In my last guest post, I mentioned that I first acquired Headway in the spring of 2010, when the version was 1.6.6. So, while I wasn’t in at the bleeding edge of this framework, I was in several major releases ago.
For the sake of transparency, I won a personal license of Headway from a WPBeginner twitter contest and I hadn’t really touched frameworks yet. After building my first client site with Headway, I realized that I was going to become an expert at my craft and limit the tools in my toolbox. I planted myself squarely in the Headway camp at the end of August 2010, when I upgraded to a Developer license.
Since then, I’ve had to learn and re-learn how to best use Headway Themes. I wanted to jump in at the beta point for both HW 2 and HW 3, but resisted because my clients didn’t need it!
While HW 2 wasn’t a huge jump from HW 1.6.6 there were still a number of changes that made it clear to me that I needed a notepad and pencil to determine what new features I was going to get to use! The number of Easy Hooks increased and the column system was introduced. As with change, learning how to make the column system work for each site was, challenging to say the least. There were times when I wanted to span multiple columns with leafs, but needed to keep things tabular for others. I became really crafty with relative positioning of leafs – not exactly clean, but it accomplished what I needed.
OK, I’ll admit it – with HW 2.x I became a CSS addict. I know the HW CSS codex so well that several of my client’s Live CSS editors have more than 1000 lines of style!
I was really getting into the groove of pushing out HW 2.x sites when buzz about HW 3 started. I was excited to see what else Clay could come up with, but wasn’t sure I was ready to change my build process to account for it.
I went through a transition period where I was working simultaneously on HW 2 and HW 3 sites before launching my first 3.0.5 site. I’ll admit that it was a much bigger learning curve than I had imagined, however, because I had spent so much time embracing the Live CSS Editor in 2.x, I knew that I could rely on my CSS skills while learning my way around the new visual editor!
And, wow, that new visual editor has some extremely powerful and functional abilities! I could probably go on and on about why I like this feature or that one, but instead ‘ll just list my 3 favorite elements:
- Page hierarchy. It is so intuitive and when paired with a good wireframe makes building a site foundation quite straightforward.
- Defaults. I’m sure this part of the VE is overlooked all too often, but setting the defaults before block customization makes fewer customizations and “do-overs” necessary
- Live CSS Editor. If I didn’t love it before, it now has logical color coding and indentation to further extend its power!
Overall, HW 3 has lived up to the greatness touted by the Headway support staff. It has been an awesome platform on which to develop truly unique websites for my clients! Thank you Clay, Grant and the support staff for all that you do to make my job so enjoyable!
Jaime Slutzky is a mom, fitness instructor and website developer in the Seattle-area. Her development studio, Fit with Flair, specializes in websites for Fitness Professionals. She also operates a small website design boutique, Simply Jaime, supporting other small businesses with website and email marketing solutions.