So you want to learn tech skills and start a career as a web developer? That’s great, congrats! But what is the best way to learn web development for beginners? How can you make sure you will see results and achieve your goals as quickly as possible?
The hardest part of learning web development from scratch is knowing where to start.
If you’re completely new to coding, the amount of course and tutorials can feel overwhelming.
To help you save heaps of time and trouble, I’ve put together this article with the best web development resources for beginners.
I used the exact same materials to teach myself how to create complex websites from scratch and became a full-time freelance web developer step-by-step.
By the end of this post, you’ll have an answer to questions like:
- What should I learn for web development in 2020 (and beyond)?
- What coding platform is suitable for absolute beginners?
- Which course is best for web development for beginners?
- What other workflow tools should I learn to use?
- How can I build a web developer portfolio easily to showcase my projects?
Let’s jump right in!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. If you choose to purchase using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you. But please, only buy products you believe will help you achieve your goals faster. Thank you for your support!
Getting started: Learn web development fundamentals
If you’re entirely new to web development and coding, congrats for taking the first step!
To get you started the right way, here are a handful of useful beginner-level articles to browse through first:
- Head over to my article about what coding and web development is. The free coding guide will teach you how the Internet works, what programming languages can do for you, and what tools you need. Also, you’ll find out what web developers do.
- Learn HTML and CSS first. They’re the most essential, fundamental tools you need to become a professional web developer. Start with free tutorials on Codecademy or freeCodeCamp. For more resources, head over to my favorite HTML and CSS courses.
- Practice your skills a lot as you go through your online courses. Make sure you don’t just follow tutorials 1-to-1 but apply what you learn to projects of your own. This will help you combine all the tools you’re learning to build real-life websites from scratch.
Step by step, you’ll start feeling more comfortable working with these tools. And these four steps will get you far, trust me.
Also, really take the time to practice and get familiar with each tool before moving on to the next one.
You want to feel 100% comfortable with each language because these tools build on top of each other as you go. Learning them one by one is like laying a solid foundation of your entire coding learning journey.
Should you pay for an online web dev course?
When you are new to web development, you want to find out which tools you like working with the most.
Therefore, don’t waste your money on a course if you are not 100% sure that the topic is something you want to work with and specialize in.
Thus, if you are just getting started, it is perfectly okay to use free resources to learn the basics.
When you find your favorite tools and programming languages, you can consider investing a few bucks in a quality course. They often come with more valuable content and a supportive community to help you with your questions.
Also, paid courses usually have more exciting projects to practice your skills with.
It is much more rewarding to build a small real-world project than to go through coding tutorials one by one without a clear idea about what you can use your skills for.
In short: start with free tutorials to avoid wasting your money on something you’re not genuinely enjoying.
Later on, if you see a course that fits your long-term goals, you can put aside a few bucks and invest them when you see a flash sale, for example.
The best web development learning platforms for beginners in 2020
Finding the right platform to learn web development can help you achieve your goals much faster. It’s all about discovering what learning methods suit you the best.
The biggest benefit of using a single platform is the cohesiveness between the individual courses and modules.
Some platforms even create all their content in-house. If you fall in love with a platform like this, you can proceed to the next course and be sure to maintain a similar learning experience.
The following learning platforms are some of my favorites. I’ve tried and tested them all throughout the years, but they’re not in any particular order.
Some platforms offer tons of free content, while others focus on paid courses.
If you’re not ready to invest in a web development course just yet, make sure you give them a try with the free trials I’ve linked below.
1: Team Treehouse
Team Treehouse produces all of its coding and web development courses in-house. Their huge, supportive community of fellow students will help you out and keep you motivated.
You can start courses–or tracks, as they call them–in several fields:
- Front-end web development
- Python development
- iOS development
- Java web development
- Computer science
- and much more!
And although Team Treehouse is a subscription-based platform, you don’t have to shell out all your savings with them. They offer affordable plans, student discounts, and a free trial to take their courses for a spin.
And if you’re serious about committing to your goals, you may want to check out the Treehouse Techdegree program, too. It’s an all-in-one learning program to teach you all the skills you need to start a career in tech.
Head over to my Treehouse Techdegree review for more details.
Codecademy is the first place many people use to start learning to code. You can sign up in less than a minute and start your first web development tutorial right away.
Their browser-based learning environment is super easy to use since you don’t have to install any software on your computer. You will get instant feedback on your work, and it’s easy to spot any errors in your code.
Codecademy has tons of free content you can use to get started. If you enjoy their tutorials, you can consider investing in a Pro plan, too.
The Pro subscription will unlock the so-called career paths that are claimed to get you job-ready just by using this single learning resource. But more importantly, you will gain access to multiple projects you can build for your portfolio.
Say you want to become a web developer and get started right away. The Web Development Career Path is a great place to go from beginner to having a professional portfolio, ready to apply for your first junior web developer job.
Not ready to invest in a paid plan just yet? No worries! Try the free HTML and CSS tutorial and start learning right away.
Udemy is an insanely massive platform for learning virtually anything. You can find a vast selection of beginner-level courses for coding and web development here. To get started, check out their best, top-rated web development courses for beginners.
The best part?
Much of the courses are free, so you don’t have to spend a dime to get started. Use the free resources to learn the basics of a programming language of your choice to get started.
When you feel like you’ve found a field to specialize in, keep your eyes open for a promotion. Udemy frequently has sales of up to 95% off all courses.
Here are a few shortcuts to the best courses by topic:
I’ve written a complete Udemy review you may want to check out, too.
4: Pluralsight (Code School)
Pluralsight offers an excellent selection of learning paths and individual courses for beginners and advanced developers.
The courses cover popular in-demand skills such as:
- Web development
- Mobile development
- Software development
- Data science etc.
If you’ve already learned some coding fundamentals, you can take their Skill IQ test to find the best courses for your current skill level. This will save you from having to repeat the same beginner-level lessons all over again.
Pluralsight is a subscription-based service. But before you invest in their courses, make sure you try their 10-day free trial.
freeCodeCamp is one of the best places to learn web development for beginners. And as the name implies, all their courses and tutorials are 100% free.
The tutorials are interactive and browser-based. Hence, you can start your first lesson instantly without having to install any software on your computer. Also, you can easily go through the courses whenever, wherever, and on any device.
Moreover, FCC is all about creating and building real-life contacts and networking with other students from around the world.
While you’re going through the interactive lessons, you can easily find support and tips in the community of like-minded techies. Thus, make sure you join the Facebook group as soon as you start your first lesson.
Also, remember to check out the plethora of local communities and learning communities to connect with others learning alongside you in your area.
6: One Month
Is it possible to learn to code in just one month?
According to One Month, it is indeed! Their intensive, 1-month courses are perfect for beginners, too. Thus, if you find enough time to dedicate to learning for 4-5 weeks, you’ll see results fast, trust me.
One Month works best if you have a clear idea of what you want to build. If you wish to launch your first website, for example, their courses will help you learn the skills you need in just 30 days.
When the month is over, you will have a solid basis for further improving your skills by building more demanding projects by yourself.
My first course with them was the One Month HTML and CSS. If you’ve learned some HTML and CSS with Codecademy and think it’s your thing, check out this course. You’ll learn not just HTML and CSS, but also responsive design, SEO basics, how to use FTP, and Bootstrap.
Here’s a link for a 10% discount on all One Month courses.
Coursera is a learning platform that offers courses from top universities around the world. You can choose individual courses or pick a specialization to focus on, like web development or data science.
The best thing about Coursera is the quality of its courses. They’re taught by skilled university professors, so they are definitely some of the best online coding courses you can find.
As a little bonus, Coursera also offers a chance to get a certificate for completed courses and programs. They do have a price tag, so make sure you can get a fair return on your investment before purchasing one. For instance, showcase them in your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
8: LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com)
Lynda is now owned by LinkedIn and being rebranded as LinkedIn Learning. It is one of the best places to learn to code for beginners. They have a massive online learning library of over 700 web development courses – and growing!
Also, you will find tons of helpful courses for other skills such as:
- Software development
- Business etc.
LinkedIn Learning is a subscription-based service. The best thing about it is that you will have access to all courses and tutorials with your subscription – great value for your money. That way, you can add more valuable skills under your belt once you feel confident in your web dev skillset.
Udacity offers a bunch of free courses for learning web development, data science, and much more.
If you’re a coding beginner, check out their What Is Programming course to make coding a little less daunting!
All in all, Udacity is great for learning specific skills for a career path you’ve chosen.
When your coding skills get better, and you have a clear career goal in mind, check out their Nanodegrees, too. They’re curated learning paths where you get access to:
- Curated content to match your goals
- Study groups for fellow student feedback
- Feedback from professional reviewers
- Personal 1-on-1 mentoring
Nanodegrees come with a price tag, which is why I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re just getting started. Instead, dip your toes into free online courses first. Then, if you want a one-stop resource for learning the skills you need for your dream job, keep this option in mind.
The best online web development courses for beginners
Now that you know some of the best online learning platforms for web development, let’s look at a few of the best online web development courses for beginners.
Individual courses are a great place to start learning specific tools and specializations. Also, they will guide you through your first web development projects step-by-step.
However, finding the best web development courses can be challenging because there are so many factors to consider.
What skills do they teach? Will you learn front-end or back-end development? Or both?
To help you get started the right way and see results fast, I’ll walk you through the best web development courses for beginners that I’ve tested and finished myself. They are perfect if you are entirely new to coding – and to anyone on a budget.
Here are 8 best online web development courses for beginners in 2020:
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
- The Complete 2020 Web Development Bootcamp
- The Web Developer Bootcamp
- One Month HTML and CSS
- Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites
- Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More
- The Complete WordPress Website Business Course
- WordPress Theme Development With Bootstrap
1: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 is my all-time favorite web dev course for absolute beginners.
When I started learning to code, I learned Python first. However, I soon realized that I needed to learn web dev skills to build a portfolio site for my Python projects. So I invested a few bucks in this course during a Udemy flash sale.
And boy, did that investment pay off. I loved how clear and concise the video lectures were. Rob, the course instructor, does a great job at explaining how things work from the ground up without skipping anything along the way.
Throughout the course, you will learn the basics (and then some) of popular, powerful web development tools and languages. Step-by-step, you will build your first small projects with each of these tools.
As your skills improve, you can come back and customize your projects with your own ideas and additional features. They’re great practice and perfect for showcasing your abilities on your portfolio website!
Course website: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
Instructor: Rob Percival
Skill level: Beginner
2: The Complete 2020 Web Development Bootcamp
The Complete 2020 Web Development Bootcamp is an excellent alternative to the course above. Angela does a great job at teaching everything you need to know about web development to start building projects on your own.
The course goes into a bit more detail on back-end development tools than The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0. Thus, if you’re interested in learning how to build web applications and focus on server-side programming, this course is the perfect choice for you.
Also, what’s great about Angela’s course is that she will also teach you a few key tools you will use as a web developer:
- The Command Line
- Version control with Git and GitHub
- Authentication and security solutions
Course website: The Complete 2020 Web Development Bootcamp
Instructor: Angela Yu
Skill level: Beginner
3: The Web Developer Bootcamp
The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele is one of the most popular web development courses for beginners on Udemy. Again, this is a paid course – but you can grab it for about $10–12 if you keep an eye out for Udemy’s frequent flash sales.
If you looked at the two web dev courses above and you didn’t fall in love with them for some reason, this course is a fantastic alternative.
Again, it covers all the most popular tools for front-end web development. Also, you will learn some server-side development, but not in that much detail.
Course website: The Web Developer Bootcamp
Instructor: Colt Steele
Skill level: Beginner
4: One Month HTML and CSS
The most common problem with learning HTML and CSS is that there are simply so many tutorials and courses to choose from. One Month HTML and CSS was one of the first front-end courses I took and I fell in love with it right away.
The reason why I chose this course was that I didn’t want to wander around the Internet, jumping between a handful of tutorials. I wanted to use a single, all-in-one resource and finish it before moving to the next one.
If you are running a busy schedule, don’t worry about the timeline. All you need is around 3 to 6 hours per week for watching your lessons and completing your homework throughout the course.
Course website: Learn HTML in 30 Days
Instructor: Chris Castiglione
Skill level: Beginner
Tools you will learn: HTML, CSS, responsive design, web hosting, and FTP basics
5: Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites
If you are 100% new to learning web development and web design, this course will teach you all the basics and then some step-by-step. Web Design for Web Developer: Build Beautiful Websites is another one of Udemy’s most popular and best-rated courses – tested and approved by yours truly.
The best part?
The course is 100% free, and it’s just under 3 hours long. Nevertheless, it will teach you valuable lessons about how to build websites that don’t just work smoothly but also look great and are easy to use.
Thus, if you feel like you could use a few helpful tips to become better at designing beautiful web pages, this course is perfect for next weekend.
Course website: Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites
Instructor: Jonas Schmedtmann
Skill level: Beginner
Tools you will learn: Web design rules and guidelines for text, images, colors, layouts, and more
6: Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More
The thing with CSS is that it’s super easy to get started with, but you need tons of practice to really master all the tricks required for full-scale web dev projects.
Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More will take your front-end skills to a whole new level after you’ve learned the basics with one of the bootcamp courses above, for instance.
Tools like Flexbox and Grid are great skills to have under your belt. You can use them to create modern, dynamic website layouts much faster than writing pure CSS from scratch.
If you want to become a front-end web developer or web designer, this intermediate-level course is excellent for perfecting your CSS and SASS skills. You will learn advanced techniques and tricks while building real-world projects you can customize and showcase in your portfolio later on.
Course website: Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More
Instructor: Jonas Schmedtmann
Skill level: Intermediate
Tools you will learn: Advanced CSS and SASS techniques and architecture, Flexbox, Grid, advanced responsive design
7: The Complete WordPress Website Business Course
The Complete WordPress Website Business Course delivers what it promises. Throughout the course, you will learn how to build professional websites using the WordPress CMS.
The point is to learn enough WordPress skills to start building sites for clients as a freelancer or a full-time web dev entrepreneur.
I purchased this course after learning the basics of WordPress in The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0. I wanted to learn how to use WordPress to build websites for potential clients.
During that time, I was making the transition from an office job into full-time freelancing. This course taught me a super easy, in-demand skillset that allowed me to start making money doing what I love.
Course website: The Complete WordPress Website Business Course
Instructor: Gregg Davis
Skill level: Intermediate
Tools you will learn: WordPress basics, hosting and server configuration for WordPress, building real-world websites with WordPress, website staging environments and migrations, managing WordPress projects
8: WordPress Theme Development with Bootstrap
WordPress Theme Development with Bootstrap teaches you how to create custom WordPress themes using the Bootstrap framework.
If you plan to become a WordPress developer and perhaps make money by freelancing and building WordPress websites for your clients, this course is a fantastic investment.
By the time you finish your lectures, you will understand how WordPress works under the hood and how you can develop custom themes for the CMS. Hence, the course can help you make money online in the long run. Here are a few examples:
- Freelancing – Build WordPress themes for your own websites and your website clients.
- Blogging – If you want to start a blog and make money, you can build your own tailor-made WordPress theme for your blog.
- Online entrepreneur – Develop WordPress themes and sell them via your own website or through an online marketplace.
- Web design and graphic design – Combine your creative skills with the technical part of WordPress and design WordPress themes to sell online.
However, if you are new to web development, I recommend learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and PHP before you start the course. It’s just going to help you see progress faster.
Course website: WordPress Theme Development with Bootstrap
Instructor: Brad Hussey
Skill level: Intermediate
Tools you will learn: WordPress basics, building responsive pages with Bootstrap, custom WordPress theme development
Further web development learning resources and workflow tools
Once you are ready to start your first web dev tutorial or online course, you want to gather a list of go-to learning resources for the long run.
Say your goal is to start a career as a web developer asap. You should keep a running list of topics you need to learn and master to achieve that goal.
Hence, once you know where you want to go, it’s easier to map out the steps you need to take to get there. Makes sense, right?
To help you achieve your goals step-by-step, let’s look at a few of the resources I used to teach myself web development and start a web dev career from scratch.
1: Workflow tools and software for web developers
When you start learning web development, you need a few powerful tools that help you build your projects faster. You will spend heaps of time writing and editing your code files, so you need to find a top text editor that’s easy to use.
Depending on what types of projects you specialize in, you should also familiarize yourself with
- Version control (Git and GitHub)
- Web hosting and domains
- FTP software
- Image and photo editors
- Command Line Interface (CLI)
2: How to become a freelance web developer: The ultimate guide
So you want to learn web development to start making money online as a freelancer? Great! That’s the career path I chose back in the day, and I’ve never looked back.
Because the thing is:
Learning web development allows you to turn your skills into income faster than you think.
Even if you just know HTML and CSS, you can start applying for small freelance gigs online.
Your first jobs won’t pay too much, but they’re great practice for applying your skills to real-life problems. Plus, you will gain such valuable experience when you work with real, paying clients.
This ultimate freelance web dev guide will help you break down your long-term goals into bite-sized milestones and become a freelance web developer step-by-step.
3: How to build your portfolio website step-by-step (fast)
By now, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve by learning web development.
Whether you want to land a full-time job or start freelancing, you need a portfolio website to showcase your skills.
But if you’re new to all this, where should you start? What projects can you showcase in your portfolio if you’re just getting started?
And what if you don’t know how to build a website in the first place?
To help you get your first portfolio website up and running asap, I’ve written a full guide to creating a portfolio on WordPress. The article will walk you through each step one by one, helping you avoid any nasty mistakes that could cost you time and money.
Summing it up: The best way to learn web development for beginners
There you go! These beginner-level resources will help you start learning web development like a pro!
If you ask me, the best way to learn web development from scratch is to stop worrying about doing something wrong and just start right away. You will quickly notice if it’s your thing or not. And hey, if you don’t fall in love with it, don’t worry. At least you tried and did your best.
What’s great about web development is the variety of tools and technologies you can learn.
Depending on what you enjoy working with the most, you can specialize in those specific skills in the long run. That way, you can essentially create your dream job yourself and start a web developer career quicker than you may expect.
So, where will you start learning? What’s your first web development course going to be?
If you’re not sure where to start, head over to Codecademy or freeCodecamp. Try their free tutorials and see how you like it. If you enjoy building basic HTML and CSS sites, consider investing a few bucks in a high-quality course.
Remember to pick a course with plenty of practical exercises and small projects. They will help you learn how to apply your skills to real-life problems and create websites and apps to make people’s lives easier.
Here are even more web development resources and learning tips to help you get started:
- 8 Critical Things You MUST Know Before Learning Web Development
- 10 Smart Tips to Learn Web Development and Coding Faster
If you enjoyed this article about the best way to learn web development, please drop me a line in the comments below!
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