Startup Resources
March 5, 2014 by Julia Camenisch

Maybe you’re looking to build a website for the business you’re bootstrapping from the ground up. Maybe you’d like to enter the world of web development and are looking for an introduction to coding. Or maybe you’re just trying to stay a step ahead (or behind) your hacker kid.

Whatever the case, we’ve got the resources to help you get started. Here’s a list of the 10 best web development tutorials for beginners.

1. Codecademy

It’s almost like a university course, only you control when and where class happens. Codecademy’s beginning web development course walks you through the basics of HTML and CSS, giving you projects throughout to practice newly learned skills. And once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it’s easy to launch into a new course on a more specialized skill, such as PHP, JavaScript or Python.

2. HTML Dog’s Beginning HTML Guide

This set of tutorials is much less flashy than Codecademy, but just as useful. HTML Dog provides a straightforward, easy-to-follow group of tutorials covering HTML fundamentals. If you’re interested in learning CSS or JavaScript, they’ve got beginner’s guides for those as well.

3. Ruby on Rails Tutorial

One of the most popular web development frameworks, Ruby on Rails—based on the Ruby language—powers Basecamp, Twitter and GitHub, just to name a few. If you’re interested in building your own awesome web app, check out this free Ruby on Rails tutorial book by Michael Hartl. Covering more than just Rails, you’ll also learn the ins and out of web application development.

4. Mozilla Developer Network

From the folks behind the Firefox browser comes this helpful list of web development tutorials. Focused on HTML, CSS and JavaScript, tutorials run the gamut of beginner to advanced.

5. PHP 101 for the Absolute Beginner

This popular scripting language is not just one of those fleeting web development trends (Flash, anyone?); it’s here to stay, and has long been used for server-side programming on a large number of websites. If you’ve been itching to learn it, start here with Zend’s free tutorials. They’re easy to understand and will have you writing code in no time.

6. GitHub for Beginners

GitHub is the de facto collaboration tool for many software development projects. If you want to work in web development, familiarity with GitHub is a must. This tutorial is a great way to learn the ins, outs and terminology that make the networking site tick. And like the title says, this tutorial truly is for beginners—no prior programming experience is required.

7. Non-Programmer’s Tutorial to Python 3

One of the top 8 programming languages, Python is often used as a scripting language for web apps. This tutorial will help you master the basics of Python, but more importantly, you’ll master the fundamentals of programming in the process.

8. 30 Days to Learn jQuery

jQuery is an open-source JavaScript library, designed to simplify the job of client-side scripting. If you’re looking to use it in web development, check out this tutorial—30 days worth of 10- to 15-minute lessons from Tuts+ will get you started on the road to being a jQuery ninja.

9. A Roadmap for Beginning to Code

As author Jimmy Li states in his intro, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Well, with this big-picture tutorial on beginning web development, you’ll quickly learn what you need to know and how to get there. It’s a great read before jumping into anything else.

10. Coding Pitfalls for Beginners

Read this last tutorial after you’ve spent time learning your chosen web development frameworks. Also from the Tuts+ team, this article outlines some of the common mistakes made by beginning programmers. With specific insight into Ruby, JavaScript and PHP issues with some language-neutral insights thrown in, it’s definitely worth a read.

Have you done any other good web development tutorials? Add them to the list by submitting a comment below! Rather leave it to the experts? Check out oDesk’s listings of web development freelancers.

Julia Camenisch

Contributing Author

Julia Camenisch is a freelance technology and business journalist. She also works as an editor and copywriter for a wide range of clients, including national magazines, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Julia brings to Upwork a passion for empowering small businesses through the innovative use of technology.

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  • Laverne Henry is a very good free website builder for beginners.

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  • Elisha Joe

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