Learn Web Development Fast with these Awesome Beginner Courses

Learn Web Development

With the ever increasing need for good developers, there's little wonder so many people are looking to learn web development skills. With some great salaries available, no shortage of jobs, and freelance options, learning web development is an attractive career move.

But for many would-be rock star developers, the question is not so much why learn web development, but rather how.

This quick guide is going to run through the basics of getting started. We'll concentrate on the quickest ways to get basic web development skills that you can then build upon.

This guide assumes no prior knowledge, and no real understanding of computer science. So if you're a beginner who needs some points on how to learn web development, you've come to the right place.

I've put together a quick learning plan that goes through the essential language skills, starting with the easiest, then 'core' programming languages for the web, and then a few interesting additions that you can use to make your dev work more interesting.

The learning plan is designed to show you a logical progression through various languages.

To find out HOW to learn these languages, head down to the bottom of the page where I list the five best resources for learning web-development.

Step One: Basic Web Languages

HTML CSS

HTML

The absolute first thing you'll want to do is learn HTML. If you don't already know the basics, don't worry, it's not that complicated, and basic proficiency can be achieved in a few hours.

HTML alone won't get you very far, but it's essential for most web based jobs (development, design, SEO, etc).

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow you to define how a web page looks in a much quicker and more in-depth way than HTML. You can create 'style sheets' and save them in a separate area on the site, so they load quickly when needed, but don't slow down the page as much as having a load of code on the page.

Step Two: Core Web-Programming Languages

Javascript PHP

JavaScript

JavaScript is a very popular language that is both extremely powerful AND relatively easy to learn. JavaScript is extremely functional, and is often used to perform many tasks such as making websites interactive, but can also be used to create sophisticated software and automation.

PHP

The next in our 'relatively easy' programming languages that you absolutely must learn if you plan to become a web developer, is PHP

HTML, CSS, and Javascript are all primarily 'client side' languages, meaning the user of the website interacts with them and gets the result, whereas PHP is known as a 'sever side' language, in that it communicates with the website's server and not the user.

PHP is still well used, and has a very large community of developers, so support is easy to find should you get confused.

Step Three: Becoming a Pro Web Developer

By the time you've learned the languages above, you'll already have the skills needed to get some web-development freelance work, and could probably land a junior coding job at a development agency. The last three languages on this list are what will really make you stand out from the crowd, as well as enable you to create some pretty awesome things.

Python

Python is an extremely powerful language that can be used for an enormous number of tasks, but is actually very easy to learn if you already know the languages listed previously in this guide.

SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is different from the previously listed languages because it doesn't actually send instructions to the computer in order to get the desired outcome, but rather looks up information from databases and can perform complex operations within that database, before providing the information to be used by another language.

Ruby

If you've got this far in your learning plan, you'll find Ruby pretty easy to get to grips with. Ruby is used to create web applications and can be used for a wide variety of tasks.

Time to Start Learning

So now you know WHAT you need to learn, now it's time to actually start learning. What follows is a list of my five favorite resources for learning the skills listed above.

All the websites below offer free courses and information. So there really is no excuse to become a web developer if that's what you've been talking about...

 

1: Codecademy

codecademy homescreen

Pros

  • Amazing lessons
  • Interactive
  • Easy to follow
  • Step-by-step

Cons

  • For a beginner? None

Codecademy is an amazing site that offers fantastic instruction on the basics of web development. The user interface has instructions, a code area for you to work, and a terminal that displays what you've coded.

The free courses are great, and you will definitely learn a lot from this site, which is why it's my most highly recommended site for getting started in web development.

2: CodeAvengers

code avengers logo

Pros

  • Main concepts covered in good depth
  • Plenty of tutorials
  • Great community

Cons

  • Limited free options

CodeAvengers is, like Codecademy, an interactive learning environment for beginners. The free tutorials will help you get to grips with the core elements of web development, and show you how to make simple web apps, games, or pages.

There are some free courses, and others that require a subscription. I recommend trying out the free ones then deciding if you like the learning style before paying for a subscription.

3: w3schools

w3schools logo

Pros

  • Huge number of resources aimed at all levels
  • Active forum

Cons

  • Not technically a course

w3schools is not technically a course, but is such a great resource for budding programmers that I couldn't leave it out.

This site is more of a reference library for all things web development related. Each language covers lots of ground, and can be followed by a beginner, but it is all text and image based, rather than interactive. So it would be a fairly difficult site to use on its own as a learning resource, but is very useful as a reference alongside one of the other courses mentioned.

4: Bento

bento logo

Pros

  • Many languages covered
  • Curated

Cons

  • Not technically a course

Bento doesn't actually create courses, or host them, but offers curated lists of websites for learning about all the major web development languages.

That means if you're really interested in learning about a language that isn't covered on the other sites in this list, you can head over to Bento and find a site that has the perfect course for you.

5: Udemy

udemy logo

Pros

  • Plenty of options
  • User reviews

Cons

  • Some courses very basic
  • The best courses are fairly expensive

Udemy is an extremely popular site that hosts courses on just about everything. This impressive list of courses has some excellent, and highly qualified instructors too. The main downside of Udemy is thatsome of the courses could be a bit basic, even if you've only gone through a few Codecademy tutorials, so it's important to make sure you user reviews of the course before you put down any money.

Learning Web Development Summary

By now you should understand that learning web development isn't something you can do in a few days; it takes a lot of practice and dedication, but the rewards are great if you do get your head down and study hard. The resources mentioned in this guide are in no way the be all and end all of learning to code, but show a some very useful ways to learn, even for people with varied learning styles.

If you're going to go down the route of self study, be prepared for a steep learning curve and some frustration along the way.

Here are the recommended sites once again:

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