Treehouse vs. Udemy: Which is Better For Learning How to Code?

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Hey! This review is going to be different from the rest. Instead of talking about one online course or tutorial, Lee Hughes has been generous enough to give a more broad comparison between the Treehouse and Udemy learning platforms.

Enjoy!

The last few years have seen a huge increase in people wanting to teach themselves to code. As you can view below in Google Trends data, it really took off around 2012.

learn to code google trends

One of the reasons for this boom can be summarized by a quote from Carl Sagan:

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

Everyone can agree that our lives are increasingly dependent on technology. With the boom of the Internet and its growth, we now have a shortage of talented technical people. This, among other things, has led to the learn to code movement. In an attempt to fill this gap, a series of startups sprung up such as Code School, Team Treehouse, Udemy and many university websites.

In this post I'll look at Team Treehouse and Udemy specifically, comparing the two on their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning How to Code with Team Treehouse

I’ve been a Treehouse Pro/gold member for about two years now. I have enjoyed watching Treehouse develop into one of the leading websites where people can learn to code. (For a more in-depth review of Team Treehouse, see my analysis here.)

With over 1,000 high-quality videos, Treehouse is a great investment for those wanting to learn how to code without any prior experience. Their videos are designed to take you from knowing nothing about code to getting yourself a job in the tech industry. And users are doing just this, with a growing list of people using Treehouse to start a new career in tech.

One of the reasons I rate Treehouse so highly is because of their tracks feature. Learning to program and build websites can often be a daunting task. With so much information on the web, it’s easy to get analysis paralysis and not really progress with your learning.

Treehouse solved this problem by creating tracks that act as a roadmap so you know what to learn next. The following track is for rails development. As you can see below, it starts off simple by teaching HTML and CSS3. It then progresses further with other languages and skills you’ll need to know to become a full-fledged rails developer.

rails developer photo treehouse rails tracks treehouse rails tracks

At the time of writing, Team Treehouse have about 10 tracks, each of which will take a good few weeks to get through.

Learning Online With Udemy

Udemy has also appeared in the online education boom. While Udemy offers a lot of non-coding topics, there are a good number of courses you can take to learn how to code. (Oftentimes at a good price, too.)

One of the reasons I love Udemy is because it offers you the chance to drill down on a certain aspect of coding. For example, a popular course Coding for Entrepreneurs has similar courses which you can use to build your own Geolocator app or a daily deals website. Depending on what you want to learn, Udemy might have some courses tailored specifically to those needs.

Udemy courses can be created by anyone who wants to make them. This can have advantages and disadvantages, as a teacher's style when learning online is very important. If you search through the Udemy courses, you’ll see a mix of teachers on the same subject.

Some teach quite slow, while other teachers go very fast and fly through the content, making you pause the video often and having to review each step.

If you decide to sign up with Udemy, you’ll see something like this. Your course will be listed on the left with a progression feature. On the right you’ll have access to take notes on each topic or ask the teacher a question.

Udemy screenshot

Teachers are pretty good at responding and you can see other student’s questions as well.

The content of the courses depends on the teacher and their preferred method of teaching. Most will just talk over their code while some will include PowerPoint slides.

Final Analysis: Team Treehouse vs. Udemy

In the end, my personal preference is Treehouse because I think you get more value based off the pricing structure compared to Udemy. Pricing with Treehouse starts at $25 per month and you have access to +1,000 videos with the tracks. With enough time, you can easily get through a couple of tracks in a month. Then you'll have a good foundation to start learning more advanced features.

With Udemy, you have to pay one time for each class. But there are also courses for free if you search for them. Courses are all different prices but you’ll expect to pay around $60-$120 for a good in-depth course. That should get your about 4+ hours of material.

Many of the Treehouse courses have been made for beginners. Due to the effort and time taken to make the videos, there’s a lot of material that might not suit someone with a basic knowledge of some languages. Treehouse is starting to release more intermediate courses, which is great because it allows you to progress past a beginner level.

Udemy, while they do have a large amount of beginner lessons for certain languages, they also offer more choices for students to learn intermediate to advanced subjects.

There are coupons for Udemy, too, that can drastically reduce the cost of the courses. To get some discounts on Udemy, see my review here, where I add coupons when they are available. (There are other websites like StackSocial that sometimes promote Udemy bundles.)

Overall, both Treehouse and Udemy have their pros and cons. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. In certain instances, one might be more suited to your needs than the other. Either way, it’s fantastic that we have these websites at our disposal.

Pros and Cons of Team Treehouse vs. Udemy

Treehouse Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great community
  • New courses come out frequently
  • Learning roadmaps
  • Wide range of computer languages and skills to choose from

Treehouse Cons

  • Still requires additional work outside of Treehouse for more advanced learning
  • Quizzes are too easy

Udemy Pros

  • Has option to learn a specific skill e.g. coding a daily deals website
  • More advanced courses
  • Coupons can get you great deals on courses
  • Easy to follow videos

Udemy Cons

  • Lack of community support throughout your time learning code
  • Can get expensive if buying multiple courses

Thanks Lee!

Since speaking with Lee, I have started doing some of my own learning on Treehouse. Specifically, JavaScript.

Have you taken courses with both Treehouse and Udemy? If yes, which do you prefer?

About Lee Hughes

Lee Hughes is the creator of wpreviews.net. You can find him over on Twitter @leehughes21.

When he's not working on websites, he is pondering the singularity and its implications.


  • Udemy and treehouse are two different platform. Where in udemy anyone can teach, teamtreehouse is more of a premium learning site. I think better comparison should be between teamtreehouse and codeschool as both of them are similar kinds of website. You can also try to learn from both of them to cover different angel. But codeschool is recently acquired by pluralsight so they has some advantage. Codeschool also offer first month trial: http://webuilddesign.com/enroll-in-code-school-at-9-dollars/

    • You read my mind before I even saw this! I’ve been working on my next article these past few days which is about Code School — and I compare it to Treehouse at the end because the two are very, very comparable. ^_^

      • Hello Laurence,

        I am looking forward to that post. Your blog is nice so I subscribed to its newsletter to keep track of it. We run a little blog call “webuilddesign.com”. And I was hoping that we can somehow collaborate.

        Best Regards

        • Hi Tanvir,

          Unfortunately my neck has been having trouble these past few days, meaning it has been more difficult for me to write :-/

          But I hope to get that article out later this week or next. Thx for the compliment. Feel free to email me at laurence@learntocodewith.me if you have any specific ideas in mind.

          Best — Laurence

    • jackotonye

      Treehouse has a 3 months free trial and is not just target at a lot of concepts but just to get you from starter to intermediate level. Personally I prefer treehouse to codeschool

  • Dr.OmegaMale

    treehouse is actually free. You can download every single course the offer in any torrent site. Same applies with codeschool,udemy and tutplus

    • I like to live above the law … I don’t even download music illegally :0

    • Tyler Moore

      Yes you could. But if everyone did this and these companies went out of business… then we would have trouble torrenting their stuff! Put your money where your support is.

    • John

      dude.. why do you even mention that?
      does it make you feel like you’re smart, powerful, in the know..
      you obviously feel the need to find compliments outside of your
      own making. Hey, this is how that great new movie ends..
      and so on..

  • CB M

    Team Treehouse is great! After two weeks of Treehouse I was able to develop my first iPhone App, and before that I didn’t know anything about iPhone Programming! You can get your first month of treehouse for half price with this link: http://bit.ly/1E2bZAy.

  • Haziq Sheikh

    I personally prefer TreeHouse for beginners because its fun learning with them where as udemy courses can get really boring…

    • To this day I have only watch Udemy videos, never finished an entire course.

      I guess it must depend on the teacher, though. But yes Treehouse overall is really awesome :)

  • Pepe

    Udemy is better than treehouse is you have the money period..

  • programegames

    You may download udemy videos with Allavsoft.

    It also download videos from MySpace, Google Video, Yahoo Video, Break.com and other more that 750+ video websites.

  • David McMahon

    When I looked up Treehouse there was a baseline cost of $99/month, not $25. This again only gets you the basic package where 2 other packages are available $199/month and $499/month, with the latter package offering alot of extras such as 1-on-1 mentorship. It is a cool site however!! I just prefer Udemy :)

  • Jeff Brooke

    I know this article is 2014, but even then… not sure on the Udemy information. Full disclosure, I came here to find out about tree house, so don’t know anything about that, but I have been using udemy for about 4 years now.

    My experience of learning to code on udemy is that it’s a total mixed bag as detailed here, however the pricing and content levels are way off. You should never pay more than about $20 for any course on Udemy. That’s been fairly consistent the whole time. IT used to be that they’d sell big bundles of courses for quite cheap – I remember getting a HTML5 series back in 2013 for about $25 that had 8 different courses in it. Over the years they’ve tried a few different pricing models and such, but one thing is constant – courses do not sell for their “full price” listed. IF you go on udemy and there’s a course for $300, just go to discount global to get the current offers for it – usually it’ll be $10-20, the VERY RARE times this doesn’t work, just wait a week or two (never had to wait more than 2) and you will be able to get it for $20. MAX.

    I’ve seen people (probably instructors) say that you should really pay the indicated full price, but that’s just not the Udemy model. The most popular courses on udemy have 10’s of thousands of students, even mediocre courses will usually have a couple thousand – that’s what makes it an appealing platform to educators, not the price per student. Sadly the full price listed will inevitably catch a couple of new users out, but really it is just a sales technique; sure it’s technically 90% off, but when it’s available 90% off 90% of the year, isn’t it more accurate to say 10% of the year there’s a 1000% price hike? ;)

    As for the content on Udemy, with no experience of Treehouse I can say quite confidently that if you took an average of all courses, it would be way lower, because anyone can offer a course. However, you really shouldn’t be paying for these 4 hour courses with a couple hundred students. 12 hour courses would be the minimum for any programming course in my experience and there’s no shortage of those. In the last three years, exceptional courses from 30 to over 70 hours of content have become very common on udemy, and again you can get them from about $10-20.

    Finding a a good course on udemy is simple – you search the topic, then match the results against the checklist: hours of video (under 10, check other results); Feedback rating (must be over 4 stars); Number of feedback responses (must be in the hundreds at least). From there you just start looking through the feedback, ignoring the people who left feedback on day one, and the moaners (there’s always someone who complains that in one of the videos they could hear a desk fan faintly in the background lol). Finally watch the freely available videos from the course to make sure you can understand the instructor (it’s a global platform) and it seems what you want.

    That’s it, now copy the title of the course, plop it into your search bar and add “discount” on the end, and click the discount global link (or other, I have no affiliation with them, but their links always work for the 20+ courses I’ve got on Udemy).

    • Hey Jeff! Wow, thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      You’re right – this article is a bit old. And I unfortunately don’t have the bandwidth to update every older piece of content on the blog right now.

      But thanks again for all this information you’ve shared!

      Best,
      Laurence

  • Mohamed Ifthikar

    For me, I tried TreeHouse and they are not that effective, rather I found them forcefully charging my Paypal when I had a support case with them for change of trainer – They said their courses are recorded and they can not change the trainer. I agree to that, but why charge if customer is not happy and not following the course? I don’t understand why people would follow these craps when there are quality training videos available on Youtube, and of course, you don’t like a vid you always find a lot more in the same subject

    Treehouse is sort of 50% spam

  • Alucaard

    Excuse me, I Respect Books and real teachers more than virtual instructors … a book gives you ton of knowledge . Video training Just 2 chapters of that book … Funny Fact, book is much cheaper !! but People are too lazy