Online Courses for Learning Web Design and Development
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:
Treehouse, from Carsonified, is one of the industry leaders. 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 14-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.
Lynda.com also works on a membership basis. The basic plan costs $25 per month and provides unlimited access to all of their videos, with new courses being added weekly. The premium plan costs $37.50 per month and provides everything included in the basic plan, plus it also provides downloadable project files that are used in the courses. Discounts are available if you pay for 1 year up front ($250 for a basic plan and $375 for a premium plan).
In total, Lynda.com offers well over 2,000 videos with more being added each week. You can access the courses on any device, and you can even create playlists of courses that you want to watch. The playlists can be shared with friends or colleagues who are also members.
Learnable is an educational community from SitePoint. Like Treehouse and Lynda.com, Learnable also operates on a membership basis. They provide video training on a variety of topics related to web design and development. Topics include front-end, backend, design, mobile, UX, marketing, and business, with skill levels from beginner to expert.
Learnable members get access to more than 4,000 training videos, plus some other valuable resources. You also get download credits each month to download SitePoint books or videos and courses that you can keep even after your membership is no longer active.
You have a few different options for joining Learnable. You can pay $29 for 1 month, $99 for 6 months, or $149 for 12 months. All plans include unlimited courses, unlimited books, and exclusive events. The 1 and 6 month plans include 2 download credits per month, while the 12 month plan provides you with unlimited download credits. All of the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Members of Code School get access to all of the training content. Pricing is $29 per month or $290 per year.
Skillfeed, by Shutterstock, offers more than 27,000 training videos to members. Course topics include design, development, photography, video, 3D and motion graphics, and business. They also provide training videos on a wide variety of software.
In total, Skillfeed offers almost 3,000 hours of content from over 1,300 different instructors. This includes comprehensive courses that teach detailed skills and topics, as well as Skill Snacks, which are short videos that teach fun, new techniques.
The price of a Skillfeed membership is $19 per month, starting with a 7-day free trial. With a membership you’ll be able to access all of their training content, and you can do so from any device.
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.
The cost of the mentorship programs is $4,250 if paid at the time of enrollment, $4,500 if split across 2 months, or $5,000 if split across 5 months.
The web development roadmap from Bloc consists of 12 week long sections. You’ll complete different checkpoints throughout each section, ending with a capstone project. The training content consists of lessons, assignments, challenges, and interactive exercises. You’ll have weekly office hours with your mentor (via video chat), and you can also access the mentor chat room.
WebDesign.com is a training resource from iThemes. The training at WebDesign.com is focused on topics related to designing and developing websites using WordPress. Members get access to more than 400 hours of video training and webinars, plus new live webinars, members-only forums and chats, the WordPress Developer Course, and more. Membership costs $197 per year, with a limited free preview available. You can view the content available in the library as well as the schedule of upcoming webinars.
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.
The silver plan costs $49.95 per month (or $29.14 per month on a yearly account) and the gold plan costs $99.95 per month (or $49.98 per month on a yearly plan). Both plans provide access to all of the training content. The difference is that the gold plan also provides 2 hours of 1-on-1 support per month and advanced coaching.
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, with many of them available for $19.99. Some of the more in-depth courses, like Getting Started with WordPress, are priced at $39.99. A bundle of courses, The Happy Cog Way, includes 8 courses that will teach you HTML prototyping, responsive web design, typography, and more. The price of The Happy Cog Way is $99. 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.
Google provides access to Creative Commons licensed course content through the University Consortium. You can access courses on topics like Android development, AJAX, Google Maps, and more.
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.