A Change for the Better with Headway Themes

You’ve probably noticed I haven’t posted much this week That’s because I’ve been working on the the back end of the site getting ready for a major theme change and redesign. And believe it or not you’re already looking at the new and improved theme, and that’s what I was hoping for.

I didn’t want to change the look or the feel too much because I really liked the feel of the site and many readers did too. Unfortunately the theme I was using was getting old and breaking that much more with every wordpress upgrade, it was getting to the point that the band aids needed band aids. Not to mention the fact that I was running the back end with 53 plugins, now pared down to a svelte 27.

When I was looking for a new theme I really thought the best choice would be to hire someone to make me the site I want while still keeping the looks and feel of the old theme. Then I ran across two options that needed a second more serious look. The first was a theme called Thesis. This theme had a lot going on for it, much of the coding could be done on the fly and it was a good looking long term solution. After more research though every site I saw using the Thesis seem looked exactly the same and that was no good for what I wanted.

Then I found Headway and my choice was made for me. Like Thesis, headway is more of a framework than just a theme. But Headway has a lot more under the hood. Aside from being able to customize the css very easily with hooks they took editing to a whole new level. If you want you can work on the site through the admin panel but using the visual editor is the way of the future.

With the visual editor all you need to do is be on your home page or any page for that matter and click the editor tab that only the site owner can see in the upper right hand corner. Then you can change any aspect of the page on the fly while it’s live. From fonts to sidebars you can do it all. You can design your blog visually instead of working through the back end, saving and then going to see if the changes were right. With Headway you know instantly.

One of the biggest reasons for the change was that I wanted to really change the layouts of certain pages without going nuts with the back end css. I have wanted to change the Gallery and Video pages forever and now with Headway it was done in a matter of 30 minutes. I still need to change the css of the actual Gallery and Video plugins I use but knowing the layout can be whatever I want and changeable to suit my needs is a huge plus.

I still have some tweaking to do after a full day of site changes but I think I have it pretty much wrapped up. Play around with everything and let me know what you think.

If anyone reading this is looking for a theme that will last you a lifetime ( upgrades are free ) and will be infinitely customizable then you might want to check Headway out. The link below will take you to their site which has some great videos explaining how it all works. The link isn’t an affiliate link, I am just so happy with this theme that I wanted to give them some link love.

Headway Themes



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16 Responses to A Change for the Better with Headway Themes
  1. Catherine
    January 10, 2010 | 9:36 pm

    Talen, Nice job! An amazing that you can switch this over to a totally different platform so quickly. Headway does look like the way to go.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Review: Thai Language Schools in Bangkok =-.

  2. Talen
    January 10, 2010 | 10:15 pm

    It really is an impressive theme. Took me the better part of the day to totally redesign the site but it was realy easy. The time it took was due to all the choices I had in changing the site.

    Still have tweaking to do though.

  3. Dave -nibbleanibble
    January 11, 2010 | 12:42 am

    The theme is great. Pretty clean for my taste.

  4. BangkokDan
    January 11, 2010 | 1:22 am

    Thanks for the Headway mention … hope I can hold on as long as possible to the old theme, but who knows … may come in handy.

    On Safari the line under the headline

    “by Talen on January 10, 2010 in Site news 3 Comments – Leave a comment!”

    is difficult to read – maybe some bigger font?

    Best -
    .-= BangkokDan´s last blog ..Nick Nostitz: Photographer, Documentarian, Communicator =-.

    • Talen
      January 11, 2010 | 1:10 pm

      Thanks Dan, I forgot to change the font from Times to Veranda….should look better now. I still need to test in Safari.

  5. Ben Shingleton
    January 11, 2010 | 1:44 am

    Looking good so far Talen, I look forward to the new galleries and vid pages also – Good luck with it!
    .-= Ben Shingleton´s last blog ..New TEE Coffee Shop =-.

    • Talen
      January 11, 2010 | 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Ben….hopefully I will have the galleries sorted this week after I get all the tweaking done.

  6. Steve
    January 11, 2010 | 12:54 pm

    Very nice looking theme Talen. I’ve gotta imagine you’ve seen performance improvements too going from 53(!) to 27 plugins.

    I think I’m gonna head over and have a look at Headway, I love the idea that you can modify it right in the browser.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Vern from Thai Pulse =-.

    • Talen
      January 11, 2010 | 1:12 pm

      Steve, yeah, the performance is much better on the cpu load. It’s easy to incorporate a lot of plugins directly into the theme so it makes it much smoother.

  7. Martyn
    January 12, 2010 | 12:15 am

    Talen I like the softer background look to it and the header appears to stand out more. It looks to me like a before and after of a man with a three day growth who turns up at the office next day clean shaved. The same man but one looking so much better. A job well done and as I use WordPress I’ll keep Headway in mind for future use.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..Travelling Thai Style With An Old Friend =-.

    • Talen
      January 12, 2010 | 4:42 am

      Martyn, Thanks….it’s been a lot of tweaking but it was needed. Headway and the others that will spring up like it are probably going to be the way of the future for wordpress. It’s much easier to have a framework that you can skin any way you choose.

  8. SiamRick
    January 16, 2010 | 8:22 am

    Hey, I thought there was something subtly different about your website. It’s a bit more columnar, cleaner, neater, more linear where it needs to be, lines up better, roomier (I felt the previous edition was too tight) and Martyn gets the rest of it.

    If I may, you might want to try a slimmer, sans serif font for Reply and link subject lines — make them look “linkier”, which is something Cat might say ;)

    Alas, I’m a Typepad dude and know far less about actual web creation; my background is in news.
    .-= SiamRick´s last blog ..Vientiane a peaceful retreat from chaos of Bangkok =-.

    • Talen
      January 16, 2010 | 6:00 pm

      Thanks for that spot Rick…I had thought I changed the comments to Veranda but I hadn’t it was still times.

      Yeah the previous theme was definitely tighter which was one of the things I wanted to change. So far so good.

  9. Catherine
    January 16, 2010 | 8:42 am

    Linkier? Heh…

    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Wat Bang Phra: Tattoo Temple Time Out =-.

  10. Jon
    January 24, 2010 | 4:02 am

    Interesting stuff Talen, now that I’m on WP with a new blog my ears are pricked, eyes are open.

    It sounds like you are fairly technical, is Headway usable for those of us with limited to none existent HTML, CCS skills?
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..Fake Twitter Thaksin On The Loose =-.

    • Talen
      January 24, 2010 | 11:06 am

      John, That’s part of the beauty of Headway…you don’t have to slog through a lot of css to get done what you need to. It uses easy hooks to place code where you need it and it has a custom css file that you can add hooks easily to change things.

      A lot can be done through the visual editor but what can’t be done there is easily taken care of. If I want to change the hyperlink color on a certain page or area of the page I just write in a small hook like.

      body div# leaf32 a:link {color #333333; text decoration none;}

      and that’s it…the forums at Headway are very helpful as well and they have a codex of hooks so you know what to use to do what you want.

      I finished the redesign in about 8 hours easily although I am still doing minor tweaks.