Want to learn web development? As one of the top careers in the US, web development is a very sought after career. But even if you don’t aspire to make it a career, learning web development can help you with your own business or even make you more employable.
Luckily, you can learn everything you need just by going online. . . and for free. So, whether you want to become a professional developer, improve your skills, or just want a fun weekend project, you’ll find everything you need online.
I’ve assembled the 5 best free online web development courses. They are in no particular order, and I’ve included a section for each specifying what you’ll learn in each course and whom it is best for.
With over 24 million users globally, Codecademy is one of the more popular choices for learning web development.
Rather than long lecture videos or theory, you jump right in to writing code.
Throughout the course, you will work on three main projects: building a basic website, building an interactive website, and building a rails application.
Who it’s for: This is best for those who are looking for a crash course in web development. Codecademy doesn’t dive in depth on many topics, but gives you enough information to get started right away.
Udacity is structured more like a college degree. You have a number of courses to choose from, each with videos, assignments, and projects. In fact, Georgia Tech and Udacity have teamed up to offer an online MS in Computer Science.
Udacity offers courses in everything from web development, to data science and software engineering. With contributions from companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Salesforce, you can learn basic HTML and CSS one day, and Artificial Intelligence the next.
As you can imagine, because Udacity is structured more like a traditional college degree, it goes much more in depth on each topic. While you won’t finish these courses in a few days, you’ll definitely learn a lot.
What you will learn: Udacity covers a range of subjects in web development and computer science.
Who it’s for: Udacity is best for someone looking to make a career in web development, whether as a freelancer or to get a job.
The Odin Project is somewhere in between Udacity and Codecademy. While it’s certainly not a quick tutorial, it doesn’t take as long as a college degree program would. Their website says it will take between 3 and 6 months to complete.
The Odin Project uses a “back-to-front” approach when teaching web development. This means they teach you ruby and ruby on rails first as a framework for your site before teaching you front-end languages such as HTML, CSS, and jQuery.
Who it’s for: As The Odin Project’s website says, their course is geared towards beginners or those who have unsuccessfully tried tutorials before. Their goal is to take you from a beginner and make you an employable web developer.
Unlike the others in this list, Bento is not an actual course, but a collection of great web development courses. All courses have been curated and organized in a way that makes it easy to find what you want to learn.
You can even follow a track. Right now, the only track available is for a full stack developer, but I’m sure they have more to come.
What you will learn: You can start with the basics, like HTML and CSS, and move up to the more advanced languages and tools.
Who it’s for: Bento is best for a self learner. Unlike the other resources in this list, Bento is more of a pick and choose process rather than a guided lesson. But, if you are interested in learning about the more advanced aspects of web development, you must check out Bento.
w3schools does away with all the fancy videos and instead has a straightforward set of tutorials.
The tutorials cover all the popular web development languages, as well as advanced languages.
Instead of teaching the theory behind web development, it teaches more of the syntax.
What you will learn: In addition to the popular web development languages, you’ll find advanced subjects like SVG graphics, ASP, and Schema.
Who it’s for: This is geared best towards someone with a basic understanding of web development.
With an abundance of free web development courses online, you’ll have no problem learning at all. I highly recommend giving these 5 courses a try and seeing which is best for you.
If you have any great web development courses, tutorials, or resources that helped you learn web development, I invite you to share them in the comments below!
Brandon Yanofsky is a freelance WordPress developer and troubleshooter. He also shares WordPress tips, tricks, and tutorials at www.mywpexpert.com. You can email him at [email protected].