Is Headway Really Any Easier?

Screen shot 2010-06-19 at 9.25.25 PM Is Headway really a better and easier way to put together a Word Press-based website? I recently put the   Headway Theme through its paces constructing a site for one of my clients – India Think Consulting.

India Think is a cross-cultural communication consulting firm that helps Americans navigate the often very muddy cultural waters of doing business in India.  IndiaThinks clients are managers from larger corporations who have a lot at stake in making sure that their projects are successful.

Because of the audience, my client wanted the site to look very professional and to be very SEO friendly.  She basically came up with the layout and asked me to implement it for her.  While I can customize themes on a basic level (changing fonts, colors, getting rid of boxes on themes) – I wouldn’t call myself an “advanced” CSS and PHP coder.  Headway allowed me to easily move boxes around and customize different types of pages.

The theme is SEO friendly out of the box – which made my client happy.   We were also able to easily change the layout based on the feedback my client was getting from friends and potential customers.  We moved the site over and saw an immediate spike in traffic.  So far so good…

But… is Headway – really drag and drop simple?  Unfortunately, no.

Designing a site in Headway is a bit like taking up a new hobby with a whole new vocabulary.  You manage “leafs” and “content boxes.  With the IndiaThink site, I did a lot of CSS customizations.  The inspector feature makes it easy enough to do but learning how to call the different classes takes practice.  The controls aren’t exactly intuitive.  But, on the plus side the support in the Headway forum is very good.

There is one quirk that could make Headway a no-go for users of Mailchimp.  In its current incarnation, the Mailchimp subscription box code conflicts with Headway’s visual editor.  There is a MailChimp subscription box widget – but it only allows you to have a subscription box for one list on your blog at a time.

Overall though,  I enjoyed using Headway and my client and I were both happy with the end result.

What have your experiences with Headway been?  Do you like it?  Does it feel easy for you or dumbed down and clunky?

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4 comments
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Grant Griffiths says June 19, 2010

Meredith – thanks for your review of Headway. And thanks for doing such a great job building your client’s site.

You mentioned that the MailChimp code conflicts with Headway and our Visual Editor. Actually, the issue is that MC inserts a duplicate line of code, which does cause some issues. Since MC does this, we are coding a fix in Headway for this so Headway will remove this extra line of code.

meredith says June 20, 2010

,

Thanks for stopping by… and for letting me know you are working on the mailchimp issue. It will be great to have more that one sign up box on the page.

Bill says June 20, 2010

Thanks for the read Meredith. I’ve been thinking of giving headway a try. I used Revolution/StudioPress for a couple of years before trying out other themes.

All of these great theme choices are taking WordPress places I never dreamed it could go. I’m looking forward to reading more about Headway.

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