Announcing Headway 3.6 Developers Beta

Ready to jump right in? Headway 3.6 Beta 1 and Hinterland are available to Developer License holders in the Headway Dashboard.

It’s an exciting time for the Headway Team as we get to show you more of what we have been working on these past few months. Since Headway 3.6 is such a large update, we will be running a beta available to Developer License holders to help out weed out the bugs so you can have peace of mind when you upgrade to Headway 3.6 in the future.

We know you all love to test and see what is new with Headway, so we’re giving you first chance to see what we’ve been cooking up!

New Features

You have talked, we listened! Skins are by far the most requested feature so we’ve developed an even better way to build skins. While we were building skins, we also wanted to think about the way the Design Editor works. So let’s talk about these features!


We understand not everyone wants to start from a blank canvas. Sometimes people want to switch fonts, change a few colors and start blogging. So not only have we made this easier in Headway, we’ve built our own skins and will continue to do so.

We’ve never felt satisfied with our previous attempts at skin and child theme functionality, but we believe we’ve hit the nail on the head with Headway 3.6’s skin functionality. All skins are simple .json files that populate Headway grid and design settings so this means that you can edit every single part of a skin using Headway!

You can export your design as a skin, or start with a blank canvas for a brand new skin. Think of all the possibilities you could do with this! We are excited to see what you guys develop as Skins.


We’re happy to let you try out our first skin, Hinterland. Hinterland is is a great example of what can be achieved using Headway’s fluid wrapper functionality as well as the Nudging and positioning properties in the Design Editor to achieve a fixed header.

Don’t fret, Hinterland won’t be our only skin when we release Headway 3.6. We have plenty more!

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 3.40.44 AM

Grid Mode

As web designers and developers, one thing we do when we start building a new website is we build wireframes. Wireframes give us a great idea of what the site will look like. So we made it even more like a wireframe tool. Here’s an example of our new wireframe grid mode. Now you can wireframe out your site and let Headway build the site as you do so.

Design Editor

One thing we got feedback on was customers wanted an easy way to view properties for a given element or block. So we made this possible with the new properties view.  Customers also wanted to see what elements weren’t customized, so we created a way to show un-customized elements. Of course, we still needed to show instances of blocks, and edit the element for the current layout only. So we moved those to the top element. We also added an easy way to get the element into the live CSS editor.

Here’s a quick video showing you want the new design editor looks like.

Page/Template Panel

Finally, a big area we wanted to adjust based on customer feedback was the page/template panel. This was a panel we thought would get used.  However, what we’ve found out over the last 2 years is it doesn’t get used as much and results in always hiding it. So we wanted to go about making an improvement to this area as well. Check out the example below and let us know what you think.


We sincerely appreciate everyone’s support and patience with this release! Most importantly though, we want your feedback!

Live Site Disclaimer: Do *NOT* under any circumstances install beta Headway 3.6 beta on a live site at this point. With that said, we highly encourage duplicating your live site over to a staging environment with BackupBuddy or a similar plugin or service so you can test how Headway 3.6 will work on your live site.

Spread the word!

43 Responses

  1. Great Work Clay and the gang!

    It must be a rebuild of the VE from the ground up because it’s never been so fast and snappy for me before.

    I look forward to finally look at using Skins too, looks pretty darn good. 🙂

    • Thanks!

      Very glad to hear it’s more speedy! It’s not quite a complete rebuild, but we’ve made a LOT of enhancements and improvements.


  2. This looks amazing! Headway has already enabled me to achieve so much more than I would have done without drag and drop, but these new improvements look like it will take Headway another big step ahead. Love the fact you have put the work palette on the right hand side in design mode rather than along the bottom (like photoshop etc), a much more intuitive and practical place for it to go. Can’t wait to try it out! Thank you.

  3. WOW!! This is a huge improvement guys!! Definitely looking forward to playing around with this and testing it out, and nice skin too!!

    • Hey Mark,

      The videos are simply quick previews right now. We’ll have in-depth videos in the near future.


  4. This is so exciting. The supposed increase in speed is what I am looking forward to most. I also am really pumped about the skins feature. That will make out lives so much easier.

  5. It looks like these changes will be really good for productivity and ease of use.
    Haven’t used skins/children before (have complete copies of ‘template’ sites using Duplicate), so this is something I may be trying.
    The pages/template section – only collapse that when working on wide site (don’t have 16:9 monitor), but like the idea of dropdown.
    I sometimes get lost while changing properties in Design, especially when I’ve got many instances, and this looks better too. I also struggle to find and target properties even when using Chromes ‘Inspect’ (I’ve not mastered how CSS works beyond a basic level), so getting the element into the CSS editor sounds cool.
    Looking forward to getting stuck in.
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Wow! I love the new design editor. Looks very nice!

    I can’t seem to get anything new on the template thing, but i will download the beta and have a look on it

    Very happy to be Headway customer. These updates are fast going, and the community is help full. Thanks for that.

    Regards from Denmark

  7. Sincerely, this looks more then awesome (even without the sound in the videos :-))!

    All new features are fantastic, but skins are something special – so far this was Headway’s weakest spot, but it seems no more 😉

    I’m really happy and proud to be a part of Headway family, please just keep up as you are doing now.

  8. Glad to see the evolution of Headway. It´s simply the right choices, building up new features from a good foundation. Skins are a great addition , but the UI improvements are very welcome.

    Just one suggestion: when using the new grid mode, with the new wireframe look, you add a image square, when you preview it the space for the image was not simulated, or allocated, or should show a placeholder instead, or an image, so you can replace it.

  9. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.

    Any recommendations?

  10. I want to ask if you improved import/export functions of Headway so I could move theme created on my test site to existing client site. When I was checking it about 6 months ago, there where many issues with that. Here’s my report from back then:
    “I don’t care too much about SEO settings and background images from Custom CSS (but it would be very useful), I do care about exerything else – I would like to transfer design between wordpress installations easily (without knowing Headway) and it’s not possible:
    – when you export your layouts (one by one), there is no way to export connections between them (blocks that are being mirrored). you have to recreate them manually;
    – there is no way to export Responsive/no responsive setting (and probably few others on the same level) – have to do it manually;
    – when exporting skin, there is no way to export settings attached to specific layouts – recreate all of them manually – really painful (deal breaker for someone who is using “Customize for Curent Layout”);
    – no way to export Header/Footer Scripts – copy and paste them manually;
    That are just few things that should be included in one file/click export to make it easy to move. There are probably others I didn’t found. It’s huge thing that is overlooked in my opinion. To spark an idea – it would be ideal if you could export Headway with it’s settings, so that on other wordpress installation you could just take that package, install it as a theme and it would be installed with your design and all the settings (like there is starter theme with some default settings when you install Headway).”

  11. Amazing work this is the way forward! Would love to see some some better responsive design controls for screen sizes but I am sure you guys are working on that! Keep up the outstanding work Headway Team!

  12. Excellent!

    Question though… What’s the update process like? Is it going to eff up my current theme to upgrade / overwrite my current version…?

    I generally use a plugin called “Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades” to update. Is that sufficient, or is there a specific / alternate method to upgrading major updates like this?

    I have a developer license and would love to start testing this right away on a site I’m working on if it won’t completely destroy it. 🙂

    Thanks! Awesome software BTW. Moved here from iThemes.

    • If you are already on 3.x, the upgrading will be as simple as clicking a button. However as always, we want you to backup everything before upgrading either Headway or WordPress

      • Where might this button be exactly…? Can’t seem to find it in my Headway settings. Unless I’m missing something… Or will the button only be available after the beta testing is over and the official release is out…?

          • So for those who have a developer license, like myself – there’s no real great way to upgrade an existing installation…?

          • You can upgrade your existing installation simply by overwriting the existing version of Headway with the Headway 3.6 Beta. However, do not install the beta on a live/production website unless you have backups.

            Here are instructions on how to go about installing the Headway 3.6 Beta: (step #5 would be replaced by downloading the beta)

  13. Am I the only one getting 502 Bad Gateway every other time I try to visit this site over the past week or two?

    • Hey Andrew,

      We recently migrated our website to a new setup and have been working through a few issues.

      All should be well now.

      Sorry for the trouble!

      • Ok 🙂 Really stoked about the new release (that’s why I’ve been visiting the page every day, heh)

  14. Clay and Grant – holy monkey you guys. This beta is a million times better than your previous release! TONS of bug fixes. I totally ignored your advice and updated my live site with the beta because I’m all hardcore like that. Zero problems whatsoever…. thus far….! Also I just joined your affiliate program – so go approve my application!! (please)… 😀

    Thanks guys.

  15. How come I keep getting this upon trying to upload the beta version:

    Installing the theme…

    Destination folder already exists. D:/Hosting/11984300/html/

    Theme install failed.

    This is a new site that I am working on but the domain uses shared hosting. Could this be the issue?

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