If you’re looking for a DIY WordPress framework than I am sure at one time you have heard of the Headway theme. About four months ago I got to toy around with the Headway theme for a client. I was glad I did because this is one of the greatest WordPress themes I have ever gotten the chance to use. It appealed to me because of the drag and drop features. You don’t need to know anything about coding to use this theme, and a lot of novice to advanced web designers are signing up for Headway.
Here a video that gives you a sneak peak inside Headway:
But, if you’re like I was four months ago, you weren’t sure if it would be a good fit for you. Over the years I have seen a lot of similar WordPress frameworks that promised everything Headway promised. I was hoping this wouldn’t be another “let down.” After reading this full Headway review, you should have a clear understanding of all the features this WordPress framework has. Then you will be able to decide if it will work for you?
Grid mode is probably the most appealing feature about Headway. You can draw out exactly how you want your website to look. Meaning that if you want a header, body content, navigation bar, sidebar, and footer you can easily just drag and draw your design. If anytime you want to resize your content box, sidebar, header, and footer you can easily do so by editing it in grid mode. What I like to do is go to a website I want to mimic. I will look at the source code and get the dimensions of each box. Then I draw out the layout in Headway.
So, first start by dragging your first box. It makes no difference if you want to move your blocks around. You have the flexibility to do so whenever you want. This is great for clients that can’t make up their mind on how they want different elements to look on their site. You can then define the block type. The following block types can be assigned to your block:
Header. This is just a header section. You can choose your banner/logo, automatically resize header image, or hide the tagline.
Navigation. With the navigation block, you can create a block and assign your menus in WordPress to this block. You can insert a search box, home link, adjust the orientation, and dropdowns.
Breadcrumbs. There is a block just for breadcrumbs. You can configure your prefix, prefix text, and separator.
Content. There is a block for content. It is where the body of your content goes. You can have many different content blocks, too. Use it any way you see fit. Assign query modes to it. Adjust your display settings, read more text, show titles, link titles, show read more, show content or inserts, make comments visible, featured post, show older/newer post navigation, show single post navigation, show edit link. Also, you can enable column layout too. Adjust your meta display (above content or below content), date format, adjust your comments metas. You have full control over the comment areas. For instance, you can adjust your comments area heading and reply area. Adjust featured images. Show featured images, adjust the orientation, adjust feature image size, adjust image height ratio, and crop featured images.
Widget Area. The widget block allows you to insert a widget where you can adjust in your WordPress settings. Adjust the widget horizontally or vertically. Show titles or hide titles.
Footer. The footer block allows you to add a footer. You can show admin link or login, the show goes to the top link, hide Headway attribution, show copyright, and insert a custom copyright.
Slider. There is a slider block. This gives you the flexibility to add in your right-handsliders. They are fully customizable, insert your image, hyperlink them, open link in new window, caption, title attribute, alt attribute, and randomize your image order. Adjust your animation (horizontal vertical, or fade). The animation speed can be adjusted in ms (milliseconds), automatic slide advancement, and the time between slides (in ms).
Embed. The media block is good for including videos and images. YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, blip.Tv, Hulu, and much more. There isn’t a limit to what you can add in the embed block.
Pin Board. It is a block that used to be extra which you had to pay an extra $30. Now with Headway it’s free. Kind of like Pinterest you can define your own “pins” with this block element. You can adjust the layout (columns, gutter width, pin bottom margin, and pagination. You have full control over the titles, the position of the titles, whether or not the titles link to post, show excerpts, featured image, meta author byline, meta categories, date and time, meta for posted, and relative times. You have full control over the images and the actions that happen when people click them. You can have them open up the page, original popup image, and crop vertically. Adjust your scrolling (infinite scrolling or hover focus). Assign social elements to your pins (such as pin it on Pinterest, Twitter button, Twitter username, Twitter hashtags, and Facebook Like/Share Button.
Custom Code. Insert your own custom code.
Text. Insert your own text with a visual text editor.
Image. This block allows you to add in your own image, automatically resize image, image title, alternate image text, hyperlink the image, and position the image.
Search. Insert a search box, show search button, define button text, and input text placeholder.
Listing. Configure the taxonomy (category, tag, etc.3). Then you can filter your taxonomy by a number and select ascending or descending. You can then exclude or include different pages or post.
Social. This block allows us to insert social media icons. There are three different options peel icons, soft social, and custom icons. You can then position the icons, specify the orientation, vertical space, and have the option to use SVG. Currently Headway supports Delicious, Dribble, Facebook, Flickr, Google +1, Instagram, LastFM, LinkedIn, Pinterest, RSS, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.
Mirror Block, Import/Export Settings, Custom CSS, Make Your Site Responsive
You can mirror blocks so that they have the same attributes that other blocks have. If you decide you want the content blog to be a widget you can easily switch the block by right clicking on it and then clicking “switch block element.” Assign a block alias, or even insert custom CSS (advanced or basic). Import/export your block settings are very easy to do. Just simply click import settings or export settings. You can configure breakpoints to make your website responsive.
Fluid or Non-Fluid
You have full control over all types of elements on your website. For instance, you can make your wrappers fluid or not fluid. You do this by right clicking the wrapper and then simply clicking fluid or changing it back to not fluid.
However, one of the coolest parts to Headways grid editor is the ability to save your progress once you get to a certain point. There is a “snapshot” feature that allows you to save your changes and revert back to any point where you made a key change. This can really come in handy if you mess something up big time or have a client that is always asking you to switch back and forth between different stages of the design. Believe me, I have used this feature over and over again and love it!
Headway Video Training
I’m just trying to cover the basics of the “grid mode”. There are tons and tons of changes you can make that I haven’t even covered yet. If I was to write every single feature of the grid mode this Headway review would be well over 10,000 words. However, you are in luck if you do decide to go with the Headway theme because the theme comes with all kinds of documentation. Support is very helpful and has even helped me a number of times. Just in case, you have the extra money and would like to spend it on video tutorials I have found a pretty cool site designed by Corey Freeman at https://headway101.com/
The design editor is a separate tab that is a key part to the Headway framework. It is where you are going to make all of your visual changes. Unlike the grid editor, it is just where you customize all the visual components. For example, any block that you have defined in the grid can easily be customized to your liking. MTakes it a breeze customizing your sidebars, headers, body content, footers, etc. I am going to go into full detail on how this works and how you can use the design editor.
Whenever you are trying to change different elements on a lot of WordPress themes it seems to be extremely hard to do if you don’t know anything about CSS. You first have to find the element and then use a custom CSS plugin to make the changes. However, with Headway it’s as simple as finding the element you want and right clicking on it. Then you click on edit this instance.
From there you will have a sidebar that you can tinker with the settings. For example, if we want to change the background of a specific block we will right click on the block. Once we open that instance we can open up the background customization by clicking on background. Then you will see the option to change the color (by clicking customize). You would then put in your HEX color that you want.
Let’s say we want to make changes on our widget area. Rather than clicking on the block and then making the changes that way, we can always use the navigator. This will show us headings, widget area, content blocks, etc. Then we click on the editing the make the changes.
This block will show us all the changes that have been made to the block that we specify. So lets say we have changed the background area in the content block. We want to use that same color in the widget area. We click on the background area and then styles to find out what color the background is.
One really cool thing about Headway is you can cut and paste the styles and use them on the different blocks. This means you don’t have to manually add all the customizations over from block to block. When I first learned this little trick I didn’t realize how easy it actually was. To do it you simply select the block you want. When you’re in styles you just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to cut and paste (for Mac users use COMMAND+C and COMMAND+V).
Managing Different Pages
Let’s say we have a page we want to customize without changing the layout of the entire site. We can easily do that by clicking on the page that we want to edit. Then we copy the layout of the page and start making our changes by edit different instances. Makes it very flexible with different pages that we want to look different. No longer do you have spend hours making tons of changes to one specific page to get the result you’re desiring.
Of course you can always define shared layouts and use them on multiple pages. To do this you going to go to your page you want to change and then click on shared layouts. Once you have done that you need to make sure you click on use this instance and then in your WordPress page/post dashboard you’re going to want to select the dropdown that says use shared layouts.
You can not edit shared layouts when they are active. If you want to make changes to it you have to disable the layout and then make the changes in the Headway design editor.
Gone are the days of having to install another plugin to insert your custom CSS. Headway has this feature built right into their framework. You can click on the custom CSS and then cut and paste your code into it. There is also a feature in Headway that will show you if there are any errors in your custom CSS.
Just like grid mode, you can use snapshot on the design editor. Snapshot is great for setting up restore points where you liked everything. It will automatically setup your restore points in a snapshot. However, you do have the flexibility to name the snapshots something more meaningful other than the date of the snapshot. It works ideally for those clients that can’t make up their mind on what color pallet they want to use. That or key changes that you don’t want to have to keep resetting just to see how it looks.
I briefly touched on the support with Headway in this review and want to make it perfectly clear that you can expect very good support with this WordPress framework. I have asked a handful of question on their forums about some custom code or changes I wanted to make. Their support team answered my questions in usually 1-4 hours. They showed me exactly what to do and even wrote the custom code I would need to get the job done.
As far as documentation is concerned you will get documentation for everything. They have a huge help section that covers everything you could possibly want to do in Headway. Actually, it’s kind of overwhelming with all the content they jam pack into it!
Updates are being rolled out every couple weeks to insure that your site works with the latest WordPress updates.
There are many “extras” you can purchase with Headway. You can purchase pre-made themes and then tweak them to your likings. It’s a good idea to purchase a couple of extras if you want to have a starting point on any site you’re designing. I will go into further details about the templates and extra blocks that you can purchase.
Clearly, if you’re looking for DIY WordPress theme Headway is a great option (see my BoldGrid review for a free option). Everything is insanely easy to use, and you have all the support you will ever need. Really, I feel they should be charging several thousands of dollars for this framework. It’s just that good. However, they do have a number of pricing plans you can purchase.
- The personal plan (1 site) is $59.
- The Business plan is $99 (3 sites).
- The developer plan is $199.
All licenses require a renewal after one year or 365 days. The Headway framework does come with a 14 day money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with the service.
Here is showcase of what you can do with Headway:
Don’t just take tbwhs.com’s word for it
This Headway WordPress review shows that people are very happy with the Headway framework. In fact, they compare it with Ultimatum, Builder, Pagelines, CarringtonBuild, and Presswork and it ranks right up there with all the DIY WordPress builders.
So, do I recommend that you purchase Headway? Yes, I am 110% sure you will be happy with this framework if you buy it. Ideally, you can create any website, and Headway is your best bet to get the job done. The price tag for Headway is priced within a lot of webmasters budgets, support is excellent, comes with so many features, and you have the option to buy extra bells and whistles if you want them. You can visit Headway by clicking here. They have an ever growing client base since 2009, and there isn’t any reason you won’t love this WordPress framework.