With time and Internet access you can teach yourself anything. And while there is a lot you can learn, this works better if you teach yourself web design or something techy.
In fact professional designer & developers often forego college to study on their own. Many self-taught coders have landed jobs at big companies like Google and Facebook just from studying online.
We recently covered the best web development books and in this post I’d like to move towards online courses. I’m a visual learner myself and I’ve always found video courses help me a bit more than books.
If you feel the same way then take a peek at these awesome frontend dev courses, each with a difficult area of focus and difficulty level.
Treehouse Frontend Track
There’s no denying that Treehouse is a massive resource for online learning. It’s probably the best site you can use for getting started, and I’d wager dozens(if not hundreds) of people have landed jobs solely from Treehouse training.
They have a frontend dev track which spans a massive 61 hours of video footage. It’s pretty much the surefire way to move into frontend development without any prior experience.
You can use this to prepare for a job application, or to just build your own web projects with the frontend skills you learn.
Absolutely one of the best learning resources for beginners. Especially so if you already have knowledge of web design & want to learn how to code your layouts into reality.
Code School Front-End Foundations
Another wildly popular online learning site is Code School. They work on a similar basis where you can signup for a monthly plan to gain full access to their entire library.
And Code School has their own custom frontend dev course titled Front-end Foundations.
Their tutorials work a bit differently since they take you through exercises and things called “challenges” with each video. This way you’re studying certain topics, then being forced to show what you’ve learned with exercises.
This course only totals about 5 hours long but it’s merely an introduction to the topic. From here you can check out the other courses that Code School offers to see if any can help to expand your knowledge.
I’m a huge fan of TutsPlus for their attention to detail with every post. I’ve seen a lot of great stuff from their blog and the same is true of their premium video courses.
With HTML5 Fundamentals you can learn all of the HTML5 language from scratch. You can pick up this course as a total newbie and learn along the way, or you can switch between online tutorials & this course to learn basic HTML.
Overall this video series introduces the newest elements and how they work. It won’t help you build perfect interfaces but it’ll get you started on the right track to do so.
Semantic HTML: How to Structure Web Pages
Another TutsPlus course you might like is Semantic HTML: How to Structure Web Pages. This one’s taught by Craig Campbell who’s a well-known teacher in the dev space.
Over this course you’ll learn how to properly code websites using semantic tags. This means using nav elements for navigation items and aside elements for supplementary items like sidebars.
It’s a fairly simple course totaling just about 45 minutes long. Each video has a series of exercises and by the end you should feel comfortable with semantic syntax.
This actually pairs nicely with the previous HTML5 video series because most of HTML5 is about semantic coding. And with a TutsPlus premium account you get access to the full library, meaning you can watch both courses at the same time for one monthly signup fee.
Same goes for all the other TutsPlus courses here. Definitely a solid resource for anyone hoping to learn frontend dev without breaking the bank.
10 CSS3 Projects: UI and Layout
Practice projects are the key to fully understanding web development. You can read theory and consume books until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t internalize much until you’ve practiced.
I absolutely recommend this course for anyone who’s just beyond the HTML phase. You do need to be comfortable working with HTML to follow through with CSS and other languages.
But you don’t need to be an expert in HTML to follow this series. In fact, as long as you can work with an IDE and understand the basic HTML syntax you can learn a ton from these videos.
Introduction to jQuery
But modern JS has gotten absurdly complex that most people wind up confused, frustrated… and ultimately they give up. With jQuery you’re learning a simpler syntax and a clear-cut process to build JS webapps.
There are plenty of devs who argue against libraries and say that vanilla JS is the future. This is one opinion, and it may be true for certain careers, but jQuery will always be around in some form.
Over 2 hours of video you’ll learn how to use jQuery for animations, Ajax calls, and custom event handling. This course is perfect for beginners who don’t understand why JS is so useful.
And by the end you won’t be a master but you’ll have strong competency with an ability to build your own stuff from scratch.
Practical Web Animation
One other growing area in frontend development is animation work. This often relates to microinteractions which are like custom animations that run once the user does something(click, swipe, hover a menu, etc).
Practical Web Animation aims to teach both simple animations, along with more complex animations triggered by the user.
Spanning a massive 4+ hours long this course goes deep. You can spend a couple weeks going through these lessons and still have more to learn! But that’s what makes it such a great resource for frontend coding.
If you just cannot grasp web animation then try this course. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
How to Become a Web Developer: jQuery and Bootstrap
You can build so much on the web using frameworks. Beginners should learn the absolute basics of HTML/CSS/JS first, but once you learn the ropes it helps to pick up a framework like Bootstrap.
Only problem is the steep learning curve and using Bootstrap in a practical manner. But there’s one awesome course that can help – How to Become a Web Developer: jQuery and Bootstrap.
This totals about 3 hours long with seven chapters on custom CSS and JS codes. You’ll learn how to build layouts from scratch running on top of the Bootstrap library, along with how you can work with more advanced features like JSON codes.
Everything from CSS grids to custom JS fetch() calls are covered in this series. Great for beginners and intermediate coders alike, but you may find yourself Googling some questions along the way.
Introduction to Web Development
Beyond the massive TutsPlus library I also really like Pluralsight. They offer a bunch of great stuff related to coding, programming, and IT work.
Naturally they’ve got a handful of frontend courses that can bring you from novice to pro in just a few months. The best place to start is with their Introduction to Web Development course.
This thing is a beast spanning over 10 hours of videos. It comes with a bunch of practice files and exercises you should do on your own time to really cement these ideas into your brain.
Both instructors for this course have real-world experience with frontend work, so the teaching style feels natural and you know you can trust the information.
Best of all Pluralsight works on a subscription model so you sign up once to get full access to the library. If you prefer the video courses in Pluralsight definitely give them a try.
From Fundamentals to Functional JS
This is also a wildly massive course totaling over 7 hours of video. You’ll learn everything from basic JS syntax to debugging, modern ES6, and so much more.
A Better CSS: LESS and SASS
CSS is a tried & true frontend language. It’s been around for decades and won’t be going away anytime soon.
A quick note: I do not recommend trying to learn both at the same time. You should learn just one at first, whichever one you like most. Bootstrap is moving to Sass which means it’ll get a lot more attention over Less in the coming years.
But really both options are great and this course doesn’t discriminate.
Use this as a starting point to understand preprocessing for modern CSS. It’s not a perfect series but it’ll definitely help you get into a better frontend workflow.
Introduction to Frontend Web Development For Beginners
Not everyone appreciates the varying quality in Udemy courses. But if you know where to look there are some gems in there, most of them pretty cheap too.
Introduction to Frontend Web Development For Beginners is a short yet sweet course on the process of frontend coding. It spans just over 4 hours of video with a bunch of exercise files to help you along the way.
It’s not the perfect intro to webdev, although for a frontend coder this should do wonders. It won’t help you build full applications or setup a server. But you will learn how to code layouts from scratch using all the core frontend languages.
From structuring your websites to managing CSS/JS files, creating grids, and building responsive pages, everything gets touched with a bit of info for every stage in the frontend process.
Note: I do consider this a little easier than some other guides so it’s not great for semi-experienced coders. I mostly recommend this course to people who just cannot seem to grasp frontend coding and want a bare-bones intro to all the main components.
Frontend Web Development with Bootstrap 4
One other Udemy course I wanna recommend is this incredible series to the new Bootstrap 4 framework. The course was originally introduced with BS3 but has been majorly overhauled to cover all the newer BS4 updates.
Frontend Web Development with Bootstrap 4 spans over 6 hours of video with chapters on individual features. You’ll learn about grids, tables, forms, pretty much everything you could possibly imagine.
And from this course you can move right into coding your own layouts on the BS4 framework.
A truly practical guide to frontend development with a heavy focus on real-world exercises. Brilliant for complete beginners and even experienced Bootstrap users who need to catch up on the latest BS4 features.