Best Websites To Learn Coding (For Free)
Seeing square brackets [ ] and mystical words in your computer like func, private and void can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Anyone can learn code and transform their lives through this skill. Actually, computer science is becoming more ingrained in K-12 education.
Today, there’s a vibrant community of programmers waiting to share knowledge with you.
However, when starting out, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost.
At least I was, in the beginning.
I took a coding book, read from front to back, and I failed HARD. I wasted a lot of time and had to start yet again from scratch after figuring out what I was doing wrong.
Here are the first few mistakes I made, which so many coding beginners can fall trap to:
- Taking too long to decide the programming language to go with. Jumping from language to language will only set you up for fatigue and a possible avoidance of the decision to learn coding.
- I was trying to understand everything without putting enough time to practice. This only gave me a false sense of confidence.
- Taking too long to choose a code learning platform: My research phase almost took a year without getting any coding done.
Lucky for you; you won’t have to waste time browsing tons of courses and tutorials to know what will work for you.
I have personally reviewed and handpicked some of the best websites to learn coding. But before we dive right in, let’s take a step back to the basics.
Why Should Everyone Learn to Code?
Of course, a coding skill will look good on almost all of your job applications. In addition, you’ll develop a technical know-how that’s invaluable in the digital age we live in. The logic and problem solving necessary when coding acts as an exercise session for your brain’s “left” side.
Still not convinced on the importance of learning web development? Below are some more reasons why you should learn how to code.
- Coding Is More Fulfilling, With Many Opportunities
Programmers are continually required to respond to the increasing demand for computer software.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers’ employment is expected to rise by 22% from 2019 to 2029. This is a faster growth rate than the average projected growth for all other occupations.
Programming is a lot more fulfilling than many alternatives out there. Most of the time, you’ll be working with like-minded people solving problems and get paid well for it.
- A Better Pay
According to a BLS report, the median annual pay for computer programmers in May 2019 was $86,550. The lowest 10% in the occupation earned slightly less than $50,150, with the highest 10% earning $140,250.
In essence, the average pay for an entry-level programmer in the U.S. stands at $55,216 per year. This works out to about $25.58 per hour.
- You Can Work from Anywhere
Want to break the 9-to-5 cycle? Learning coding might be your best bet if the corporate hamster wheel isn’t working for you.
As a programming freelancer or entrepreneur, you have the liberty to choose when and where to work from.
- You Can Start Your Own Business
As a coder, you have endless possibilities to chase your entrepreneurship dreams through:
- IT Consulting.
- Technical Writing
- Offering website design services
- Developing and selling Software and Apps
- Offering coding tutorials
- And more!
Is Coding Is for You?
Here are some possible indicators that coding is your thing:
- You love solving problems
- You enjoy being creative
- You want to make an impact
- You want a more flexible lifestyle
- You’re willing to put in the work
- You are intrinsically motivated
- You love technology
As you look forward to becoming a computer programmer, take a minute to determine your inner drive & set goals based on that. Without elaborate goals, it’s easy to lose track of your progress fast.
21 Best Websites to Learn Coding
You need to choose a code learning platform that supports your learning preferences.
Below is a compiled list of the best places to land foot when starting coding, many of which are 100% free.
A global learning platform with over 35 million users, Udemy tops our list of the best websites to learn coding. You can literally learn anything from Udemy’s thousands of coding courses.
With over 2,000 coding courses (see our article on Best Python Courses), Udemy has some of the top programs for beginners.
From the thousands of courses, some more topics I found Interesting on Udemy – which might work for you – include:
- HTML and CSS courses
- iOS Mobile Development
- Android Mobile Development
Summing it up, Udemy is a perfect place to start your coding and web development journey from scratch. Although learning from this platform isn’t free, the courses are very affordable for budget learners. You learn at your own pace and always choose a tutor that matches your learning preferences.
Note that Udemy has a review system that helps students make a decision when choosing from the many available courses. Pay attention to each course’s popularity, rating, reviews, and the instructor’s teaching style.
45 million people in 190 countries learn to code from Codecademy!
Since most of the content is free, you can easily sample different tools and programming languages to know what works best for you.
If you enjoy classes, you can sign up for Codecademy’s paid plan to access more comprehensive content.
The main options here are:
- HTML & CSS
You can learn anything from:
- Web development
- Web design
- Data science
- Machine learning
- Mobile development,
- Game development
- Data visualization.
Being the first website I set foot on before moving on to a paid course on Udemy, my first course here was Learn How to Code.
This is an excellent option for anyone willing to increase their digital literacy or can’t choose the language to start with. Here, you’ll learn the fundamental concepts of programming. I did all the sections of this course, that’s Basics of Programming I II and III. After completing the course, I had a stronghold over programming concepts that would start my programming career.
- Team Treehouse
I’ve been a Treehouse pro member for years now, and I have loved watching the platform grow into one of the best websites to learn to code.
What I like most about Treehouse is the budget pricing of $25 that gives you over 1000 hours of high-quality videos. This website is also starting to offer more intermediate coding courses for anyone who’d wish to progress beyond the beginner level.
The courses are easy to follow and structured by professional instructors. With this, you can learn from scratch to a skilled level with only one resource.
All the courses are affordable and are often updated. With a great community to learn from, you’ll most probably have an easier time at Treehouse compared to other coding websites.
Unlike Udemy, Team Treehouse produces all their content on their own. You can, thus, enjoy a consistently coherent path.
Your learning options here include:
- CSS Layout Basics
Team Treehouse offers a free 7-day trial. Their pricing is subscription-based: You can get all content and courses for a monthly plan starting at $25.
Treehouse’s courses include has Techdegree programs. These programs allow subscribers to create functional projects focused on a particular niche in tech.
Another thing that makes me rate Treehouse highly is its track feature that acts as a learning roadmap. You can easily track your progress when learning and find it easy to advance to higher levels with this.
Pluralsight provides over 700,000 students with some of the most in-demand skills in the market. This site stands out by having different paths that teach specific skills from start to finish.
Some of the paths that I have tested here and found time-saving include:
- HTML and CSS
- Android Development
- Angular, Vue, React, and Node.js
My Pluralsight Experience
I have only taken a handful of courses at Plural sight, so I can’t speak for them all. Compared to Udemy, I found the quality to be quite inconsistent across some of the courses that I took. All the same, this makes one of the considerable places where one can start learning to code.
Pricing per user starts at $579 per year for every user, but there is also a free version.
It would be best to start with the free trial to see whether the platform matches your goals before upgrading to the premium subscription.
edX provides over 2 million learners with real college-level courses from leading universities in the world.
When I visited the main edX page, my first impression was that I’d just entered a university page. It is concise and straightforward, containing only the necessary features. No annoying popups and any trivial information!
What stood out to me is the excellent content quality, one-off courses that I’d take at my leisure, and the platform’s XSeries.
edX was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012 and has since grown to onboard more than 90 partners worldwide.
It is open-source, with course contents being free. However, you can choose to invest in a verified certificate as proof that you have completed your courses.
Your course options include:
- Computer science 101
- IOS development
- C programing
Professional certificates are issued to those who meet the job market’s demands. Better yet, there’s a Global Freshman Academy for first-year university students.
The cost of verified courses ranges between $50 and $300. While this is relatively expensive, you can audit a course of your choice. You’ll find the course material for free, only that you’ll not get certified upon course completion.
BitDegree has a ton of courses for you to choose from, ranging from programming to gaming development.
This platform offers standard courses and gamified training. All you need to do is select a preferred programming language from:
BitDegree also incorporates blockchain into the training process. Training includes transparent rewards and a well-coordinated achievement system. This is meant to help partner businesses recruit talent and measure course success.
Getting a certificate of completion is completely free and doesn’t need complex application forms.
One of the best websites to learn coding, freeCodeCamp offers all its content at a 0% cost.
If you don’t have any programming experience, this is a great place to start with the basics and test different options to know what will work for you.
The teaching style here is direct with a straightforward design, pretty similar to college courses. The site compiles the often-scattered coding information into clear, useful topics for learners.
There are six certifications available at freeCodeCamp, each of which requires an average of 300 hours of study. You can also take a technical interview prep course to prepare for a career interview.
Your options are:
- Responsive web design: Here, you’ll web design basics like CSS, HTML, and responsive design
- Front End Libraries: Teaches front-end technologies like React, JQuery, Bootstrap, and Redux
- Data Visualization: Best for analysts and data scientists. You’ll gain skills in visualizing data using technologies like Ajax, APIs, JSON, and D3.
- APIs and Microservices: Students learn how to use APIs with Node, Npm, Mongoose, and MongoDB technologies.
- Information security and quality assurance: Teaches essential security testing skills using Helmet JS
freeCodeCamp gives you a chance to learn Computer Science basics. You can choose from Java, PHP and Python, among other programming languages.
Entry-level and skilled developers can connect with like-minded people worldwide on this platform.
Besides signing and starting classes, you can join the freeCodeCamp Facebook group too, for more insights.
If looking for a wider choice of individual beginner courses, Udacity might be the right place to set foot.
Here, you’ll get many free courses that teach programming basics, computer science, and web development.
About 200 beginner-level courses on this platform are free. Each course consists of video lectures, quizzes, exercises, projects, and assignments.
The only drawback to these free courses is that they do not offer certification.
An interactive student board with your peers will help you anytime you’re stuck with an assignment.
Udacity also has mini tech degrees (nanodegrees). These courses help you learners understand the relevant skills and languages to start a career within a specific field like:
- Data science
- Machine learning
- Android development
- iOS development
Nanodegrees have been created together with the leaders in the industry like Facebook, Google, AT&T, and IBM. Should you decide to take a nanodegree, you’ll have support from the degree coaches and mentors.
- One Month
Best for coding and web development bootcamp courses, One Month is a 30-day program for people willing to start coding from scratch.
Here, you can specialize in any of these topics:
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails
- WordPress Theme Development
- iOS Development
- Web Security
While this website isn’t totally free, you can find a 0% discount on all courses.
One Month will specifically suit you if you know exactly what you want to do with coding in the future. You’ll be able to learn what you need to know to start coding with your language of choice.
Despite the short training period, the courses are designed to help learners build real-world projects.
This is another great platform to learn code from lots of Python and Java programming resources.
CodingBat was created by Nick Parlante, a Stanford University lecturer. This is a free platform of live-coding problems for programmers to practice on.
CodingBat lessons are split into different categories. Each concept has different examples to reinforce the before delivered principles. The founder believes that short and practice live coding problems are essential in making the basics of more involving tasks. For this reason, the courses here emphasize repeating the basics.
This is a good platform for testing TDD (Test Driver Development) as it provides an array of tests doable one at a time to a point where all the tests are green.
Thanks to the progress graphs, students can track their journey over time.
Coursera makes one of the best websites to learn coding for beginners.
Most of the classes in this platform are taught by professors from the world’s best universities, like Stanford and Princeton.
Coursera classes are free and include:
- R Programming
To prove course completion, though, you can pay $29 to $95 for a Coursera Verified Certificate. This also gives you access to extra learning material that’s not available in the free course version.
A Coursera Plus Subscription will give you unlimited access to over 3,000 courses, guided projects, and certifications. This will cost you $399 per year, and after paying, you can try out up to 90%of the course library.
- The Odin Project
One of the best websites to learn coding and web development, The Odin Project is an open-source platform that’s completely free.
Learning is project-based. This means that you’ll create functional projects to add to your portfolio while still learning
Popular lessons here include HTML, CSS, Java and Ruby
Besides the coding and web development lessons on this platform, you can get job-seeking resources. The Odin Project provides learners with blogs, videos, and learnings on how a student can build their portfolios and resumes. You’ll also learn how to prepare for technical and behavioral interviews. However, students do not get one-on-one feedback or guidance from their career coaches.
This platform aims at helping learners see the bigger picture and sum up all the skills they learn, unlike many websites that teach coding.
Educative.io has gained much traction for its interactive, text-based learning courses. This makes it the right choice for you if you learn faster by reading other than watching videos.
Educative.io has many free resources, but if you want to benefit from the platform, buy its subscription that goes for $18.71 a month. Many times, you can get this at a 50% discount.
- Code Avengers
Looking for interactive computer science, UI Design, and web development, lessons? Code Avengers might be the right place to start.
The platform’s courses are made of video lectures, quizzes, and coding challenges for a more practical coding approach.
Your Code Avengers subscription options are a monthly plan at $29 or a six-month plan at $120. This will give you access to over 500 lessons, tests, and over 100 guided projects.
A 7-day trial comes in handy for coding newbies.
This will make one of your best websites to learn coding if English isn’t your first language. They also provide courses in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, and Japanese.
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers a wide selection of coding resources online at no cost.
Here, you can program basics and advanced coding at your own pace.
Are you into gamified learning? As you learn how to code at Khan Academy, you collect badges and points through completing missions and lessons.
The website is straightforward to use and has enough elements to keep the users on-page. What we appreciate most about this platform is that it makes learning code less intimidating. This is especially important for newbies and kids who are learning how to code.
Your learning options include:
No need to sign up to access Khan Academy courses. Just get into the site and start learning immediately.
Just like Khan Academy, Codewars provides users with a gamified approach to learning code.
The code challenges come in a martial-arts theme that’s based on kata challenges in the learning path. Each of these challenges aims to help you gain new skills or enhance the existing ones in your preferred programming language.
Your options include:
Once you complete a kata, you get honor points and move a rank higher. With every completed kata, the challenges become tougher to solve and more fun.
A step up from Katas are Kumites. These are more complex coding problems where other programmers refactor code and offer solutions.
Codewars is well suited for having two learners solve a problem (kata) together. In this case, one would be doing the typing with the other typing. After some time, the roles are interchanged.
Undoubtedly, Codewars is one of the best websites to learn coding for those who are into gamification.
If you are looking for a website that offers project-based tutorials, then you might find TutsPlus an excellent option to consider. This platform offers beginner-level videos, tutorials, and articles for learning code from scratch.
Their material covers several topics, including:
- Coding guides
- Graphic design and illustration
- Web design
- Business skills.
There are thousands of TutsPlus tutorials to teach you the basics and more advanced coding topics. Being project-based, these tutorials come with step-by-step guidelines for you to follow along.
You can subscribe to a paid plan for a big selection of courses, premium content and eBooks.
SitePoint’s blog has free articles about web development, web design, and content marketing.
This makes it to the list of best websites to learn coding primarily because of the quality of its content. Learning material is crafted by industry leaders and professional programmers. This guarantees you top-notch articles.
Besides, SitePoint offers more than 400 books and professional courses to those who subscribe to a premium plan. This would take you a step further and ease progress-tracking for every course and book from your activity dashboard.
An entirely free platform to learn code from beginner-level, SoloLearn is undoubtedly one of the best websites to learn coding. You can start by checking out their apps for Android and iOS.
If you intend to learn software development and back-end development, SoloLearn has courses on Python, Java, Ruby, C#, C++, and Swift.
SoloLearn has a Q&A discussion forum for you to benefit from any time things feel difficult. You can also use this forum to connect with students like you to get answers to your questions as you work your way through the course material.
- GA Dash
Here, courses are project-based. You can thus build small, practical web development projects as you walk through the tutorials.
With over 71 million projects created at Code.Org, this platform is an incredible choice for any beginner-level programmer. Actually, 40% of U.S. students have accounts on Code.org, proof enough that it’s among the best websites to learn coding.
Code.org aims at making programming part of the education system’s curriculum across all genders. With 20 million of the students here being women, the platform is clearly on track with its goals.
You can train from scratch or join the millions of people who use Code.org to further their programming skills.
Code.org gives its users the flexibility to work out a self-paced learning structure. For example, you can dive right into 1-hour tutorials or go for a more structured learning approach.
Courses are broken down by ages and range from K-5, 6 to 12, and even University level.
Learning to Code Is Easy
Seeing weird symbols race across the screen with music blares in the background, it’s easy to perceive coding as genius-level.
But truth be told – of course, not dismissing the work that brilliant programmers do – coding is pretty straightforward. Any skill can be simultaneously easy to learn basics, yet challenging to master.
Anyone can learn how to write, but only a few write well. So, there’s no contradiction in concluding that basic literacy is easy to get without dismissing the skilled segment’s efforts.
All the same, coding might feel hard to you when starting for several reasons:
- There are too many languages, tools, plugins, and libraries.
- Installing languages could be super frustrating.
- Some classes tend to be populated with many people who’d learned to program before.
The first moments of programming are the hardest. Setting up everything can be an annoying task. It often requires you to learn a new way to work with computers even before you write your first line of code.
With the tools above, though, everything is learnable and better yet, you’ll not be alone in the coding journey. Many of these best websites to learn coding have forums. Where you’ll find skilled individuals, who are willing to walk with you every step of the way. This makes it less frustrating than learning all this from a textbook with no one to help.
The take-away- don’t feel dumb anytime you get stuck. I still do despite having been writing code for years.