Headway Theme 3.0 Review and Sneak Peak

This is a review of the Headway theme 3.0 – due to be released on November 25th 2011.  Headway 3.0 is a complete change to the Headway theme. The guys had already produced an innovative WordPress theme, now they’ve completely increased the functionality and the value this theme provides.

This blog uses Headway theme and I’ve been using it since it was released in 2009. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how easy Headway is to use, and how it gives you a lot of extra options.

As an example, I used to use one of the WordPress SEO plugins to help customise my post SEO. Once I started using Headway I could stop using the plugin because Headway gave me all those options.

The thing I like most about Headway theme is how easy it is to customise the look of my site. I’ve set up my own templates for blog posts, the main page and other pages. I’m not stuck with a standard look (like you are with other templates).

I’ve created pages that look completely different to other ones. For example if you subscribe to my email list, you’ll be taken to a download page. That page doesn’t have a sidebar so it looks different to the other pages. Was this hard to do? No. I simply took my standard template, removed the sidebar and extended the width of the content leaf.

So, what’s changing in Headway Theme 3.0?

I’ve been using the Beta version of Headway Theme 3.0 for the past month on a test site. Whilst I’m still getting used to it, it’s a huge step forward over version 2.0 (and I’m very happy with Headway 2.0!).

The main change is that they’ve moved to a grid system. In the past Headway has used content ‘leafs’. These leafs could be positioned on your page and would display text, pictures etc. With version 2.0, Headway introduced columns. This enabled you to position your leafs within a column structure – this was great and made positioning of leafs a lot better.

With Headway Theme 3.0, they’re introducing a grid system. This is so easy to use, and makes designing a site so easy.

With the Headway grid system, you simply click and draw your box on the grid, and then select the type of box you want – is it a header or navigation bar? Perhaps it’s content or a picture? It’s so simple to quickly position a bunch of boxes on your page.

Here’s a screenshot of the grid system found in Headway theme 3.0.

 

Headway Theme 3.0 Visual Editor

Headway Theme 3.0 showing the grid layout system

And once you’ve got that page looking the way you want it to, you can easily change the look of it. What fonts do you want to use? What about the font size? Header fonts and sizes? There’s so much that can easily be changed.

Make each page different in Headway 3.0

Sometimes you want your pages to look different. You may want a home page that’s got a lot of content summaries on it with the intention that readers click through to read full articles. That page will probably look different to your About page.

And maybe you want to produce a squeeze page. You probably don’t want a sidebar on that page, or any distracting navigation options. You probably just want a page full of text and images. It’s easy in Headway. Tick a couple of boxes to remove the header and navigation and the rest is easy.

How about the ability to customise individual blog posts? I haven’t looked deeply into this but it looks like a winner. You’ve probably got a few blog posts that get a lot of traffic. Maybe you could add some extra content boxes to this individual blog article – perhaps an affiliate offer or an extra sign up box. You can do this at the individual article level in Headway 3.0.

And of course there are the Headway ‘hooks’. These enable you to insert content in various locations throughout your pages. I’ve got my financial planning website and need to put a disclaimer under every article. I could include it when I write the article, but then it forms part of the article text. Instead, I include it as a hook. A while back the disclaimer needed to change. Instead of having to manually edit each article (over 50!) I simply changed the hook. It was a one minute job and instantly updated the disclaimer throughout my site.

Here’s a short video from the Headway developers showing some of the features of Headway Theme 3.0.

 

Headway Theme 3.0 Pricing

Headway Theme 3.0 is released on the 25th November. But you’ll need to buy it before then. Here’s why.

Up to now, Headway has operated on a once-only fee to purchase the theme. There’s a Personal option and a Developer’s option, but either way, there’s a one-off cost to purchase the theme. Once you’ve got your licence, you get unlimited support and access to their forums (which rock!), and upgrades for life.

Once Headway 3.0 is released, the pricing changes. To upgrade to a Developer’s licence will cost more, and they’re moving to an annual renewal fee to cover access to upgrades and support. The way I understand this, is that if you buy after the 25th and don’t pay the annual fee when it falls due, you won’t get any upgraded versions and won’t get any support.

So, if you’ve sitting on the fence about buying Headway theme, it’s time to make a decision.

If you purchase before Headway 3.0 is released on the 25th, you’ll be able to buy it under the ‘old’ pricing structure – a once only fee and access to upgrades and support for life. If you buy it on or after the 25th, you’ll be paying an yearly fee if you want upgrades (and you will want them!).

I’ve been very happy with Headway. I’ve learnt a lot about customising it with only a limited knowledge of CSS and HTML but even that’s not necessary to build a good looking site. The drag and drop concept allows you to build good looking sites without any programming knowledge.

Head over to the Headway site today and buy your copy before the 25th and beat the price rise.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll answer them.
Headway Themes — The Drag & Drop WordPress Theme

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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3 Responses to Headway Theme 3.0 Review and Sneak Peak
  1. Elektrische Zahnbuerste
    November 20, 2011 | 4:57 pm

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: bloggerbusinessplan.com/headway-theme-review-3-0-sneak-peak/ […]…

  2. Rachel
    January 2, 2012 | 3:39 am

    I’ve been using Headway on multiple sites for over 2 years and am a big fan, but the premature release of 3.0 has introduced some unfortunate issues:

    > It was released too soon and is still buggy, so if you’re thinking of using it on an important site, you might want to wait a couple months. I have converted a test site to 3.0.4 in order to become familiar with the new theme before upgrading my important sites.

    > As of 01/01/2012 there is NO upgrade path from 2.x, though they say they will have one by February 1, so any existing 2.x sites have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Even after an upgrade path is available, upgraded sites may need some tweaking. I will wait for reviews of how well the upgrade path is working before upgrading my sites.

    > A really disappointing development is the way some of the Headway Team, particularly CEO Grant Griffiths and AJ Morris, are prone to behave like children on the Headway support forums, posting rude, condescending and insulting comments directed at users who are just trying to learn how to get the software to work for them. However, the other Headway support staff members, including HW Genius Clay Griffiths, are always cordial, patient and extremely helpful.

  3. […] Headway theme review, Headway theme […]

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