One Tool That Will Change Your Life

Website design is typically a pain in the ass. Big unintentional gaps, alignment that you can’t control, and boxes with a mind of their own. (Don’t even get me started on Internet Explorer 6.)

So when I found Headway I was pretty blown away. For the first time, designing your site in WordPress could be controlled within an easy to use interface, without changing any code. You could actually rearrange everything within a drag-and-drop interface. Every element, every section of your site, could be reorganized without touching code.

I was impressed. And I bought it immediately.

This time, though, Headway has done something even better. And what they’ve done is game changing.

Headway 1.0 was pretty awesome, but Headway 1.5 is light years ahead of that. Before, you could change everything within a panel on WordPress in the admin area. You would save changes, and then reload your page in another tab or window to see the effect. Not anymore.

The new Headway visual editor allows you to edit everything live.

Within the visual editor, you use a drop down to select each element — header, navigation, sidebar, post title, etc. — and all the CSS options appear for you, without the code. Once you change them, you see the results immediately. And if you like what you see, you can save it to lock it in.

I’ve been using this tool to create a new fitness website [details will be released soon] and it has allowed me to cut down development time to one tenth of the time it previously took. It’s really ridiculous how easy it is now.

Here are some of the features in the new Headway WordPress theme:

  • Drag and drop every element on your blog (sidebar, navigation, header, and custom areas)
  • Eliminate repetitive effort when creating pages by linking page designs
  • Decide on your fonts for everything—without CSS
  • Improve your search optimization by simply activating Headway
  • Make your blog stand out with animated transitions for featured content
  • Create photo galleries with no extra plugins
  • Add your tweets to your blog with no extra plugins
  • Written and video tutorials to get you going
  • A helpful, friendly support community
  • Free upgrades to all new versions of Headway for life

These are just a few of the features that I’ve borrowed from the Headway website (they could tell you why it’s amazing better than I can, after all).

At the risk of sounding like a total webdesign geek, Headway 1.5 has changed my life. It makes creating highly effective websites in WordPress for my business amazingly simple.

If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme, or want to switch to something that will make you actually want to work on your website (wouldn’t that be nice?), I highly recommend it. I don’t affiliate with products lightly, so it has to be pretty amazing to get my endorsement.

If you want to make WordPress design easy, check it out. Change your WordPress experience forever.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

christiaanh January 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Headway, ah yes, something I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks. It does offer so many easy ways to edit your own page but as of yet my photoshop/gimp skills don’t go anything past cropping and resizing so making all these great graphics and custom headers will have to become a new skill to learn.

Indeed this blog looks great, it feels like headway offers you a way to go beyond the normal two/three column layout that is so common on blogs these days. Somehow everything seems to flow better on a blog with headway (As said, I’ve been looking into headway and found a few others who use it) All of them look very different unlike a blog using a template and working from there.

I’m still on the fence because of the graphic skills though

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Constantin January 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

I agree Christiaanh. My image editing skills aren’t so great either and if I’m going to put some cash into my blog I’d rather have it go to nice looking images within a free (albeit less common) wordpress theme than plunk down the cash for Headway and then not have pretty graphics.

Jonathan- do you do your own graphics work or do you have someone you can recommend for that?

– Constantin

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Alex Blackwell January 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Does the new Visual Editor really perform well? My experience in the past is the VE is clunky and not robust at all. In fact, I have stopped using VE for over a year now.

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Adam January 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I love Headway. I mean, there are some bugs but you can work around them. It’s worth the money and will pay for itself if you’ve wanted to do some custom work. I did all of the work on my site and have to say I am pretty proud. I have no coding experience what-so-ever.

@Alex – There are a few bugs that are there but easily worked around. I usually send them to Clay and he gets them fixed for new releases.

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Jens P. Berget January 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Sounds like an awesome theme. The price is fairly cheap as well. I’ve recently bought a similar theme for Drupal. I don’t have any knowledge when it comes to design, so for me it’s important that it’s easy to customize.

All I did was hire a designer to create a new logo for me (it was finished yesterday, I haven’t received it yet). Today I’ll just add the logo, and the design is ready :)

– Jens

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Craig January 20, 2010 at 2:15 am

Never used it but I can see its usefulness – thanks I’ll check it out.

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Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com January 20, 2010 at 2:24 am

Wow that sounds great. Mine is a wordpress blog so I’ll check it out. Cheers.

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Jonny | thelifething.com January 20, 2010 at 3:26 am

Interesting post and it really brings to light the fact that the freelance webdesign industry could be coming to an end fairly shortly as visual editors continue to remove the need for code.

Nice post.

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Danny Brown January 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

Hi Alex,

Are you on about the WordPress visual editor options? As Headway has only been out since July 2009, so definitely not a year :)

And yes, it really is that awesome! :)

Cheers.

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robert phillips January 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

@Alex I’ve found that it does. A little (but only a little) iffy, understandably, in the first release. But now moves along really well. I’m pretty demanding of my GUIs, and I’ve no complaints.

@Coinstantin For me, it’s far more rewarding to do images in Photoshop than crank out CSS and PHP code. I can do the latter, but the former floats my boat. What kind of graphics are you looking for?

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Tomas Stonkus January 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for sharing!

I have just bookmarked the page for future use. At this point of time, I do not feel the need to redesign anything, but I know that as my blog continues to grow, I will need to make some major changes.

Thank you once again!

Best,
Tomas

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Farouk January 21, 2010 at 1:41 am

i use drupal but i have tried word press and its simply amazing !! i didn’t knew about it the day i started my blog

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Arsene Hodali January 25, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Thank you for this recommendation.

Answers to sooo many of my design/development needs.

I predict that as this more and more people find out about Headway, the price will go up, so buying early is good (especially with the whole unlimited updates).

Anything that makes life easier, and that makes it easier for ‘normal’ people to do complicated things usually gets picked up quick (Ning.com, Wordpress.com, etc.).

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Robin Bastien March 5, 2010 at 1:40 am

Wordpress core really seems to be moving in this direction. 3.0 is supposed to feature full drag-and-drop page orders, just like what they have with widgets now. I’m not a fan of WYSIWYG / visual editors, but something that makes it easier for the person using the site is key. As a web designer, everything’s about the end-user experience in the end.

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