Best way to learn about web development (courses)?

Hi there,

I have been designing websites for over 20 years now, but my web development skills are a bit behind. I know some basic PHP stuff and DB stuff, but would like to learn more about the technical side and also possibly learn a programming language, ideally for web.

I am wondering if anyone could recommend ways to learn all this stuff and the best place to start. I also wondered if there are any courses/tuition that would help? If so, what kind of course should I look for to start with?

Any suggestions would be great, thanks!

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W3schools is a useful resource.
The problem with books is that they get out of date quickly and the problem with online tutorials is that there are a lot of bad practices propagated.

In my opinion the natural progression of a web designer would be learning front-end development. Most salary backed, full-time employment opportunities for front-end / ux dev is going to require proficiency in one or more front-end frameworks. Nearly all enterprise companies will be using one or more of the following frameworks for front-end development: Angular, React, Vue. Front-end positions will also require fundamental knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more than likely Typescript. All those positions will require knowledge of version control like git and probably a css pre-processor like sass. Sitepoint has a lot of books on all these topics. You can get an idea of the skills employers expect a front-end developers to have by searching job sites. I would recommend beginning with fundamental HTML, CSS. After begin learning javaScript. Once you have a grasp of JavaScript and programming in general learn a front-end framework. Back-end development is an other topic but most companies are using Restful APIs built with Java, C#, Python, and Node rather than PHP. Most PHP jobs out there are for maintaining monolithic content management platforms and web sites built with legacy, antiquated PHP frameworks.

Thanks for the reply.

HTML and CSS is ok with me and some SASS. However, my JS isn’t great. Should I learn JS before Typescript?


Yes. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, so you will need to have a reasonable knowledge of JavaScript before even touching TypeScript.

But honestly, why do you want to learn TypeScript? Does it solve the kind of problems you are experiencing?

It’s a gargantuan task to “learn web development”, so I would approach this in a much more defined and structured way.

What exactly are you trying to accomplish? For example:

  • Are you a freelancer who wants to round out the skillset you offer your clients?
  • Or are you looking to become employed as a dev (if so, frontend or backend?)
  • Or are you wanting to make a career change within the industry?
  • Or are you a hobby dev that does some web design work on the side?
  • Or something else?

If you tell us a little more about your goals and what you are looking to achieve, we’ll be able to give you some much more useful advice than “learn JavaScript”.


JavaScript is the back bone of all web development that overlaps with many sub specialities. Beginning with JavaScript is good first step to increase your marketability and career opportunities. JavaScript is used everywhere from the front-end to devops within modern stacks. Not to mention you can’t learn JavaScript properly without understanding some fundamental programming concepts applicable to most languages used for back-end and middleware development.

If you like taking online courses, here are several to examine: (books)

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Thanks for the reply.

Frontend Masters looks great. Have you or anyone else here used it and what are your thoughts on this website?

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Udemy has some good courses, but sometimes it’s not cheap, and you have to find a good course in the subject as there are some lousy ones on there as well.

Remember that SitePoint also has courses:


A lot of the books/courses at sitepoint are a little old. Do you think they will get updated?

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Some of them are certainly updated. There was a new edition of “CSS Mastery” out recently. For others, I think it might be a case of newer material being introduced.

@mrlagmer should be able to tell you more than I can.

2 Likes has huge potential for scaling video courses in development or programming by adding new series. They already have relevant and huge traffic.

Hi there, thanks for your feedback. As @TechnoBear noted, we do try to keep our content up to date; in the last few months we’ve released brand new editions of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, CSS Master, and Jump Start Vue.js, with a new edition of PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja just about to be released, too.

With video courses we’re probably more likely to release content that supercedes the older courses; the direction that we’re moving on Premium is to incorporate text, video and other content in one “course” rather than just having hours-long video courses. That requires quite a lot of work but we should have some cool stuff to show you in the coming months.


That sounds great, thanks!

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There is a lot of free content on YouTube for newbies today.

The problem with YouTube is that anybody can declare themselves an expert and post videos. Before trying to learn from there, check that the source is reputable and the video up-to-date, or you may end up having to unlearn bad habits and techniques.

I’m not saying don’t use it, merely urging caution.


Any information should always be analyzed and checked.

This, exactly is the problem. Whom do you choose? These days, more and more people make youtube videos to grow their channels and monetize, and anyone can sound like an expert on camera, and If you are new to the subject… It’s a potential land mine.


Thanks for sharing the amazing tips. I am also wanted to become a professional web developer. I wanted to learn the courses and wanted to improve my site and I will follow all the tips.