Overall, in our view, the best provider of web design courses is Treehouse. That’s because they offer high-quality video training, as well as clever touches to keep you motivated and actually finish your course. And, perhaps most importantly, in a rapidly changing environment, their classes are always kept super up-to-date with the latest techniques and technologies.
Founded in 2011 by well-known web designer Ryan Carson, Treehouse offers more than 300 video-based training courses in web design, web development, mobile development and game development, from beginner to advanced levels. These are professionally shot, the quality of instruction is first-class, and everything is constantly updated to take newly emerging technologies into account (new content is released weekly).
While online training lets you learn at your own pace, that often makes it difficult to motivate yourself to finish the course. Treehouse, however, has found a clever way to square this particular circle.
That’s because after watching its videos, you then take interactive quizzes and challenges to test that you’ve understood it correctly. Once you complete these, you’re awarded badges, which get displayed on your profile.
These ‘rewards’ might sound a little cheesy, but they really do help spur you on to keep going (anyone who’s ever sat up all night playing a game trying to get to the next level, or binge-watching a Netflix show to reach the end of a season, will understand this instinctively). Also note that many companies now actively recruit new employees via Treehouse based on the number of badges they have.
You won’t need any special hardware or operating system (other than a Mac if you’re learning iOS), and you can even write code inside the Treehouse App using a feature called Workspaces. Subscriptions, which offer you access to all the training courses on the site, start at £20/month, and there’s a seven-day free trial if you want to check out the training first. Also note that there are special organisation rates for companies, non-profits, schools, organisations and businesses.
02. LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com)
Lynda.com could be described as the godfather (or perhaps godmother?) of training on the web. Founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman, it’s been running high quality courses in software, creative, and business skills for decades. And if anything its purchase by, and integration into, LinkedIn in 2015 has made it even more focused on helping you improve your career prospects.
For example, when you’re logged into LinkedIn, you’ll find training content that’s relevant to your needs will automatically surface. Plus when you learn new skills, the system makes it super-easy to highlight these on your LinkedIn profile.
There are currently more than 500 courses in web design and web development to choose from, largely focused on beginner to intermediate levels, and taking in everything from PHP and React to more nuanced topics like ‘Moodboards for web designers’. So unless you’re looking for something very niche or advanced, you’re likely to find the exact training you’re looking for.
However, you’ll have to do a bit of searching, as the courses are not particularly well categorised on the website. And there doesn’t seem to be the same concerted effort made by Treehouse to ensure students progress from course to course to slowly but surely build their skills; there’s more of a ‘pick and mix’ feel to this learning environment.