Sites to learn coding and web design

The proliferation of places that provide an interactive and complete platform to start learning from scratch for a low monthly payment (and a free engagement) is becoming a huge phenomenon, and those sites are a viable alternative to start embarking on the journey that is the world of web development and design. If you are looking for a site to learn coding, web design, HTML, PHP, JavaScript & jQuery, CSS, ruby, user interface & experience, wireframing and much more, these sites will help you accomplish your dream. There are certain things you can start doing before you start your learning journey (you can also improve if you already started):

  • Get a code editor with syntax highlighting. You can use Sublime Text, Notepad++, Coda, Textmate, Brackets or the one you see fit; you will learn more about this in these sites.
  • Prepare yourself, grab a notepad to jot down everything you find interesting or worth remembering later (like CSS tricks or properties, HTML tags that are easy to forget, methods, syntax, etc).
  • Use the logic and be organised, coding is all about hierarchy, organization, and having a programming background is also important since you will need flux diagrams, besides…. you will have so much to bear in mind while coding. Keep track of everything you do and the relations between all your elements.
  • Sketch before you start a project on your own, no matter how small or important it is.
  • Overall, you need passion and dedication, free time available and enthusiasm; NOTHING is impossible!

Team Treehouse

Team Treehouse
Paid – Free Trial with credit/debit card.

I’ve tried this, but my trial period ended 4 days ago :(, this came down as a big start-up where you could sign up for a 15 day free trial and see all the tracks, courses in the library, conferences and workshops that this magnificent site has for you. I feel like some of the courses are scattered across the site without concrete organisation, the tracks have repeated modules such as “CSS Foundations”, which is found in two different tracks (but related to one another).

Videos are in HD, the teachers are well trained and easy to understand, but you may find some videos hard to follow at first if you don’t have the proper background; example of this is the CSS3 animations section, where you can’t really tell why the instructor is writing the code he is writing. But after a couple of tries, you will get au fait with the content.

There’s a cool feature called the Code Playground, but features like these will cost you more money.

Prices are accessible, don’t expect to end up being an expert but I can testify that diving inside this site will give you a better understanding of web development in general; it will give you the necessary to go out and start something that is yours, a project crafted all by yourself.


For Free

This is more exercise-oriented, based only in teaching how the syntax works inside the left sidebar, and then you will practise it in the right side coding area, you get a small window into your code’s results and once you are done with what you are supposed to do, you can continue to the next lesson. This works if you practise often, don’t do it just once, try different values, see how it works and if you can, re-do the tracks. You can learn PHP, HTML, Javascript and some others. However, the content is incomplete and it only covers the basics.


Free courses and paid courses (expensive)

Unlike the first and the next sites, Udemy provides you with both free and paid courses with great quality for you to choose. You are taken to an interactive video slideshow session with a right-side panel where you can comment, ask questions about the video/course and more features. The topics of those courses vary and range from learning how to use Excel for Macintosh to code a responsive web design or using Photoshop. The only point I see is that some courses are not that affordable as they cost around 200 dollars.

Code School

Code School
Free courses, full content with monthly subscription.

I was really into this site, it has a nifty flat interface with a friendly colour scheme and a good content to start learning with the “track” method. It is very similar to Team Treehouse, works with “levels” and you earn badges for level completion. Code School provides coding tests to see if you learned anything from the videos and many other features!

It is absolutely free to create an account, but in order to gain access to the full library and content, you need to pay 29 dollars per month. I’ve tried the free version and you should definitively check it out :).


Monthly Fee (Yearly is the best deal)

Learnable offers three pricing plans, two of them are the same, with the difference being, if you pay for 6 months you save 75 dollars; the yearly billing seems to be the most viable option, but given that I’m somewhat impecunious at the moment, I couldn’t test this site and share my experience with you. The year costs 149 dollars, the benefit is that you can have unlimited downloads.  The library consists of E-books, courses and screencasts; the topics, are all about web design and web/mobile development with bits of business & marketing.

Tuts+ by Envato

TutsPlus by Envato
Free and Exclusive content for subscribers.

Let’s get informal and puerile with this one: If Tuts+ (in general, not just the premium section) were a girl, I would seriously think in bigamy! That good is this network. I have learned a lot watching screencasts by Jeffrey Way (an instructor on Tuts+) or reading some of their tutorials over the years that I’ve been visiting this site.

The price is nothing less than 19 dollars a month, but it is worth the money you pay and you won’t think twice in getting a subscription. You can download the videos and project files, comment, get feedback, navigate through the variety of topics (Tuts+ is known for its ridiculous and copious amount of topics to choose from) and tutorials; you will get lost in its vast and capacious tutorial warehouse.
Monthly and yearly fees, with a Premium plan.

I really don’t know if this site deserves your time and money because I’ve only watched 10 videos here so far. The good thing about it is that there are plenty of well organised topics if that counts :). The most interesting and popular courses might be those dedicated to Photoshop and Adobe CS. There are also coding tutorials as well as development, responsive design, game and apps development, PSD slicing and designing, etc. is extremely famous though, and probably one of the most well-known of its kind.


Code HS
Free first module, monthly subscription.

For 25 dollars a month, you get one of the most human site subscriptions to learn how to code. This site was made by Standford University (inside the Computer Science department) teachers and the interactive modules will really help you to start learning in the commodity of your home. They also have plans for schools so check it out. It’s free to sign up to the first module. The courses range from Javascript to HTML/CSS, game design and a few more topics. AGAIN, I DO NOT know if this site is worth paying the money, but 25 dollars for a try wouldn’t hurt your pockets, would it?


The Code Player
Free, you can contribute with walkthroughs.

Small as it is, with only a few items, you will find this little project useful. It’s about code snippets with usable outcomes that have their own walkthrough! It’s an animation were you see code and the live results as they appear while the window is “coding” the snippet. You can also create your own walkthrough if you want others to see how it’s done.

I’m really not sure why I put this in here and how long this site has been around, but I found it interesting.

Can you help me?

Help me expand this list if you find or know about any other interesting sites that can help users to learn about these topics, please add them in your comment. Note that I didn’t put tutorial collections or courses made by particular blogs, this list is almost full with sites that require payments or subscriptions. There WILL BE another post like this, but this time, it will be about collections of posts, videos, screencasts and courses made by individuals for everyone to read and not pay a dime.

Thank you so much for reading, don’t forget to comment and give feedback.

9 thoughts on “Sites to learn coding and web design

  1. Great list!! Really well done. I have a similar one (not as large) on my site. You should add Free Code Camp to your list.

    Its a really neat website. It teaches students in a similar method as Code Academy. They also have pair programming, and an excellent network of students/mentors all for free. Additionally, you work and build Non-Profit Websites while you are a ‘student’ there. That way you get real world experience, and a portfolio. All for free!

  2. Just adding to the post on Udemy: the topics range well outside of just coding, from lifestyle approaches through photoshop tutorials and, of course, java, C++ etc. I have done a few courses now and found them interesting, if not world changing. There are often free codes going around to promote different courses on Udemy so while a look at the main website seems expensive I’ve signed up to a dozen courses without spending a cent.

  3. Hi thanks for following my blog. I found for HTML/CSS, beginners should start at Code Academy then move on to Code Avengers.

    For Javascript I recommend the first two courses at Code Avengers then finishing up in Code Academy. The Javascript lessons at Code Academy are not good for beginners. The lessons are easy if you have some programming experience but if you’re new to programming the instructions are not clear enough.

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