Learning how to code can change your life for good. It’s never been easier to teach yourself technical skills online and start a career as a developer.
But the hardest part is knowing where you should start learning.
How can you find the best websites to learn coding from scratch as a beginner? How can you make sure you are not wasting your time learning skills you won’t need?
Not too long ago, I was where you are right now. I knew I wanted to learn coding, but I had no idea where to start.
With all the different programming languages to choose from and hundreds of online learning platforms available, I felt overwhelmed.
I didn’t know what skills I wanted to specialize in. So I didn’t know how to pick the best websites to learn to code that would teach me the right skills I needed.
If you are interested in teaching yourself how to code online, you are in the right place. In this post, I will walk you through the best websites to learn coding and web development from scratch.
You will find free coding courses and tutorials to start learning right away. I will also cover a few paid resources I have tried and found helpful.
Let’s dive right in!
Here are a couple of related posts you may find helpful, too:
- How to Build a Website From Scratch: The Ultimate Guide
- What Programming Language Should I Learn? Beginner’s Guide
- FAQ: How to Become a Web Developer?
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!
Why should you learn how to code?
If you’re completely new to coding and web development, you might be wondering why learning how to code is so important in the first place.
When you’re just starting out, I know exactly how difficult it is to find the best resources and tutorials.
To help you stay focused and motivated, let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to start learning coding:
Recommended: The Best Way to Learn Coding: Beginner’s Guide
Boosting your career opportunities
If you want to learn coding from scratch to launch a new as a developer, congratulations! The best time to teach yourself how to code is now.
The employment of professional developers is estimated to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026 in the US alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is faster than the average for all occupations.
You don’t have to wait for years to start making money with your coding skills. You can start earning income from small freelance gigs in a matter of weeks.
For more details, check out my article about web developer salaries and how much web developers make.
Also, you don’t need to go to college for 4 years and pay $1,000s in tuitions to start a new career. You can use free resources to teach yourself the skills you need.
Along the way, you will gain hands-on experience by working on coding projects of your own.
Once you feel confident enough in your skills, you can start applying for entry-level jobs in the industry you wish to work in.
Achieving financial freedom and flexibility
Do you want to leave your job and work with something you actually enjoy?
Are you tired of working your butt off just so that someone else could achieve their dreams?
I don’t know about you, but that was exactly how I felt in my office job.
It felt like I was wasting my life sitting in pointless meetings and sorting hundreds of meaningless emails every day.
I just couldn’t imagine living like that for the rest of my life.
So I decided it was time for a change. I wasn’t going to sacrifice my dreams just to make my employer happy.
I started learning to code in September 2016. Just 5 months later, I quit my job to pursue freelancing.
I didn’t have any experience in tech. I didn’t even feel that confident in my skills. And I was terrified it would go horribly wrong.
But I was determined to make it work. I wanted to become a freelance web developer, and choose when and where I work.
It took a lot of hard work, but I started making money from small freelance jobs almost instantly.
A few months later, I launched my own web design business.
Since then, I’ve had full control over how I live my life. I can work wherever I want to, and choose the clients I want to work with.
I can spend more time with the people I love, and I genuinely enjoy what I do.
If you are interested in achieving more financial flexibility and freedom in life, you are in the right place. You can read more about my freelancing journey here.
Being your own boss
Knowing how to code is like having a superpower.
You will have an endless number of possibilities to pursue your dreams by starting your own business, like:
- Creating an online publication
- Launching an online shop
- Starting your own web design agency
- Building mobile applications
- Offering coding courses and tutoring online
- Reviewing products on your website and earning ad income
- Selling licenses for media, e.g. as a professional photographer
All you need is a solid plan and strategy to get started.
Once you know exactly what you wish to achieve, it’s easy to find what tools and technologies you must learn to get there.
After that, you’ll simply start learning the basics and progress to more advanced tools as you go.
For even more reasons to start learning how to code, head over to my previous post Why Learn Coding? 12 Essential Benefits from Learning Programming.
Before you start: know your “why”
Before we get into the best websites to learn to code from scratch, there’s one more thing you need to figure out.
Learning how to code is a long journey. You can get the hang of the basics pretty fast, but mastering a programming language can take years.
That doesn’t mean you have to wait for a job for years, though. You can start making money already while you learn how to code.
That’s what I did, too. Then, gradually I started increasing the time I dedicated to web dev jobs. And before long, I had quit my job and started my own web design business.
But whatever it is you wish to do with coding in the future, you need to be mindful of your goal.
Why do you want to teach yourself to code?
Any answer is good here, there’s no right or wrong. You simply need to take a moment to figure out what your long-term goals and aspirations are.
Because without clear goals, you can’t track your progress along the way!
Trust me, it’s so much easier to learn to code from scratch when you know what you’ll use your new skills for. With every coding exercise and project, you’ll know that you’re one step closer to your target.
The best websites to learn coding in 2021
If you are new to coding and web development, it’s a good idea to use free tutorials and courses to start with.
That way you can discover what you like and don’t like before you invest money in a more in-depth courses. Once you know what skills you need to learn to achieve your goals, you can learn how to code faster, and stay committed to making progress.
However, there are so many coding courses and tutorials to choose from. How do you know which are the best websites to learn coding online?
Well, I put together this guide to make it easier for you!
Here are 25 best websites to learn coding from scratch, from quick tutorials to full online coding courses.
- Pluralsight (Code School)
- Team Treehouse
- One Month
- The Odin Project
- Code Avengers
- Khan Academy
- GA Dash
- Learn by Google Developers
- After Hours Programming
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Codecademy has a large selection of free resources to teach yourself to code. Their catalog includes a variety of programming languages for web development, mobile development, and more.
Try a few tutorials and exercise and see how you feel. If you enjoy the classes and you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot, you can sign up for a paid plan to unlock more comprehensive, premium content.
In case you’re not sure where to start, I’d suggest you go with the HTML and CSS modules. They’re easy and comparatively quick to learn. If it feels like fun, perhaps web design and web development is your thing?
Codecademy was the first of all coding sites I tried as a beginner programmer. I loved how easy and fast it was to get started with them. Once I felt like I had found what I was looking for, I decided to start a paid course on Udemy.
Udemy is a popular platform for learning how to code and teaching yourself any skill you can imagine.
There are thousands of coding courses to choose from. Hence, before you start a course on Udemy, check out the reviews and ratings from other students.
With that said, Udemy has some of the best web development courses for beginners I’ve found throughout the years. And they frequently offer flash sales with discounts of up to 95%.
When you’re browsing through courses on Udemy, pay attention to these points:
If a course has 100,000 students and 4.8 out of 5 stars, those students can’t be wrong.
Pretty self-explanatory, but the ratings don’t lie. Go for 5-star courses if possible.
Watch a couple of introductory videos before purchasing a course. Make sure you like the instructor and their style of speaking and teaching. First impressions are everything!
Read through some reviews on the course homepage. See what other students are saying.
When I started learning how to code, I purchased my first paid courses on Udemy. And I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
After only a few weeks, I created a freelancer profile on Upwork and started applying for small HTML and CSS gigs. A few months after that, I had quit my job and started my own web dev business.
Here’s the course that made me a full-time web dev entrepreneur: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0.
If you’re not familiar with Udemy, head over to my Udemy review article for more details.
Pluralsight is a comprehensive tech learning platform for the most in-demand skills in the job market.
What sets them apart from the competition are the learning paths you can take. Each path teaches you a specific skill from start to finish. You simply focus on a single path and learn everything in the right order. I’ve tested a couple of paths and they are a huge time-saver.
You can choose between a number of paths for topics like:
- HTML and CSS
- Angular, Vue, React, and Node.js
- Android Development
- Python etc.
The contents for each path are perfect for beginners. And what’s even better: they add new content to the paths on a regular basis. That way you’re always learning the most recent and up-to-date tools, every time.
If you’re not ready to invest much into a course, take Pluralsight for a test drive with their FREE 10-day trial.
4: Team Treehouse
Team Treehouse has a more project-oriented approach to teaching coding than most other platforms.
It’s one of the best websites to learn coding if you are new to the world of tech. They offer high-quality, easy-to-follow courses created by professional teachers and instructors.
If you want to learn to code from scratch with just one resource, Treehouse is an excellent choice. They produce all their content themselves so you can enjoy a consistent and cohesive learning path for each track, like:
- Back-End Development: PHP, Python, Ruby
- Android Development
- iOS Development
- Data Analysis etc.
If you’re not familiar with Team Treehouse, you can give them a try with their FREE 7-day trial.
Their pricing works on a subscription basis: you can unlock all courses and content for a monthly plan starting at $25.
Oh and one more thing!
If you are serious about learning how to code and building a portfolio with real-world projects, take a look at the Treehouse Techdegree programs. They are beginner-level mini degrees where you create hands-on projects focused on a specific field in tech.
When you finish your Techdegree, you will have a professional portfolio with a handful of projects that help you land your first full-time developer job. Not bad!
Find out more in my Treehouse Techdegree Review post.
freeCodeCamp is one of the best websites to teach yourself to code on a budget. All their courses are 100% free to use.
If you have zero experience with programming, freeCodeCamp is an excellent place to learn the basics and explore different options you could specialize in.
The best thing about freeCodeCamp is the supportive community where you can connect with like-minded developers around the world.
When you sign up and start learning, you can join a freeCodeCamp Facebook group, too. Why not join or organize a coding meet-up in your city?
edX offers real college-level courses from some of the best universities worldwide. Needless to say, the quality of the lectures and content is outstanding compared to many other coding sites.
edX was founded in 2012 by Harvard and MIT and it’s grown to include over 90 partners around the world.
The course contents on edX are free and the platform is open source. However, you can invest in a verified certificate to prove course completion for most courses.
All in all, if you’re looking for high-quality coding courses to learn about the newest technologies and theories available, edX is your go-to coding site.
Udacity offers a big selection of individual courses that are perfect for beginners. You’ll find plenty of free courses to learn the basics of programming, web development, and Computer Science.
Most beginner-level courses on Udacity are free so you can learn coding from scratch on a zero budget.
Each course consists of video lectures, exercises, quizzes, and bigger projects and assignments.
If you feel stuck with an assignment, simply head over to the student discussion board to find support from your peers.
Udacity also offers mini tech degrees called nanodegrees. Each nanodegree teaches you relevant skills and programming languages to launch a career in a specific field, like
- Machine Learning
- Data Science
- Android Development
- iOS Development etc.
The degrees are crafted together with industry leaders like Google, Facebook, IBM, and AT&T.
If you decide to enroll in a nanodegree, you will get valuable support from the degree mentors and coaches. They are there to make sure you complete the program and learn the skills you need for the job you want.
Coursera is one of the best websites to learn coding for free as a newbie. You’ll find heaps of diverse, professional courses that range from beginner-level classes to more advanced-level topics.
Most Coursera classes are taught by real university professors from some of the most prestigious institutions worldwide, like Princeton and Stanford.
All courses are free to enroll in, but you can choose to pay for a “Coursera Verified Certificate” to prove course completion. The prices vary between $29 to $95.
Also, paying for a certificate unlocks additional learning content you can’t get with the free version.
9: One Month
One Month offers a variety of bootcamp courses for learning coding and web development from scratch. As their name suggests, each course takes 30 days from start to finish.
You can choose from a number of topics, like:
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails
- iOS Development
- Web Security
- WordPress Theme Development etc.
While you work through your One Month coding course, you will build actual, real-world projects for your portfolio.
If you know exactly what you wish to do with coding in the future, One Month is a great platform to start. You can learn everything you need to know to get started with Python, Ruby, or web development in one place.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can save a big buck by learning how to build your web app by yourself instead of hiring a team of developers to do it for you.
And yes, you’ll be done in just 30 days!
10. The Odin Project
The Odin Project is one of the most beginner-friendly platforms to learn web development from scratch, and it’s 100% free and open-source.
Their curriculum is project-based, meaning that you will build meaningful projects for your portfolio already while learning.
When you start learning how to code, it can feel difficult to see the big picture and put all the skills you learn together. That’s where The Odin Project does a way better job than many other platforms and best websites to learn coding.
You will never feel lost or left alone after a lesson or exercise. You’ll always know what you can use your new skills in the future for.
11: Code Avengers
Code Avengers offers interactive lessons where you can learn web development, Computer Science, UI Design, and much more.
The classes consist of video lectures and heaps of quizzes and coding challenges that allow you to put your skills to the test.
If you’re not familiar with Code Avengers, you can try their free 7-day trial to see if you’d like to invest in the entire program.
And if English isn’t your first language, Code Avengers is one of the best websites to learn coding in your own language. They offer courses in German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Russian, too.
12: Khan Academy
Khan Academy has a huge selection of resources to learn how to code online for free. You can learn literally anything on Khan Academy at your own pace.
If you’re just starting with learning how to code, Khan Academy is perfect for learning the very basics.
While you teach yourself to code, you collect points and badges through completing lessons and missions. So, if you’re into gamified learning, Khan Academy is a great choice.
You don’t need to sign up in order to access the courses on Khan Academy. Just find your way to their website and start learning right away!
Codewars has a more gamified approach to learning how to code than most other platforms in this post. Their code challenges have a martial-arts theme, where the learning path is based on challenges called kata.
Each challenge aims at helping you either learn new skills or improve existing ones in a specific programming language.
When you complete a kata, you’ll each honor points and get one step further towards higher ranks. With every kata you finish, the challenges will become tougher to solve.
All in all, the kata system is a fun way to learn coding: Codewars is definitely one of the best websites to learn coding by gamification.
14: Envato Tuts+
Envato Tuts+ is one of my go-to websites with helpful beginner-level articles, videos, and tutorials for learning to code from absolute scratch. Their material covers a good variety of topics, such as:
- Coding guides
- Web design tutorials
- Business skills
- Graphic design and illustration courses
You can find thousands of free tutorials here to learn all the basics as well as more advanced topics. The best part? The tutorials are mostly project-based, with clear step-by-step instructions to help you follow along.
If you feel like Tuts+ is your thing, you can easily sign up for a paid plan later on. They offer a huge selection of premium content, paid courses, and eBooks if you’re willing to invest a few bucks in high quality learning material.
Start by checking out their blog with tons of helpful articles, for example. They cover some very specific topics about web development and web design as well as entrepreneurship and content marketing.
What sets SitePoint apart from the other websites I’ve listed is the quality of their content. The content is created by professional programmers and industry leaders, so they always deliver top-notch quality articles.
Also, SitePoint offers a pool of over 400 books and professional courses with their premium plan.
And they take it one step further: you can track your progress for each book and course from your own activity dashboard. Neat!
SoloLearn is a 100% free platform to learn to code from scratch. If you’re on the go a lot, check out their apps for iOS and Android, too.
For back-end development and software development, start a course in Python, Ruby, Java, Swift, C++, or C#, for example.
What’s great about SoloLearn is the Q&A discussion forum you can use whenever things feel difficult. Use it to connect with other students and to find answers to your questions while working your way through the course material.
17: GA Dash
The best part?
The courses are project-based, so you build small but practical web dev projects while working through the tutorials.
Code.org is a non-profit website dedicated to offering free online coding courses and tutorials for everyone, especially for students. But trust me, this website is perfect for anyone at any age.
W3Schools is one of the most thorough free online learning platforms for coding and web development.
I highly recommend using their tutorials for building your own coding projects from scratch. Create a new code file in your text editor and start building a web page with HTML and CSS, for example.
As you progress through these free coding lessons, you will gradually build a real-world website you can use as your portfolio, for instance.
Edabit offers free online coding lessons which are 100% hands-on and practical. You learn computer programming from scratch by completing small coding challenges one by one.
And yes, Edabit really looks like the Duolingo of coding courses.
22: Learn by Google Developers
Learn by Google Developers is aimed at intermediate and advanced developer who want to improve their coding and development skills. The platform helps you integrate Google’s services and technology into your tech projects.
You can choose between three different learning methods:
- Pathways – Structured learning paths to help you achieve a specific goal.
- Topics – Collections of material to help you learn more about a specific topic with Google Developers.
- Codelabs – Guided coding tutorials and exercises where you create small apps and improve existing apps.
Bento is a search engine with curated coding courses and tutorials for beginners and advanced-level developers. I only discovered their website recently, and I can’t recommend it enough.
If you want to learn web development for free, start with their Web track to understand how the web works. After that, it’s time to learn some basic HTML with their free HTML tutorial.
24: After Hours Programming
After Hours Programming is a collection of free coding and web development tutorials.
Their tutorials give you a good understanding of how complex a single web development project can be. Large-scale websites and e-commerce platforms have dozens or even hundreds of developers working seamlessly together, and everyone focuses on a very specific skill set.
Thus, while it’s a good idea to learn the basics of a handful of programming and markup languages, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to learn everything – that’s not sensible at this point.
Instead, go through these basic tutorials of a few languages, and see which ones you enjoy working with. Those are the tools you should be learning more about!
Upskill is a high-quality learning platform with free coding courses in popular skills such as:
- HTML and CSS
- Ruby on Rails
The best part: most of their coding tutorials are project-based. As you build your own coding projects from scratch, you can add real-world apps to your portfolio one by one.
Final Thoughts: The Best Websites to Learn Coding in 2021
Learning to code has never been easier than now. You have a huge selection of resources available online to choose from.
The trick is to find the best resources from the masses that match your learning style the best. That’s what this article should help you with.
So what should you do next?
If you’re a complete beginner and want to learn coding from scratch, head over to my Free Coding Guide for Beginners to learn the basics of programming step-by-step.
Then, when you know what coding is all about, start to teach yourself to code using a free platform first. Try Codecademy.
Once you get a better idea of what you’d like to do with coding in the future, invest a few bucks in a paid course on Udemy.
Pick a course that has top ratings and includes meaningful projects you can build for your portfolio. Head over to my Udemy review post to find the best coding courses for web development, mobile development, and more.
Here are a few helpful posts that you may want to read, too:
- The Best Way to Learn Coding From Absolute Scratch
- 10 Instant Tips for Learning Coding More Efficiently
- Learning Programming: Online Coding Courses vs Books
If you enjoyed this post on the best websites to learn coding, drop me a line in the comments below!
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