Web design and web development are popular career choices right now. One of the great things about getting into the industry is that there are a variety of different ways to build your knowledge and gain experience. You can attend a college or university and pursue a degree in a related field, you can learn on your own, or you can taken advantage of a growing number of resources that provide online training. In this article we’ll look at the best websites that offer online training to help you learn how to design and/or develop websites. We’ll look at free resources as well as others that require payment. Of course, the free resources are generally more limited, but they can still provide a good starting point.
For those that require payment, there are a few different varieties. Many of the websites operate an a membership bases, where you will pay a monthly or yearly fee in order to get unlimited access to their training materials. Others will sell a variety of different courses, and you can select the specific course that you want to purchase.
Online Courses and Training for Web Design/Development:
With a membership to Treehouse you’ll get access to 1,000+ training videos, a members-only forum, and real-time practice with their Code Challenge Engine. A silver membership costs $25 per month. Gold membership is available for $49 per month and includes everything from the silver membership, plus it also gives you access to conference videos and workshops. A 7-day free trial is available for both membership levels.
One of the nice features of Treehouse is their Track system. Choose the Track that you want and it will guide you through all of the information that you will need to learn. For example, their Web Design Track will cover everything you need to know about HTML and CSS to get you started. Tracks also help by suggestion the order in which you should learn things, and everything is separated into small chunks.
Treehouse provides hundreds of hours of video content. As a member you’ll be able to access the courses on any device, and they also have an iPad app that you may find to be very helpful. The courses are focused on web design, web development, and business. Treehouse also includes a point system, so you’ll be able to earn points and achievements as you work through the courses. They also have a job board, so when you’re finished with your learning and ready to look for a job, you’ll have a little bit of help.
Lynda.com is another leading educational resource that has been around for a long time. The topics covered at Lynda.com are a little more diverse than just web design and development. Topics covered in their training videos include 3D animation, audio, business, CAD, design, development, education, photography, and video. They also have courses focused on software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Lightroom, and much more.
Bloc works a little bit differently than any of the other options that we’ve looked at so far. With Bloc you will purchase an apprenticeship which will help you to learn web design, web development, or iOS development from a mentor (the web design and iOS programs are coming soon, but not live yet). You’ll be able to learn anywhere with an internet connection. They have mentors available around the world, so they can work with you in any time zone, and they also have mentors that can speak multiple languages. You’ll meet at least 3 times per week with your mentor, although they will be available for more meetings if needed. Bloc states that students gain the most by dedicating 25 hours per week or more to their training.
Learn Web Development offers training that will help you to achieve a successful design/development career. They use a 3-part training system that includes video tutorials and marketing training, expert feedback and 1-on-1 support, and live online classes. The Successful Web Designer course includes both a 4-week QuickStart option that is intended to get you up and running quickly, and a 16-week extended training program. You can follow either or both. The 16-week program covers topics like getting clients, lead generation, SEO and domains/hosting, building websites with WordPress, graphics and images, copyrighting and testing, marketing, social media, building your team, pricing your services, how to sell yourself, proposals, quotes, briefs, contracts, consulting, and more.
Mijingo is project of Happy Cog. They offer a number of different video courses on topics related to web design, web development, and CMS/publishing. Pricing varies by course and you can see details on the length of each course and the difficulty level before purchasing.
Udemy is a training marketplace. Instructors can create their own video courses on the topic of their choice and sell and manage the course through Udemy. While the topics covered at Udemy are very wide, the topics of design and development are well represented. Many of the courses are fairly narrow in scope, which can be helpful if you have something specific that you want to learn. For example, you can take courses on Android development, iOS development, responsive web design, HTML5, CSS, and much more. You can view user ratings and reviews for each course before purchasing.
The prices of the courses vary, with most of them below $100. When you purchase a course you will get lifetime access so you can watch the videos and learn at your own convenience. You’ll login and see a list of the courses that you’ve purchased, and you can access any of them. Within the course area you can take notes for yourself or post questions for the instructor.
Best Free Courses and Info:
Now that we’ve covered the most notable options for learning web design and development online, let’s shift focus and feature some great websites that provide free information and training.
WebPlatform.org provides written content and learning material that can be very helpful for learning web design and development. Topics include HTML5, CSS, media queries, animations, canvas, audio, and more. You don’t need to create an account, you can just navigate to the docs that you want.
What’s Your Experience?
If you have found any websites or resources to be helpful for your own education please feel free to share in the comments.