What’s New in Headway 3.7

The past six months we have been hard at work on Headway 3.7, even as we were working on Headway 3.6.  3.7 is a huge update with many new features and improvements which are excited to finally get out the door.  

We’re very happy to say this is the first release in which our Support Team contributed code. Our support team knows our community best and knows what our customers need.

Fresh User Interface

Without a doubt one of the most exciting new features with 3.7 is the user interface.  Clay and Andy spent countless hours discussing and iterating until they came up with what you see today with 3.7.

I do not think anyone will argue Headway’s dark interface was quickly aging and fell short in terms of readability and contrast. It also didn’t feel like part of the WordPress experience. We instantly fell in love with the WordPress 3.8 user interface as soon as we saw it.

We are pleased to announce that the Visual Editor has received a huge makeover. Not only does the Visual Editor look more like WordPress’ 3.8 interface.  We’ve also made dragging, animations, and general usage feel much more snappy and responsive than previous versions.  The screenshot below will give you a small idea of what has all changed in this version.

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Snapshots

One issue we heard over and over again was people losing their work. Time is money in a lot of cases, and we wanted to make it easier for our users to save their changes inside of Headway.

Today we are excited to introduce a new feature to Headway called Snapshots.  If there is one feature which might make 3.7 stand out more than any other, Snapshots might be that one feature.  Snapshots is the one feature that I have really been impressed with and very excited to introduce.  Needless to say, Clay and his team did it again with this one.

Snapshots are a simple backup system for Headway which allows you to rollback to any snapshot and restore all blocks, wrappers, layout settings, as well as design settings at any time.  Headway will also automatically store snapshots when you save in the Visual Editor.

Just think about how much time this could save you.  Imagine you are working on your site. You’ve made some changes which you don’t like. Instead of having to go back and change them or remove what you have done, just restore your work with Snapshots.  The image below shows exactly just how easy it will be to do just that.  Plus, before you make changes, you can save your Snapshot.  And you can save them along the way so anytime you change your mind or want to go back, you can.

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Live CSS Editor

For those of you who enjoy using CSS, this one is for you.

Headway’s Live CSS Editor is now powered by Ace. Ace has fantastic code-collapsing capabilities, syntax highlighting, as well as suggestions for your CSS.

We’ve also changed the Live CSS editor to open in a new browser window rather than a box in the Visual Editor. This means you can easily tab between two windows or put the Live CSS Editor on another monitor if you use multiple displays.

This addition to the Live CSS Editor allows for a better workflow for developers who want to work in the cloud. You can use the Live CSS Editor more like a desktop editor for your code. While it doesn’t have full IDE capabilities, there are a lot of features packed inside of the Visual Editor’s Live CSS Editor now.

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Improved Data Handling

Speed and stability have always been high on our priority list when we look at any update, especially a major update to Headway.  And with 3.7, we are making major improvements to how data is handled.

Headway 3.7’s blocks, wrappers, design settings, and layout meta are now stored in custom MySQL tables. We have carefully planned out the data structure to ensure your work will be more reliably stored.

We’ve also taken steps to cache all Headway data from the MySQL tables with the WordPress Transient and Caching APIs so your Headway site stays speedy.

Template Panel Redesign

With previous versions of Headway we’ve made it easier to upload and create your own Headway Templates. With this version we made it even easier for you to upload your favorite Headway templates.

The Headway Templates panel is now in the WordPress Admin under Headway » Templates.  To install a new Template for Headway, you simply go to the Headway Panel in your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Templates.

Pin Board Block and Search Block

In addition to all of the features and changes above, there are a few changes which we have made to the Block lineup.

After much discussion on this, we have decided to include the Pin Board block in the core of Headway.  Plus we have included many new improvements regarding category queries, taxonomies, and more!

We’ve also added a new Search Block that displays a simple search form in a block.

A Few More Improvements and Additions

  • The Design Editor now has support for units, i.e. px, em, rem, % for properties such as font size, line height, margins, padding, and on and on and on.
  • We have made a number of improvements to the Visual Editor too.  From making functions simpler to new icons so navigation inside the Visual Editor is easier.  You will also notice an improvement in how you can move Blocks from one Wrapper to another as it now gives you a more visible feedback for what you are doing.
  • You will also notice changes and improvements to the right side panel in the Design Editor.  From the flow of how things work to little things like new and improved icons.
  • There are other changes which have been made in the Admin side of things too.  Improved Getting Started page.  (Credit to Chris Howard on that).  Added a “What’s New” page after updating.
  • Of course, we didn’t  want to leave out the Content Block either.  We added support for styling lists and blockquotes.
  • Added a default widget option which allows you to set a default widget(s) if the widget area doesn’t have any assigned.

The full changelog can be found in the support forums.

Thank You!

This release wouldn’t be what it is without the help of the beta testers. We know testing is very time-consuming and we appreciate the time you have invested in Headway!  But, without all of your dedication and willingness to help, this version would not be what it is.  We simply could not have rolled out this update without you.  

Downloading Headway 3.7

As always, Headway 3.7 is available in the Headway Dashboard for all active license holders.

If you have an existing Headway site, you will be able to automatically update Headway using the WordPress updater under Dashboard » Updates in your WordPress install(s).

And remember to always backup before doing any upgrades to Headway or WordPress.  If you are looking for a reliable solution for backing up, we always highly recommend BackupBuddy or Duplicator.

Spread the word!

12 Responses

  1. Congrats to all of the Headway team. 3.7.x is a fantastic release and is soooo much faster than previous versions, never mind all the new functionality and features you have managed to add! Keep it coming!

  2. So far, it looks great. I came to WordPress with very little knowledge of how to use it and hated cutting apart templates and trying to make everything work. Headway seemed like it might do the trick and I was impressed with the early 2.0 versions I used. It just keeps getting better. So much has been added, that I just love it more and more. I used to use ModX for sites because I could use my html/css that I created and just put in the tags I needed for menus and content. Since I’ve found Headway, it’s really the only thing I want to work with.

    I do have a few items I would love to see so I’ll quickly mention them. I would really love to have more control over the responsive sites. Yes, I know, you really have added a lot of control, but I still struggle to get things looking right. I would love to be in the Visual Editor Design mode and choose Phone, Tablet and Computer views and then use the styling tools. That way I could see what it would look like and I would be styling for those specific break points.

    It would also be great to have an easy, built-in way to do vertical scrolling to specific points on the page. It’s very popular now and many clients want this type of design. Adobe Muse reminds me a lot of Headway in many ways but it’s not built into WordPress which everyone wants. They’re doing some nice things with scrolling and responsive design that would be great if added to Headway.

    But again, I think it’s the greatest addition to WordPress there has ever been and the amount of updating it’s gone through in the short time I’ve been using it is just remarkable. You guys are amazing.

  3. Just wanted to tell you how much I’m loving the new version. It’s so much easier to use! Well-organized and a breeze to customize to the nth degree. I am a print designer who is self-trained in building web sites. What I’ve been able to create using Headway is nothing short of amazing. THANKS!

  4. Count me in as another 2.x old timer. Sure, compared to 3.7 it looks like Kitty Hawk next to a sleek twin jet narrow body. And the simplicity with control was then and is now, unparalleled in the struggle of easy of use vs. control.

    My POV comes from (count ’em) MIS/IS/IT years starting in 1966.

    The 3.x conversion was rocky and mgt. really held on to the bull and created the WordPress equal to MS and Windows 3.0 (the first commercially successful version).

    I do *not* accept commissions from HeadwayThemes and give this endorsement with the strongest weight I can. Full-Stop.

    Stop wasting your time and drive headway for 8 hr and find out if visual web design is for you or not. For some, the answer will be mo. For many, it will be, yes.

    Regards,

    Tcat Houser
    Digital Nomad

    • Hi Peter,

      Deactivate the license in Headway Options temporarily and then activate it and go to WP > Dashboard > Updates to try to force an update.

      If that doesn’t work, remove the license key completely from Headway Options then scroll down and save. Then enter the license key and activate it again and then go to WP > Dashboard > Updates to force an update.

  5. I’ve fallen behind several versions on an old site that my client is now ready to refresh. I am on version 3.2.2 and I’d like to upgrade to the latest version, 3.8.8. I am not getting the normal notice to update Headway and I tried the techniques listed above to delete the license key and run a force-check update in WP updates, but nothing is activating it to signal me to update Headway. I have 3.8.8 downloaded and tried to install it, but it says there is already a Headway folder (which makes sense). I can’t find any documentation on manually updating version 3. Does anyone have any fresh suggestions? Thanks!

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