Why I Moved to Headway

I’m one of those self-taught people. I have taught myself more software than most people use in a lifetime. But I don’t have a desire to figure out code, I like to write — not learn complex computer languages.

I’m not a stranger to web design software either. I taught myself and worked in Dreamweaver for several years while maintaining Wausau Whitewater’s site and I had an expert build the template for my old site for Design Resumes.

My old site launched in January 2009 even though my business (Design Resumes) is much older. I hired Kim Woodbridge to move the blog over for me from my blog’s former wordpress.com site to the old site to have everything in one place but I couldn’t make some of the changes I wanted to make.

My whole journey in social media has been one of watching the masters. When I saw Jim Connolly and others make the move to Headway and sound so happy with the change, I couldn’t help but starting thinking, that’s what I need to do.

The Headway difference?

Headway is a blog theme created by Clay Griffiths but with features that let you run a whole website. You are reading my blog post but by using Headway’s pages on the rest of the site, I can change my navigation so easily, adding or subtracting pages in a flash to create new multiple pages and drop-down menus.

Formatting is easy too. With the Visual Editor, I can select a specific area, using the Design Editor and even call the element out if I am not sure what it is called and then make custom font or color changes with a click of a button.

I’ve always loved blue so when I set up the colors for the new site, I knew I was going to use blue as my primary color. But which one? Again, Headway made that so simple, calling out elements, letting me play with a look and applying it to the specific area I wanted.

I spent 10 years waffling about how to put my first site up until I finally launched it. With Headway, I asked Kim to help me with exports and plug-ins and we worked together setting up structure and moving content and in less than a week while running my business and while Kim was working on other projects, we launched.

The transition was a little different for me than other Headway users because I had an existing full website with PayPal codes to move and sample resumes to set up. Kim installed the NextGEN gallery plug-in to manage my samples and with Headway’s easy page additions and editing, I found myself adding more samples and being able to talk about the strategy behind the resume.

The former site’s sample page was hard to track but because Headway is a WordPress theme, the WordPress stats monitors every page and post on my site. The samples get considerable traffic.

If I were starting a new site today, I would not hesitate to use Headway.

The Headway team is constantly improving the product and I have no doubt that my experience with Headway will only get better in the future. I became an affiliate of Headway because of how impressed I was with the product.

I am always encouraging clients and business owners who want to take control of their blog and get great, professional results (without having to learn code or complex programs like Dreamweaver), to look at all the advantages of using Headway. Is your website making Headway?

18 Comments

  1. Grant Griffiths on April 22, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Julie – First of all, thank you for taking what Clay built with Headway and making such a great site.

    Second, thank you for your post. It means a lot to us to see happy customers that use Headway and are getting the results they expected. Keep up the great work with your site.
    .-= Grant Griffiths´s last blog ..It’s All An Experiment =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 22, 2010 at 8:03 am

      Thank you, Grant! It was easy! 😉

      I believe in saying thank you to people who help make my life easier. Headway has made my life easier and Clay has made it an excellent product that let’s me do what I do best. You raised the profile so Headway is very visible to those of us who are looking for a new web presence.



  2. Christine Livingston on April 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Woo hoo!

    Here is the Headway family’s newest member being attracted by the magnetic title of your post!

    As a newbie, I’m still to really figure it out. But I’m also curious that there’s a group of people who have either been drawn to one another, using Headway as some measure of perceived professional credibility, or who have moved to Headway because they see what a terrific difference it makes to their colleagues’ sites.

    I’m so happy to be in the gang!
    .-= Christine Livingston´s last blog ..The Challenges Of Doing What You Love And How To Overcome Them =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 22, 2010 at 9:45 am

      And I am delighted to have you here, Christine! I was introduced to Alexa.com by a client in IT Project Management last December. He was impressed that my old site was showing up on Alexa.com with 1.6 million globally and 444,000 in the US while Wausau Whitewater’s site wasn’t ranking at the time. Low numbers mean a successful site on Alexa. Google is currently #1 and Facebook is #2.

      When I moved to Headway, the change of my Alexa rankings were immediate. And they change daily now. Today my site is 331,425 globally and 53,729 in the United States. Huge change. While Alexa.com is just one measurement and there are many others including Google analytics, it assures me I am going in the right direction.

      Many other factors affect traffic, including frequency of blogging, comments on other sites, social media presence, and if the site is advertised through other means as well as the popularity of the topic and the need for services. But Headway is attractive.

      Keep an eye on your rankings, Christine, I would guess you will see a change as your site becomes a Headway magnet!



  3. Ali Davies on April 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Hi Julie
    My internet mentor recommended the Headway theme to me and although I am still learning to use it fully (me and technology take a while to get along!) I am delighted with it. As you quite rightly say, for sale traders like us, we just need to get on with our business, not learn how to be expert coders. I see Christine Lingston has joined the Headway gang today too – woo hoo! Just makes great business sense for folk like us. Your site looks great Julie.
    .-= Ali Davies´s last blog ..How to work less hours =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

      Hi, Ali, the fact that your site is so different than mine but just as professional indicates that Headway is a great product. There’s so many ways to configure Headway to make it look like your personal brand not a clone of everyone else’s. Yes, Christine Livingston, launched “A Different Kind of Work” on Headway today, http://www.adifferentkindofwork.com.

      It is almost like Headway draws us together like a magnet.



  4. Ali Davies on April 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    That is a really interesting point Julie. The people I have met who are also using Headway seem to be quite like minded in other ways too and connect on other levels, not just because we are all using Headway. Might sound stupid to say but it almost feels like a lttle Headway family we have going on.
    .-= Ali Davies´s last blog ..How to work less hours =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

      Well, I’m happy to have you as a part of my little Headway family. It is all good!



  5. Kim Woodbridge on April 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I think it’s so awesome that you can easily update your site now AND track your pages. It’s wonderful that the samples are getting a lot of traffic – just what you want them to do. 🙂
    .-= Kim Woodbridge´s last blog ..Earth Day Every Day – Urban Composting =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      Exactly, Kim. I left those samples all alone on the old site and only when I moved to Headway did I realize that I had typecast myself with using only the engineering book samples. I knew why I did it originally, they were fictionalized and easy to use but now there’s much more diversity and I know that if I have more, you will help get them there.



  6. Corey Freeman - Headway Hacks on April 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Woo! Welcome to the headway family! I’m not a newbie to headway (obviously, haha) but I love how fast it makes things for even us developer/advanced types. It’s a really versatile theme no matter what experience group you fall into.

    Awesome website. Glad headway’s helping you go the distance. =)
    .-= Corey Freeman – Headway Hacks´s last blog ..Coming Soon on Headway Hacks =-.



    • Julie Walraven on April 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      Corey, As I said on Twitter last night, you are AMAZING. 17 and so many talents. I will keep an eye on your headway site and watch as you create new skins and other enhancements.



  7. Jim Connolly on April 24, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Hi Julie,

    I’m glad that you are as happy with Headway as I am. It’s still the only product I link to from my blog and personally / professionally endorse.

    Nice to see so many familiar names all in one set of comments.



    • Julie Walraven on April 24, 2010 at 4:24 am

      Quite happy, Jim! I love the versatility of Headway.

      You’re right, it is nice to see the familiar faces coming to visit.



  8. Faith Draper on April 24, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I’ve never heard of Headway until just now but glad to hear it’s working for you. I started with my first site at Geocities almost 15 years ago and that’s where I started learning html. It’s hard to believe in June I will be celebrating my 10th year of http://www.byfaithonly.com where I do all the web design such that it is 🙂



    • Julie Walraven on April 24, 2010 at 6:31 am

      Headway is fairly new, Faith but everyone I know who is using it finds that it is so much easier to work with and design. No HTML to worry about and easy changes to design.

      Headway’s pricing is very affordable, under $90 for individual use and under $170 for developer use right now.

      Compared to my other investments this year, it is very reasonable and produces stunning results.



      • Faith Draper on April 24, 2010 at 6:41 am

        That’s not bad I’ve been paying $120 a year for my hosting (TruePath.com) and domain name – TruePath is great have been a couple times didn’t have funds for my fees and they covered it until I could pay so site never went down.



        • Julie Walraven on April 24, 2010 at 6:47 am

          It depends on your plan for your site and goals. I need this site to attract people who are in need of someone to help them reach their career goals.

          Headway’s popularity coupled with its intuitive features make it so easy to use.

          As Clay and Grant Griffiths say on the landing page for Headway, “Who says you have to dig deep into HTML to change the layout of your site? Headway’s Visual Editor lets you do anything from create a standard blog page to creating an e-commerce site. Yes, Headway can create unique layouts for each and every one of your pages.”