You can build a nice blog with Headway without any custom CSS

We launched on July 31st and on August 2nd, I received an email from one of our new Headway bloggers with a great testimonial about her experience with Headway.

Headyway is awesome! Although I know NOTHING about programming, it took my website from this: to this: (still a work in progress) in basically one day with a minimum of cursing.

Sarah White is an attorney in Georgia who took Headway Themes and constructed her blogsite without any custom CSS.  Sarah also used one of the built in leafs to insert an image rotator.  And even that required no CSS.  Here is a screenshot of what she has so far.  And Sarah says this is “still a work in progress.”  Headway Themes is clearly a great choice for a professional service firm which wants to concentrate on providing information to their intended audience in a form and fashion the reader can use and understand.

Blog | Sarah White, Attorney at Law

Spread the word!

40 Responses

  1. Hi, I just wanted to ask if it would be possible to use an image as a background when using Headway? I didn’t see this in the Features list on the website, nor in John Haydon’s videos.

    • There’s currently not a “feature” for adding them, but it can easily be done with custom CSS. If you ever need help with custom CSS, we can help you in the forums.

        • That’s good to know – I currently have a Joomla site, but prefer to use my twitter/chillservices background – how extensive is the knowledge requirement for CSS?

          I want 3 sites, but am an old ‘er programmer, when we used a card deck to read our programs.

          My other 2 sites – personal and business are currently all be native WP with free templates to learn the tool. Do I need the developers version for 3 sites?

          • It depends on what you want to do. MAJOR customization will require some CSS experience.

            Yes, the limit on the personal option is two sites that you own, and the developer is unlimited sites that you own.

  2. I see in the Design tab there is a drop down for CSS Are there many in there to choose from? And do you know places to purchase the CSS for WordPress. Apart fom that the tool looks great.

    • There isn’t really CSS you can “purchase”, you can pay someone who knows how to do CSS on the other hand. If you ever need help with something though, we will gladly help you in the forums. Even if it’s CSS related.

    • We didn’t release any coupons out except for a few excepts. To list off a few and be transparent, I gave out some to people I met at WordCamp Dallas and Grant Griffiths (Blog For Profit) sent out coupons in his newsletter.

  3. Headway looks great! Since this is a new “theme” I have a few questions I haven’t found answered thus far on the comments page.

    1) Is there a money back guarantee if I am not satisfied with the product?
    2) Does the price include unlimited updates/upgrades/additions to the product? As we all know, WP likes to create updates – which is nice — but oftentimes plugins and such don’t work after you upgrade and this makes a NON-techie like me cuss like a sailor. I am hoping I would have continious support for this product, as I like the idea of having one theme I can “re-design” without having to buy and deal with learning how to use a new theme.
    3) Someone asked if there was the possibility of upgrading to the developer product later. You responded yes. Does that mean once I purchase I will definitely have the option to upgrade?

    I think this covers my questions for the moment. Need to know before I purchase a hosting account.


      • Thanks for the quick reply Clay! A few more quick questions.

        1) Are there any known plugins that DONT work with Headway?
        2) I think I read that somewhere on the site thatBlueHost is compatible with Headway?
        3) Did I read correctly that if I want, every page can be layed out differently? I.E. Home can have two sidebars, About us could have one sidebar, and that the width of the sidebars and content can be modified and different on every page as well?
        4) Last, I can copy any page layout I have created to any new pages I create, so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel?

        I am very excited about this product!

        • 1. Not that I know of.
          2. Yes. GoDaddy is the only host that you’re likely to run into problems with. Although someone in the forums has found a solution to it.
          3. Yes.
          4. You can copy regular pages, but not system pages (if you’ve read about that).

  4. So basically, if I wanted to use the layout editor to create a nytimes styled grid design I could easily do that with headway?

    • Yup, but to add borders and other styling you’ll have to use custom CSS (which we’ll help you with in the forums).

      • Very cool. I just happened to be looking for a simple way of creating modular grid layouts with wordpress without having to physically code the layout structure by hand. While at the same time being able to duplicate different page layouts to multiple pages. So that in the event I needed to change an element across all of the pages (advertising setup) I could do that by changing a page template.

        Kind of great timing with this theme just launching.

        I think I had read on another blog somewhere that the guy had to manually enter in leafs on a new site by hand in order to duplicate his development design.

        Any plans on making an easy way of exporting/importing page layouts to other sites?

  5. Hey mate

    Maybe I miss worded my question. At the moment I purchase themes from load em up and pay someone to customize them. All the themes are different I am wanting to understand how if you can put headers etc.. and how different each site can be created with your system?

  6. This theme looks awesome.

    I was curious if the theme is able to create these types of sites without CSS mod (not a developer bone in my body)…Here is an example:

    I really like the look of a screen length header with a nav bar below (no sidebars)…It’s almost a cross between a mini-site and a blog look but I think you get the idea. I know it’s probably simple too you but I like this look as opposed to mini-site because of the additional look of professionalism.

    From what I’ve seen on the videos, it looks like Headway would do this quite easily.

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Yeah, you can easily build layouts like that, but getting the same exact “look” would require some custom CSS (which is constantly being tossed around the forums if anyone needs help). You can customize the color (and fonts) of just about everything though.


  7. I’m really interested in Headway. I’ve seen a lot about the layout customization, but not much about what can be automated other than Twitter.

    Can you auto-resize images to fit in a leaf? What about automatic thumbnails?

    • There is currently no image resizing except for the thumbnail with the about leaf. This will be improved in the future.


  8. Looks very interesting.

    How flexible and difficult is the creation of a SEO- and userfriendly dropdown-menu in the header with Headway? Seo-friendly, i.e., only with CSS, no JavaScript and simple “straight” (not dynamic) links, easy to read for search engines.
    Flexible, i.e., not only pages/articles of the blog itsself can be linked, but also other websites and non-blog-pages within the site (onsite-blog). A certain colour for the navigation, hover effect and visible marking of the actual the page in the navigation (so the user knows, where he is) would also be great.

    Or better using a special WP-plugin, like NAVT oder Multi-level Navigation of pixopoint?

    • Headway is completely SEO friendly. Dropdowns are CSS based (and intelligent and will load the suckerfish.js fix for IE6). You can also link to categories and external pages using the navigation forward URL. John Haydon does a good job showing the navigation here:

      Also, Headway only supports one level of dropdowns at the moment. The whole navigation is being rewritten in the next version and will support up to 5-6 levels (which is overkill in my opinion).


  9. I have seen the video of John Haydon, but there is one thing I don’t understand. Hope it’s not too complicated to explain:
    Why is it necessary to create an “artificial” page and an forwarding (!) URL on it, why not just offering a field where to type in the URLs, generating a normal, simple, “straight” link, without forwarding?

    As I want to add an onsite-blog to an already existing “normal” website, I think will have to use the navi forward URL option in Headway for all links of the navigation, right? Because the non-blog-pages of the site are unknown to the blog/theme, like real external pages/websites.
    Does this navi forward URL work only by creating a page before (like it is shown in the video)? If yes, why is this necessary, couldn’t it be possible just to provide a field, where I can type in the URLs, directly leading to the non-blog-pages of the same (my) site? As far as I understand, this new page has no meaning and funktion as a “real” page with content, it’s just a tool in order to build an forward URL on it.
    Is creating a new page and forward URL really SEO-friendly? “Forwarding” doesn’t sound like a simple, “straight and direct” link. As far as I know, dynamical forwarded links cannot be read correctly by search engines.

  10. I currently have a blog/site built on the Thesis theme. As a total non-technical sort, it drives me absolutely crazy any time I want to make the slightest change. The thing is: Trying to get my work done on the site even makes my tech-savvy VA crazy. And that’s not good for either of us.

    I’ve been threatening to change themes for a long while, but have held off because it would require so much work to move the look of the site. So tell me: If I were to move the current site over to Headway, how difficult would it be to move the logo and overall look (including background)?

    Also, I’ve read that headway theme can only accommodate thumbnails I have photos on most of my blog posts – and only a few are thumbnail size.

    Finally, it’s great that headway has an automatic uplink to Twitter. What about Facebook? Any plans for that?

    Thanks for your help – g

    • Depending on the complexity of your site, it most likely wouldn’t take long.

      As far as the thumbnails, Headway doesn’t have a built-in image resizer like Thesis.

      As far as Facebook integration, we might consider it in the future. The reason it’s not a priority is because you can link your Twitter account to Facebook. Social networks are integrating like crazy now.


      • I think that Facebook Connect integration similar to Thesis’ integration would be great
        I’ve got FB Connect working with Headway but it doesn’t pop the comment box in the same rad manner that Thesis does – i.e. it’s not obvious people are commenting via FB

    • Mat,

      I, too, was hoping to see a response to your question from the people at Headway. I am also looking to integrate Headway as a blog within a traditional website, and want to know how easy / possible it will be.

      Hopefully they will have something to say about this.

  11. Hi, I’m considering buying, but first have a few questions:

    1). Is there a way to have photos appear with post excerpts? All the Headway blogs I’ve seen only have the headline and a snippet of text.

    2). I’ve read that there are issues with Headway and Godaddy, particularly when changing the permalink setting from default. Has this been resolved?

  12. Now I have liftoff, too!
    I love, love this theme; it exceeds my expectations. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this.
    I’ll be posting some of the tips and tricks I used to get the most from Headway on a dedicated page on my website. Feel free to peruse and navigate through my site. I’m more than happy to answer any question, as well.
    (click my name to get to my Headway site)

  13. Hi there,

    I’m really interested in the Headway theme for a new business I’m starting. Can you tell me, how customizable the image rotator leaf is? Can it go full width, can some sub-text be added, can each image link to a unique page / post?

    There is no mention of it on the site or in your videos, except to say it exists…

    Many thanks.

    • You can create as many image rotators as you need. Each one is limited to 4 images (this is changed in the upcoming version). You can link to any page, external site, or whatever else. Yes, it can go full width. There is no sub-text option though.


  14. I have just discovered Headway & Thesis and am trying to make a decision. I am extremely good with design but not a scrap about code. My problem is I’ll find a theme that is perfect but the wrong colors or perfect except for one or two things or perfect except I can’t find an option to put my blog name where the theme name is (some themes have it easily locatable and others don’t). I say all that to say, I’m a frustrated blogger who spends more time on trying to get the right look than I do writing. Boo.

    1) Can I add a sliding picture gallery? (like on my current site)
    2) I see that I can add a featured post but will it also give me the option to have the title flash/floating across or beside it?
    3) Can I tag articles from various categories for the featured box? Most themes make you choose from one specific category and I’ve had to create a fictitious category called “featured” just so I can use posts from different categories but of course now there is an extra category on the navigation bar that doesn’t need to be there
    4) Can I add a video slider gallery? I like the idea of people having the option to view all the video’s I’ve uploaded
    5) Can I add shopping basket? (I am considering a second blog w/a potential for some small sales of blog themed t-shirts and stuff
    6) Can I add a flicker-like photo gallery but without the use of flicker? I would prefer to just simply upload photo’s I’d like to share vs having to get yet another social-network member login.

    if you go to my site you’ll see what I mean, essentially I want to re-create it but with different/more colors/fonts/background options and more flexibility in general.

    Thank you so much,

    • Hey, glad you found us. Hopefully these answers help.

      You can do images, but we don’t have a carousel-like leaf like your current site.
      Not sure what you mean on this one.
      With the featured box you can choose one or multiple categories to pull from (you can do this with the content and feed leafs too).
      You can use an image rotator then link to the pages.
      This isn’t a Headway feature, but you can certainly use a plugin like Shopp.
      With 1.5 you can since it has the new photo gallery leaf. 1.0 does not have this.


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