If you’ve just started out with web design either for a hobby or within a new career, it’ll become obvious quite quickly that not understanding the basics of at least HTML or CSS is a bit of a problem. Although many feature rich WordPress themes (like Divi) allow you to accomplish pretty spectacular website designs without needing to touch any code, you will still find you are limited by what you can do. Small, simple adjustments to your formats will be annoyingly difficult and you will always be at the mercy of what plugins and themes can accomplish for you.
If you haven’t caught it by our tone, we highly recommend that you start to at least understand the basics of HTML and CSS as soon as possible. Fortunately this is made alot easier by accessing numerous different online resources available. For this reason we’ve compiled a list of our recommendations for tools you should check out if you are considering learning how to code:
If you’ve ever Googled a question about any code, we can guarantee that there will have been a listing for Stack Overflow on page one. Stack Overflow is a website whereby anybody can post a question about any coding language or problem and the community comes to the rescue by providing insight and answers.
The best thing about Stack Overflow is that answers are rated by the community, ensuring that you follow the best way to solve a problem (since normally there are multiple ways of getting to the same solution, with some being considered better practise). The fact that you’ll be presented with a number of different answers means you can read through them all and understand more about the problem you are facing whilst picking up using tips and tricks that are applicable to a wider range of situations.
We LOVE Free Code Camp and therefore it’s no surprise that we began learning how to code using their resources. Free Code Camp is a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping people learn to code for free. You can access many different courses across many different coding languages each designed to help beginners progress to more complex topics.
Your course progression is tracked and you can earn certificates as you continue through each course. Free Code Camp really makes learning how to code much easier and more pleasurable since you utilise a system whereby the results of your code are automatically displayed on the same screen. This allows you to understand exactly what you are doing and why.
We highly recommend you to have a look at the Free Code Camp resources if you are learning how to code! We also recommend you subscribe to their mailing list for some really interesting and engaging articles about anything techy from across the internet.
W3 Schools is a really well known free resource for learning how to code in multiple languages. You can learn anything from HTML, CSS and server side languages like PHP. W3 Schools simply provides step by step guides that explain different aspects of each language and how you would apply them. It’s “Try It Yourself” feature is really useful for taking in specific examples of these different aspects as well as experimenting for yourself. In fact, with over 300 examples of code from each language, we’re sure that you’ll find answers to any questions that might arise as you educate yourself.
You may find that Free Code Camp has a lower barrier to entry as it’s courses are designed to start simple and become more complex but W3 Schools is still a really valuable resource once you are more familiar with a language and you just need a quick reference.
Although not always free, Udemy provides online training on pretty much any topic, coding included. With deals running often throughout the year, it is easily possible to grab a 20+ hour video course for around £10. Available courses span topics far and wide, so whether you’d prefer to learn a language whilst building a specific project or learn in a more linear curriculum based fashion, you have many options to choose from.
We really appreciate that Udemy’s courses are all video based. This means you can watch videos of instructors coding and providing course content at the same time and for many people this is more engaging than learning from a static web page. Many courses come with downloadable resources, whether these be task sheets or code template files, so you can dip in and out of the video content whilst being able to learn offline.
Just remember that if you buy a course, you really need to stick at it! We promise it gets easier the more you learn.
Finally we save the best until last. Code Academy is another organisation dedicated to help people learn to code and currently boasts over 1 million users. Similar to Free Code Camp, Code Academy is designed for people that know absolutely nothing about coding, easing them in and incrementally becoming more complex. It’s really easy for a complete beginner to get a grasp on a language and then build their knowledge from there.
Code Academy uses a structured curriculum to teach coding newbies and most courses take less than 11 hours so there is no excuse!
We hope you’ve found the following resources helpful. If you’re just starting out on your coding journey, we’d like to wish you good luck! As always, if you’d like to get in touch about anything at all, please let us know and we’d be glad to help. In the meantime, get to know us a little!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent many years working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.