With a theme as versatile and flexible as Headway, I knew it would be useful to present some major ways in which Headway can be used to power your WordPress website. Wrapping your head around these major “roads” you can take with Headway can help you make the best decision about whether or not Headway is right for your project.
Lest you think this is all rainbows and unicorns, I will also present the disadvantages of each major method for using Headway. I think we’re doing you a much better service by presenting this information honestly than if we glossed over the challenges.
Do-It-Yourself Web Design
This is the “obvious” one, and the one you see presented as the main selling point of Headway: it is THE drag and drop WordPress theme. From your perspective as a site owner, the main advantage is that you can easily create a very serviceable-looking website with no coding. And it doesn’t take much to get Headway to look unique, instead of just another copycat theme framework except with different colors.
The disadvantage is that you have to do it yourself and you may not have the faintest clue as to how a site should look or what looks good or appropriate. You may have very little time to mess around with your site design, which can be a problem as there is a learning curve to Headway and web design both.
If you like to tinker and have more time than money or tasks to complete (such as when you are just starting out) then this may be the way to go for you.
Hire a Designer to Create Your Site on Headway
One of the cool things about Headway is that even though it presents itself as a “do it yourself without code” tool, it is AMAZINGLY powerful in the hands of professional designers. Why is this? Because designers appreciate getting site designs done quickly, and Headway’s visual editor makes it easy to work fast. Designer/developers can work with Easy Hooks, Custom CSS, and the more they know about Headway, the more cool things they can do with templates and leafs (which will be called Blocks in the next version of Headway).
A great designer can make a Headway-powered WordPress site into anything you can imagine: magazine layout, ecommerce site, Tumblr style blog, sales or landing pages… Headway is a chameleon in this way.
The “disadvantage” is that this requires an investment of money and faith on your part. I put disadvantage in quotes because this isn’t really a disadvantage so much as it is simply a requirement which must be met.
Use a Headway Child Theme
Child themes are like a “theme in a box.” When you use one of the child themes you get for free as a Headway license-holder or buy from a professional third party in the Headway marketplace. You are getting (or buying) a pre-made look and feel for your site. Headway has special arrangements with Theme developers like Press75 and others so that an ever-growing variety of child themes are available to Headway license-holders.
Child themes are somewhat customizable in Headway 2.x and will become very customizable in the upcoming Headway 3. We’re pretty excited about this because traditionally child themes in general regardless of the parent theme framework have not been terribly flexible. We’re looking forward to introducing this into the commercial theme market and changing the game up.
The disadvantage of using a child theme is that you run the risk of not looking very unique with your website. Other sites out there will be using the same child theme as you.
You Don’t Have to Decide on Your Own
The great thing about being a Headway user is that you’re never alone. You can head into the forums and discuss with others what your options are. You can chat with professional designers and do-it-yourselfers. You can chat with child theme creators and users. You can get all the help you want before you commit to a course of action.
How are you using Headway? Did you do it yourself, hire someone, or use a child theme? Tell us in the comments!
Image by LollyKnit