Artisteer and Headway - Wordpress Themes

17 replies
Hi All

Here is an impartial review of Artisteer vs. Headway wordpress themes.

In a nutshell: Artisteer is much more useful, has a more powerful way of working (work on desktop THEN upload) and is more powerful for graphics and style.

Both themes are what I like to call "Superthemes" whereby you have the tools to create the exactly look and feel you want on your Wordpress blog without the pain of having to hunt around and purchase a theme each time you create a new blog.

Headway works within the Wordpress admin, so you design the look and feel using your browser by dragging and dropping items around.

Artisteer works by designing the theme on your computer, in an application that resembles Microsoft Word. It then creates a ZIP file you can upload.

The main problems of Headway is that it is very slow (15 second wait each time you make an update to preview) and not very flexible (limited styling options). Also it seems to have a few bugs e.g. renaming the menu items simply doesn't work. Having said that the great thing about Headway is being able to tweak your blog wherever you are, and not needing your home PC.

Artiseer I think is much better as it has a big library of built-in graphics and styles. It is also faster to design and get the look and feel you are after as you are working on the desktop. The level of contol over layout is much better - I find Headway the layout of items can depend on the length of the post, the way it arranges the DIVs is a bit weird. On Artiseer it is as you'd expect from a 1 / 2 / 3 column (your choice).

Obviously this is a very quick review but to give you an idea of what is out there.

I haven't even mentioned that Artiseer supports other CMS's for example and I don't have time to go into all of that.

However for a newbie and/or expert I cannot see much reason you would choose Headway unless you are really working on different PC's all the time and therefore need a pure WEB2.0 solution that requires no desktop install.

P.S.

Why all this fuss over themes?

Saving time! It is very important. Get your theme right and you can be knocking out blogs very quickly. And also for testing different layouts. Will more people subscribe if I put the email link on the left or the right? Being able to mess about quickly with the layout is very useful!
#artisteer #headway #themes #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author R.Rapp
    I have been considering purchasing Headway themes soon. One thing I am looking for with a theme that I am having trouble finding with pre-built templates is customizing the side menus to be different depending on what page you are on. I know this is possible by editing the code in wordpress somewhere - but I'm not much of a coder. Do you know if either of those programs offer this?
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Originally Posted by R.Rapp View Post

      I have been considering purchasing Headway themes soon. One thing I am looking for with a theme that I am having trouble finding with pre-built templates is customizing the side menus to be different depending on what page you are on. I know this is possible by editing the code in wordpress somewhere - but I'm not much of a coder. Do you know if either of those programs offer this?
      Aha! Yes you have mentioned something where Headway is much better. In headway you can create a number of layouts and then choose the layout for each post or page. In artisteer it is one for all, which is more "blog like".

      Neither theme needs you to be a coder - unless you want to do something more advanced, e.g. to make a bespoke menu rather than a standard generated menu based on the root pages of your blog.

      (RebeccaL - thanks for notifying me this is in the wrong place, hopefully a moderator will come and move it)
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  • Profile picture of the author RebeccaL
    Best to post this in the product reviews forum
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
    R. Rap yopu may find this thread interesting - as I wanted something similar to you:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/website-...ml#post1487731
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  • Profile picture of the author JordanFrancis
    The downside to Artisteer is that the end
    result is not as cleanly coded as it could
    be, as is the trade-off when using a tool
    like this.

    The other thing I found is that once you
    have designed it, you are *very* likely
    to need to edit and tweak the theme
    further, most of which you likely can't
    do back in the application itself - so
    you're editing the core files, which you
    may as well be doing with a 'proper'
    theme...

    Which brings me to another point.
    Thesis Theme, for example, is much
    more than just a theme. And the same
    will be true for Headway Theme. They're
    frameworks from which your site is built
    on, and often add extra functionality to
    your site, and improve the SEO.

    With all that said however, I do still
    respect Artisteer. It is a neat tool for
    what it achieves, and is a valid choice
    for beginners who want a straight up
    blog theme without fuss.
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  • Profile picture of the author terryd
    I soley use Artiseer now for building little niche sites, it's fantastic and I can quickly make a nice looking site in around 10 minutes.
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    • Profile picture of the author mmoconnor
      Artisteer's big plus (for me) is that you OWN the themes you create with it and can sell them to anyone.

      This is a major consideration if you do site flipping!

      With Thesis/Headway/Frugal you do NOT own the themes and if you want to flip the site you must require the buyer to purchase a separate $40 theme license.

      Using Artisteer essentially puts an extra $40 in your pocket every time you sell a site.

      Of course the problem with Artisteer is that the sites are MUCH less attractive and you have SO MUCH less layout flexibility and there's nothing sexy like the rotating images, etc.

      Also, (not really related) although you can supposedly create html templates with Artisteer, the templates are virtually unusable in most wysiwyg software. It seems that only the most low-end feature-poor editors can swallow Artisteer html templates without choking.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Koltai
        Tried Headway and was less than impressed. I didn't find the interface at all enjoyable to work with.

        Artisteer, on the other hand, has quickly become one of my favorite tools for IM. Not only can you use it to create unique templates for niche blogs, it also works for generating backlinks if you take the time to build a nice theme and place a link back to your site in the footer.

        To add to that, as previously mentioned you can offer a unique theme for site-flipping, and there's also the option of building a few custom niche themes and offering them as a bonus for opting in to your list, buying your product, etc. You could even package them up and sell them as a WSO. Not a tough decision in my books.
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  • Profile picture of the author TerrieS
    Once you have worked with Artisteer, you immediately recognize when a theme has been created with it. The upside to Artisteer is that if you know just a bit about coding and how the themes are put together in general, you can tweak your themes so that they don't look like ones from everyone else. Personally, I think it's a great program.
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    • Profile picture of the author scorpio9
      I was using Artisteer when it first came out but now these seems to be flooding the market with the same themes. It's like overdosing on your favorite sweet, you just get sick of it after a while .

      Go for the Hybrid Theme Framework and you can make your own unique child themes in no time exactly the way they are meant to fit in wordpress, only drawback you do need to know some HTML and CSS

      scorpio9
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      • Profile picture of the author WebsiteManagers
        Originally Posted by scorpio9 View Post

        I was using Artisteer when it first came out but now these seems to be flooding the market with the same themes. It's like overdosing on your favorite sweet, you just get sick of it after a while .
        Artisteer has come a long way from their inception. Using recent additions like flash headers and tiled menus, along with your own images for styling, you can create unique themes.

        It may be intended for blogging platforms, but I also use it for regular website templates. After years of hard coding entire websites this is a quicker method.

        Sure the coding is not the greatest to work with when in a separate editor, but they will improve that too. I am about 1/2 way through recording a tour of each menu item. They are all posted on my blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Klemen
    I am not famillar with Artisteer theme, but I can tell you about Headway and since I am newbie not familliar with html or css, I enjoy it a lot;

    I build all my affiliate sites with headway, not thinking bout flipping yet;

    feel free to check my review of headway theme;

    all the best !

    Klemen
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir12
    The main problems of Headway is that it is very slow (15 second wait each time you make an update to preview) and not very flexible (limited styling options). Also it seems to have a few bugs e.g. renaming the menu items simply doesn't work. Having said that the great thing about Headway is being able to tweak your blog wherever you are, and not needing your home PC.
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  • Profile picture of the author Klemen
    15 sec is not much for what you get in headway theme and it seems this will improve now, when i upgrade it to new 1.6 version,

    just new updates released from Clay:


    * All Headway features in the WordPress admin have been moved from the
    Appearance module to Headway's own module (and its own sexy icon!)
    * Administration panels have been redesigned.
    * Skins and Leafs API. The information for this will come with the
    Headway 1.6 documentation when it is released.
    * Faster and easier saving in the visual editor.
    * And much, much, more. We will be posting a more comprehensive change
    log on our blog in the near future.

    its a great theme and it get me started with no php or css knowledge to make great looking customizable wp blogs; hope that helps

    Klemen

    Besides the major changes, there have been tons of bugs fixes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I dont see how people are getting "15 seconds to update"

    I save and update in 5sec or so (with reload)

    Maybe its your browser or ISP...but not the theme

    ~Dexx
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
      Just as an FYI, Headway is out with 1.61 as of this week

      Here is from the email..

      Headway 1.6 brings many new features to the table including a skins and leafs API, importing and exporting of "styles", body background images, and much more.

      New Features

      * All Headway features in the WordPress admin have been moved from the Appearance module to Headway's own module.
      * Administration panels have been redesigned.
      * Skins and Leafs API. If you're a developer, please refer the documentation on how to use the new APIs.
      * You can now add a background image to your site with a simple image uploader.
      * Ability to import and export design settings via Styles in the Templates panel in the visual editor.
      * Default leaf sets. You can now set a default leaf set that will be applied to every new page you make.
      * Ability to reset leafs on page.
      * Faster and easier saving in the visual editor.
      * Many speed improvements. CSS is auto-cached and the amount of queries have been reduced tenfold.
      * Ability to load JavaScript libraries in the Headway Configuration panel.
      * SEO: Automatic page and post slug cleanup.
      * Live CSS Editor. Edit your CSS and see the changes right before your eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    Thanks for sharing your views guys, I think I might try out artisteer now.
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