Headway is Essentially Blog Design Software

Did you know Headway has over 700 code-free options & features? Other theme frameworks are now implementing more and more code-free options, but Headway is still worlds apart because of one important difference that, no other theme has been able to match: the Headway Visual Editor (HVE).

I realize this post is going to sound like a big brag-fest, and you know what? I don’t care, because Headway is awesome enough to brag about without feeling guilty at all. What I want to bring up in this post about Headway is so different and so unique, we who work with Headway constantly almost forget how important and game-changing these differences are. So I believe it’s worth a post just to highlight them.

Headway is Design Software for Your WordPress Site

The HVE does not use WordPress’ interior administration pages, like other themes do. Why? Because they are too limiting and were never designed to contain all the various options you need to control the visual design of your site.

So Headway does something better. Instead of using the cramped WordPress admin pages, it creates a frame of tools and panels to the left side of your screen. This is like the panels in graphics software or like the task bars in Microsoft Office.

These panel groups expand and collapse, and within each group are sub-groups as necessary which also can be collapsed or expanded. What this means for you is that you have complete control over more than 700 settings in Headway, all without ever having to know anything about HTML, PHP, CSS or JavaScript.

This is a crucial difference between Headway and other commercial WordPress theme frameworks: these are not just “options”, this is blog design software for everyone.

You See Your Changes Live, On the Fly, Instead of Flying Blindly

In Headway you can see your site live right in the window and watch the changes update on the fly as you work. This is kind of a big deal, as they say. Because for one thing, it makes designing your site a very visual, intuitive, and easier experience (not to mention faster). For another, Headway is unique in this. Even other themes which provide drag & drop functionality of content areas or menu elements do not offer a completely visual design environment, because they’re not thinking outside the WordPress admin “box”.

In my work as a blog consultant design is part of what I do. Not all of my clients have Headway, some of them are using other theme frameworks. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to go into one of these and have to fly blind as I change settings and just hope it’s going to look okay. I don’t know until I hit save and reload the page in another browser tab.

I’m spoiled by simply being able to see my changes live in front of my eyes as I make them. I believe it’s a faster, easier and more effective way to design a site. And by the way I know all this coding stuff and I have designed my own WordPress themes in the past (my old Sapphire theme is still used by thousands on WordPress.com). Even as a code-based designer, I have come to love working visually in Headway so much that I’m loathe to do it any other way, now.

Blogging was Supposed to be “Easy”

We were promised that blogging was supposed to be “easy.” But the reality turned out to be quite different! As soon as you wanted a unique visual branding for your site (something which is extremely important) things get very complicated and very expensive very quickly. Sadly, this frustrates many hopeful bloggers and entrepreneurs to the point of giving up or never even starting.

Because Headway does so much, there is a bit of a learning curve to it. But I’ve been an expert software trainer for over a decade and, having used both the simplest and some of the most complex software out there (and taught it for hundreds) I can say that Headway’s learning curve was pretty gentle. This what “blogging is easy” was supposed to be like.

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4 Responses

  1. Nice write up, Michael.

    For designers, they can actually use Headway to “wireframe” the site. That is an awesome time saver, because when they get the go ahead from the client, they don’t have to go back to scratch and start building. All the layout is already done! They just need to style it and populate it.

    Really, really brilliant!

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