Learning how to code can change your life for good – for the better. But how can you find the best websites to learn coding from scratch as a beginner to achieve your goals as quickly and easily as possible?
Not too long ago, I was where you are right now. I knew I wanted to learn coding, but I had no idea where to start.
With all the different programming languages to choose from and hundreds of online learning platforms available, I just felt overwhelmed and lost.
And I made the huge mistake of not knowing where to start learning to achieve my coding goals as quickly as possible.
I wasn’t clear on where my coding journey was going, so I wasn’t able to pick the best websites to learn coding and web development that would teach me the right skills I needed.
When you’re just getting started and you want to teach yourself to code, you don’t want to waste your time browsing through hundreds of tutorials and courses only to find the ones that don’t help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.
Therefore, in this post, I’ll share with you the best websites to learn coding as a beginner.
Let’s dive right in!
WHY LEARN HOW TO CODE?
If you’re completely new to coding and web development, you might be wondering why learning how to code is so important in the first place.
When you’re just starting out, I know exactly how difficult it is to find the best resources and tutorials.
To help you stay focused and motivated, let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to start learning coding:
HIGHER INCOME AND BETTER JOB OPPORTUNITIES
If you want to learn coding from scratch to launch a new as a developer, congratulations! The right time teach yourself to code is now.
The employment of professional developers is estimated to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026 in the US alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is faster than the average for all occupations.
And what’s even better: you don’t have to wait for years to start making money with your coding skills.
Also, you don’t need to go to college for 4 years and pay $1,000s in tuitions to start a new career.
If you decide to learn web development, you can start earning money with small freelance gigs in just a matter of weeks. Step by step, improve your skills by practicing and building projects for your portfolio.
For more details, check out my article about web developer salaries and how much web developers make!
Then, when you feel confident enough in your new skills, you can start applying for entry-level jobs in the industry you wish to work in.
MORE FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY IN LIFE
If you feel like the whole 9-to-5 world is not your thing, learning how to code can help you break get off the corporate hamster wheel.
Learning programming and becoming a freelance web developer means achieving absolute freedom in life.
If you work as a freelancer or an entrepreneur, you can choose where and when to work.
I know this all too well: just 5 months after I opened my first coding book, I decided to quit my office job. And even though my freelancing jobs were irregular, just 6 months later I launched my own web design business.
From that day onwards, I’ve been free to work wherever I wanted to and take a nap whenever I felt like taking a break! And the best part is that I’ve never been short of work.
SELF-EMPLOYMENT AND STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
This is the path I chose – and I’ve never looked back!
Here’s the deal: knowing how to code is like having a superpower. You’ll have an endless number of possibilities to pursue your dreams by starting your own business, like:
- Creating an online publication
- Establishing an online shop
- Starting your own web design agency
- Building mobile applications
- Offering coding courses and tutoring online
- Reviewing products on your website and earning ad income
- Selling licenses for media, e.g. as a professional photographer
- All you need is a solid plan and strategy to get started.
Once you know exactly what you wish to achieve, it’s easy to find what tools and technologies you must learn to get there.
After that, you’ll simply start learning the basics and progress to more advanced tools as you go.
BEFORE YOU START: KNOW YOUR “WHY”
Before we get into the best websites to learn to code from scratch, there’s one more thing you need to figure out.
You see, learning how to code is a long journey. You can get the hang of the basics pretty fast, but mastering a programming language can take several years.
That doesn’t mean you have to wait for a job for years, though. You can start making money already while you learn how to code.
That’s what I did, too. Then, gradually I started increasing the time I dedicated to web dev jobs. And before long, I had quit my job and started my own web design business.
But whatever it is you wish to do with coding in the future, you need to be aware of it.
Why do you want to teach yourself to code?
Any answer is good here, there’s no right or wrong. You simply need to take a moment to figure out what your long-term goals and aspirations are.
Because without clear goals, you can’t track your progress along the way!
Trust me, it’s so much easier to learn to code from scratch when you know what you’ll use your new skills for. With every coding exercise and project, you’ll know that you’re one step closer to your target.
THE BEST WEBSITES TO LEARN CODING IN 2020
The number of coding sites can feel daunting if you’re just a beginner. I know exactly how overwhelming it may feel – I was you not too long ago!
Even though it may feel difficult to find the best resources to start learning, the myriad of options available also means that you will find coding sites that are perfect for you.
So, depending on how you like to learn, you simply need to choose a learning platform that supports your preferences.
To help you get started, I’ve put together this list of the best places to learn programming and web development as a complete beginner. Many of them are 100% free, while some require a small investment to get started.
Here are 17 of the best websites to learn coding in 2020:
- Pluralsight (Code School)
- Team Treehouse
- One Month
- The Odin Project
- Code Avengers
- Khan Academy
- GA Dash
Without further ado, let’s get down to business!
Codecademy has a huge selection of resources to teach yourself to code. Their catalog allows you to explore a variety of programming languages, especially for web development.
You can find plenty of 100% free content on Codecademy. If you’re new to coding, you can easily sample different languages and tools with them.
Try a few tutorials and exercise and see what you think. If you enjoy the classes and you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot, you can sign up for a paid plan to unlock more comprehensive, premium content.
In case you’re not sure where to start, I’d suggest you go with the HTML and CSS modules. They’re easy and comparatively quick to learn. If it feels like fun, perhaps web design and web development is your thing?
Codecademy was the first of all coding sites I tried as a beginner programmer. I loved how easy and fast it was to get started with them. Once I felt like I had found what I was looking for, I decided to start a paid course on Udemy.
Udemy is an enormous global learning platform for learning how to code and so much more. You can learn anything you can imagine on Udemy.
There are literally thousands of coding courses to choose from. But thanks to the transparent review system on Udemy, you’ll have no problem finding the best courses out there.
With that said, Udemy has some of the best web development courses for beginners I’ve found throughout the years. It’s been my go-to place to learn and brush up my tech skills – and they frequently offer flash sales with discounts of up to 95%.
Just make sure you pay attention to the ratings and reviews from other students for each individual course. Since anyone can create and publish a course on Udemy, the quality varies a lot.
When you’re browsing through courses on Udemy, pay attention to these points:
If a course has 50,000 students and 4.8 out of 5 stars, those students can’t be wrong.
Pretty self-explanatory, but the ratings don’t lie. Go for 5-star courses if possible.
Watch a couple of introductory videos before purchasing a course. Make sure you like the instructor and their style of speaking and teaching. First impressions are everything!
Read through some reviews on the course homepage. See what other students are saying.
When I started learning how to code, I purchased my first paid courses on Udemy. And I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
After only a few weeks, I created a freelancer profile on UpWork and started applying for small HTML/CSS gigs. A few months after that, I had quit my job and started my own web dev business.
If that sounds good, here’s the course that made me a full-time web dev entrepreneur: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0.
If you’re not familiar with Udemy (yet!), head over to my Udemy review article for more details.
Pluralsight is a super comprehensive tech learning platform for the most in-demand skills in the job market.
What sets them apart from the competition are the learning paths you can take. Each path teaches you a specific skill from start to finish. You only need to focus on their courses and learn everything in the right order. I’ve tested a couple of paths and they’re a huge time-saver!
You can choose between a number of paths for topics like:
HTML and CSS
Angular, Vue, React, and Node.js
The contents for each path are perfect for beginners. And what’s even better: they add new content to the paths on a regular basis. That way you’re always learning the most recent and up-to-date tools, every time.
If you’re not ready to invest much into a course, take Pluralsight for a test drive with their FREE 10-day trial.
4: TEAM TREEHOUSE
Team Treehouse has a more project-oriented approach to teaching coding than most other learning platforms.
It’s one of the best websites to learn coding when it comes to high-quality courses that are easy to follow and well-structured by professional teachers and instructors.
If you’re looking to learn coding from scratch with just one resource, Treehouse is an excellent choice. They produce all their content themselves so you can enjoy a consistent and cohesive learning path for each track, like:
Back-End Development – PHP, Python, Ruby
Data Analysis etc.
Their pricing works on a subscription basis: you can unlock all courses and content for a monthly plan starting at $25.
Oh and one more thing! If you’re serious about learning how to code and building a stellar portfolio with real-world projects, take a look at the Treehouse Techdegree programs. They’re mini degrees where you’ll create meaningful projects focused on a specific field in tech.
freeCodeCamp is one of the best websites to teach yourself to code on a budget – all of their content is 100% free of charge.
If you have zero experience with programming, freeCodeCamp is an excellent place to learn the basics and explore different options you could specialize in.
In addition to coding and web development, you’ll learn some Computer Science basics, too – highly recommended!
By far the most amazing thing about freeCodeCamp is the incredibly supportive and big community where you can connect with like-minded developers around the world.
edX offers real college-level courses from some of the best universities worldwide. Needless to say, the quality of the lectures and content is outstanding compared to many other coding sites.
edX was founded in 2012 by Harvard and MIT and it’s grown to include over 90 partners around the world.
The course contents on edX are free and the platform is open source. However, you can invest in a verified certificate to prove course completion for most courses.
All in all, if you’re looking for high-quality coding courses to learn about the newest technologies and theories available, edX is your go-to coding site.
Udacity offers a big selection of individual courses that are perfect for beginners. You’ll find plenty of free courses to learn the basics of programming, web development, and Computer Science.
Most beginner-level courses on Udacity are free so you can learn coding from scratch on a zero budget – at least in the beginning.
Each course consists of video lectures, exercises, quizzes, and bigger projects and assignments. If you feel stuck with an assignment, simply head over to the student discussion board for some support from your peers.
Udacity also offers mini tech degrees called nanodegrees. Each nanodegree teaches you relevant skills and programming languages to launch a career in a specific field, like
iOS Development etc.
The degrees are crafted together with industry leaders like Google, Facebook, IBM, and AT&T. If you decide to enroll in a nanodegree, you will get valuable support from the degree mentors and coaches. They are there to make sure you complete the program and learn the skills you need for the job you want.
Coursera is one of the best websites to learn coding for free as a newbie. You’ll find heaps of diverse, professional courses that range from beginner-level classes to more advanced-level topics.
Most Coursera classes are taught by real university professors from some of the most prestigious institutions worldwide, like Princeton and Stanford.
All courses are free to enroll in, but you can choose to pay for a “Coursera Verified Certificate” to prove course completion. The prices vary between $29 to $95. Also, paying for a certificate unlocks additional learning content you can’t get with the free version.
9: ONE MONTH
One Month offers a variety of bootcamp courses for learning coding and web development from scratch. As their name suggests, each course takes 30 days from start to finish.
You can choose from a number of topics, like:
Ruby and Ruby on Rails
WordPress Theme Development etc.
Use this link to get a 10% discount of ALL courses on One Month
If you know exactly what you wish to do with coding in the future, One Month is an excellent choice for you. You can learn everything you need to know to get started with Python, Ruby, or Web Development in just one place.
While you work through your One Month coding course, you’ll build actual, real-world projects for your portfolio as you go.
Tip: If you’re interested in learning Ruby on Rails to build your own web application, try One Month Ruby and One Month Rails.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can save a big buck by learning how to build your web app by yourself instead of hiring a team of developers to do it for you. And yes, you’ll be done in just 30 days!
10. THE ODIN PROJECT
The Odin Project is one of the most beginner-friendly platforms to learn web development from scratch – and it’s 100% free and open-source.
Their curriculum is project-based, meaning that you will build meaningful projects for your portfolio already while learning.
When you start learning how to code, it can feel difficult to see the big picture and put all the skills you learn together. That’s where The Odin Project does a way better job than many other platforms and best websites to learn coding.
You will never feel lost or left alone after a lesson or exercise. You’ll always know what you can use your new skills in the future for.
11: CODE AVENGERS
Code Avengers offers interactive lessons where you can learn web development, Computer Science, UI Design, and much more. The classes consist of video lectures and heaps of quizzes and coding challenges that allow you to put your skills to the test.
If you’re not familiar with Code Avengers, you can try their free 7-day trial to see if you’d like to invest in the entire program.
And if English isn’t your first language, Code Avengers is one of the best websites to learn coding in your own language. They offer courses in German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Russian, too.
12: KHAN ACADEMY
Khan Academy has a huge selection of resources to learn how to code online for free. You can learn literally anything on Khan Academy at your own pace.
If you’re just starting with learning how to code, Khan Academy is perfect for learning the very basics. While you teach yourself to code, you collect points and badges through completing lessons and missions. So, if you’re into gamified learning, Khan Academy is a great choice.
You don’t need to sign up in order to access the courses on Khan Academy. Just find your way to their website and start learning right away!
Codewars has a more gamified approach to learning how to code than most other platforms in this post. Their code challenges have a martial-arts theme, where the learning path is based on challenges called kata.
Each challenge aims at helping you either learn new skills or improve existing ones in a specific programming language.
When you complete a kata, you’ll each honor points and get one step further towards higher ranks. With every kata you finish, the challenges will become tougher to solve.
All in all, the kata system is a fun way to learn coding: Codewars is definitely one of the best websites to learn coding by gamification.
TutsPlus is one of my go-to websites with helpful beginner-level articles, videos, and tutorials for learning to code from absolute scratch. Their material covers a good variety of topics, such as:
Web design tutorials
Graphic design and illustration courses
You can find thousands of free tutorials on TutsPlus to learn all the basics as well as more advanced topics. The best part? The tutorials are mostly project-based, with clear step-by-step instructions to help you follow along.
If you feel like TutsPlus is your thing, you can easily sign up for a paid plan later on. They offer a huge selection of premium content, paid courses, and eBooks if you’re willing to invest a few bucks in high quality learning material.
Start by checking out their blog with tons of helpful articles, for example. They cover some very specific topics about web development and web design as well as entrepreneurship and content marketing.
What sets SitePoint apart from the other websites I’ve listed is the quality of their content. The content is created by professional programmers and industry leaders, so they always deliver top-notch quality articles.
Also, SitePoint offers a pool of over 400 books and professional courses with their premium plan. And they take it one step further: you can track your progress for each book and course from your own activity dashboard. Neat!
SoloLearn is a 100% free platform to learn to code from scratch. If you’re on the go a lot, check out their apps for iOS and Android, too.
For back-end development and software development, start a course in Python, Ruby, Java, Swift, C++, or C#, for example.
What’s great about SoloLearn is the Q&A discussion forum you can use whenever things feel difficult. Use it to connect with other students and to find answers to your questions while working your way through the course material.
17: GA DASH
The best part?
The courses are project-based, so you build small but practical web dev projects while working through the tutorials.