Crack the Code With the Best Web Development Courses in 2021

Crack the Code With the Best Web Development Courses in 2021

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Internet has taken over the world. Websites act as the portal to hundreds of different products, services and communities. In fact, you’re reading this article right now on one. If you want to partake of some of that coolness and create websites and web-based software yourself, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a list of the best online courses to learn web development for you.

Why Learn Web Development?

There are several reasons why web development has become such a sought-after skill.

Job Prospects

There has been a massive increase in the need for web developers in the United States over the last couple of decades. According to the College Grad website, hiring among web developers is going to increase by 8% over the next decade, which is a much higher rate than the average for all jobs.

The growth in web developer jobs has increased further with the growth of startups and hiring among young companies. If you’re looking to work at a startup, then learning web development is one of the most dependable ways to get a foot in the door.

Location-Independence

This point is related to the previous one about job prospects. The great thing about web development is that it is the kind of job you can get hired for remotely. If you enjoy traveling or want to live in a city that isn’t known for housing companies, you can still work from home as a web developer.

This is a huge advantage because it opens up the job market for the profession. You can live anywhere and have access to development jobs from anywhere in the world. This also means that you can work as a freelancer at times and have access to multiple projects at the same time.

Salary

Web developers get paid well. How well? The average annual salary of a web developer is $75,974. That’s significantly higher than the national average across different professions. It’s clear that web development is a lucrative professional and will only become progressively more so as time passes.

Multiple Learning Paths

Perhaps the most exciting thing about web development is how you can learn the skill in so many different ways. If you prefer the conventional route, then you can go to a college to study computer sciences. There are some other courses that teach web development as an accessory skill.

But that’s not the only way you can do it. Most cities in the US now have web development bootcamps where you can learn specific technologies in very short spans of time. This is a great way to meet people passionate about web development and accelerate your learning by being in that community.

In addition to all that, of course, there are the online courses we’re discussing here.

Diverse Applications

If you’re a web developer, you don’t just work in the web development sector. There are a myriad different kinds of companies that hire web developers either full-time or as contractors.

So if you possess the skill, then you can work in many different kinds of industries depending on what your interests are. So one day you could be working at a logistics company and the next at a publishing company. This ability to apply one skill in many different industries makes the job even more exciting.

How to Choose an Online Web Development Course

Web development is something you can learn from scratch with help from an online course. Look at the following things to tell the good courses from ones that aren’t for you.

Instructor Experience & Student Community

Web development can be a fun skill to pick up as long as you enjoy the instructor’s teaching style. It also helps when there is a community of your peers with whom you can interact and learn from as you complete sections of the course.

Always check the background of the course instructor before getting started with it. Things like industry experience and experience teaching bootcamps are a good sign.

Also keep an eye out for the kind of student community there is for a course. It helps if there is an active forum for discussions where you can hash out doubts and work on web development projects together.

Learning Level and Prerequisites

Once you know that a course has a quality instructor, the next thing to check is what level of learner the course is for. When learning web development, it might seem exciting to get right to building web applications. But you want to start with a beginner-level course that will teach you the basics of HTML and CSS and then move on to web programming languages like Javascript and python.

Some web development courses have prerequisites. For example, they might assume that you know some basic markup in HTML. Make sure that you fulfill the required prerequisites before getting started.

Up-To-Date-Ness

The world of web development moves at a crazy pace. You want to always check what a course teaches and make sure that none of the content is obsolete for the times in which you’re learning it.

Consider Bootstrap, for example. It was a framework that was very popular until about five years ago, but almost nobody uses it anymore. So you would want to avoid courses that teach Bootstrap exclusively.

That said, you also don’t need to obsess over finding courses that teach the latest syntax for web development languages that are relevant in 2021. Syntax changes constantly but once you pick up programming logic, you will be able to apply it easily while updating your syntax by referring to documentation.

Project Work

Computer science is a theoretical discipline but web development is not. The best way to learn it is by actually working on real projects and applying what you learn instantly. Always choose a course that makes you build web applications while you’re learning a particular web development language.

That’s everything you need to know before choosing an online web development course. We can finally get to the part you’ve been looking forward to: our list of the best web development courses online right now.

Top 10 Best Web Development Courses 2021


1. The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021

  • 63 hours $21.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Good for Beginners and Intermediates
  • Great, Friendly Instructor
  • Covers HTMl5, CSS, JavaScript and more

Why we like it

This course is a comprehensive deep-dive into web development, taking you from the basics all the way to having professional know-how.

This may sound like an exaggeration (because it is) but The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021 on Udemy is quite possibly the most comprehensive course on anything on the entire Internet. It is packed with a whopping 63 hours of content, covering everything from the basics of web development to creating projects to working on research assignments. It covers everything you need to go from newbie to a well-rounded developer.

The course is taught by Colt Steele, a name that you’re probably familiar with if you’ve researched web development courses online. Steele has been teaching web development online and offline for several years now. Most recently, he was the lead instructor at the Galvanize SF coding bootcamp. When it comes to teaching these skills, few have worked with as many students as Steele.

Steele’s teaching style is informal and you will likely find yourself laughing at his jokes as you work your way through the course. He even admits to not knowing certain things and you see him go through documentation and learning as he’s teaching the course. So you don’t just learn web development skills, you also learn how to learn them.

The course itself is broad in scope. It starts with HTML5 and CSS3. You then move on to JavaScript and specific frameworks like NodeJS. The database technology covered in this course is MongoDB. When you’re done with this course, you will feel confident in building an entire web app -- front-end, database, backend and all -- yourself.

The comprehensiveness of the course can be a double-edged sword to some. 63 hours of audio and a handful of technologies is a big ask. But if you’re willing to take things slowly, then this course is exactly what you need to kick off a career in web development.

Pros

  • Extremely comprehensive
  • Experienced instructor with laid back style
  • Includes project and research work

Cons

  • Can be intimidating given its scope


2. Introduction to Web Development

  • 22 hours $79 for a certificate, free to audit Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Great for Beginners
  • Focuses on Specifics
  • Covers HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Why we like it

This introductory course keeps things very simple and makes it easy for beginners to wrap their head around web development.

We saw that The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021 on Udemy is a vast course covering a whole lot of technologies. Introduction to Web Development on Coursera is the opposite. It focuses on the very basics and three main languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s the kind of course that beginners can complete without feeling like they’ve bitten off too much.

The course starts off with a primer on how websites function. You’ll get an overview of how hosting services make files available through the Internet and how you can get your own website up. This first section gives students context on how the things they learn will translate to functional websites.

It then goes into designing websites into HTML. The web development parts show up in weeks 3 and 4. That’s when you’ll learn how to use JavaScript to create dynamic content and pull off tasks like event-based responses. The final week focuses on building web applications with JavaScript.

This course is offered by UC Davis. The instructor, Daniel Randall, is an experienced web development professional. The over 150,000 students on this course are testament to his ability to create an accessible learning solution for them. The supplementary material provided in this course, such as the readings and quizzes, is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the things you learn through the video lessons.

Some of the things in this course might seem a tad outdated in 2021. But it’s worth doing the course to understand the concepts. You can always bring yourself up to speed with new syntax rules and other updates using the latest documentation.

Pros

  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Useful supplementary content
  • Instructor with plenty of industry experience

Cons

  • Some content might seem outdated


3. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science

  • 12 weeks (6-18 hours per week) $199 for a certificate, free to audit Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Concepts cover all major languages
  • Academic in nature
  • Great foundation course

Why we like it

This very popular course is a great introduction to the underlying concepts in computer science required to be a good web developer.

The CS50's Introduction to Computer Science course is one of the most popular courses online. It’s offered by Harvard and has over 2.5 million enrollments just on edX. As a result, you’ll find plenty of peers working through this course and discussion forums online. That’s especially helpful for those who are just getting started out in the field.

It’s important to note that this is not a web development course; it’s a computer science course. That means that you will learn basic concepts in computation like algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, and problem-solving approaches.

Now you’re probably wondering why you would need to study these things if what you want to be is a web developer. The reason this course is important is because it gives you the foundations you need to understand programmatic logic and how to solve problems using code.

The knowledge you gain through this process will be invaluable once you start applying it to web development. It also helps that you learn some of the concepts in this course using web technologies like HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, and Python. So not only do you walk away with a basic understanding of theoretical computer science, but you also get the hang of syntax in those languages.

The contents of this course can seem a little dry at times since it is on the theoretical basics of computer science. That said, going through it is a great way to build a solid foundation as a web developer.

Pros

  • Provides theoretical computer science foundation to web developers
  • Large community of students
  • Covers web languages like JavasScript and Python

Cons

  • Can seem a little dry at times


4. The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0

  • 30.5 Hours $17.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Project based approach
  • Covers JavaScript, HTML and CSS
  • Taught by Rob Percival

Why we like it

This course takes a project-based approach to teaching students web development, making it a fun way to learn the skill.

The ultimate goal of web development is for you to create websites that offer certain functionalities. You don’t have to wait till you’ve mastered the skill to start doing that. The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 shows that you can work on projects while you’re still growing in the discipline and use it as a way to accelerate your learning.

Every module in this course comes with a project-based milestone. When you start learning HTML and CSS, you do so by building your own website. The Javascript section includes lessons on building a simple game. Students constantly apply the knowledge they pick up in this course through the projects.

Speaking of students, there are over 280,000 signed up to this course on Udemy. It’s taught by Rob Percival, who created it as a follow-up to The Complete Web Developer Course 1.0. The original received 25,000 5-star reviews on Udemy and Percival followed it up with the 2.0 version, which comes with even more projects. He keeps the instruction throughout the course lucid and easy for the learner.

There are some parts of the course that you’ll find a little outdated. For example, some of the Python syntax has changed recently. You’ll want to check out supplementary content to update your syntax.

Pros

  • Project-based learning
  • Large number of students with positive experiences
  • Clear instructions

Cons

  • Some outdated syntax


5. The Complete 2021 Web Development Bootcamp

  • 55 hours $16.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Good for Intermediates
  • Taught by Dr. Angela Yu
  • Covers HTML5, CSS 3, Javascript, MongoDB and ReactJS

Why we like it

This is a comprehensive course that makes web development concepts easy to understand thanks to the quality of instruction.

Web development can seem a little arcane at times, especially if you don’t have an academic background in computer science. So learning the skill by yourself online can be challenging. But courses like The Complete 2021 Web Development Bootcamp make things a lot easier thanks to the clarity with which concepts are explained to learners.

The course is taught by Dr. Angela Yu, who is the lead instructor at a coding bootcamp called the London App Brewery. She’s taught web development to employees at companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. That’s the quality of instruction this course gives you access to.

This is another comprehensive course, with 55 hours of videos to work through. But thankfully, it’s well designed and easy to follow through to the end. You can start as a total beginner and work your way up to more advanced concepts in web development. Along with HTML5 and CSS 3, the course also teaches Javascript, MongoDB, and ReactJS.

The course also goes over concepts in web design. Students are exposed to lessons in color theory and user experience design, which round out a good web development education. The course does include some projects but it could have been even better if there were more projects included.

Pros

  • High quality of instruction
  • Well designed
  • Well-rounded

Cons

  • Not enough project-based work after each module


6. HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

  • 40 hours to complete $79 for a certificate (free to audit) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Good for Intermediates
  • Taught by Yaakov Chaikin
  • Covers HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Why we like it

This course by Coursera teaches students how to code web applications that function well both on desktops and mobile devices.

According to Statista, traffic from mobile devices accounted for as much as half of all web traffic in the USA in some quarters of 2020. Clearly, the Web is not limited to just the desktop anymore. The HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers course recognizes that and teaches students how to code websites that work just as well on mobile as they do on desktop.

The course is taught by Yaakov Chaikin, Adjunct Professor of Graduate Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. It’s clear from the course that Chaikin knows what he’s talking about. And although the material is information-rich, it never feels dense or overwhelming.

The best thing about this course is the way that it jogs your memory with the assignments. Each week, students are given assignments which test what they learned that week and sometimes also refer to concepts from previous weeks.

It’s important to note that this course is over five years old, because of which a lot of the content can seem outdated. However, it’s a great introduction to basic concepts in web development, especially for the mobile web.

Pros

  • Covers how to code for the mobile web
  • Accessible mode of instruction
  • Assignments to refresh course contents

Cons

  • Some content is outdated


7. Web Developer Bootcamp With Flask and Python

  • 27.5 hours $14.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Good for Intermediates
  • Taught by Jose Salvatierra
  • Focuses on Python

Why we like it

Students looking for a solid and practical grounding in python will find it on this course.

Python is fast becoming one of the most popular programming languages in the world across applications. Flask is a framework written in Python to create apps for the Web. If you’re a new web developer, learning Python can make you job-ready in an expedited manner and set you apart from others who know more conventional languages.

The Web Developer Bootcamp with Flask and Python on Udemy starts off by giving learners a refresher in the Python language. Although it starts from the very basics, you’re better knowing some basic Python going into this part. So this course is more for intermediate learners.

If you do know a little Python, this course is a breeze. You learn how to build web apps in the language by building a microblog. The instructor, Jose Salvatierra, is very knowledgeable and makes that available to students in a clear manner. The supplementary material, such as the course e-book and the Q&A discussions, are a great add-on to the video lectures.

The projects, described in the way that they are in the course, may seem like they could have been a little more in-depth. You might have to beef them up a little more yourself to fully understand the concepts described in the lessons.

Pros

  • Python is a language that has wide-ranging applications
  • Knowledgeable instructor
  • Supplementary material is helpful

Cons

  • Project work could have been more in-depth


8. Understanding Web Development: A Beginners Guide to the Web

  • 2 hours 50 minutes $8/month (all Skillshare premium courses) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Simple and easy for complete beginners
  • A general look at coding and web development
  • Taught by Christopher Dodd

Why we like it

This course gives learners a broad conceptual understanding of what web development is and why it’s a valuable skill.

Learning how to program for the Web is the ultimate goal of every web developer. But before you can do that, it helps to understand how the Internet works so you have a big-picture understanding of what you’re doing. That is what Understanding Web Development: A Beginners Guide to the Web makes possible.

Christopher Dodd starts this course off by explaining how you can use the ‘view source’ feature in browsers to play around with their front-end code. This is a great way for beginners to understand how code elements transform into elements on webpages. The course then goes into specific technologies like Javascript and MySQL.

Any beginner will find this course very easy to navigate. It is structured well and each lesson is easy to consume. Working through Understanding Web Development: A Beginners Guide to the Web is a good way to find out if web development is a career path you want to take.

What this course doesn’t do is go deep into any particular technology. So if you’re looking for an in-depth understanding of any one type of language, you’re not going to get it here.

Pros

  • Perfect for complete novices
  • Provides conceptual foundation required for web development
  • Clearly explained concepts

Cons

  • Doesn’t go in-depth on any one technology
  • Teaches very few practical skills


9. Building Web Applications in PHP by University of Michigan

  • 31 hours to complete $49 for the Web Applications for Everybody Specialization Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Taught by Charles Russell Severance
  • Focus on PHP

Why we like it

This course provides learners with a well-rounded understanding of how to write PHP code to build web applications.

It is well-known that PHP is a much-maligned web programming language. But a lot of that hate is usually unfounded. The fact remains that some of the most widely used, scalable web apps on the planet run on PHP. And the Building Web Applications in PHP course is the perfect way to get started with the language.

The course is taught by Charles Russell Severance, a professor at the University of Michigan. He manages to teach the specifics of the PHP language while also providing information on how it would be used in larger contexts. It helps that he comes across as friendly and keeps things fun.

This course is part of the Web Applications for Everybody specialization provided by Coursera. After this PHP course, you can move on to courses in SQL and Javascript, giving you a well-rounded understanding of creating web apps both for desktop and mobile devices.

Some assignments in the Building Web Applications in PHP course can seem like they require information that comes in subsequent chapters. If you can ignore those inconsistencies, then there’s a lot to learn in this course.

Pros

  • Big-picture understanding of how PHP web development works
  • Learners can move on to a specialization in web app development
  • Personable instructor

Cons

  • Inconsistencies in assignment content


10. The Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp

  • 34 hours $17.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Great for Advanced Users
  • Taught by Colt Steele
  • Focus on JavaScript, NodeJS and Redux

Why we like it

The Advanced Developer Bootcamp provides those who already have a basic understanding of the discipline more advanced skills in an easy-to-understand manner.

Web development learning doesn’t stop at knowing the basics of languages like HTML and CSS. There is a whole lot more to learn when it comes to building applications using web technologies. That’s what this Udemy course teaches you how to do.

Colt Steele, who we met earlier, is also behind this Udemy course. This time, his focus is on advanced Javascript and frameworks like NodeJS and Redux. He also brings on three more instructors this time and the diversity in voices is helpful for learners trying to get a well-rounded understanding of the topics covered.

The course also spends some time going into concepts in design. So you learn things about how to build front-ends that are aesthetic and intuitive to use. This is something that not a lot of web developers know.

The only drawback of this course is that it isn’t very well-structured. Some sections feel very in-depth and others not so much.

Pros

  • Provides functional understanding of advanced web development
  • Multiple instructors with diverse approaches
  • Information on UX design

Cons

  • Not well-structured


Other FAQ

It depends what you need it for. First, make sure that you pick a web development language that is contemporary to the times. Right now, those are Javascript, Python, and PHP among others. It’s best not to obsess too much with the language and just pick one and run with it if you’re a beginner, as many of the skills are transferable.

The cliché of the overworked tech worker is a little overstated. Most web developers work standard hours, which is usually nine hours a day and five hours a week.

There are also a lot of web developers who work as freelancers. This gives them the ability to set their own hours and work on multiple projects at once if they like. This is an opportunity that’s available to any web developer who doesn’t mind doing client acquisition themselves.

You don’t need to work your way through multiple years of college to become a web developer. There are people out there who have done year-long bootcamps and landed web development jobs soon after.

What’s important is two things. First, that you have the basic skills covered, which you can pick up within a year in most cases. Secondly, you need to show how you can take the concepts you know and use them to learn the concepts you don’t. The space is evolving, so once you have the fundamentals, you’ll find Google is your friend in sourcing answers.



Extra Credit: How to Start Learning Web Development

The prospect of learning web development can seem intimidating to some. If you’re going to program things you must need to know a whole lot of math and logic and all that, right?

Not really. The truth is that there really isn’t a particular set of skills that are prerequisites to learn web development. Anyone can start learning how to code for the web, even if they don’t have a background in math or programming.

If you do decide to go deep in the discipline, it will help to know some math and pick up algorithmic thinking. But don’t let that stop you from beginning the journey of learning how to program for the Web, as you’ll pick up concepts as you go.

Web Development vs. Web Design

Web design deals only with the visual aspects of a website. Web designers use programs like Photoshop and front-end languages like HTML and CSS to define how a website will look on the Internet. Nowadays, UX designers also work along with web designers on this aspect of websites.

building a website

Web developers deal with the functional aspects of websites. That includes things that you can see on the site, like what particular buttons do or how you navigate between different parts of the site. That also includes things you can’t see, like the backend code and databases.

Web developers also usually know both HTML and CSS and can do some design. But their focus is way more on coding functional elements using languages like JavaScript and Python.

Should I Learn Front-End or Backend Development?

This is a question that a lot of wannabe developers have before getting started. Front-end development focuses on the visual aspects of a website while backend development has to do with the functional aspects. Which one do you start with?

Usually developers have a preference one way or another. Some web developers enjoy design and therefore specialize in front-end development. Others have more of an architectural mindset and enjoy building the backend.

No matter what your focus is, it is worthwhile starting off with front-end development and then moving on to the backend if you so desire. Doing so gives you an understanding of how the code you write turns into an experience for someone using your website. So start with HTML and CSS and move on to other things once you have at least a basic understanding of those.

There are some languages that deal with both front-end and backend aspects of web development. Javascript and Python (along with their frameworks) can both be used for both things.

What Do I Do After Completing a Web Development Course?

So you’ve done the hard miles working your way through a web development course online. You’ve completed all the lessons and submitted all your assignments on time. What now?

First, start working on a project of your own. Dream up a web app you’d like to exist and build it yourself.

Another worthwhile use of your time is to contribute to open-source projects. Learn how to use a tool like Github so you can contribute small pieces of code to a larger project and get feedback from other developers.

Hackathons are another great way to accelerate your learning web development. These tend to happen pretty regularly both online and offline. They bring together teams and have them work on a project within a short period of time. This is a great way to work with a team on a project and learn from your peers.

Building Experiences for the Modern World

Web development can be a very exciting career. Getting to build applications that millions could possibly use is an exciting prospect. It helps that it is also a lucrative career option that offers a great deal of flexibility.

So what are you waiting for? Pick one of the web development courses on our list and get cracking and soon you’ll be able to produce sparkling websites – just like this one!

If you’re looking for more career-orientated learning, our list of best excel courses might be just the thing to unlock your productivity.