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Top Mistakes to Avoid

We here at Headway thought we’d offer you our best tips and advice for using Headway. This list is cultivated from mistakes we see commonly.

Use the recommended server settings

Using the recommended server settings from the outset will save you time and headaches.  While your site may work initially with settings that fall below these values, eventually you probably will run into an issue where your Visual Editor does not load or will not save and it will be because of one of these values.   Trust us!

Do not use Headway as a content management system

Many new users get confused and think that because Headway offers a Text Block, it is to be used for all of the content.  This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.  WordPress is the Content Management System.  You should create your content in Pages and Posts (and custom post types for more advanced users).   99% (or more) of your content should be within WordPress.

Only for those small snippets of text should you use a Text Block.  In fact, best practice would be to only use a Text Block if the text is theme dependent.  Meaning, if that text wouldn’t exist on your site if you were to change themes, use a Text block. This way, if you
do ever switch away from Headway, you are not re-creating all of that work.

Just because you
can use Headway to create all of your content does not mean you should.  You absolutely should not and doing so is using Headway in a way that is not recommended or intended.

Rely on layout inheritance whenever possible.

Only customize what you have to

Headway follows the
WordPress Template Hierarchy with our layout hierarchy.  Understanding what inherits from what will save you a lot of time when figuring out which layouts need to be customized.

Relying on layout inheritance makes your life easier.  If you do not rely on layout inheritance properly, you may end up customizing every single post or page you create.  No one has time for that (and there is absolutely no need to do that unless you really want each post/page to have a different layout).

Understand the grid renderer

And get the look you want

First, the vertical space in grid mode does not determine a block’s position on the live site other than, spacing is used to create rows.
The tops of blocks need to align to form rows so the grid renderer knows what you want to do.  You then need to use margins or positioning to move the blocks where you want.

Be careful though because using margins and nudging will affect how your site looks at different sizes, including mobile!

Before you use nudging, you should
understand how positioning works.

If you want a responsive site, the use of margins and/or nudging to place/move blocks, will affect the look of your site.   You may need to look into using a responsive unit or use media queries to have the fully responsive site you want.

Secondly, the height you draw a block in Grid Mode will determine its min-height.  That min-height is removed, by default, when responsive grid is enabled, at 1024px.

Do not use a caching plugin or service while building your design in Headway

Using one causes problems such as:

  • Changes not showing up on the live site
  • Visual Editor not saving
  • Website loading without any styles

If you have a caching plugin active when you install Headway, you need to:

  1. Clear all caches in the plugin or service
  2. Deactivate caching in the plugin or service settings
  3. Deactivate the plugin or service

When your site is launched, enable the plugin or service again.  If you need to tweak anything in Headway later on, you need to follow these steps again or you will probably run into problems.

Headway has responsive capabilities built in.

Use it

Google’s rules have changed.  For more on this, please see Stay Google Friendly with Headway and the responsive grid.

Activate a child theme before you assign widgets/menus

While this is not Headway specific, it is still important.  WordPress treats a child theme as a new theme.  This means, if you activate it after you’ve assigned widgets and menus, you will need to re-assign your widgets and menus.

That’s not a problem for simple setups, but we’ve had customers where this process will take hours due to the complexity of their site.

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