Put simply, free web development courses are the best way to find out if the coding life is for you. To make getting started even easier, we’ve picked out seven of the top tutorials in 2023.
It feels like in the past year everywhere you turn you find that friends, family, and colleagues have begun learning to code. While their reasons and motivations for this vary widely, an increasing number of us are taking the time to learn about programming. If you’ve become curious yourself and are wondering where to begin, free web development courses are the best way to start.
Thankfully, these days the internet is awash with various offerings, leaving newcomers facing a dizzying amount of choice. That’s where we come in—we’ve rolled our sleeves up and had a thorough search to find the best free web development courses for beginners online.
Before we get to that, though, we’ll talk you through the subject area itself, how to find the right course for you, and different types of resources available.
If you want to skip ahead to our list of the best free courses, or to another section of the article, then just use the clickable menu.
- Why take a free web development course?
- How to choose a free web development course
- The best free web development courses
- Next steps
1. Why are free web development courses useful?
You don’t have to have a life plan of becoming a web developer—nowadays there are a whole range of different jobs where people are looking to increase their understanding. Adding some web development knowledge to your skillset can also give you mobility within your company, as well as lead to a higher salary.
It doesn’t have to be all work and no play, though—maybe you just want to learn to code for fun, or to start building websites as a pastime? In these cases especially, free web development courses for beginners are the perfect place to begin.
There are two major reasons why this is the case:
Instead of committing to a full-on coding bootcamp, free web development courses are designed to give you an introduction to the field without going too far down the garden path.
Many are in a tutorial format, which isn’t going to take up a huge amount of your life with assignments and longer lessons. Videos are typically broken into bite-size chunks less than ten minutes long, stopping you from being overwhelmed.
For an example of this, here is one of CareerFoundry’s own web developers Abhi getting you started coding:
As well as time, you’re not getting roped into something bigger than the free web development course itself if you don’t want to. Apart from creating an account or leaving your email address, this can be a no-strings coding fling—it can even be just a weekend thing!
The other reason why free web development courses are a great idea is due to the other limited resource we have—money. The majority of providers are offering these as a taster of their larger or more specialized paid programs, so they’re aiming to both educate you and woo you, at the same time.
If you enjoy the lessons and want to continue learning programming, perfect. You can now pay for a course knowing that it’s a good investment. But this also means that if you try a free web development course for beginners and find out that it’s just not your thing, you can walk away not only with no regrets but also a full wallet.
So, now that we know why it’s almost a no-brainer to try out a free web development course if you can spare some time, how do you go about finding the right one that suits you?
2. How to choose a free web development course
This can depend on a variety of factors, many of them particular to your own needs: How much time do you have? How do you prefer to learn—by doing, by reading, by watching videos, or a mix?
For example, books can be really useful for those looking to learn a particular language, tool, or framework, but they do have several downsides. Firstly there is the fact that unless you can borrow from a friend or your local library (remember them?), they will cost you money. Secondly, for a lot of people this passive learning style of reading can turn out to be a bit of a slog.
There is a compromise, however—online you’ll find a multitude of free guides and written introductions to programming, notably ones by the big tech companies themselves. Mozilla, creators of the Firefox browser, have a useful frontend web development guide.
The great thing about free web development courses is that they don’t require a serious commitment—you’re able to try several of them out, Goldilocks-style, until you find the one that’s right for you.
3. The best free web development courses
Many of the beginners courses naturally focus on the easier programming languages to learn, but not all of them. Because of this, it’s definitely worth taking a look to see which languages, frameworks, and tools they will cover. Some languages will involve a lot of previous theoretical knowledge, which can provide a steep learning curve for beginners.
- Web Development for Beginners Course
- Programming Fundamentals with Python
- Responsive Web Design in 30 Minutes
- HTML5 and CSS3
- Node.js and Express.js
Broken up into easily digestible videos taking no longer than 15 minutes each, you can work through the course at your own pace. At the end, you’ll not only have a nice taster of the kind of professional skills you’ll develop from scratch in the the 7-month Full-Stack Web Development Program, but also your own professional-looking, mobile responsive webpage to show off. Each day ends with a daily challenge for you to test what you’ve learned, as well as a final test—ace it and you can get a discount on the full program!
- Master HTML & CSS tags
- Change and style custom fonts on web pages
You’ve more than likely heard of, or already used, Udemy before. The platform features a huge wealth of courses on every single subject you could possibly imagine. While many of them are paid tutorials, there are still a lot of free web development courses that are well worth checking out.
- Writing conditional and looping logic
- Interact with HTML
- Object creation
We’ve already discussed elsewhere why Python is a language worth learning, not just for web development but also data analytics and AI. Clocking in at just under 2 hours, this Udemy course gives you an introduction to the world of web development and its foundations. By introducing concepts like decision-making and looping statements, you won’t be thrown head-first into coding with no context for what you’re doing.
The course then provides an excellent introduction to Python, broken down into short (under 10 minute) lectures on the different facets of the language. While you’ll need to look elsewhere to start applying what you’ve learned here, it’s a great start and shows just how learning Python is useful to data analysts and web developers alike.
- Object-oriented programming
- Python Lists, Sets, Dictionaries, and Tuples
- Solving problems algorithmically
This free Udemy course aims to get you set up in a “must-have” in web development as quickly as possible—responsive web design (RWD). It almost goes without saying that if you’re building a web or mobile application these days, it has to be able to be displayed clearly across all devices.
Also covered as part of the CareerFoundry nano bootcamp, this super-short course requires some prior knowledge of HTML and CSS, but otherwise is perfectly aimed at beginners. If you’d like a different perspective on things, Google Developers have an excellent free introduction to the basics of RWD.
- Media Queries
- Only 30 minutes long in total
Codecademy offers a number of free courses on their site, including web development and data analytics. Even though having some prior knowledge of C helps, this much talked-up language is a great one for beginners to learn, as well as the third most-wanted language by developers according to StackOverflow. Developed and supported by Google, it’s an open-source language that encourages you to play around with it for fun.
Smartly laid-out, Codecademy’s free Go course is broken down into four sections, with each containing lesson, quiz, and project components. The interactive nature is excellent for those with different learning styles, as well as the fact that you can walk away with some finished mini-projects to show for it.
- Exploring fmt packages
- Bank heist project
Back on Udemy, this free web development course is one of the best because rather than being a beginner’s introduction to HTML and then CSS, it uses the most up-to-date versions of both. This means that you won’t have to worry about learning obsolete materials or have to overhaul your knowledge immediately.
Provided by Jon Ulliman over five hours of video, you will work section-by-section to construct a web page out of code. To ensure that you’re not overwhelmed, lessons are broken into 35 bite-sized pieces, and you’ll start from the very beginning—no previous knowledge or special tools are required.
- HTML tags
- How to use CSS3 elsewhere online
- Coding best practices
- Handling POST data
- Deploying a full-stack web application
- Rendering dynamic data
4. Next steps
So now that you’ve gotten a look at some of the different choices available to you, dig a little deeper into how long each will take, and don’t be afraid to try them out for a few minutes to see how you like it.
If you’re interested in reading a bit more about programming before figuring out which direction to go in, have a look at these articles: