WordPress is one of the most popular publishing platforms and content management systems CMS) around today, and there’s certainly no shortage of premium WordPress themes on the Web for designers and developers to tinker with. Indeed, WordPress stands out because of its open-source nature, advanced templating system, and excellent plug-in architecture, all of which allow users to do pretty much anything they want to do to their WordPress sites, and customize as much of these as they like —
— provided, of course, that they’re good with codes.
When something called Headway Themes was launched July of last year, we here at Lakeshore Branding couldn’t help but think, “Oh, here’s another one.” By “another one”, we meant another premium WordPress theme – like WooThemes and Thesis – which, sure enough, would offer almost infinite options for designing, customizing, and fine-tuning WordPress sites, but which only advanced developers and CSS or HTML professionals would understand and be able to use.
We were wrong.
Headway is one WordPress theme that is actually easy to use. (As easy to use as advertised.) Usually, when clients ask our team of developers to create their sites on WordPress, it’s because they don’t know codes. They have a good idea of what to do and what design elements should go into their websites, but they ask us anyway to implement the whole thing because CSS, HTML, PHP, and all those other acronyms sound like a complete foreign language to them. Which is understandable. I mean, even to the most experienced developers, figuring out some codes can still be pretty frustrating.
Headway Themes does a great job of easing that frustration. Even if you yourself are not good with codes. It offers both video and written tutorials to help users get started, and while the default layout of Headway, like most WordPress themes, is strictly all text, it’s easy to make rearrangements or change settings in a jiffy. There’s an option, for example, for uploading a header image of any size directly and fluidly to your WordPress site. Setting up new pages and configuring posts are also routine tasks with Headway. There’s also a stunning Visual Editor that allows for plenty of flexible customizations.
Headway Themes Visual Editor
Instead of having to learn CSS or PHP to be able to configure your WordPress site from the backend, Headway Themes (or theme framework, as it should be called) offers instead a flexible visual editor that’s as close as it can get to being described with one – and only one – acronym: WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get. With this tool, you can drag and drop and add page elements (widget-like things called “leafs”), edit navigation position, make complex design changes, experiment with color schemes, typography, and sizes, redistribute or duplicate items, and preview the changes you’ve made – without having to edit any code. “Leafs” that can be added include Image Rotator, About Us, Featured Posts, RSS Feeds, Twitter, Text, and HTML. Every page is customizable with the visual editor (even your notorious HTTP 404), and – most impressive of all – whatever a CSS or PHP expert can do in any number of hours can be achieved with the visual editor by a novice in a matter of minutes. No more having to locate your “functions.php” file. No more having to read books like CSS for Dummies. It does save a lot of time.
Meanwhile, if you believe you have a bit of programming skills in you, Headway also allows you to customize CSS, but there’s no need for that, really. You can actually spend more time developing the content and look of your site instead of learning a bunch of codes.
Headway Themes is also an SEO-friendly premium WordPress theme. Even if you leave the default built-in SEO settings untouched, your WordPress site is optimized so that it performs well enough in the search rankings. Features include a dedicated SEO Page, Automatic Slug Cleanup, Automatic URL Canonicalization, painless Meta Tag descriptions, and seamless integration with All-in-One SEO Pack, if you already have that.
It’s easy to fall in love with Headway, and that is indeed the case for many users who have joined its increasingly active community forum. Another form of support is available through the Headway Themes documentation page, where you can learn other things like how to install skins and style, or develop your own custom fonts and other visual elements.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with operating the visual editor, it’s going to be a breeze creating a WordPress-based site that is exactly as you’ve envisioned. And again – forgive us if we keep emphasizing this point – Headway Themes is easy to use even if you’re not good with codes. That alone should make it worth your while to try out the theme framework.