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20 of the best online coding courses

Online coding courses: Woman's face overlaid by lines of code
Follow these online coding courses and boost your earning potential. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay (Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Online coding courses are essential, whether you want to get started as a coder, or develop your existing skillset. But there are hundreds to choose from, and they range in quality quite dramatically. So to save you from wasting your time, we've brought together the best coding courses in one post.

This list includes both free and paid-for courses, and covers a variety of coding topics, from CSS animation to parallax scrolling to website layout, aimed at everyone from complete novies to veteran coders. But while these coding courses may each take different approaches and cover different ground, they all contain reliable and trustworthy lessons from experienced coders.

To get the most out of your coding experience, make sure you've got one of the best monitors for programming, too.

01. Coursera

Online coding courses: Coursera homepage featuring young woman at work

Coursera partners with universities to craft coding courses with true academic rigour (Image credit: Coursera)
  • Price: From free

Coursera is possibly the most academically thorough service when it comes to online coding courses. It was founded by Stanford professors, who work with universities and other organisations to offer online courses, specialisations, and degrees in a variety of subjects. When it comes to coding, there are a number of free courses, although you’ll generally have to pay to receive a certificate. 

Coding courses range from those at beginner level, such as Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding by University of Michigan, to more advanced fare such as IBM’s course in Applied AI with Deep Learning, so you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for here.

02. Pluralsight

Online coding courses: Code School homepage

The coding courses from Pluralsight offer quality content and a great student experience
  • Price: From $29/£24 per month/free 10-day trial

No discussion of online coding courses would be complete without a mention of Pluralsight. Following an acquisition spree, it now offers the world's biggest online training library.

Of all the tools we dug into, Pluralsight's was one of the best. Not only does the site look great, but it offers quality content and a great student experience. You can follow a 'path', which will guide you through a succession of different courses, or you can opt for a single course on its own. 

The videos are quirky and fun in an after-school special kind of way, and offer a refreshing break from typically dry video tutorials. It's like watching Bill Nye explain things, which is to say, comforting. After viewing a video, you work on your own tasks – relating back to the video if required. If you get really stuck you can 'buy' answers with points you've earned from other classes. 

Subscriptions start at $29/£24 per month, but there's also a 10-day free trial, and in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Pluralsight has also made all of its courses free for the whole of April 2020. 

03. Free CodeCamp

Online coding courses: Screengrab from Free Code Camp homepage

These coding courses are open source and geared towards getting beginners industry ready (Image credit: Free Code Camp)
  • Price: Free

Free Code Camp is a non-profit, interactive learning platform that aims to make coding courses accessible to anyone with a web connection. Since 2014, it’s claimed more than 40,000 graduates have gotten jobs at tech companies. Learning is based on an integrated code editor, and you can save your work as you go. 

The focus here is on the basics, with certificated, 300-hour courses on responsive web design, JavaScript algorithms and data structures, front end libraries, data visualisation, and APIs and microservices. There’s also a useful set of challenges to prep you for a coding job interview. 

04. General Assembly

Best online coding courses: list of workshops

General Assembly' workshops are live, which may help motivate you to learn (Image credit: General Assembly)
  • Price: From free

Looking for live coding workshops? General Assembly organises livestreams, some free but mostly paid for, ranging from 'Intro to coding' to 'Python Programming Crash Course'. To access them, you need to buy an e-ticket on Eventbrite and then tune into the livestream when it happens. For those who lack the motivation to learn at their own pace, this offers a good way to 'force' yourself to learn, because if you miss a session, you miss it.

05. Envato Tuts+

Online coding course: Tuts+ homepage

If you want to keep growing your skills, Tuts+ is a great choice for coding courses
  • Price: From free

With online coding courses at Envato Tuts+, you can learn about a number of aspects of design, from coding and web design to 3D and illustration. Users can select from courses (video-based lessons), tutorials (write-ups about different topics) or ebooks (including the ever-popular A Book Apart series), to suit their particular learning style. Envato Tuts+'s monthly subscription gives you access to all these learning materials, plus design resource library Envato Elements.

06. Skillshare

Online coding courses: Web page detailing 8 of Skillshare's courses

Skillshare offers over 25,000 classes (Image credit: Skillshare)
  • Price: Plenty of free classes; Premium access from £7/mo (7-day free trial)

Skillshare is a subscription-based service that offers thousands of online coding courses taught by industry professionals. And these aren't just any professionals either – at time of writing there were courses by Rachel Andrew, Christian Heilmann, and Jenn Lukas on there, so you're getting world-class knowledge here. Courses come complete with material that's been created by the instructors, and there are projects for you to apply your skills. There's also an iOS or Android app that enables you to steam courses on the go, for more flexible learning.

07. Skillcrush

Online coding courses: Skillcrush homepage featuring young woman in hip office

Skillcrush's coding courses closely resemble learning in the classroom
  • Price: From $549 (course-dependent); Free 10-day coding bootcamp

Skillcrush is the option here that most closely resembles an actual curriculum in a classroom setting. Users enroll in their chosen three-month 'blueprint' – a bundle of three courses that build on each other. 

Skillcrush has expanded its offerings and there are now eight blueprints to choose from, including frontend development, visual design, web development, and UX (the newest course). Alternatively, you can embark on a nine-month bumper programme dedicated to helping you break into tech.

Once enrolled, students have access to not only a classroom setting chat forum with their fellow students, but also to office hours and one-on-one time with their instructor. Skillcrush is currently also offering a free 10-day coding bootcamp.

08. Udacity

Online coding courses: Udacity homepage

Udacity covers a huge array of technical subjects
  • Price: Large selection of free coding courses; nanodegrees from around $399/£299 per month

Udacity offers robust guides to many different topics, with big selection of free courses. Alternatively, it has a range of 'nanodegrees', which cover in-demand skills. Current courses on offer include Design Sprint Foundations and VR Developer. Prices and lengths of course vary dramatically, but at time of writing, Udacity is offering a 'Quarantine Special' free-access period of 30 days.

All Udacity's coding courses are summarised before you begin, outlining the difficulty level, why the course is important, any prerequisites for taking it, and the project you will complete at the end. This means you can easily scan through and choose the one that suits you best.

09. Code Avengers

Online coding courses: Graphics showing the three types of Code Avengers membership types

Code Avengers takes a simple step-by-step approach to coding courses
  • Price: From $20/mo on 1-year plan (free 30-day trial)

Code Avengers offers online coding courses teaching you how to code or build websites, games and apps. There are lessons for total beginners, or if you have a little prior knowledge, you can start at a higher level. There's also a dedicated Junior programme, dedicated to teaching under-16s basic programming and computer literacy skills, via gamified courses. There are activities for users as young as five!

Code Avengers walks you through each process with very simple, step-by-step instructions, starting with minor tasks, while you watch what happens in a mini phone simulator next to your editor. The team has managed a good balance of difficulty: not so tricky you have to cheat, but not so simple you're just copy-pasting.

The site also has the best design we've seen, with illustrations and animations leading you to what you need. Code Avengers is currently offering a 30-day free trial that gives you access to 10 lessons of its premium courses

10. Khan Academy

Online coding courses: Khan Academy homepage featuring cartoon mountains in background

Khan Academy's coding courses aree very straightforward and include quizzes
  • Price: Free

Khan Academy is a free online school that's not just focused on coding courses; there are a wide range of other courses on offer, from economics to arts and humanities. Under the Computing section, though, you'll find lessons on computer programming, computer science, coding and animation, all of which are broken up into specific sub-sections.

What's interesting with Khan Academy is that you hear someone talking while they write the code, which feels natural, like you're sitting down with someone. The courses are straightforward, easy to follow and you can then transfer the concepts to the simple exercises. Sometimes, there are mini-quizzes following a demo, which help you think about things conceptually and understand what the code is doing a little better.

11. Hack Design

Online coding courses: Hack Design homepage

Hack Design is a great source of aggregated content
  • Price: Free

The 'coding courses' on Hack Design are basically collections of aggregated content, whether that's blogs, books, games, tutorials or videos, from around the web. There isn't anything to 'complete' by way of tasks, but if you're after some resource recommendations to help you learn more about a specific part of design, this is a good place to turn.

There are also tool lists with recommendations from people who use them. This is an excellent catalogue of design resources for all levels. It offers great introductory content for beginners and more advanced techniques for those who do this full-time.

12. Udemy

Online coding courses: Udemy homepage featuring smiling man with a river valley background

Udemy has a huge catalogue of coding courses and topics
  • Price: From free

Udemy is an expansive catalogue, filled with thousands of other topics besides web and technology, with prices ranging from free to hundreds of dollars. We would venture to say you could find just about anything you wanted to learn about on here. On the downside, the vast number of courses available (over 80,000 at time of writing) does make it tricky to dig out the good stuff. 

13. Treehouse 

Online coding courses: Treehouse homepage

Treehouse is, hands down, one of the best learning environments around for coding courses
  • Price: From $25 / £20 per month (free 7-day trial)

Treehouse has one of the most comprehensive libraries of educational materials on this list, while also being one of the most relevant. Not only does it offer a large variety of coding courses, but it also includes 'workspaces' you can use to try out new projects in your own time, as well as a library with videos of talks from industry professionals. It offers an iPad app to continue your learning, too.

The structure is simple: learn from the video courses (which are regularly refreshed to reflect industry changes), practice your new skills though quizzes and challenges, and earn badges to reflect the skills you've already mastered.

14. Codeacademy 

Online coding courses: Code Academy homepage featuring photo of smiling man and woman

Codeacademy is easy to use and there's a free version (Image credit: Code Academy)
  • Price: Free/Pro account from $19.99/£15.99 per month

Codecademy is a free to use source of coding courses that's easy to set up. Straight away you can create 'goals' for yourself and find the skills you want to learn. These could range from applicable things like creating a portfolio site to silly, fun things like animating your name or building a CSS galaxy. There's also a paid Pro version on offer. For a monthly fee you'll get access to exclusive quizzes, projects, and customised learning paths. 

15. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning homepage

LinkedIn Learning was once the popular (Image credit: LinkedIn Learning)
  • Price: From $19.99/£14.99 per month on 1-year plan (free one-month trial)

LinkedIn Learning is what used to be known as, and it's one of the more popular video tutorial sites. It offers an abundance of content that's constantly added to with new and up-to-date technologies and software. This is a trusted resource that many turn to when they're after a tutorial to pick up a new skill, and includes many good coding courses.

16. Mijingo

Online coding courses: Mijingo homepage featuring hands typing on a laptop keyboard

Mijingo is aimed at web professionals
  • Price: Free

Mijingo is an online learning resource that features step-by-step video tutorials for both web design and development. These online coding courses aren't for beginners: they're aimed at helping web professionals get up to date with the latest developments. 

Current courses focus on topics such as ExpressionEngine and Twig. Alternatively you can pick a 'lesson' – these cover small, specific elements of broader topics. Stream the videos or download them to any device to watch at your leisure. The courses are cohesive and thorough, and some offer transcripts, starter files and additional resources.

17. Sitepoint

Online coding courses: Sitepoint homepage

Sitepoint offers a range of books to supplement its online coding courses (Image credit: Sitepoint)
  • Price: From $9 per month

Sitepoint offers a range of 'paths' to teach you particular coding skills. These lay out a clear journey through a specific subject, such as HTML and CSS, Angular 2, or full-stack JavaScript. You follow these online coding courses at your own pace to complete your goals. It also offers a range of books, courses and screencasts to supplement your learning.

18. StackSkills

Online coding courses: Stackskills homepage featuring photo of young woman using phone

Stackskills offers coding courses on JavaScript, Python and more (Image credit: Stackskills)
  • Price: From free

StackSkills is an online learning centre built to serve the StackCommerce community. It offers coding courses in a huge variety of subjects, including advanced JavaScript, Python, digital marketing and web development, all with the aim of developing a publisher's ecommerce potential. They range from free to a few hundred dollars, so no matter what your experience level or budget, it's certainly worth having a look.

19. Code A Cake

Robots baking a cake

BT has found a fun way to teach kids to code (Image credit: BT)
  • Price: Free

Got kids between the ages of six and 11, and want them to learn code? BT has found a way of teaching online coding in a way that looks kinda fun. At Code A Cake, a colourful website created by AnalogFolk, you create a robot-staffed bakery in order to bake a cake, using the art of coding. Yes, it sounds kind of strange, but it's a clever way to get your kids to pick up some basic coding skills, and some parents may learn a thing or two along the way as well.

20. EDX

Woman using smartphone

Take coding courses from some of the world's top universities (Image credit: EDX)
  • Price: From free

EDX brings together coding courses from top universities such as MIT, Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, and Harvard, as well as A-list companies like IBM, Microsoft, W3C and Linux, for you to learn online. There are a number of free coding courses to get you started and help you choose your path for future learning, although you'll need to pay to get a validated certificate upon completion.

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