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Have you tried Headway 3.0 yet? Its Mind Blowing

As you probably know from the past month or so of reading this site, Headway 3.0 was in the works. We showed you a hands-on video of how their drag-drop grid system works. Well two days ago, they finally brought their redesign live with the new version available for everyone. For those of you who bought it before, you were smart. You are now grand-fathered in to receive lifetime updates. That ofcourse does not include future child themes. Yup, Headway now has child themes. Some of well-known themes from major theme developers such as Press75, Allure Themes and others will not be available for Headway base.

What’s new in Headway 3.0

Short answer: A lot. There is so much that was added to the 3.0 that its unbelievable. I have been playing around with it, and it is really the most beginner friendly WordPress theme. Our favorite is the grid system (See the video)

Below are some of the new things added:

  • Headway 3 has been completely rewritten from scratch. It features an entirely new codebase that’s fast.
  • You can now do more than ever without ever having to write a single line of code: even things like drop shadows and rounded corners in your designs.
  • Headway now has child themes, some of which are ports of well-known themes from major theme developers such as Press75, Allure and Organic. Many others come from Headway directly and we’ll have new ones constantly. Any theme developer can create child themes for Headway, and even sell them in the Headway Marketplace!
  • You can design your website just by drawing rectangles live on the page. We call them Blocks. Just click and drag, tell Headway what kind of Block you want (header, navigation, content and more) and hey presto: you’re creating a custom layout without coding.
  • You can easily set fonts, colors, backgrounds, and other design elements in Headway’s Visual Editor. See your changes live right on the screen with no guesswork. Simply save your changes to bring them live to your website.
  • We’ve added in rel=author for author links, a new SEO feature based on Google’s announcement they were going to factor in that xfn information into their rankings more heavily.
  • For developers, the Live CSS editor now features syntax color-coding and there is a Blocks API so developers can create their own custom block types… and even sell them in the Headway marketplace!

Unfortunately, those of you who missed out on the grand-fathered pricing that’s a bummer. But there are few coupons floating around that you can use to get the best deal.

If you use the coupon: HW33 – you can get 33% OFF all plans except for BASE. (We don’t know when this coupon will expire).

But if it does expire, then you can use the never-expiring Headway coupon to get 25% OFF.

Yes the prices are a bit steep, but if you watch the video above, then you know this is well worth it. I know on their site, they are suggesting that Standard package is the Best Value. But I disagree. That price only includes 3 Headway Child themes and 1 year of support and updates. If you are going to invest in this great product, I would recommend going all the way to get the Lifetime Pass.

I am always a fan of getting lifetime updates and new child themes as they come out. That is why I have the Headway Lifetime Pass. Invest once and enjoy the benefits for life rather than paying for a new child theme that comes out.

What are your thoughts on Headway 3.0?

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31 CommentsLeave a Reply

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  2. Hi!
    first to say: very useful review you have there, thanks!
    I m considering buying the headway 3.0, but as i m totally new on that i want to make sure first i’m doing the right thing for my needs so i would really really appreciate your support.

    I want to build a small shop, actually it’s more a site with content but also with shopping options. I know already how i would like it to look, so i tried the demo but i cant figure out how to do this:

    -Can I draw simple lines in headway? in the header, to separate parts of structure…not belonging to any box
    -Can I “draw” clickable buttons? or however instert them as images…and what type of block should i select for that?

    I m sure i will have many more questions in the future but those are the most urging for now and despite of finding loads of information about headway on the internet i cant find anything concrete about that.

    thanks a lot in advance!!

  3. i purchased version 2 of Headway and loved it. It was very easy to switch from another theme over to Headway and the framework (along with the add-ons) made it very easy to build a great looking site.

    However, recently things took a turn for the worse.

    – even though Headway 3 has been released, it is still not possible to upgrade from version 2 to version 3. so existing customers can’t really use the new version.

    – the above is probably a good thing, since the Headway support forums are filled with comments from people facing many problems with the new version.

    – The Headway member area includes a number of addons which are developed by third-parties. most of these have not been updated for the new version of headway

    – i (and several other clients) purchased an addon for buddypress compatibility (listed on the headway members area). only after purchasing do you realise that the addon does not work with the latest version of buddypress! The team at headway and also the addon developer have been saying that it will be updated in 1-2 days. However, its been over a month already and there is no sign of the update.

    – I’d have to second the comment by Barrie about headway customer service not being the best. When I’ve asked questions about why things are delayed or going wrong, Grant Griffiths has been anything but friendly or apologetic.

    Headway a great product and I guess they didn’t plan the new version timeline very well. Hope things get sorted out soon.

    • @aapuri

      Even though the upgrade path is not complete from 2.0 to 3.0, we still fully support 2.0 for this reason.

      With every major product release, there are speed bumps. We can all admit it. The first iPhone was launched without 3G. The iPhone 4 had antennagate. Like I’ve mentioned before, we’re working extremely hard to improve the experience and iron out every little bug.

      Also, as far as the 3rd-party addons not being updated, we can’t do much about that beside crack a whip :-). However, I can assure you that all of the developers are working hard to get their addons working with 3.0. I know Chris Howard already has Excerpts+ converted and is in the process of making Gallery+ work with 3.0. We will be putting the updated BuddyPress addon on the site very soon.

      As far as customer service goes, you can refer to the thread under Barrie’s comment.

    • @aapuri You’ll find that third-party software always has to play catch-up – depending on the developer that can take months. That’s true even for the big boys like IBM. Yes, it’s frustrating when you want to play with a new toy, but it’s a fact of life.

      You see exactly the same issues (and complaints) with new OS X and Windows releases and naive early adopters – they upgrade on day one and then wonder (generally loudly) why something old doesn’t work.

      And I’m sure that WP3.3 will have exactly the same issues.

      You have to be pragmatic about new major releases. Weigh up the new functionality vs. unavailable (add-on) functionality. The new release will be adequate for some – and many will have to wait.

      I’ve not looked in the forums, but Grant doesn’t really need to be apologetic about it (maybe more considered and tactful though). Responses from the Headway team should demonstrate understanding and sympathy, but harassing them won’t make any of this happen any faster.

      I can only recommend patience. The newest latest and greatest release isn’t always necessary.

  4. With a phenomenal (And I do mean phenomenal for this poor working girl) discount I would consider going for it. Unfortunately I learned about the developer’s package after the fact, as I was introduced to working with Headway via a client and fell in love. My concern, while working with the client site, we had to go back to the older version of Headway rather than use the 3.0 release because it simply didn’t allow us to work as easily within the browser, didn’t offer the same user-friendly presentation, and was harder to learn out of box. As I was coming into using Headway as a newbie, having the Codex unfinished and the forums bursting with complaints about the same issues I was having made me question the validity of staying with Headway. I was able to switch to using it for my site, but still won’t upgrade to 3.0 as I don’t feel as comfortable with that yet (which is too bad, because playing with the virtual editor was absolutely amazing!). The lifetime package would completely, still, be calling my name if it was whole heck of a lot cheaper (it is so much more expensive than the competition that I have a couple clients who specifically said to stay away from it!).

    • @KatMoody

      Hey Kat,

      I will admit, our release was a little rushed, so our codex is still lacking. This is something we’ve been rapidly improving on.

      Also, we’re on an aggressive release cycle to improve the overall experience and to squash all of the bugs that arise.

      Finally, we promise we take every suggestion into consideration and every complaint seriously. We’re constantly striving to make Headway the best it can be. This may sound cheesy, but our expectations are set very high and every time we meet them, we raise the bar again :-).

      • @claygriffiths I like that you guys are taking responsibility for your mistakes. Seriously – if the price was closer to what other themes charged for lifetime access I would jump on it, as I’m sure you will have all the kinks worked out – I love working in the 2.0 environment and am drooling on the 3.0. I’m willing to wait for brilliance (and I’m sure you are tired of hearing how much folks hate the new pricing structure). *grin*

        • @KatMoody@claygriffiths Actually, we have had very few negative comments about the pricing. We did a lot of research and consideration before arriving at what we have now. Based on our research, our pricing is pretty close in line with those companies who are not just interested in building large numbers but growing a sustainable business.

          We are not interested in building numbers so we can sell Headway in a year or two and walk away. We are interested in growing a sustainable business which will be around for years to come. One where we can provide innovation and support our community deserves. We want to invest in Headway and our community as our community is investing in us.

          Ours is a long term focus and not a short term grow and get out plan.

  5. Interesting!! But what I am confused about is, whether it’s paid or for free? :S

  6. I took the suggestion and bought the developer bundle at v2. Regardless of the product, I’m now regretting it. I’m not sure if I’m dealing with a 14 year old, but to tell me as customer “read it again” when I queried the confusingly worded upgrade notice is just abysmal.

    I wonder just how many customers Grant Griffiths has offended when they query his messages – and let’s not ignore the fact that the original message was obviously confusing enough that we recently received a message clarifying the upgrade terms.

    The Headway team have a lot to learn about customer service. Would a simple apology have been too much? Nope, further communication gets me called a “troll”.

    Boys, go google “how to convert an unhappy customer to a delighted customer”.

    And this isn’t me being a troll, this is a pissed off customer making sure that others know about how Headway treat their customers – you reap what you sow.

    • @BarrieSpence

      Hey Barrie,

      We are sorry that that has been your experience so far. The whole change from 2.0 to 3.0 was an incredibly difficult experience. However, we tried our best with communicating the changes and staying fair to existing customers. We could’ve relaunched Headway 3.0 as a completely new product, but we didn’t. We stood by our advertising and even gave existing customers multiple warnings and a coupon to upgrade to the developer license before we switched prices.

      Unfortunately, I can’t justify any negative remarks that may have been sent to you, but we will do our best to better your experience with Headway. Keep in mind, we’re constantly pushing out updates for Headway and tweaking the website to keep everything clear as possible.

    • @BarrieSpence

      Hi Barry – I feel your annoyance.

      Truth to tell we can all be a little short when under pressure, I know that I can, and over the last few weeks the Headway team have really been working hard.

      Sounds as though Clay is making an apology so why not make a fresh start with Headway now that version 3 is out?

      Can be hard I know, but I hope I see you in the Headway forum.

    • @BarrieSpence

      Hi Barrie – I feel your annoyance.

      Truth to tell we can all be a little short when under pressure, I know that I can, and over the last few weeks the Headway team have really been working hard.

      Sounds as though Clay is making an apology so why not make a fresh start with Headway now that version 3 is out?

      Can be hard I know, but I hope I see you in the Headway forum.

    • @BarrieSpence


      Let me take this opportunity to publicly apologize for my comments to you. I let the stress and lack of sleep of a major product launch get the best of me.

      Your points are well taken and I hope you will continue to be part of the Headway community.

      • @GrantGriffiths Thanks Grant, I am looking forward to using it and I’ll try to be as supportive about the good stuff ;)

  7. Hi Everyone

    I bought Headway before the price model changed and I’ve been playing around with it.

    Beta versions were clearly beta and had a few bugs.

    Latest versions are out of beta and are performing well.

    I work on a local install using XAMPP and Headway dosn’t seem to like XAMPP – not sure why.

    No problems on XAMPP with Genesis themes.

    Also Headway don’t support IE.

    In the UK IE is pretty popular.

    The child themes are just about ready to be issued so things are looking pretty good for Headway.

    • Hey @easyP ,

      XAMPP should be working with the latest Headway update (3.0.2). I will double check that and make sure it’s working.

      Also, Headway does support IE on the front-end, but the visual editor does not work with IE. The visual editor fully supports Chrome/Safari (any WebKit browser) and Firefox though :-).

      • @claygriffiths

        Just downloaded Ver 3.0.2 and agree with you Clay.

        Using Firefox Headway works fine with XAMPP.

        I work on XAMPP, but as AJ pointed out, the best way is to work on your site on a subdomain and then transfer.

        I need to start doing that.

        If any of you guys get time to put up a video about working on a site and then transferring – I for one would be most grateful.

        Thanks for coming over Clay.

      • @easyP


        As far as the videos go, we will definitely be adding some explaining that process :-).

        • @headwaythemes

          Great stuff Clay.

          My new site won’t be built using Headway but it will have a page, and lots of posts, dedicated to headway.

  8. I won a copy of Headway (from you) back in the 1.66 days and haven’t deviated from it since! I think it’s a phenomenal starting point for a completely customized looking WordPress based website.

  9. I’d like to see more examples of the themes made. Oddly there are no examples on the site. Until then i’ll wait.

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