September 13, 2020
An explanation of my favorited resources to learn website development
My links listed here and on my resources page are mainly for aspiring website developers, but any developer or someone wanting to learn more about coding may appreciate these links. These are all sites I have used and loved personally.
There’s a lot of tools, apps, and websites out there that may be better. These are the ones that have impacted me, or I continue to use them. Also, when I say website developer, I mainly mean the usual frontend or WordPress types. You only need to look at job boards to see “web developer” can mean different things to people, so I want to clarify here.
If you want to become a website developer (or are one already), Pluralsight is fantastic. If you remember the website courses from Code School, most of those courses moved to Pluralsight. Just try to go to codeschool.com; it’ll redirect you to a Pluralsight landing page. Code School’s material is partly why I recommend Pluralsight. Code School taught me so much that anywhere it goes, I recommend developers follow.But Plural Sight has plenty more to offer as a valuable resource of learning all things tech. They offer courses beyond website development: they have IT security, data courses, and more.Sometimes when I join a new course website, I don’t know where to start. Plural Sight has assessments you can take to know the right courses according to your skill level.I am not affiliated with them. I requested to join the affiliate program but wasn’t approved (yet). I still recommend Plural Sight anyway since it is such a great place to learn programming skills.
If you know the basics of HTML and CSS but don’t know what to do next, Brad Hussey is a good next step. When I needed to learn basic WordPress theme development (and quickly) for an internship, I found his “WordPress Theme Development with Bootstrap” course. I code custom WordPress themes much differently now. But I am glad I took this course since its a good introduction to how things work. You’re not going to know everything about WordPress theme development by this end of this course, but you’ll have a lot more confidence with it. It’s a solid place to start without getting overwhelmed. Its where I started. Follow along with his course. The closer you follow along, the more you will get out of it. Brad is a great teacher: clear, enthusiastic, and encouraging. I haven’t taken much of Brad’s other courses, but knowing his teaching style, you can absolutely benefit from taking any of his classes. Some are free. Also, never pay the full price on Udemy. Wait for a sale or find a coupon code online.
Every coder has their favorite text editor. Sublime Text is mine. Here are my main reasons: it’s fast, easy to use, and versatile. I’ve used several code editors that are slow! Sublime Text has never given me that problem. It’s speedy, and if you don’t mind occasional popups, it’s free. It’s also effortless to use. I love how legible my code is, how easy it is to perform various tasks and keyboard tricks to speed things up. Plus, I can make it more useful by installing extensions. Speaking of which, I love its versatility. There are countless extensions to find with Package Control. There are classics like Emmett, Terminal, various linters, sidebar enhancements, and themes if you want to get fancy.
If you want to learn something, learn from the bests, right? So it makes sense to learn how to use one of the web’s most popular tools from the people who created it. Google knows user experience (usually), so the courses are easy to navigate, straight-forward, and gives you hands-on exercises to perform tasks yourself. Google offers other mini-courses for Firebase, Google Tag Manager, and other resources. When in doubt, ask Google.
I think web developers should get in the habit of staying in the loop of the tech world. Staying informed is a supplementary way to learn website development. CSS Trick’s newsletter is one way to do that. They offer a lot of different tutorials, the latest news, and, yes, tricks. Besides the blog and email newsletter, they have video tutorials and a few books they sell.
You need to be at least acquainted with Font Awesome. Font Awesome is the go-to source for vector icons on the web. I won’t say most icons you see online are from Font Awesome, but a heck ton of them are. What makes Font Awesome so great is that they made using their free icons so easy. Usually, it is as easy as an italic tag with the class of the icon you want to use. There are tricks to with the icons as well, and their guides are straight forward. You can download the files yourself or use their CDN. Now there’s a pro version to have access to even more icons. Typically, you only need social media and directional icons.
Codepen is a helpful tool to have around for website developers. With Codepen, you can store and experiment with code in the browser. There’s no having to set up locally. It’s a nice way to share or troubleshoot with others since you can send them the “pen” of your code. I’ve liked to save code snippets here that I will likely use again, such as my go-to carousels and responsive menus. It’s also a lot of fun to see other people’s creative pens, gather ideas, or even take some code to repurpose for your projects. Its a good resource to have in your bookmarks, especially when you are trying to learn website development.
Google Pagespeed Insights
Everyone who owns a website needs to use Google Pagespeed Insights. Not only is it likely to be more relevant in Google search algorithm in 2021, but it also gives you essential insights to your website’s performance. You really should not ignore this tool. It’s guiding me in my plans with this website (there’s gonna be some changes around here, friends) and gives you great actionable steps to improve your website’s loading time. Business owners and bloggers, take heed of Google Pagespeed Insights.
Everyone Should Learn Website Development (even a little bit)
These are some of my favorite website development websites, tools, and apps that I felt would be helpful to anyone wanting to learn more. I literally have hundreds of other websites, tools, and apps bookmarked, but these are more my beginner-level ones. They’d be more immediate help if that makes sense. Anyway, let me know if any of these help you!