Web Design Courses: The Best Training Options in 2020 (Free & Paid)

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Web design can be a tough field to break into.

There are so many skills to master, and technology keeps the industry ever-changing.

Because of that, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start with your education (and whether or not it’s even worth it).

Luckily, online learning has leveled the playing field — making education and professional development more accessible and affordable.

There are many online web design courses you can take to get started with a career as a designer.

In this article, you’ll learn why you should invest in web design courses, how to choose the best web design course, and give you the best courses on the market in 2020.

Why You Should Invest in Web Design Courses

Web design can be a tough skill set to master. There are so many different facets to the industry and so many skills to learn.

You can try your hand at teaching yourself, of course. But without guidance it’s a long and slow process.

The best way to make progress is to learn from the experts. 

Online web design courses aren’t just for beginners, either. Advanced courses enable even the most experienced designers to continue to invest in their education. There’s always more to learn, especially in an industry that’s constantly evolving.

The industry changes rapidly as new trends and new technologies come and go. Continuing to invest in courses will help you to stay ahead of the curve.

For instance, here’s the first version of Photoshop, back in 2009:

And here it is today:

If you want to succeed as a web designer, you have to stay current.

How to Choose the Best Web Design Course

There is an incredible number of front-end web design courses available today, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

This feeling is especially the case for beginners who aren’t yet familiar with many of the core design terms and principles.

When it comes to professional development, you want to ensure you aren’t wasting your time or money. Let’s talk about a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right web design course for you.

1. What do you want to learn?

This question is the most important to start with and will go a long way in helping you to narrow down your choice of website design courses.

For some people, they have a very particular skill they need a little more help with. If you fall into that camp, there will undoubtedly be niche courses to help you achieve that goal.

Other students may want a more comprehensive education to help them become a designer. In that case, you may want to look at some of the longer-term certifications that teach all aspects of design.

2. What is your budget?

Your budget is going to be one of the most important factors when choosing the right web design course. Courses range from free or incredibly low-cost to thousands of dollars.

If you’re just getting started, you can test the waters with a few free courses. These free courses will help you to learn the basics before deciding if you want to keep going.

Really consider how committed you are to becoming a web designer. If you know this is the career path for you, that’s great. Invest away. But if you’re just dabbling, start with more affordable courses and work your way up.

3. How much time do you have? 

The amount of time it takes to complete online web design courses will vary significantly from one class to the next. Some of the courses you’ll be able to tackle in an afternoon, while others could take months to a year or more.

The amount of time you’ll spend also varies depending on your goals. If you want to brush up on one particular skill, you might be able to accomplish that in just one quick video course. But if you want a comprehensive front-end web design education, it’s going to take a time commitment on your part.

4. What do reviewers say?

Many online learning platforms allow former course participants to rate courses and leave reviews. These reviews will be invaluable for you as you try to figure out which class to take.

As you read reviews, look first at the complaints people had about the courses. These complaints will tell you more than the praises do.

Look also for anyone sharing the results they achieved after taking the course. Did it help them to land a job? Did they master a skill they’ve been struggling with?

The Best Web Design Courses in 2020

Udemy

Udemy is an online education company with more than 150,000 courses currently available for sale. The site features classes to help professionals advance their careers in many different fields, including web design, graphic design, and front-end web development.

Some of Udemy’s most popular web design courses include:

  • WordPress Theme Development
  • Photoshop and Web Design
  • Web Design for Beginners
  • Landing Page Design
  • Coding in HTML CSS

Rather than offering a monthly membership as some other sites do, Udemy sells each course individually. Most of their popular web design courses cost between $12 and $15.

Coursera

Coursera is an online course platform that offers personal and professional and development classes to its customers. Coursera offers hundreds of free courses, and even more paid ones.

They even offer more long-term education such as specializations, professional certification programs, online degrees, and online Master’s degree programs.

Some of Coursera’s most popular web design classes are:

  • Basics of Web Design
  • UI Design / UX Design
  • Web Development
  • How to Create a Website
  • HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

Coursera’s classes start at a price of about $39 and take four to six weeks to complete. Their specializations and certifications start at $39 per month and take between four months and one year to complete.

edX

edX is an online learning platform and global nonprofit organization founded by Harvard and MIT. The mission of edX is to remove the barriers of cost, location, and access to education.

edX offers more than 2,400 courses on a variety of topics. Participating schools include MIT, Harvard, UC-Berkeley, Princeton, Stanford, and dozens more. In addition to individual classes, edX also offers Master degrees for a fraction of the cost of an on-campus program.

Some of edX’s most popular web design courses include:

  • Web Accessibility
  • Programming for the Web
  • HTML5 Apps and Games
  • IT Fundamentals for Business Professionals
  • Creative Coding

Many of edX’s courses are free, though there’s an additional cost for a web design certificate of completion. A professional certificate program starts around $500. Bachelor’s degree programs cost about $166 per credit.

Udacity

Udacity is a digital platform that allows learners to further their education. Rather than offering smaller courses, Udacity offers larger-scale courses they refer to as Nano Degrees.

Udacity has two courses tailored to web specialists. 

  • Front End Web Development
  • Full-Stack Web Developer

The courses take about four months to complete. You can pay in one lump-sum payment of $1,432, or you can pay per month, which comes out to $358 per month. You can also choose to pay monthly for the course, which will cost $399.

Alison

Alison is an online education platform geared toward beginner and intermediate professionals, including web designers and developers. Alison prides itself on being one of the largest free online learning platforms.

Some of Alison’s most popular web design classes include:

  • E-Commerce
  • Web Page Design Using HTML5 and CSS3
  • Web Development
  • Building an Online Business
  • JavaScript Application Programming

Alison is free to join, and plenty of the courses are free as well. Free courses might require a payment to receive the official certification. Some of the courses do require payment.

Ed2go

ed2go is an online personal and professional development site with more than 750 online courses, including web design and development. They offer more than 150 different certifications in 40+ different industry specialties.

Some of ed2go’s most popular web design courses include:

  • Creating WordPress Websites
  • Web Design Professional
  • Intermediate WordPress Websites
  • Designing Effective Websites

ed2go offers both fundamental beginner courses and advanced career training. The fundamental courses cost around $150, while the advanced training courses cost several thousand dollars.

Treehouse

Treehouse is an online learning platform specifically designed for those in the tech industry. It aims to diversify the industry by making education and apprenticeships more accessible. Treehouse places emphasis on helping women and people of color to enter the tech industry.

Treehouse offers a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses for those seeking a digital career. Some classes take less than an hour, while others are for several hours. The entire web design track takes about 43 hours to complete.

Some of Treehouse’s most popular web design courses include:

  • Introduction to HTML and CSS
  • Bootstrap 4 Basics
  • Web Design Process
  • SVG Basics
  • Typography for Designers

Treehouse offers a seven-day free trial. After that, you’ll pay a monthly fee of either $25, $49, or $199, depending on what you need from the company.

Lynda

Created in 1995, Lynda was one of the first online education platforms on the market. It offers more than 270 web design courses for beginner and intermediate web designers. As of 2015, Lynda is part of LinkedIn Learning.

Some of Lynda’s most popular web design courses include:

  • Visual Studio Code
  • UX for Web Forms
  • JavaScript for Web Designers
  • Learning Webflow
  • WordPress 5 Essential Training

Unlike many of the education platforms that sell courses individually, Lynda offers its courses through a monthly subscription for $29.99 per month.

Skillshare

Skillshare is an online community with thousands of courses available in creative industries. Skillshare is primarily for beginners and intermediate web designers. It’s an affordable way for new designers to get their foot in the door.

Some of Skillshare’s most popular web design classes include:

  • User Experience Design Essentials
  • HTML and CSS Basics
  • Response Web Design Essentials
  • Full Stack Web Development
  • Web Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC

Skillshare is a subscription-based service. You can pay for a monthly subscription at $15 per month or an annual subscription at $99 per year (which comes out to $8.25 per month).

Conclusion

There’s no denying that there’s a lot to learn in the field of web design. And thanks to changing trends and technologies, the need for learning never ends.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned web designer, online courses can help you to take your skills and career to the next level. Regardless of your budget, your learning goals, and the amount of time you have available, there’s a course out there for you.

If you’ve been procrastinating on signing up for your first web design course, choose one of the courses on this list and get started!

Posted by Jason Bayless