Close to three years ago, I wrote about my terrible experience with Headway Themes, a premium framework theme builder for WordPress. Vesped Inc., owned and operated by the father and son team of Grant and Clay Griffiths, produces Headway Themes.
I thought Headway was pretty terrible. It was hard to use, and it was incredibly buggy. The backend interface was sluggish and painfully slow.
What was even worse than the software was the support. Since it was a premium WordPress theme, meaning a person had to pay money for the privilege of using it, support is one of the things you are paying for when you buy Headway.
Official support is usually not something I require. I enjoy solving issues on my own. As a former tech support specialist for an e-commerce platform, I know only too well that some people need constant hand-holding and step-by-step guidance from tech support. I am not one of those types of people.
With Headway, it was different. The software was so buggy and hard to use, official support from Vesped was a necessity. The problem is that Vesped relied mostly on a member-only forum for help. Before any question could be answered, you were required to go to a screen in Headway and capture all your system settings. The reason? I think so they could blame your hosting provider and the server your website was on for most problems.
Message board tech support has always struck me as the worst way to handle support. Not only did you have people working for Vesped in an official capacity, but you also had message board know-it-alls chiming in with advice. I’ve found these type of folks often don’t know what you are asking about, but they attempt to put forth answers so that they can bump up their post count.
It can get annoying.
Fast forward to today and it would appear the wheels have fallen off at Vesped. They released yet another buggy version of Headway and then proceeded to go radio silent with their customers.
For whatever reason, Vesped parted ways with their entire support team, leaving only Clay Griffiths to field support questions, reportedly something he hasn’t been doing lately. It would seem he is focused more on Pressmatic, premium software that allows you to install WordPress on a Mac.
Vesped’s behaviour creates a real problem for the consumer. Anyone going to the Headway Themes website will not learn about these problems until after they pay for the software and then get access to the member-only forums. Vesped offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but considering that they no longer have a support team, and Grant and Clay Griffiths are not answering emails, getting your money back within 30 days may be problematic.
Stay away from Headway Themes. Stay away from anything associated with Vesped. I would also stay away from Pressmatic. Anyone wishing to run WordPress on their Mac can use MAMP. It’s free. It’s what I use and it works great.