When you want to learn web development, half the battle is figuring out where to start learning to code. You might have questions like:
- Where can I learn to code?
- What are the best online web development courses?
- Which platforms offer coding for beginners?
- What are the most important programming fundamentals to master?
There are so many web development courses out there that the amount of options can be overwhelming. It makes it easy to spend too much time researching and never actually doing anything about it!
That’s why I created this “where should I learn?” page. I want to help you figure out how to start learning web development.
Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!
Table of Contents
- In-depth platform overviews
- Individual course reviews
- Other helpful “Where to learn” resources
- …EVEN MORE “Where to learn” resources
If you're totally new to tech and coding–first of all, welcome! Here's a quick checklist of good first steps you can take.
- Go to my getting started page to read up on some fundamental tech concepts. You will learn how the internet works, what a text editor is, the difference between clients and servers, “tl;dr” explanations of a bunch of coding languages, and much more.
- Start by learning HTML and CSS. They're great introductory languages! My personal favorite place to start is Codecademy, but you can check out other places to learn HTML and CSS here.
- If you’re not diggin’ Codecademy or you want recommendations on where to learn other languages, go to my recent article featuring 71 places to learn to code for free and see if anything there sparks your interest.
I recommend that beginners start with those three steps, because a lot of the materials below cost money. And if you are totally new, there’s no reason to spend money on a coding course platform…yet. Once you've built a foundation, come back to check out the platforms below!
Overview of the Best Platforms to Learn Web Development
In this section, discover some of the most popular platforms where you can learn web development. (Only my faves.) They're great resources to turn to when you want a sense of structure as you teach yourself to code. Also – they are arranged in alphabetical order, not “best to worst” or anything! :)
This article is just an overview; click the links in each heading for my full in-depth reviews of each coding platform!
Code College, created by Brad Hussey, offers several front-end courses, as well as a few more comprehensive web development courses. While Code College doesn’t offer a wide variety of options like some of the larger platforms, students love the Code College material. It's code education that gets you up and running quickly.
Update: After this article was written, Code School was acquired by Pluralsight. Therefore the details on this page may no longer be accurate.
Code School is all about learning web development. It’s all video-based learning, with code challenges between lessons. (The best way to learn web development is by getting hands-on coding practice, after all!) There are individual courses, as well as “paths” you can follow—like the “Ruby path.”
Students who leave a Code School review often comment on how the lecturers' senses of humor and gamified learning environment make it fun to learn.
Coursera is an online platform that hosts courses from top universities around the world. They offer individual web development courses as well as specializations. Since the courses are taught by real university professors, you can be confident they're some of the best online web development courses.
Coursera also grants certificates upon program completion that you can easily showcase on your resume and/or LinkedIn.
Lynda is a massive online learning library with over 3,700 video courses at the time of writing. And they are always adding more! With so many courses, they offer topics ranging far beyond web development and design. And since subscribing gets you access to every single course, you might want to add a few other skills in addition to learning web development!
One Month is ideal for those who want to build their own “thing,” whether that “thing” is a business, app, or new career. Aside from teaching programming and web development, they also have marketing courses and others that relate to building something of your own. It's based on the idea that you can teach yourself to code (or do other things) in just one month!
Team Treehouse has a solid course library. They offer individual courses as well as recommended tracks to follow, like the “web design” track. Team Treehouse material has an emphasis on web development and design, though they also have some business and “digital literacy” Treehouse courses.
Students who give a Team Treehouse review often comment on the quality and enthusiasm of the instructors. You get to interact with them personally, as well as the rest of the Team Treehouse community like fellow learners.
Udemy has 35,000 courses and counting. Unlike most other platforms, anyone can upload and sell a course on Udemy, which means you'll want to read Udemy course reviews before you enroll in one. Offerings on the platform cover a variety of topics from knitting to programming. Prices range from free to $300 per course, but there are often great sales around the holidays. On Udemy there is something for everyone.
Bonus Coding Platforms
I haven't written full reviews of these two yet, but they are well-worth checking out too!
Any future app developers out there!? Devslopes focuses on teaching students how to build mobile and web apps. They also recently introduced blockchain development courses!
If you're determined to invest the time it takes to be able to code with your eyes closed, LaunchSchool is the place for you! Their focus on “mastery-based learning” emphasizes a slow, steady, and deep learning of fundamentals. You move onto new topics once you fully grasp the current one.
Individual course reviews
Here's a collection of individual web development course reviews by yours truly <3 <3 (Tried and tested.) Click to check them out!
A look at the nine highest-rated web development courses on Udemy. Course topics range from HTML and CSS to NodeJS.
My experience taking the One Month Rails course. Even though I don’t do RoR today, I enjoyed it.
A Team Treehouse review of my experience in their JS Basics course.
Resources on building custom Tumblr themes are limited, but GA Dash has one of the few Tumblr theme tutorials out there. Even better? It’s free.
One of my older reviews of a Python course on Udacity. Note: Udacity has a changed a lot since I took the course.
Other helpful “Where to learn?” resources
Even more shizzle about where to learn how to code online (and offline, too).
As the name says: this is a list of 71 places where you can learn to code online, for absolutely free. The mega-list is broken down into sections including HTML and CSS, the command line, Python, and more.
I compiled a massive list of tools and resources on coding for beginners! It's broken down by topic, so you can find exactly the resources you need to decide where to learn to code.
This guide looks at eight online coding bootcamps. Aside from covering basic information on the programs, I also included insights from previous students. It’s a can’t-miss!
This article features 17 in-person and online organizations where women can learn to code. It even has a special section for girls (that is, those in high school and middle school).
In this guest post, Lee Hughes considers the differences between learning on Team Treehouse and Udemy. Lee covers the pros and cons to each platform.
Taken from the LTCWM advice column, this short article discusses where graphic designers can learn how to code on more design-related platforms.
…EVEN MORE “Where to learn” resources
Hi, overachievers. Not satisfied, huh? Well…here are even more “Where should I learn how to code?” articles/guides. Vetted by yours truly <3
The Ultimate List of Programming Books on Simple Programmer
In this article, John Sonmez breaks his book recommendations into a few categories including foundational, professional development, architecture based, agile, and more.
9 of the must-read programming books for people who want to set themselves apart and become a coding powerhouse. Book recommendations include ones on web usability to how to master interviewing.
100 Best Free Programming Books on Devzum
In-Person Coding Workshops and Events
13 Meetup Groups You Need to Join If You’re New to Tech on Skillcrush
Written by Liz Eggleston, this article highlights 13 meetups for those who are new to the world of tech.
Learn To Code In Person: 9 Local Resources on Code Conquest
Featured on the Code Conquest blog, this article covers nine places where you can learn how to code in real life.
Best Coding Bootcamps: The 2018 Comprehensive Guide on SwitchUp.org
This in-depth guide, written by Jonathan Lau, features the top 40 coding bootcamps from around the globe. The list was compiled using information like “price, location, job support, alumni reviews, instructor quality, and several other important indicators of quality.”
10 best coding bootcamps for those on a budget on The Next Web
This post on The Next Web looks at 10 budget-friendly coding bootcamps. It highlights other relevant information.
This article helps you work through the questions you’ll need to answer before choosing a bootcamp to attend, such as language, learning style, budget, location, and more.
Student loans aren't just for college anymore! This article explains financial aid and private loan options that can help fund a coding bootcamp education.
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