Affiliate Marketing & Programs

Headway 3 Review: Is it the Best WordPress Theme for Affiliate Marketers?


Headway 3 Review: Is it the Best WordPress Theme for Affiliate Marketers?If you’re an affiliate marketer with a penchant for website design, Headway 3 might just be the best WordPress theme for you.

Most of the affiliates I know build their sites using WordPress. Why? It has great flexibility, it’s easy for non-technical users to understand and configure, and it has terrific out-of-the-box search engine optimization.

But if you’re using one of the popular and trusted themes such as Genesis by StudioPress, you might occasionally find yourself constrained when you need to create a site with sleeker graphics, a non-standard layout and a variety of customizations.

That’s where Headway does such a great job of filling that gap in customizable WordPress themes.

Don’t get me wrong, the StudioPress themes are easy to customize … if you’re comfortable with CSS. But if you’re looking for drag-and-drop simplicity, Headway can’t be beat.

The upgrade to Headway 3

There are two major selling point to Headway 3: the grid interface and child themes.

The grid interface allows you to add boxes to for your content areas such as header, navigation, article, sidebars and footers. You can add any number of boxes while re-sizing and positioning them anywhere on the grid. This gives you full flexibility over your interface. You can also create a different grid for any page on your site, which allows you to create terrific custom landing pages very quickly.

Child themes are common in WordPress. They allow you to use a “skin” on your Headway 3 site. This can be especially powerful if you want to purchase a popular theme and customize it for your website. I attempted to edit a couple of child themes and found that while the process requires more design skill than I have, it was easier to change things like font size and background colors in CSS (which is already pretty easy).

What it does right

The grid is easy. The new interface is a big improvement and makes it easy to see what you’re editing as you do it.

It’s best-in-class for custom designed WordPress sites. If you’re going to build a custom WordPress site, this is the quickest and most efficient way to do it. It takes a few hours less than the time it would take to create a layout and custom CSS using Photoshop.

Headway provides terrific support. I had a couple of questions pop up as I was testing, and the support team answered them quickly and effectively. There was no endless back-and-forth, which can really slow a web project down.

It’s much better than Thesis. While the WordPress community has been waiting for the upgrade to Thesis 2, it’s time to move on. Headway provides everything one could want or expect from a Thesis upgrade. And unlike DIY Themes (the makers of THesis), Headway’s developers are committed to keeping their product fresh and up-to-date.

What it does wrong

Headway 3 doesn’t play nicely with Headway 2. That means that you won’t be able to simply upgrade your version of Headway and keep your old interface.

Documentation could be better. I’m hoping that Headway’s developers can do a better job of documenting the features of their product.

My Recommendation

I just want to get one thing out of the way, Headway is not for you if you don’t want to customize your sites. If you’re happy with templated sites, you’ll build your sites faster by using the StudioPress collection or a membership to Woo Themes.

If you already own Headway 2 and are in the business of creating more affiliate sites with custom interfaces, Headway 3 is a great product for you. You’ll find the new interface is easier to use.

If you’re just starting off with custom-designed sites, Headway is the right product for you. It’s faster and less quirky than Thesis and doesn’t require any coding expertise.

Here are links to the products I’ve mentioned:

What’s your favorite WordPress theme for building affiliate websites? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Responses to Headway 3 Review: Is it the Best WordPress Theme for Affiliate Marketers?

  1. Rachel January 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I’ve been using Headway on multiple sites for over 2 years and am a big fan, but the premature release of 3.0 has introduced some unfortunate issues:

    > It was released too soon and is still buggy, so if you’re thinking of using it on an important site, you might want to wait a couple months. I have converted a test site to 3.0.4 in order to become familiar with the new theme before upgrading my important sites.

    > As of 01/01/2012 there is NO upgrade path from 2.x, though they say they will have one by February 1, so any existing 2.x sites have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Even after an upgrade path is available, upgraded sites may need some tweaking. I will wait for reviews of how well the upgrade path is working before upgrading my sites.

    > A really disappointing development is the way some of the Headway Team, particularly CEO Grant Griffiths and AJ Morris, are prone to behave like children on the Headway support forums, posting rude, condescending and insulting comments directed at users who are just trying to learn how to get the software to work for them. However, the other Headway support staff members, including HW Genius Clay Griffiths, are always cordial, patient and extremely helpful.

    • Jeff Greer January 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

      Great feedback Rachel, thanks for sharing.

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