In this article I’ll review the latest version of the Headway WordPress theme, version 1.6. I’ll look at what’s changed from previous versions of the Headway theme and provide my honest opinion on my experiences using it.
Headway Theme Version 1.6 – what’s new?
Back in April when the original version of Headway 1.6 was issued I wrote this post explaining some of the changes. Now that I’ve used it for a few months, I feel qualified to go into more detail about some of these changes.
Headway Skins and Styles
For a while Headway had been promising the introduction of skins and styles. With the latest version they’ve delivered.
A quick explanation of skins and styles is in order. Styles gives you the ability to save the fonts and formatting of your blog. So you may decide to have the text in Arial in different sizes etc. You can save this as a style, experiment with other options and use the style you like the best.
A Headway skin provides a whole lot more. Think of a skin as the pre-built framework of a site. It has the header, sidebars, footers etc all formatted, and usually comes with a few different options for colour schemes. There are some free skins, and some premium ones. I can see a growing market for Headway skins. Smart developers will make a range of skins and sell them to people who like the flexibility of Headway, but don’t want to wast a lot of time trying to design a site from scratch. A good skin will give you a site that looks great, and free up your time to find good content.
Your Background Image
If you have a background image that you’d like displayed on your site, it’s now really easy to do with Headway theme. You just upload the image into Headway, tell it how you want it tiled and it’s done! This is so easy to do and you don’t need any programming knowledge to do so.
Headway’s Live CSS Editor
I’ve said before how I know very little about CSS. I’ve been working on a friend’s web site and needed to add a bit of CSS code to change some font colours. It’s now so easy to do this in Headway with the live CSS editor. You open the editor up (from within the visual editor), paste in your code and watch the changes happen on your site. It’s so easy to use and if you make a mistake it’s easy to delete the code and start again. I can see that the CSS editor is something I’ll use more of in the future.
Of course, some of the older Headway features are still there and still very useful.
The visual editor makes the design of your site so easy, and I love the ease with which I can experiment with different colour and find options.
The Headway leaf structure is still easy to use. Occasionally I have some trouble getting the leafs to align properly, but usually I find out it’s my mistake! Leafs make Headway so easy to use – you simply drag them to where you want them to go and drop them there. You can format the size, content etc to get them looking just as you want. In my opinion, leafs make using Headway so simple, and gives a me a good balance between being able to change the layout of my site without the need for lots of CSS or HTML knowledge.
The Problems With Headway
Like any WordPress theme, Headway does have a few bugs. I mentioned earlier that I sometimes struggle to get the leafs in the right place. Usually I’m to blame for this, but it would be good if the visual editor provided a bit more information to make it easier to troubleshoot these problems.
In May I had a problem with one of my newer sites. When I was adding the background image, the visual editor would freeze and wouldn’t complete the task. The Headway support were very helpful and sent me the beta version of the latest update. The problem actually stopped happening before I loaded the update so we never knew what actually caused it.
There have been the usual number of queries on the Headway forum from people who are having problems. I’ve found the forum to be very helpful and responsive whenever I’ve asked questions.
Headway support and upgrades
The Headway forum is beginning to get busy as a lot of new users join and ask questions. I’ve posted a few questions on the forum and usually get a response within 24 hours. I’ve found a lot of good ideas just from reading the forums.
This version of Headway theme is now up to version 1.6.6. Whilst they’ll usually release a beta version of any major upgrades for people with Developer licenses to test, when the ‘real’ version is released there are usually still some bugs. This is to be expected with any WordPress theme where the range of plugins and browsers means it’s impossible to comprehensively test before it’s fully released. Importantly, the guys at Headway are very active in getting updates out there once they find out about any problems.
I like the Headway theme. I feel that it represents good value for money and it allows me to get my site looking the way I want it to, without having to know a lot about CSS and HTML.
Have a look on their website to see what it can do.
- Headway WordPress Theme Version 1.6
- Headway 1.5 Theme Review
- Headway Theme Version 2 Coming Soon
- Headway Theme 3.0 Review and Sneak Peak
- How To Hide Pages Using Headway Theme and WordPress