The log awaited release of Headway 3.0 is due on November 25th 2011. As a developer license owner of Headway, I have a vested interest in this. I’m still using Headway on a few of my websites though slowly moved away to other solutions as I found the visual editor a real pain to work with.
It looks like they are addressing a lot of the issues that were prevalent in the 2.0+ series of their drag and drop framework. The leaf system remains in 3.0 but it has been remained blocks. Blocks is probably a better description than leafs though I don’t think any Headway users ever had a problem with the name leafs.
The biggest change is the visual editor has now been split into two: layout mode and design mode. With the new layout mode you no longer have to edit every single page in your website; something that used to drive me crazy when using Headway.
The new grid system that 3.0 uses has apparently been written from the ground up. As you can see, the new system looks a lot more user-friendly than the current version of Headway.
In the layout mode you can customise the structure of your site. The new design mode lets you customise how your site is styled. You can change colours, set font types and sizes and control how headers etc are displayed.
Headway 3.0 Beta 2 is currently available to Headway customers though it is still very buggy. It has not been tested with WordPress 3.3 Beta 1 and other features such as SEO settings have been removed.
The video below walks you through the new Headway system. Those of you who are familiar with Headway will appreciate how much better this new system looks.
I’m really looking forward to this update from Headway. I’m keen on upgrading my existing Headway powered websites and if the new framework is as good as I hope it is, I may use it on other websites too. The existing version of Headway doesn’t work that well with bbPress and other plugins so it will be interesting to see how 3.0 works with important plugins like that.
3.0 is planned for release at the end of the month. Existing Headway customers will continue to get free updates and support though it’s going to cost more for personal license owners to upgrade to a developer license. Those who purchase Headway after November 25th will have to pay an annual renewal fee. Something that existing customers will thankfully not have to pay :)
I’ll give you all my thoughts on it once I have used used it on my existing websites and got a feel for what it can and cannot do.