Many people want to learn web development, but may encounter obstacles in their pursuit that may prevent them from doing so. Some may not able to afford programming classes while others feel they don't have enough time to learn it. Many people are also on a budget and don't want to break the bank investing in expensive courses.
Even if time and money weren't an issue, many curious and aspiring developers repeatedly ask, "How do I start learning web development?" or "What courses do you recommend to start learning X?" After taking a class or two, the next common question that is asked is, "What do I learn next?"
Once they have a grasp of the basics, many new developers desire to learn more intermediate or advanced concepts, but struggle to find courses that teach them, and eventually become overwhelmed or frustrated when taking on complex real-world development projects.
As a result, I've put together this comprehensive guide that captures what online courses are available for you to learn web development when you're broke, short on time, on a budget, or looking to advance your expertise and skill set.
These courses also make great gifts for family, friends and colleagues. If you think a course you’re currently enrolled in would make for an excellent gift for the holidays or birthdays, consider purchasing another copy of the course for them. Some of the sites described below also enable you to choose any course that you’re not enrolled in by using their gift giving option.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step study plan to become a web developer in 3 months or less.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more details.
There are excellent, online resources that are free to access if you want to learn web development. They allow you to get a feel for how web development works and cover everything from the basics to best practices. Below we’ll take a look at the ones I recommend, I'll highlight what they cover and I'll also provide additional resources to check out.
freeCodeCamp is a donor-supported non-profit that offers free online curricula covering front-end development, back-end development, full-stack development, and data visualization. Using their hands-on, interactive coding platform, you’ll learn:
As a student of freeCodeCamp, you’ll join a supportive community, build projects, become certified in each discipline, and you can gain real-world experience by participating in their open-source projects used by nonprofits.
The creators of Bento have curated the best tutorials from around web and created a free full stack web development curriculum by top engineers. Their mission is to “inspire as many people in the world to become programmers. That means making learning to code accessible, fun, and affordable for everyone. It also means highlighting the best material that educators are creating.”
They offer 4 programming tracks online: web fundamentals, front end development, back end development, and databases. They also teach topics that cover over 200 different web technologies.
In addition to Bento and freeCodeCamp, you can also access 100+ free resources to learn full-stack development.
According to One Month, "Yes, there are some things that you can only learn with time, but anyone who says you need 10 years to become good at programming is a liar."
One Month HTML is a four-week course that will show anyone (even a total beginner) how to build their first website and learn to code HTML. When you sign up, you immediately get access to a member's area where you can take each lesson at your own pace.
Along the way, you'll learn HTML, CSS, FTP, SEO best practices, Facebook API, Responsive Web Design, Bootstrap, blog theming, and much more. This course is for beginners, so no prior programming experience is necessary.
The course includes 6+ hours of step-by-step video, 4 projects that you'll create for your portfolio, and a course certificate. As a student, you’ll experience, Q&A sessions with the instructor, online support when you have questions, and homework sets graded by the instructor or TA. By the end of this course, you'll know all of the fundamentals of HTML and be ready to start building website on your own.
By the end of the course, your portfolio will consist of
Ruby is one of the most flexible programming languages on the planet and is a great place for any beginner to start learning. And, for Rails developers, learning the Ruby behind the Rails is a critical part of building truly supercharged apps.
One Month Ruby shows you how to write and run your first Ruby scrips to automate tasks, to write scripts that interact with APIs, and scrape websites. In just 30 days, you will be ready to start coding Ruby apps on your own.
In One Month Rails, you'll learn how to code your own web apps using the most powerful and user-friendly framework available to web developers, Ruby on Rails. You'll need to commit 2-3 hours per week (about 15 minutes per day) to this course.
Half of the course is comprised of on-demand videos that you can watch on your own schedule. The other half will be spent completing homework assignments and getting feedback from your instructors in the private, students-only Slack room that will be dedicated to this course.
By the end of One Month Rails, you'll also be able to build and add powerful features to your web apps including creating user accounts, allowing them to upload images and other content, and more.
One Month Python is an introduction to programming with Python for total beginners. Python is a really popular language used by companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, and Reddit.
The course consists of 50% online video that you can take at your own pace and 50% interaction with up to 50 of your fellow students and the bootcamp instructors through a Slack chat room. There are 1-2 hours of video to watch per week and you'll be asked to complete assignments and submit them to the instructor for feedback and a grade.
Programming for Non-Programmers is One Month's course for students who want to gain a basic understanding of coding before they get into learning an actual programming language. If you are someone who wants to get a developer's mindset, then this is the perfect place to start.
In this course, they tackle basic development principles to get you started on the right path, so no experience is necessary! You’ll learn what makes up the front-end, back-end, and UX. By the end of the course, you will know how to read code and will have produced three web projects from scratch.
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When you’re on a budget, look no further than Udemy, the largest destination for online courses. Their web development courses, normally valued at $200 or more, are regularly and heavily discounted where you can usually snatch them up for just $10 each. What a deal!
The Web Developer Bootcamp is a bestseller on Udemy and is advertised as the only course you need to learn web development - HTML, CSS, JS, Node, and more! Rated at 4.7 with close to 185K students enrolled, the course includes:
The target audience for this course includes anyone who wants to learn about web development. It's perfect for complete beginners with zero experience. It's also great for anyone who does have some experience in a few of the technologies (like HTML and CSS) but not all. But most importantly, if you want to take ONE COURSE to learn everything you need to know about web development, take this course.
The bestseller course, Complete Python Bootcamp, is advertised as is the most comprehensive, yet straight-forward, course for the Python programming language on Udemy! As a student, you’ll learn the basics and go all the way to creating your own applications and games. This course is intended for beginners who have never programmed before, programmers switching languages to Python, and intermediate Python programmers who want to level up their skills.
With a course rating of 4.5 and 174K students enrolled, the course includes:
The Complete Java Masterclass, another bestseller course, is a step-by-step course that will allow you to master Java 8 and Java 9 core development. You’ll build creative, fully functional Java programs and by the end of the course, you will have gained the technical skills to become an in-demand Java developer for exciting software companies.
This course is intended for people who want to produce the highest-quality, creative Java software, people looking to go from absolute beginner to advanced Java expert, and people looking for expert knowledge and insider tips used by the world’s best programmers and top companies. With a course rating of 4.6 and close to 151K students enrolled, the course includes:
Master Angular (Angular 2+, incl. Angular 5) and build awesome, reactive web apps with the successor of Angular.js with the bestselling course, Angular 5. You’ll develop modern, complex, responsive and scalable web applications with Angular while fully understanding the architecture behind an Angular application. By the end of this course, you will have master the fundamentals of Angular to quickly establish yourself as a frontend developer.
With a 4.6 course rating and roughly 139K students enrolled, the course includes:
The bestseller course, Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3, will teach you everything you need to know to get started with HTML5 and CSS3 by building professional, beautiful and truly responsive websites. This course is suitable for complete beginners or students with some knowledge about HTML and CSS, but who struggle to put together a great website. It would also be worthwhile for designers who want to expand their skill set into HTML5 and CSS3.
With a 4.7 rating and close to 57K students enrolled, this course includes:
Taking a step-by-step approach, the course, Build Websites from Scratch with HTML & CSS, will have you learning the essentials of HTML and CSS by building several mini functional websites from scratch. This course with more than 77 lectures and 8 hours of content gives you a basic, yet thorough understanding of both HTML and CSS. Rated at 4.7 with 52K students enrolled, this course includes:
In the course, PHP for Beginners, learn everything you need to become a professional PHP developer with practical exercises & projects. This bestseller course is meant for total beginners in PHP and it doesn’t require any prior programming experience. This course will help you get all the fundamentals of Procedural PHP, Object Oriented PHP, MYSQLi and ending the course by building a CMS system similar to WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
With a 4.5 course rating and 35K students enrolled, this course includes:
With a 4.8 course rating and 91K students enrolled, this course includes:
Rated at 4.6 with 50K students enrolled, this course includes:
In the course, Modern React with Redux, master the fundamentals of React and Redux as you develop apps with React Router, Webpack, and ES6. This bestseller course will get you up and running quickly, and teach you the core knowledge you need to deeply understand and build React components and structure applications with Redux.
By the end, you’ll be the who explains how Redux works to everyone else, because you know the fundamentals so well. This course was created for programmers looking to learn React and developers who want to grow out of just using jQuery.
With a 4.7 course rating and 73K students enrolled, this course includes:
In the course, Advanced React and Redux, realize the power of building composable components by learning advanced React and Redux concepts with detailed walkthroughs. This course is the perfect follow-on after taking Modern React with Redux. For example, you’ll learn how to write Redux middleware from scratch to uncover what is happening behind the scenes with Redux.
This course is for web developers and designers looking to learn AngularJS, those who have researched AngularJS but still find it hard to understand, as well for people who have used jQuery but are tired of doing everything manually.
With a 4.6 rating and 64K students enrolled, this course includes:
Rated at 4.6 with 68K students enrolled, this course includes:
In the course, The Complete Node.js Developer Course (2nd Edition), learn Node.js by building real-world applications with Node, Express, MongoDB, Mocha, and more. This bestseller course is based around a single goal: turning you into a professional Node developer capable of developing, testing, and deploying real-world production applications. It’s perfect for anyone looking to launch their own Node applications, switch careers, or freelance as a Node developer.
With a course rating of 4.7 and roughly 44K students enrolled, this course includes:
With the course, The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course, learn to make innovative web apps with Ruby on Rails 4 & 5 and unleash your creativity. In this bestseller course, you’ll learn how to rapidly prototype ideas and turn them into presentable apps.
This course takes a very structured approach of teaching Rails starting with Ruby - the programming language behind Rails. Everything from "Hello World" to Object Oriented Programming is covered.
It’s designed to take students with no programming or web development experience to accomplished Ruby on Rails developers; furthermore, it’s just as useful for students who have experience coding in Rails and want to take their skills to the next level or students who are making the switch to Ruby on Rails from other frameworks.
With a 4.5 rating and 38K students enrolled, this course includes:
This course can be your one stop shop for everything you need to become a web developer. It’s designed for complete beginners, professionals looking to bridge gaps in their knowledge, and python Developers looking to get into web development.
With a 4.6 rating and 24K students enrolled, this course includes:
In addition to the The Complete Java Developer Course, gain a detailed understanding of Web Automation Frameworks with the course Selenium WebDriver With Java. The course starts with how to code in Java, so no prior programming experience is needed, and then covers selenium, TestNG, selenium grid, log4j, maven, Jenkins, database testing, performance testing, and more!
Rated at 4.5 and 15K students, the course includes:
Learn everything from design to frontend and backend programming with the course, Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course. In this bestseller course, you’ll build 23+ custom design, web and programming projects all from scratch. The course covers Visual and Web Design, how to use Adobe Photoshop, and how to sketch professional wireframes.
Then it’ll dive into designing responsive websites, PHP, MySQL, WordPress and custom WordPress plugin development. By the end of the course, you'll then have the ability to build responsive, dynamic websites and blogs, basic eCommerce sites and online stores, and have a professional understanding of all aspects of web design and development.
With a 4.5 rating and 41K students enrolled, this course includes:
If you’re a novice web developer and don't want to purchase courses individually, I highly recommend Treehouse. After completing your 7-day free trial, you can continue your Treehouse membership by paying $25/month for their Basic plan or $49/month for their Pro Plan.
As a Treehouse member, you can get access to 1000+ high quality video courses, interactive tools, on-demand learning, and a supportive community of students.
They have 4 tracks dedicated to web developers: Frontend Development, Rails Development, PHP Development, WordPress Development. They also have a web design track for developers that want to expand their skillset.
Ruby on Rails is a popular choice for many startups where it’s important to be able to implement new features and ideas quickly and efficiently. Ruby on Rails is commonly used for building web applications. In fact, even Treehouse uses it!
By the end of this track, you’ll have what it takes to begin your career in many well-known companies and startups, or you could even begin your own startup!
PHP is commonly used by people who want to build a simple, dynamic website quickly and effortlessly. It’s become an extremely popular choice for web developers that roughly 80% of all websites use it now, including many Fortune 500 companies and top technology startups.
By the end of this track, you’ll have basic programming knowledge to build your own PHP websites.
In this track, you’ll learn how WordPress uses PHP and how you can integrate your own code to create custom web applications. WordPress, is one of the quickest and most popular ways to build a dynamic website. WordPress has become so popular that nearly 75-million websites all around the world are powered by it, which makes up almost 20% of the internet!
Also, because it’s an open-source platform, it has millions of themes and plugins available for anyone to use — most of which are completely free and easily customizable for your website.
In this track, you’ll learn how to design and build beautiful websites by learning the basic principles of design like branding, color theory, and typography which are all instrumental in the design process of a website. You’ll also learn HTML and CSS, which are the common code languages that all modern websites are built on.
These are useful skills to acquire as they are needed by nearly every single business in the world to communicate to customers. By the end of this track, you’ll have all the skills required to design and build your own websites or even start a career as a web designer.
If you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, I highly recommend investing in Pluralsight to learn intermediate and advanced web development concepts.
The Pluralsight platform takes the guesswork out of learning by providing learning paths that combine specific courses and tools into one experience to teach you any given skill from start to finish. Paths are aligned to an individual's knowledge level, to help you develop the right skills in the right order.
What I greatly appreciate about their platform is that their course skill assessments identify where you should start in a path and what material you can skip over based on your current knowledge, so that you start at your current skill level. This is a huge time saver and allows you to hit the ground running.
As you progress through a course, you can measure your knowledge and skill development over time by completing associated learning checks, skill assessments and certification practice exams.
Their advanced HTML5 tutorial topics include a deeper dive into building rich internet applications. You will learn how to apply many of the new features found within the HTML5 specs, such as WebSockets, geolocation and web storage, offline applications, and more.
Pluralsight’s intermediate and advanced CSS courses cover how to make your CSS more readable, maintainable and easier to write with LESS and SASS. You will also dive a little deeper into the world of responsive design, CSS gradients, selectors, generated content, media queries, shadows, text-effects, transitions, animations and much more.
For intermediate and advanced developers, you’ll learn about common jQuery bugs and how to fix them, in addition to working with forms and plugins. You’ll also see some handy tips and tricks you can use to improve your code quality. Advanced topics include complex event handling and customization.
Pluralsight’s intermediate and advanced Angular courses will help you better understand Angular as a whole, as well as taking a closer look at routing and different form approaches. They also help you optimize your development process by diving into Angular best practices.
For the React Path, you’ll learn more of the intricate elements within React, including working with Flux and Redux, in their intermediate React courses. Their advanced material covers topics like the context API, HOCs, external state, performance optimization, production deployment, testing and building a full-stack app using React.
Intermediate and advanced Node developers will master more of the nuanced topics including integrating Node.js with Express, asynchronous code, and working with RESTful web services. Furthermore, you’ll nail down testing, application patterns, and Node.js module structure.
Intermediate and advanced Python developers will master unit testing and debugging, full-stack development with Python, implementing sophisticated frameworks, and additional advanced topics.
Java developers will learn the ins and outs of memory management, reflection, frameworks like Spring, patterns, best practices, testable code, and much more in Pluralsight’s intermediate and advanced Java courses.
You’ve read about the different resources out there to learn web development.
Now it’s time to choose one.
The first step?
Leave a comment to let me know what course you're going to enroll in first.
Will you purchase coding courses individually or signup for a membership?
Or, maybe you want to explore the free resources that are available.
Which course would you give as a gift to family and friends?
Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.
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