Review - Leafs and Columns

 

Leafs (for me, synonym of blocks) – I use them regularly arranging, resizing widgets and so on.

Inside these modules can be put text, images, html, etc.

Actions: Resize Leafs and / or Arrange Leafs. I use both frequently also.

Tip – having enabled Actions / Arrange Leafs + Resize Leafs and you’ll have a clear landscape of the page you’re editing.

Columns: Set up how many columns your site will be.

Add – well lot of things can happen here. I use principally the Widget ready sidebar, Text/HTML/PHP and Featured Posts

 

Headway Theme WordPress Review - Add with Widget Ready Sidebar

 

Widgets are the ones that will appear on your WP dashboard / Appearance / Widgets. The kitchen of WordPress to cook everything you want with them 🙂

Featured Posts see it in action in my page https://www.sweetsfoods.com/ on the right side.  (Today, I changed for other option inside Headway)

The rest of the options: Header, Navigation, Footer and Dimension speak by themselves. Again, you’ve control of everything. Navigation on the last version is managed internally via the WP dashboard.

 

Headway Support

First of all, there are hundreds of pages, videos and tutorial with examples, tips and tricks available for Headway users. Anyway, sometimes you cannot find your answer there.

Certainly on those cases, with my doubts I asked them in the Headway forum-support and I had good responses.

Till know, I didn’t need to send an email directly to support (crossed fingers). On the forum, depending of the subject and day, you’d receive a reply in few hours.

For me it’s fundamental to have access to support and also to updates for life. I don’t know you, but I experiment constant changes in browsers, WP versions, plugins and I need real people to help with these changes. It’s hard with some WP themes with a restricted support, e.g. a year and later on, you need to pay again.

 

Headway Problems

Just being honest, nobody is perfect and therefore the products made by them, either.

Sometimes, I pressed “publish” and I didn’t see the changes on the VE. The problem was the W3 Total Cache plugin that had a delay to show changes. My first Headway version had this temporary problem with that plugin. Later, it was solved completely.

From one old version to other, there was a glitch with the element selector who didn’t allow modifying colors. (I think that this former version was updated to a new one too quickly or without enough tests). Nevertheless, this issue was corrected on the following version.

In my installation, at the beginning on Firefox after hitting “publish” the browser never stopped loading. On Chrome, I didn’t have this issue. Again, today it’s solved too.

If you understand something about software, you’d know that all type of programs (no matter the application or use) must be updated constantly, according to the technical requirements of the season. The problem is not having access to future versions of the theme chosen and this can bring security holes or bad functions due to faulty plugins.

Headway WP Theme has luckily, both, constant support and free updates.

 

Headway Live CSS Editor and Easy Hooks

 

Headway Theme WordPress Review - Easy Hooks

These are for people who want more deep control, via e.g. CSS, PHP, javascripts, etc.

My own experience is that near 95/97% of my site was done practically without coding. Of course, it’s up to you how much customization you require for your site.

I used the live CSS Editor to handle my profile like the one, at the end of this post. I saved a plugin on that process.

The advantage of live CSS is that every change you do, you can see it in real time. For updates of new Headway versions, this code is transferred to the new version automatically.

Also I’ve some Easy Hooks on my site. In a nutshell, are extra bonuses to insert, precisely, code in places like wrapper, header, navigation, pages, comments and so on. As an example, the Google Plus button +1 on top-left, below of all post’s title, is done with an Easy Hook (I saved one plugin)

 

Headway WordPress Theme is 2 Years Old

Really, I had planned this post for next weeks, but after I received the news that Headway is just two years old on last July 31st, 2011 – I needed to post it before.

 

Headway WordPress Theme Review and Coupon Codes

 

As a celebration, the Headway Team just released a 30% off coupon. This Headway Theme coupon code will be valid for few days of this 2011Code – Headway2years (promotion ended)

The personal license is for $60.90 (Normal price is $87.00) and the developer’s license would be $114.80. (Normal price is $164.00) 

Definitely they are coming new versions like the Headway 3.0 (today I’ve the 2.0 series) with new look to the Visual Editor, new interfaces, Headway Themes Child Themes and more to come. I’ve read that perhaps there will be an increase in the price; I expect it’ll be a minor adjustment to continue boosting the WordPress Premium themes area.

These are the reasons why I chose Headway Theme (affiliate link) for this blog (yeah I recommend it because this WP Premium Theme saved me hours & hours of coding, making my life easier).

I’ll use it possibly on other projects coming, taking the developer’s license (support unlimited Headway sites) – it’s like chocolate, frequently you want more sites, identical situation with the chocolate, you want even more 🙂 (Pss the personal license allows you to have 2 sites of your own)

————————————————————————

UPDATE: 8 AUGUST 2011

Today I’ve just received this important news:

Future Headway 3.0 prices will go up (I already knew), but this is new for me: also it’s moving to a subscription model with updates and ongoing support – either 6 month or 12 month renewal. Actual users of 2.0.x series (like my case) and new users, before entering into the 3.0 version, will get free upgrades to Headway 3.0 and will never pay a subscription.

If you’re considering Headway Theme as an option to your WordPress portfolio, perhaps you’d consider it before jumping to the new subscription model, saving several bucks.

 


 

UPDATE: 7 November 2011

The official release date for Headway 3.0 is November 25th, 2011.

As I explained before, since that date, Headway Themes is moving to an annual renewal fee for updates and support, and will cost more.

My advice, don’t wait until Headway 3.0 is live, because you’ll pay more, also you’ll need to pay an annual renewal fee.

Therefore, if you’re thinking to buy it, do it now, because you can lock: the actual price AND free upgrades AND support.

 

UPDATE: 29 December 2011

Headway 3.0 is live!

I’m using the new 3.0 version and it’s rocking.

Certainly having my experience with the 2.0 version, helps to speed up the process.
The upgrade path to get you moved from 2.0.x to 3.0.x is coming soon but it isn’t available till today.

So, by the moment, you can install on new sites the Headway 3.0 directly.

Is Headway 3.0 for newbies? Yes, you don’t need to code practically, but as every designing-software (it’s not just a WordPress framework, is a complete package to design blogs or static sites), you need some days to play around touching, changing and reading/watching videos, but worth the effort because later is easier to design with the new 3.0.

Once you’ve accustomed to use it, is like baking brownies in series, with your sites 😉

With these busy days near end of the year I’ve little time to everything, but as soon as I’ll advance with several new installations, I’ll write a complete and long review of the Headway 3.0 (today there is the 3.0.4 version)

Speaking about the new structure of prices, I believe the best prices are the first and the second:

Base: $87 – for unlimited sites and complete access to support and documentation, valid for one year.
Standard: $174 – the same like before, but more a plus of 3 Headway Child Themes. I suppose that if you need something pre-done is great.
Anyway, as Child Themes aren’t ready, I’d choose the Base by now, until seeing how useful the free child themes are or not.

Meantime, take a look some of new videos about the Headway 3.0:

Headway 3.0 – Designing Your First Site:

 


Headway 3.0 Visual Editor- Changin Block Settings
:

 

–> Headway Themes

 

Update October 22nd, 2012

Headway Themes has 33% OFF starting on October 22nd, 2012 until November 1, 2012.
The discount code: HW33.
Save some money getting Headway Base or Headway Developer to a 33% OFF the regular price.

This offer is not valid anymore, but you can get the powerful Headway Themes 3.0 or Headway 3x or visit my Headway 3 full review.



Update January 2013
: Headway 2.0.14 was pushed out to fix some issues with WordPress 3.5 (it wasn’t my case, but some people had some troubles and this is the reason of the new version)


 

Did you already know Headway? Have you used or are using it on a blog/site? Would you use it in your site or on a client’s site?

I’d like to hear your overall experience with Headway WordPress Theme.

 

Technorati Tag: headway

 

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Gera

Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.

Ileane

Hi Gera, you gave us a review of this theme from Head to Toe (pardon the pun)! I heard of Headway before but you took things a step further and showing some of the control panel options. Thanks for taking the time to do that. I’m happy with Thesis and the Thesis Awesome Blogskin that I’m using but it’s great to see that this theme is performing well for you. Cheers!

    Gerardo

    Thanks Ileane! I tried to put the maximum possible about Headway (but not a complete manual LOL), in order to give a clear landscape about it.

    Personally, I like to see full reviews of products and not only brief summaries of the producer. I put my own images of the VE to show the “under the hood” of Headway.

    I know you’re now in Thesis and it’s a great theme, also your blog too 🙂

    When I was exploring WP themes, Thesis was an option to me, but I chose Headway because it was easier to use it, without coding a lot. I needed to end my delayed transition to WP quickly.

    Thanks for coming by!

norma

I am glad I switched to WP. You are so thorough and I am always impressed on how easy you make things for others. Thanks Gera!

    Gerardo

    I know how hard hit you Blogger when you lost all your blog there.

    Yes WordPress is extremely versatile (and a bit more tech to manage) but worth the effort.

    Many thanks for your feedback Norma!

claudia lamascolo

As usual a great review and much needed to read info will be sending on to others to enjoy as well.

Gerardo

Glad you find useful this Headway information Vicky!

I know your feelings; I was on Blogger too since several months ago. I always know that WP is superior to Blogger, but the change was intimidating.

I can tell you for my own experience that you’ll not lose content and photos. Eventually, you can lose some of your comments in the process. Your old photos will be still hosted in Blogger (don’t delete your blog there!) and may be some the posts, you’ll need to touch the layout or similar.
It depends of the luck, some transitions are complicated, others not. You can check my full articles about it (my case was for the long and tricky way):

https://www.sweetsfoods.com/2011/04/import-blogger-wordpress-error-authorize-google-account.html
https://www.sweetsfoods.com/2011/04/intense-debate-wordpress-error.html

Yes Thesis is a good option always, but I think that Headway is easier for beginners. If you changed and redesigned the layout of your blog on Blogger via the Template Designer, Headway is the same with more power and tons of better functions.

Dewi

Thanks Gera!

redkathy

I read this last night just after you posted Gera. Had to come back and read it again today, I was just too tired to comprehend all of the info you have shared.

I have been thinking a lot about buying a premium theme and really appreciate the depth of information. I read much about Thesis and Genesis. As I recall someone was saying Thesis was a bit difficult. Headway sounds pretty straight forward.

Thanks for the insight!

    Gerardo

    I know Kathy that this post is long and take time to “eat” it, but I tried to make it the most helpful possible.

    In my research I checked, read on forums, charts, saw videos and after all I discarded several themes, ending with Headway, instead of Thesis or Genesis.

    All of them have good support and life updates, but Headway is the only between them with very few code to work and changes in real-visual-time. It’s a visual-friendly theme instead of others that are heavy-code-themes, to see some results.

    Thanks for stopping by!

Jenni

So what do you think what theme framework is better for SEO, Headway, Genesis or Thesis?

    Gerardo

    Jenni this is a tough question! After reading and searching about Genesis, Thesis and Headway I think all have great SEO-friendly features, saving plugins. As my experience is related to Headway, I can only respond about Headway, because I haven’t used the others till now. A simple fact: my traffic was tripled after installing Headway, compared with Blogger; I believe the reason is the accurate description, titles and slug, just to start.

    Which is your familiarity with WP themes in terms of SEO?

Joseph

Never heard of this theme. this is the first time. I use All In One SEO pack, ever heard of it? My site is built on thesis but I pass the SEO on to All In ONE SEO pack

    Gerardo

    Yes I had in mind that plug-in, but I the moment I don’t consider to use it, because HW is powerful in terms of SEO.

Joseph

I use Thesis thou on my blog. Ever heard of it?

    Gerardo

    Of course I heard about Thesis. My last options were between Thesis and Headway and I chose the last, because of the HW drag&drop function that simplify a lot all the tasks.

Gerardo

If in the future you move from Blogger to WP, you’ve an option here to explore Natasha!

Gerardo

Hi Kimi – great to see you here 🙂

Thanks and yes, I know you’re a big fan of Thesis, a good one also.

If you want to read my long move from Blogger to WP plus the problems I had (out of the blue) here are 2 links:

https://www.sweetsfoods.com/2011/04/import-blogger-wordpress-error-authorize-google-account.html
https://www.sweetsfoods.com/2011/04/intense-debate-wordpress-error.html

Hope an excellent week ahead for you!

    Gerardo

    Thanks Kimi! I had planned all my migration, but with those errors, I needed to look for other solutions, on the go, to reach WP.

    Hope some solutions I found can help others to move to WP.

    Thanks for coming by!

Claudia

Oh Gera – there is a wealth of info there. I’ve toyed with WordPress but basically my needs are fulfilled with google. But who knows. You really laid it out there – and it’s a huge help for those wondering.

    Gerardo

    Claudia I said the same on Blogger, but in my case I felt that was enough and needed to change, specially for all the problems I had, first the spam coming and coming on Blogger with little control more later with IntenseDebate comments that were deleting by themselves or appeared duplicated.

Ana

This is a great review, Gera. I use Thesis and love it, but Headway seems great too, based on this comprehensive post.

    Gerardo

    Yes I know you’re on Thesis – is an excellent choice too. My last options, after discarding the rest of themes were Thesis and Headway. Both are powerful and SEO-friendly, but Headway seduced me with the drag & drop and more important, with very few coding.

    Thanks Ana!

Gerardo

Sarah all the new stuff on WordPress is technical. Unless you’ve a person to have on charge of your blog, necessarily there is a learning curve in the process.

Perhaps with simple themes, with very few customizations, it’s simpler to start but as time goes by, in general we need to change more things, and then Headway is ideal for that case.

I think, between the powerful themes available, Headway is the simpler to use. But you’re right, it can take some time to use it properly (anyway, on other themes, it is worst if you need to change relatively basic things via coding).

The ideal is to have a blank blog to experiment, but it wasn’t my case.
I think leafs as versatile blocks where you can do all with them.
You can post your doubts (everybody has them, including me) on support and probably you’ll have an answer or if it is a generic doubt may be it was answered before. Also, there are tens of videos showing things to do, from basic to advanced. If I remember correctly, I believe I saw a video on how to customize footers.

Headway has a learning curve, yes, but all themes have one. Few people use themes only with the original design “out of the box”.

Glad you find this tutorial helpful, thanks! 🙂

Sire

Hey Gera, This is the first time I’ve heard of Headway, and I have to admit I was impressed. If it wasn’t for the fact that I already have a theme that I loved I would be tempted to purchase it 😉

Unfortunately I can’t say much for the video. It didn’t really say anything about the theme. Your review was so much better.

    Gerardo

    Hi Sire,

    Yes Headway is very tempting, so tempting that I used the actual offer and I moved from personal option to developer, before it expires 🙂
    The new re-designed version of Headway 3.0 is still in development, so there aren’t complete videos to show. There are complete videos of the actual version (the 2.0xx) but I preferred to my show my own experience with Headway and not a pre-digested video promo.
    You have a great theme too; I like the pre-made sale pages.

    Happy Sunday there in Australia 🙂

      Sire

      It’s a beautiful day here Gera. Winter is almost over and it’s almost like spring has come early. The sun is shining and I’m wearing a t-shirt and enjoying every minute of it. 🙂

      Yeah, the sales page is pretty neat but I really like all the extras I get to use now while writing a post since the last update.

        Gerardo

        Hope Sire this week has had a good start. Here is still cold, but Spring is coming 🙂

        Every theme has stronger / weak points. I’ll check those extras when I can.

Gerardo

Thanks Daniel! I agree both are great themes. In my case the simple the coding the better. Headway don’t need a priori a childtheme because is versatile.

Gerardo

You’d try it and yes WP is very flexible.

claudia lamascolo

I know nothing about wordpress. But this idea and theme looks awesome. I love the many more things you can do with this over blogger… should be a nice new adventure.

Luke

Thesis, Frugal and Heatmap are all awesome. Nothing can match WordPress today.

Erica

I love wordpress!

DLXD

The features sound awesome…I think it can do more than thesis. Moving to wordpress was a good decision…thumbs up!

Gerardo

Naser really you’re right! WP lets to not having tech skills, but as time goes by, it’s better to know more to understand its working 🙂

    Naser

    I have been using WordPress since 4 months and there is not a limit on the knowledge we get from WordPress.

Tomek

hey, Gera! This looks like a great Theme. I’m using Sleekl from Studiopress, but I’m considering headway for a new blog I would like to initiate.

Thanks,
Tomek

    Gerardo

    Hi Tomek,

    No doubt that Studiopress is a great framework with a nice collection of child themes, but why having only one when you can have unlimited themes in one package? With Headway themes you can have what you want only depending of your creativity practically without coding. You can move blocks, layout, colors and other stuff according to your will and live. For me this is very valuable. Really in my case, I wanted to put the theme and If need to change something, just drag and drop in most of them or change some settings.

    Now a notice, Grant the Headway developer will change the free updates and support lifetime to a subscription model since Headway 3.0, in some weeks (I don’t have this still the concrete date) and also will be increasing the price.
    If you purchase before, you’ll have all free forever (I took the developer licence to build many blogs / sites without any problem and coding) Now is near to be released the Headway 3.0 Beta and after that, the new one (even more flexible) but with the subscription model.

    Hope this can give a landscape, why I’m using Headway themes on this blog.

    Thanks for coming by!

Gerardo

So true Hamish! Headway is easy but as an every design tool, take some time to get the full. With the Headway 3.0 brand new version will be even more easier 🙂

Thanks for coming by!

Gerardo

Steve yes, of course Headway supports WordPress 3.2 like many other top-notch frameworks.

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