April 29, 2024

How to start learning web development for free

There are so many free resources available online to help you start (and continue) your journey in web development.  In this post, I've gathered a list of my favorite, and most high-quality, materials.  If you have additional suggestions on resources to include in this post, feel free to drop a comment below! A Taste of Coding

If you aren't sure whether or not web development is for you, or haven't done any coding before, is one of the best places to start.

It's a free and fun online course that teaches you the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while building projects.  A lot of other programs and bootcamps divide HTML / CSS / JavaScript into three separate in-depth courses, but Dash gives you all of it together at once.  The benefit is that you learn how all these components of a website work together from the very beginning, instead of only being able to see one piece at a time.

Dash's projects 1-3 give you a great starting point in the world of web development.  After those you can continue to finish the rest of the projects, or move on to another resource after that.

Becoming a Web Developer

There are a myriad of introductory web development courses and bootcamps online, where you can learn the basics of development.  (Doing a quick search on Udemy reveals so many options; it's hard to sift through all of them.)

Below are some high-quality, free courses I recommend and have used myself.  They're comprehensive, provide practice and knowledge, and prepare you for a fulfilling career.

The Odin Project: Foundations Course

The Odin Project's Foundations Course is a solid introduction into the bread and butter of web development.

It's less interactive than most of the other courses I'll mention here, but the content is a solid foundation.  The course equips you with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills you need to build websites.

If you enjoy the Foundations Course, look into Odin Project's Full Stack JavaScript or Full Stack Ruby on Rails learning paths.


Freecodecamp provides 10+ free web development courses in JavaScript, Python, front-end, and back-end that are more than enough to kickstart any developer's career.  You learn through interactive coding exercises and articles, and can participate in forum discussions when you get stuck or need help.

If you aren't sure which course to begin with, work on their Responsive Web Design Certification first, followed by JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures.  After that, you can split off to do either Front End Development Libraries or Back End Development and APIs, or both if you're interested in pursuing a full-stack career.

App Academy Open

If you enjoy watching videos, or prefer videos as a method of learning, App Academy Open is perfect for you.  It's a free, self-paced version of App Academy's complete full-stack development bootcamp, so it's chock-full of rigorous material.

The learning path gives you access to over 500 hours of videos and resources, covering everything from fundamental HTML and CSS to algorithms and data structures in JavaScript.


Codecademy is a freemium platform with high-quality content.  Their courses range from web development to data science, and are interactive and text-based. 

There is a lot of free material to work through, though there are many perks only accessible through a subscription.  However, Codecademy offers a lot more material than Freecodecamp, which is why I've still decided to include it on this list.

Choosing a Career as a Developer

If you like frontend development, work on your advanced CSS and JavaScript skills.  Pick up a framework such as React, Angular, or VueJS, and focus on learning additional skills like web accessibility and SEO.

If you're interested in backend development, you'll want to focus on one of these specializations: Node.js, Java, PHP, Python, C#, or Ruby.  Do some research on your own before making a choice.  Learn about databases, SQL, and/or MongoDB, as well as popular frameworks in your language: Spring for Java, Laravel for PHP, django for Python, ASP.NET for C#, or Ruby on Rails for Ruby.  Note that there are a lot more frameworks available for Node.js and PHP developers (though Laravel is the most popular for PHP).

If you enjoy doing both (like me!), learn both for full-stack development.  😉

Learning the basics of web development opens doors to many other careers in the tech field. provides guides, learning paths, and roadmaps to point developers in a direction of their choosing.

It's the perfect place to start if you want to dive deeper into a field.  Once you have the basics under your belt, you have the right foundation to transition into learning mobile app development, game development, AI & machine learning, and more.  The world of technology is at your fingertips.


Are there any other free educational resources you enjoy using as a developer?  Let me know in the comments below!

Happy coding,