How to Use the Headway Theme to Build a WordPress Website

I use the Headway theme, and I’m figuring out how to create a gorgeous site with it. This is as much about me as it is about technology.

If you haven’t noticed, this website was looking pretty awful. In fact, I broke it (on my previous host) and decided that the problems I was having would be better solved by moving to a new host. I saved my content, set up the new account at Web Faction, and here we are. But it took me two months to do that.

I’m a busy person.

I manage websites for a living, so my own website was left alone. The cobbler’s children were barefoot.

Enter Headway. Headway is a visual design, drag and drop theme system. Most WordPress themes rely on a form-based configuration system to change the look and content of a site. Headway allows you to drag and drop components, apply visual treatments in that GUI system, and edit certain content in the GUI. That is not without its challenges.

I used one of the available templates (Whiteboard) as a starting point, and now I’m chipping away at the various components. I’m hoping to find some help because I’m lousy at certain visual things. It causes me anxiety to see so many imperfections on my own site, but I recognize that a fully baked website demands dozens, and possibly hundreds, of hours of effort. When we do this on our own site, we lose track of the amount of time invested. When I do it professionally, I have to be aware of the costs and time, and a professionally designed website is as expensive as a car. And, as with cars, you get what you pay for.

Here is the simple process to build a WordPress website with a Headway theme:

  1. Get a website up and running.
  2. Install Headway.
  3. Install a template.
  4. Watch a dozen tutorials on how to use Headway.
  5. Fret for days and weeks about colors, fonts, and information architecture.
  6. Update you website using the Headway GUI.

There. That wasn’t so hard, now was it?