13 Comments

  1. Sunil

    I can understand any small software company running into troubles. The business environment changes all the time. And change in the WordPress business environment has been accelerating for the last two years.

    Crappy things happen. Companies make mistakes.

    But what is unforgivable is Headway continuing to take money from new customers when they are unable to serve their current base.

    Even after months of woes, Headway is still offering their product to new customers.

    Ethical companies don’t do this. Many software providers limit their intake of customers so they don’t go beyond their capacity.

    All companies are guilty of making mistakes. Ethical companies don’t take new passangers while continuing to drive toward a cliff.

    They should have stopped taking new sales many months ago.

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  2. Peter

    HeadwayThemes is such a great product. Blox Themes is pickup up the ball and extending the Headway code base. That’s great as I have many sites on Headway to migrate to Blox.

    Still, if Headway 4 would be completed, that would be a leading contender. Headway is for serious WP site builders and does well with page builder plugins from Divi or BeaverBuilder.

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  3. Former headway user

    Why doesn’t someone just go to their house and ask them what’s going on? It’s not like they are difficult to find and doorstepping might be more effective than continuing to ask over electronic channels which they’re obviously ignoring.

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  4. Chris Howard

    Thanks, Jeff.

    What is unsaid here is the emotional toil this placed on all of us who’d built livelihoods around Headway, whether we be support staff, third party devs, or web site designer/developers.

    At the height of Headway’s success, many people were making solid incomes based on it.

    However, their (unnecessary) failure hit us all hard, and indeed the plummeting income I experienced was a factor in the failure of my marriage. Fortunately, my last plugin, Architect, was theme agnostic but with all the crap of last year, it’s marketing, development (and support at times) has been neglected. Slowly getting that back on track.

    There is no satisfactory reason for Headway’s demise, other than Grant and Clay didn’t have the skills to grow the business as it desperately needed, and nor did they seem to make the effort to learn or bring in those skills.

    Headway could have easily competed against the rise of the page builders with aggressive marketing, supporting its community and development of a thriving third-party add-on ecosystem.

    Headway had the potential to set the standard for WordPress page builders instead of trying to play catch up. Headway v4 should have been about more seamless integration with the WordPress post/page editor.

    Unfortunately, at its height of popularity, Clay and Grant did not put enough revenue back into strengthening the business.

    Although, in truth, Headway’s demise should have been expected after the debacle of the version 2 to version 3 process, when they released v3 without a converter for sites on v2, promised they would but never delivered and showed scant regard for customers caught out by that.

    They lost a lot of web designer/devs after that, and these are your most import allies in this space. Their loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing are gold. It’s exactly why Beaver Builder has succeeded.

    Headway provides a salient reminder to us all about how not to run a business, and, for me, not putting so much faith and trust in one income source.

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    • Gary Bairéad

      Headway’s owners cashed in during the theme gold rush, but once that ended, it exposed how poorly the business was run.

      They should have sold it when they had the chance, instead of letting it wither away.

      It’s still unbelievable that they fraudulently sold support licenses without providing support for almost 4 months. then lied to customers when they asked about it (which Grant and Clay have still never admitted to or apologized for).

      It’s difficult to see how Headway could recover from that without a change of ownership.

      Grant and Clay had an opportunity to begin rebuilding trust with users following their “apology” last September, but they promised a v4 update “within the next month” – and no update ever came.

      Most of the few remaining Headway users have moved on, and it looks like has Clay has too with Local and Flywheel.

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  5. Peter

    @Chris, Well said. It’s a shame for many reasons and the domino effect hurt many people.

    Headway had a lot of loyal supporters. Transparent communications and an honest approach would have gained what ever support they needed to get over the hump of their challenges. I won’t repeat the list of failings, but do think twice about any technology that I use for projects, especially about factors relating to long-term utility and support.

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  6. Anh Tran

    That’s quite sad to see such a WP brand is going down. I must say that I loved Headwaythemes when I first saw it drag and drop builder. It was amazing. Hope HeadwayThemes find a good solution for the situation.

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  7. Steve Bellamy

    I love this theme and use V.3 for all my sites – it’s the best of all the builders I’ve tried. I hope that I can continue to use it for a long time to come. As long as I don’t need support I’m hoping I’ll be okay for the foreseeable future.

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  8. Danny Brown

    Their biggest problem is they got complacent, and then they buried their heads in the sand as opposed to taking care of problems. And you NEVER screw over your customers or your dev/support community.

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  9. Scott Hartley

    I agree with @DannyBrown the company stopped being responsive and instead of standing up and saying we messed up they seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. Making a post once every 6 months isn’t going to instill consumer confidence considering how they have been treated in the past by the company.

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  10. Emil Uzelac

    I’ll gladly take over Headway!

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  11. Gary Bairéad

    It looks like they’re failing to reply to refund requests again too:

    Jay dean2

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  12. Chris Howard

    Apologies to Clay and Grant, I should have noted sooner, that not long after this article they did pay me a part of what was owed. Very appreciated. If they’re reading… would love to get the client data of everyone who bought my add-ons through the HW shop. ;)

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