Web Design Certifications: Best Programs to Consider

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Online education has cracked open access to web design training, making it far easier to pursue a career in this field than ever before.

Thanks to greater affordability and remote access, aspiring web designers have their pick of the litter when it comes to online web design certificates.

From comprehensive university diplomas through to free, half-hour courses, there’s a program to fit everyone’s style.

However, with so many web design training programs to choose from, how do you know which course is right for you?

Here’s your 2020 guide to understanding which web design certificate is for you, including our top picks of online courses available right now.

If you’re only here for our list of the best web design certification programs, click here to head straight there.

Why Consider a Web Design Certificate?

Before taking a web design certificate course, you need to understand your professional goals. as well as your criteria for choosing a course.

Consider the following questions: 

  • What are you trying to learn and why?
  • How much time are you willing to devote to attaining the certificate?
  • What is your budget?

Answering these questions will help you choose the right course and inform your decision making while reading this guide.

What Can You Do with a Web Design Certificate?

Thinking about a career in web design and development? Market projections suggest that the web development sector will increase by 27% through 2024.

For better access to this widening market, it’s a good idea to get a web design certificate, not only to increase your ability, but also to increase credibility with prospective clients and validate your capabilities.

While people often mistakenly think that on-campus certifications hold more weight, 35% of employers consider online courses to be as good or equal to those offered on campus.

And in 21% of cases, employers think that online courses are superior to those offered on-site.

So it goes without saying that a web design certificate from a reputable online education center is an asset when looking for employment in web design.

Besides becoming more appealing to clients, taking a web design course also enables you to command higher rates for your services and experience.

This isn’t simply because you hold a certification. By taking an online web design course, you’ll improve your skill set and broaden your range of job prospects.

For those interested in expanding career options, a web design certificate opens doors to a range of professional opportunities, including roles such as:

  • Multimedia specialist
  • SEO specialist
  • UX designer
  • UX researcher
  • Web content manager
  • Web designer
  • Web developer

Not looking to advance your career? 21% of online college graduates take certifications simply for the pleasure of learning!

How Much Does a Web Design Certificate Cost?

University web design courses tend to be the priciest, costing between $4,000 and $10,000.

For aspiring web designers on a budget, try online learning platforms (like Udemy) and online tech schools (like General Assembly). Here, web design certificates are priced between $12 and $1,500.

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What about learning web design for free?

Keep reading for the top free online web design certificates.

Always remember to factor in extra costs. The number one challenge for online learning graduates is a failure to budget the actual costs of the things associated with the course: books, internet cafe time, stationery, additional software, etc.

How Long Does a Web Design Certificate Take to Complete?

College courses take the longest to complete, ranging from a couple of semesters to 2-3 years.

Comprehensive online courses offered by online tech schools range between 300 and 1800 hours. There are also some short web design courses online which only take a couple of hours.

If you need a flexible schedule, many online learning platforms offer self-paced web design courses.

Are Web Design Certificates Worth the Money and Time?

From responsive design to javascript and jquery, online web design programs equip you with the skills to enter a career in web development.

With a web design certificate in your pocket, new professional opportunities open up to you — like much-coveted graduate training schemes and summer internships at prestigious tech companies like Squarespace and 24/7 TEACH.

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For web developers already in action, enhancing your skills with a web design program can result in a promotion. Where web developers make an average of $48,000 a year, senior web developers make $65,000.

Even if you’re looking to simply up your freelance rates or ask for a pay rise, an online certificate can validate and extend your knowledge.

A specialized web design certificate is especially valuable if you are considering learning particular skills, such as mobile web design or motion graphics.

However, not every web design course is built the same. There are a lot of bad ones out there which would be a waste of your time and money.

And on that note, let’s take a look at the best online web design certificate programs.

Best Online Web Design Certificate Programs

College Web Design Courses

Web Design Certification #1: Riverland Community College’s Online Web Developer Diploma

How long? 2 years

Cost? $9776.00

Riverland’s diploma teaches participants to design websites and games from scratch. The program runs from the basics through visual design, CSS and HTML coding, social media marketing, mobile app development, and more.

If you’re looking to start an independent web design business, this course has a client-facing approach. Riverland dedicates itself to focus students on how to deal with web design clients in the real world.

Web Design Certification #2: UMassOnline’s Certificate in Web Design

How long? 3 semesters

Cost? $6660.00

One of the most well-known online web design certificates, UMass students can choose to focus on web design or web development.

Within your chosen program, the lessons steer students thoroughly through computing, management, visual design, communications, programming languages and more.

This graduate certificate is ideal for those looking to pursue a degree. Credits earned on this course count toward the institution’s Computer Science bachelor’s degree program.

Web Design Certification #3: Champlain College’s Web Design Certificate

How long? Self-paced

Cost? $4770.00

This comprehensive online certificate covers all elements of design, usability, and content.

Students will learn website design, web page development, digital image design, web writing, and more.

A very well-rounded graduate certificate, it’s a great choice for those looking to learn web development tools and programming languages. Students learn to master Adobe Photoshop, Mockups 3, HTML, and CSS.

Web Design Certification #4: University of London’s Responsive Web Design Certificate – Coursera

How long? 18 hours

Cost? Free

A short course, this responsive web design program focuses on designing and realizing code. From there, students learn to add images to websites and to build gallery apps.

One of London’s top universities, this free course is a hidden gem for a speedy start on web design. Course graduates can move on to more advanced University of London courses following this program.

Learning Platform Web Design Courses

Web Design Certification #5: General Assembly HTML, CSS, Web Design Circuit

How long? 6 weeks

Cost? $1250.00

A dedicated tech learning platform, this web design circuit delivers multimedia coursework in visual design, responsive design, programming, HTML and CSS coding. All students are paired with a 1:1 mentor to challenge and encourage them throughout their learning journey.

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For those who need the flexibility to study part-time, without losing the stimulation of a fast-paced environment, this challenging and comprehensive course is ideal.

Web Design Certification #6: freeCodeCamp Responsive Web Design Certificate

How long? 300 hours

Cost? Free

freeCodeCamp’s responsive web design certificate is probably one of the best on the market.

The course hones in on three key elements: Basic HTML and HTML5, CSS, Applied Accessibility, and Applied Visual Design.

If you’re interested in inserting your web design training into a complete coding certification, these 300 hours are part of a Full Stack 1800 hour course.

Web Design Certification #7: Udemy’s Total Frontend Website Creation Course

How long? Self-paced – 8.5 hours of video and 43 articles

Cost? $25.00

An accessible tour around basic web frontend website development, this course teaches participants to build all the elements of a simple website.

This program walks students through HTML and structure, CSS and styling, Javascript, jQuery, and quick coding.

If you need takeaway resources and content, this course has brilliant multimedia coursework and lectures.

Mobile Web Design Courses

Web Design Certification #8: Hubspot’s ‘Building Your First Web App’ Course

How long? Just over an hour

Cost? Free

This design certificate teaches students to build and style a basic app and its user interface. The program also runs through API integrations, database management, and app maintenance.

If you’re a beginner looking for a quick course that doesn’t cost a dime, this program is surprisingly high quality — by five different expert teachers!

Web Design Certification #9: Google’s ‘Mobile Web Specialist’ Certification

How long? Self-paced – 3 exam attempts

Cost? $149.00

Considerably more complex, this course teaches students basic mobile website layout and user interface styling to begin with, before moving on to front-end networking, performance optimization and caching, testing and debugging, ES2015 concepts and syntax, and more.

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For those looking to leverage the reputation of their educational establishment, Google’s name is impressive to potential clients.


Considering learning web development and pondering the best web design certificate? Is a web design degree worth it?

In short, a web design certificate is a great choice if you’re looking to…

  • Expand your web design skills
  • Learn a specialist competence
  • Charge higher rates
  • Gain better access to web design career opportunities

Choosing the right web design program for you can be tricky, however. Luckily there is a wealth of online web design certificates to suit everyone.

To find the web design course for you, simply consider what you want to learn and why, how long you have, and how much you can spend.

Posted by Jason Bayless