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Headway 3 Now Available

The wait is finally over: you can now download Headway 3.

If you’re an existing Headway customer, simply log into your member dashboard and you’ll see the download link.

What’s the deal with Headway 3?

Well, it’s been completely redesigned (as has the website, so be sure to visit us if you’re seeing this in a reader or email). Entirely new code base written from the ground up. This was necessary to accomplish what we wanted to do with Headway: it’s faster (much faster) and it does more than ever. And it STILL does it without requiring you to write a bunch of code or have a degree in computer science. Let’s go over the improvements.

Separation of Management, Layout and Visual Styling

While the Visual Editor did a lot in Headway 2, it could be a little confusing because it was trying to do everything, including things that weren’t really… visual so much as structural or administrative. In Headway 3, you now have three cleanly separated functional areas: Management, Grid and Design. Grouping controls by their major function makes more sense, but to do it the interface had to be redesigned. Especially now that there’s an entirely new way to create your website page designs!

Game-Changing Feature: The Headway Layout Grid

drawing Blocks in Headway 3
Drawing Blocks in Headway 3

Headway’s always been about working on your design visually. Headway was the first visual drag and drop commercial theme framework for WordPress. The Visual Editor changed the game by letting you design live right on the page. No more “let’s check a bunch of options sight unseen and hope it looks good” like other themes. The Visual Editor is still there, but in Headway 3 we’re introducing a whole new way to create the page layouts: the Headway Layout Grid.

The Layout Grid lets you DRAW your website, just by clicking and dragging. You draw a Block (yeah, they’re Blocks now, not “Leafs” anymore—and you’re so welcome!) and then choose what kind of Block you want it to be. If you change your mind you can change the Block type. No need to delete and redraw the Block. Blocks can be dragged around and resized. Each Block has options you can set such as content filters or to give it a custom CSS class.

Your Website, Your Way

What this means for you is that now, more than ever, you can create your website, your way. You can easily tell when websites are built using some of the other theme frameworks out there, because unless you’re a master at CSS your site will look similar to other sites which also use the theme. But with Headway, you have so much control over everything that the only way anyone can tell it’s powered by Headway is from the footer link or by checking the page source code.

It’s safe to say that at this point, Headway isn’t even a theme anymore: it’s a full-blown website design tool.

The Visual Editor, Reloaded

Headway Visual Editor
The Element Drill Down in the New Headway 3 Visual Editor (Click for larger image)

One of the problems in the previous visual editor of Headway 2 was that what you could change wasn’t the same for all the various elements on a web page. And what you could or couldn’t change seemed arbitrary. For example, why should you have the ability to give one text element small caps but not another?

So in Headway 3, Clay Griffiths created something ingenious and yet simple in how it works. The visual editor contains a layered “drill-down” system to getting to any little element on the page and doing anything you want to it.

Another improvement you’ll be very happy about is you can now do much, much more before you even have to think about writing custom CSS. Everything can have rounded corners, now. Any piece of text or any box can have drop shadows, and all without writing code! Many more elements can now have images uploaded to be the background.

There’s more I could say but this post will already be crazy-long, so I’ll just mention one more thing about the Visual Editor: the list of fonts and font sizes you can pick from is now HUGE. Like, at least three times as many fonts and font sizes as previous.

Developer Madness – HEADWAY BLOCKS API and more

Headway 3 Live CSS Editor
The New Headway 3 Live CSS Editor

I’m gonna talk about developer stuff here for just a moment, so if you’re not a developer/designer, feel free to skip to the next section.

As much as we love to tout how friendly Headway is for non-developers and everything is drag and drop, the truth is all this “easy” stuff is good for developers, too—as long as it creates fast, clean code. Everybody loves saving time and getting more done in less time. Imagine being able to pull off incredible designs in record time for your clients. After all, that’s the reason why Headway was created in the first place! And Headway 3 has some great developer features.

  • Syntax color-coding in the Live CSS Editor – In addition to the style.css file in Headway, which you can edit and FTP back up to your server, Headway has a Live CSS editor. Any custom CSS you type in updates the page immediately, live, right in front of your eyes.
  • Blocks API – This is kind of a big deal and something no other theme can even come close to touching. You can use the Blocks API to create custom Block types. If you have a particular type of content that needs to appear in many places on a site, and using the existing Blocks repeatedly would involve a lot of redundant effort or you simply have special content you need to pull up and display, you can use the Blocks API. Even better? You can actually sell your custom Blocks in the Headway Members Marketplace. Think of all the various industries out there that might need custom block types: real estate, medical, ecommerce… the potential is huge.
  • Easy Hooks – Easy Hooks aren’t just for developers (you catch that, any of you non-developers who’re still reading this?). But they’re especially handy for you. Just open the list, choose the place for your code, and then type or paste it in. That code will appear or run on every page where the hook appears. It’s still WordPress hooks, just… easier.
  • Child Themes – Because of Headway’s Grid Layout System, you can create child themes that let users customize its blocks more extensively than any other parent/child theme framework out there. And just like the custom Blocks, you can sell your child themes in the Headway Member Marketplace (well, you don’t have to sell them if you’d rather give them away, but it’s up to you).

Child Themes

Headway 3 Child Themes
New Headway 3 Child Themes

Headway 3 does child themes in a big way. We’ll be developing our own child themes and making them available to Headway customers, but we’ve also partnered with other theme developers to port their popular themes over to Headway as child themes. Now you don’t have to choose between Headway or that nifty video blog theme you saw on Press75. Now you can have that theme as a Headway child theme. We’ve partnered with Press75, Allure and Organic to bring you some excellent child themes for Headway.

Even better is that for some of them, you’ll be able to customize them more extensively than any other parent/child theme framework out there could. This is because of Headway’s Grid Layout System and Visual Editor. Some of the same cool moves you can make when building your own site can be done with a Headway child theme.

Make Headway Today

Log into your member dashboard to download Headway 3 (because it’s completely redesigned, there is no clean upgrade path from Headway 2 just yet—we’re working on it) or if you’re not yet a Headway customer, head on over to the main page to get started.

Spread the word!

44 Responses

  1. I’m a little late to the 3.0 developer party but I am LOVING it so far. Words and phrases are often thrown around by creators of software, but this really is a game changer. Like any software, you have to know a little about how to use it but the grid and block system is intuitive and powerful. Coupled with LoopBuddy and child themes it has become time to no longer look anywhere else for a theme framework.

    P.S The Live CSS Editor has always been good but it’s now officially “fancy”.

  2. I heard about your launch over on BlogCast.fm and I got excited for you guys even though I’m a Thesis user. Anything that adds value to the WordPress community is a good thing. Best wishes and if I ever get another WordPress blog I’m going give Headway 3 a try. Cheers!

  3. Thanks for sharing the great information about Headway 3.0 . I love the product. . Version 2.x was a game change with the VE. Headway 3.0 with the Enhanced VE is a knockout punch. I really believe this is what separates Headway from all other products.

    • @Robcairns Thanks, Rob. Of course, we believe the same thing. :) The new Grid Layout aspect of the Visual Editor is astonishing in its simplicity and effectiveness. The new child themes (and the ability to edit them in the visual editor) will be impressive.

  4. Headway is very smart for developing a wordpress theme framework centered on visual design and functionality for non-coders. Your doing a great job! Keep it up!

    Is there going to be a Christmas Special on Headway 3.0? If so, then what percentage off would it be?

    Is there a a trial available to test out the new 3.0 before buying? Thanks.

      • @remarkablogger , yes, it’s tool for designing entire site, but what about using WP Multisite feature for demos? I mean – what if you create one multisite (for example on demo.headwaythemes.com) and let users create free accounts to test (with limited 10MB space). You will network activate headway framework of course so that these users are able to use it.At the same time, users will find out how REALLY compatible headway is to multisite.

        • @remarkablogger Thanks.As to Multisite support, I purchased Headway exactly for that (to develop client sites from my multisite). So, could you say more exact date of when headway is going to support multisites? I have checked out you new FAQ few days ago and I found this:”Headway 3.0 is currently not compatible with multi-site or BuddyPress. We will be adding support within the next week.”Is it true? Or is it matter of FUTURE/Plans/Wishes etc.?

        • @kshengelia@remarkablogger Multi site will be in the next update coming this week.

          As for a demo on multi-site, I don’t believe this will happen for Headway Base. However, each child theme will have a demo right on the child theme’s page

    • @figzoo4 We currently have a 33% off coupon available for all plans but, Headway Base. Use code hw33

      As for a special Christmas special, Michael is correct. Nothing planned.

      • @GrantGriffiths Thanks for the coupon! Your doing a great job. Keep your focus on the visual editor because its different than what anyone else is doing on the market. And yes, I already know its a tool for designing an entire site and also powerful for coders as well. It’s great! Thanks @remarkablogger

        Your product is similar in philosophy to Xara.com’s Web Designer (no affiliation) in that you can design visually and have a lot of freedom in design even if your not a strong programmer or coder. But Headway is a lot better because it’s so much more powerful because it’s built on top of WordPress. You can design visually with freedom, but also have CMS functionality. It’s great.

        One more question: If you sign up for Headway Base can you upgrade your existing account easily to a Lifetime Membership later using the coupon code you provided?

        Thanks.

  5. Hi. When will the themes be available for viewing? It has been a few days and we would like to check them out before purchase.

    Also, does your theme allow for multiple pages with a blog format?

      • @remarkablogger@ihussein Great! Looking forward to the new themes.

        And this seems to be what I am looking for. Under different menus, I’d like to have separate blog posts covering different subjects. E.g., main blog page for blog posts by our group, another for posts on recommended reading, another for what’s in the news, etc. So we would like to make use of the blog post structure –I am guessing multiple WP databases, each for one of these other blogs.

        • @ihussein Don’t know. You’ll need to check with the theme developers. Some will be made by Headway Themes, while others will be made by third parties partnering with Headway Themes and sold through the Headway Member Marketplace.

        • @ihussein

          We haven’t done any testing with Headway and RTL, but it’s something we can look into down the road :-).

        • @remarkablogger Thanks.As to Multisite support, I purchased Headway exactly for that (to develop client sites from my multisite). So, could you say more exact date of when headway is going to support multisites? I have checked out you new FAQ few days ago and I found this:”Headway 3.0 is currently not compatible with multi-site or BuddyPress. We will be adding support within the next week.”Is it true? Or is it matter of FUTURE/Plans/Wishes etc.?

        • @claygriffiths I plan on buying the headway theme based on many recommendatins and what I see in your videos looks very promising. I like! I will use the theme for a standard English website and I will also test it on my Arabic (RTL) website and would be more than happy to give you guys any feedback if that is something you’d be interested in.Cheers!

  6. If I need to customize design outside the scope of the visual editor, should I then create a child theme and pull in a custom.css file that way? What I’m asking is basically: in order to add a custom.css should I always add a child theme as part of that approach?

  7. >> “In addition to the custom.css file in Headway, which you can edit and FTP back up to your server”

    I don’t see a custom.css file in the theme folder.. Should I just add one, and will it then be automatically included in the css cache file that headway seems to automatically build, if it exists?

    I’d like to customize Headway CSS using Espresso or CSSEdit, and I’m not sure exactly how to go about that. There seems to just be one dynamically generated css cache file, and I’d like to know more about how that file is being generated from the theme settings, and also if it’s possibe to make Headway forma the css it generates in a less optimized form, for better readability?

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