Headway being a WordPress theme framework, and not a canned, ready-made WordPress premium theme, ready to go out-of-the-box, makes Headway a great tool for custom wordpress designers like me. To create a web design from scratch is always the way to go if you want to create a tailor-made website, specific to a clients needs and overall brand.
But it can also make Headway more difficult for newcomers to get started with. To many, a blank slate can be intimidating. How about you?
What’s needed is a pre-made Headway child theme, or Headway skin, to be used as a starting point that you can then modify and adapt into what you’re envisioning your site to behave and look like.
There aren’t that many Headway child themes around. I believe the reason is that Headway users are mostly web designers who want a clean slate to begin with. But as said, many are looking for Headway child themes and skins… But what’s the difference between Headway Skins and Headway Child Themes?
Lemme tell ya! Watch the video and read on below…
Headway Child Themes
Up until Headway version 3.4 or so, the best – and only – way to create a distributable Headway website design, was to create a Headway child theme.
A child theme means that you install it alongside your main (parent) theme in your WordPress /themes/ folder. A child theme can consist of just the style.css file, that then overrides the main themes style.css content. Everything is inherited from the parent theme.
Headway child themes work the same way, and are a great way design your website from scratch.
The “problem” with child themes is that while you, as a non-techy regular user, do get a nice starting point, you also still have to be comfortable editing at least the child themes style.css file. If you ain’t down with editing code in the first place, you are stuck with a design you can’t easily modify.
While the world is *still* (as of writing) waiting Thesis 2 skins, Headway 3 offers a far superior way to implement skins.
The possibility of Headway skins was introduced in Headway 3.4 (if my memory is correct) and it elegantly solves the “problem” with Headway child themes!
Headway skins means that instead of using the style.css file to design your website the way you want it to be, you instead use Headway‘s wonderful, easy-to-use Visual Design Editor.
When the theme/skin is done, it can then be exported, distributed to the end-user, who can then… and here’s the big one… the benefit of Headway skins vs Headway child themes:
The end-user can then easily modify the design to suit his or her taste, simply using the Visual Design Editor!
Imagine how huge that is! As a professional web designer, you can create really cool skin, that your customer/client can easily modify.
So with Headway skins, you get both the flexibility and ease of use. The great starting point. The perfect starting point.
There’s some cool Headway skins coming your way!
I’m working on a couple of really classy, clean Headway skins. Sign up for my newsletter (look in the sidebar) to get notified when they’re available!
Is there some way to convert a Headway child theme to a Headway skin?
Oliver Nielsen says
Not that I’m aware of.
Best approach would probably be one of the following:
Copy/paste your style.css content into Headway’s own Custom CSS editor. Then adjust/delete conflicting Design Editor settings.
Then gradually mimick each Custom CSS rule via the Design Editor, at some point ending up with minimal Custom CSS.
But both child themes and skins has their pros and cons. I’d probably not bother doing the above. I realise it’s not a sexy approach:)
Thanks for asking: good question!
Thanks for the explanation. I think I’ve got it now. The last time I looked into skins was when I first found out about theme frameworks and was looking at Catalyst. I’ve since gone with Headway and am not regretting my decision. Now I’m looking forward to Headway 3.5 which is supposed to be able to do fluid headers and footers without hacking any code.
i saw you link at ArtofBlog’s Headway review and was impressed with your home page. It’s very spartan and direct with your message right up front and nothing to distract visitors. I loathe cluttered webpages.
It’s actually a properly-written advertisement. I rarely see websites setup that way. Very few understand the powerful marketing principles involved.
Well done. I’ll be back.
Oliver Nielsen says
Thanks Robert! Have a great day =)
Could you please tell me how you’re using espresso with headway? I’ve been trying/wanting to do that. Thanks in advance! Sharon
Oliver Nielsen says
I only use Espresso with Headway when making Headway child themes. For skins, Espresso (or any other editor) isn’t needed.