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The best online web development courses: Study webdev from home

There are many choices of learning providers if you or someone you know is interested in building next-gen websites.
Written by Chris Preimesberger, Contributor
Treehouse | Rising star in the webdev instruction sector
Rising star in the webdev instruction sector
View now View at Treehouse
Udemy | Guides new learners to their best webdev option
Guides new learners to their best webdev option
View now View at Udemy
Udacity | Best for browser development
Best for browser development
View now View at Udacity
edX.org | Best for Microsoft-oriented web development
Best for Microsoft-oriented web development
View now View at edX.org
Code Academy | Best for those looking for a career pivot
Code Academy
Best for those looking for a career pivot
View now View at Code Academy
Skillshare | Focuses on development for personal websites
Focuses on development for personal websites
View now View at Skillshare
W3Schools | Flexible hours a major draw
Flexible hours a major draw
View now View at W3Schools
Show more (2 items)

Everybody needs a website, and there are a lot of everybodys, so it follows that there need to be a corresponding number of builders of websites to do all this work. It's true: If you know how to build a website, simple or complicated, you'll probably always have a job if you want it.

Getting good webdev instruction is easy (learn from home, no commute) and relatively inexpensive. There are also a high number of providers from which to choose; some courses are free of charge, some have a free intro period, and most of them have flexibility in how long you need to take the courses. 

Here's a listing of the best web development course providers now available.

Treehouse has made great inroads in the webdev-instruction business during the last few years. Talk on the street is good for its success in getting prospective professionals new jobs. The company's front-end Techdegree features nine projects and a total of 30 courses and teaches students all the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to prepare them for an entry-level job within four months. The Python web development course gets users ready to work as a Python developer within five months; Python developers are a particularly valued group globally.

For students who want to specialize in both areas, Treehouse's Full Stack JavaScript web development course can get someone job-ready in five months, the company claims. It enables users to build several web apps that they can show to prospective employers. 

  • Pricing: Free for the first week, $199 per month thereafter
  • Duration: Courses range from 4 to 5 months in length
  • Level: beginners


Full-service webdev provider with a high rating from students


Coursera, one of the more well-established online course providers, offers a long list of web-development courses that can provide a solid foundation for both front and back-end web development. It's international, too, making courses available in several languages. Front-End Web Development with React by the Hong Kong University, which has a four-and-a-half-star rating from users, is useful to introduce a newbie to front-end development with JavaScript; the course has a special focus on using the React library. JavaScript is not simple to learn and can be tricky to code, but the reviews say Coursera knows how to instruct it well. On July 29, more than 121,000 students were enrolled. The course takes 36 hours to complete, Coursera said.

Another key webdev course, Ruby on Rails: An Introduction, is taught by John Hopkins University and is a good primer for creating web apps using rapid prototyping. Additionally, it teaches students how to store prototypes in the cloud with Heroku Paas (Platform as a Service) and how to use web service data as an external database.

  • Pricing: Seven-day free trial, $49 per month thereafter
  • Duration: Ruby on Rails (15 hours), Front-End Web Development with React (36 hours)
  • Level: Both courses are intermediate level

Udemy, which also enjoys excellent word of mouth about its instruction techniques, offers many tech courses in general, and its bestsellers all involve web development. So how do you determine which one to choose if you're starting out with no coding background? A quick scan of ""=""> can probably help answer that question for you.

This course sets out to prepare users for getting a job in the industry immediately. It can train them right up to the level of full-stack developer, in addition to teaching you all the latest technologies currently in use in the industry. And all for quite a reasonable price.

  • Pricing: Free for the first week; $29.99 per month thereafter
  • Duration: one to two weeks
  • Level: beginners

Udacity is known for having a wide range of IT instruction, including webdev, UX, data analytics, blockchain, cybersecurity and many more. So it doesn't specialize in webdev as much as other providers. Its Web Development course guides students through the most important webdev concepts in internet browsers and HTML. Students begin coding immediately from lesson one with HTML and exploring HTTP in conjunction with requests such as GET and POST. They also will learn databases, APIs, caching, Forms and Input. Udacity also offers highly regarded courses in Python.   

Udacity's Nanodegree programs are developed in partnership with tech companies and taught by industry leaders.   

  • Pricing: Free for first seven days; $100 to $200 per month thereafter, depending on the course
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Level: intermediate Python programming proficiency

edX.org is another highly regarded provider that offers a long list of website-building courses, varying from beginner level to more advanced. Among them is Microsoft's Professional Orientation course, which focuses on front-end web development. This course starts from scratch, taking newbies through all the languages used in this type of development, in addition to the most important tools and frameworks in use today.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a prime sponsor of edX, offering five web development courses ranging from beginner to advanced that cover everything to do with modern HTML tags, CSS best practices, JavaScript and even web graphics animation. These web development courses are a great way to go from zero to front-end web developer at a relatively affordable price from home!

  • Pricing: Microsoft Professional Orientation is free to audit or pay $99 for a certificate. Front-End Web Developer costs $499
  • Duration: Microsoft Professional Orientation (three to four hours) and Front-End Web Developer (about six months)
  • Level: Beginner to intermediate

Code Academy's web development approach is ideal for professionals already in the business but looking for a career change or a new challenge. Subscribing to the Code Academy Pro account will allow users to access on-demand courses and quizzes; the provider has a mobile app to take learning on the road if necessary. Code Academy also works well for beginners; its web development course introduces newbies to the foundational tools of the trade such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript that will help them build solid interactive web pages.

Code Academy's Web development path also is flexible, meaning users can begin and end the course whenever they believe they have sufficient knowledge to go out into the world and start building sites.

  • Pricing: free to try for seven days; $29.99 monthly thereafter
  • Duration: ongoing (constantly being updated)
  • Level: suitable for all levels

Skillshare is a smaller, more personal webdev instructor. Its. Boost Personal Branding by Coding Your Own Website course by Adobe designer Aga Naplocha shows students how to get creative with their web portfolios. She teaches an innovative design approach to develop a website that avoids the use of templates and emphasizes personal look and feel. Naplocha promises to get students up to speed with the relevant CSS and Bootstrap knowledge needed to start designing ASAP.

If you want to develop your own online portfolio or business website, learning how to implement a professional design with code, Skillshare might be a good option.

  • Pricing: 30-day free trial, then $15 monthly or $108 annually
  • Duration: 2 hours per lesson
  • Level: beginner

W3Schools is an option for busy people with work and life commitments because all its web developer certification courses are online and are self-paced. Students can choose exactly which web development course they want to study, with certificates available from HTML to SQL. Each certificate costs the same; at the end of the course, students do an online exam supervised by the person of their choice -- preferably a manager or teacher.

  • Pricing: $99 per certificate
  • Duration: Two to three weeks
  • Level: basic knowledge of each programming language

What's the most important skill or knowledge every developer should learn?

The most important skill or knowledge every developer should learn is these three basic building blocks: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You will be using HTML and CSS in the front-end for interfaces. Just right click on your web browser and then select the view page source option. You will find the structure of your website where a lot of HTML tags are used for different purposes.

CSS is also used in the front-end that decides the style, design, layout and how HTML elements need to be displayed on the screen.

Javascript is high in demand nowadays, and it is basically responsible for making HTML pages dynamic and interactive. Javascript also comes with a variety of languages, such as PHP, Python, and ASP.Net, to make a website more interactive. If you're going to specialize in Javascript or MEAN Stack, or MERN stack, then you're going to deep dive into this language because this one will be your front-end -- as well as back-end -- language.

What about Git and Github?

Git is one of the most popular version control systems which is used in most of the organization. Chances are higher that you need to work on this version control if you get a job as a web developer. This is the reason you should definitely spend some time learning Git and some basic commands such as cloning, pushing to repositories, making a pull request, and merging branches.

Github.org is a service where you can push your Git repositories to host your code. It is used for collaboration in that it allows developers to work together on projects.

Which browser DevTools does a developer need to know?

You can do a lot using browser DevTools, such as debugging, editing HTML elements, editing CSS properties, checking device, and tracking Javascript errors. Every developer should be aware of using different tabs (elements, console, network) in DevTools to make their work easier and faster. It depends on your browser whether you can use DevTools such as Chrome DevTools, Firefox DevTools or whatever browser you are using. 

People generally prefer using Chrome DevTools to develop, test and debug a web application. Still, it's the developer's choice which browser they are using to develop the website.

Which APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will I need to learn?

In web development, you will be working a lot with APIs, which deal with third-party data. This allows developers to use some of the functionality without sharing the code. There is an awesome Github repository of APIs that you can use for different purposes, and it also offers you project ideas. You can check the link PublicAPIs.org end explore it.

We recommend you to learn about using Rest APIs, HTTP request methods (GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE), building a Rest API, CRUD operation (Create, Read, Update, Delete). Different status code, data format (JSON, HTML or XML) used in the request etc.

Will I need to work with User Authentication?

There is a huge chance that you will be dealing with user authentication to track the users on a specific website. For example, allowing the users to log in, log out or create some resources from their personal account, which user created which resource or blocking some pages for those users who are not logged in. Users' account security heavily depends on authentication. So it's important to know how to deal with these kinds of functionalities in your web application.

There are many ways to implement authentication for users, and it depends on what programming language or technology you are using. If you are using React on the front-end and Node with Express in the back-end, then you might use JWT (JSON Web Tokens) for authentication; if you are using PhP, then you will have to work with session and cookies; you can also use third parties, such as Google or Twitter, for login. So there are multiple ways to work with authentication, but it's an important concept in web development to learn and implement.

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