Top 5 Online Web Design Courses

Explore the top 5 web design courses for beginners that will help you get started in the field. From learning essential coding languages like HTML and CSS to honing your skills in UX design principles.

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In this article, we will introduce you to web design and online web design courses for beginners to help them get started.

Nowadays, a company’s website plays a pivotal role in shaping its reputation and attracting customers. It’s not just about having a visually appealing design; a website must be easy to use, feel trustworthy, represent the brand accordingly, and must create a positive interaction with its users.

Web designers are instrumental in achieving these goals.

They possess the expertise to create websites that not only captivate users with neat aesthetics but also prioritize functionality, intuitive navigation, and brand credibility.

With a well-designed website, businesses can effectively engage their target audience, drive traffic, and ultimately boost sales, making both customers and businesses happy. Don’t underestimate the power of good web design – it can make all the difference in the online success of any business. Hence, the need for skilled web designers to help businesses maximize their website’s potential.

So, would you like to become a web designer, but don’t really know where to start?

Continue reading to discover more about web design and recommended courses to start your journey.

What is Web Design?

Before showing you the best online web design courses available, let’s talk a little bit more about web design.

As described before, web design is the process of creating and designing websites.

It involves the visual layout, user interface, and overall aesthetic appeal of a website.

web design sample image from behance
Source: Suvo Chakraborty at Behance

Web designers use their skills in graphic design, coding, and user experience to create functional and visually appealing online platforms for businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Understanding Different Roles in Web Design and Web Development:

General web designers, UX designers, UI designers, and product designers are professionals who play distinct roles in the field of web design.

Here’s an overview of each role, their responsibilities, and their commonalities and differences:

  1. General Web Designers:

    General web designers specialize in designing and creating websites. They are responsible for the overall look, layout, and functionality of websites. They work with various design elements, including colors, typography, graphics, and user interface (UI) components. Their goal is to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites that effectively convey information and engage users.
  2. UX Designers (User Experience Designers):

    UX designers focus on enhancing the overall user experience of digital products, including websites and applications. They conduct user research, create user personas, and develop user journeys and wireframes. UX designers prioritize usability, accessibility, and user satisfaction. They aim to understand user needs and align design decisions with those needs to create intuitive and enjoyable experiences.
  3. UI Designers (User Interface Designers):

    UI designers are responsible for designing the visual elements and interactions of digital products. They work closely with UX designers to translate wireframes and user flows into visually appealing interfaces. UI designers focus on creating consistent styles, layouts, icons, and visual elements that align with the product’s brand identity and provide an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive user interface.
  4. Product Designers:

    Product designers have a broader scope, encompassing both UX and UI design aspects. They work on the entire product development process, from ideation to execution. Product designers collaborate with cross-functional teams to define product goals, conduct market research, create prototypes, and iteratively refine the user experience. They consider user needs, business objectives, and technical constraints to create well-rounded and successful products.
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Web development goes hand in hand with the design process.

Web developers are responsible for the technical implementation and coding of websites and web applications. They work closely with designers to bring the design concepts to life and ensure the functionality and performance of the digital products.

By using programming languages (such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) to build the structural and interactive elements of websites. They transform design mockups or wireframes into fully functional web pages. Web developers are knowledgeable about web standards, browser compatibility, and responsive design principles. They work closely with designers to ensure the design vision is accurately translated into code.

Commonalities Between Roles:
  • All these design roles aim to create engaging and user-centered digital experiences.
  • They involve an understanding of design principles, user psychology, and human-computer interaction.
  • Collaboration and communication skills are crucial for working with stakeholders, developers, and other team members.

Differences Between Roles:
  • General web designers mostly focus on designing websites, while UX, UI, and product designers work on broader digital products.
  • While designers focus on the visual and interactive aspects of a website or application, developers focus on the technical implementation and coding required to make it functional.
  • Designers are more concerned with the user experience, user flow, interactions and general aesthetics, while developers implement the design while prioritizing the functionality, performance, and responsiveness of the website or application.
  • UX designers main focus tends to be user research and creating seamless experiences, while UI designers mainly focus on visual elements and aesthetics. (There are many subdivisions to these roles, specially in bigger companies but it is not necessary to know at this time, unless UX or UI is what you wis to pursue)
  • Product designers take a holistic approach, considering the entire product lifecycle and business goals.

Overall, these roles share a common goal of creating intuitive, visually appealing, user-friendly digital experiences that fully functional that meet user needs and business objectives, but they vary in their specific focus and responsibilities within the design process.

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5 Best Web Design Courses

Our ranking is based on the following criteria:

  • Who is it for? – Must be tailored to beginners.
  • Length of time to complete – While this will depend on how quickly you can go through the lessons, you want to complete the course in as little time as possible so you can quickly get a job. 
  • Prerequisites – Most learners take these online courses with little to no experience. Will these courses have prerequisites to be able to enroll or purchase the class?
  • Certificates of completion – Certificates are always a welcome addition to your resume to highlight your skills.
  • Flexible Schedule – is it self-paced or full-time? If you’re juggling between learning and working, you’ll want to go for an online web design course that offers flexibility where you can learn at your own pace. 
  • Course syllabus – HTML, CSS, branding, color theory, JavaScript etc.
  • Extras – job hunting assistance, experienced mentors, real world practice, etc.

Jump to comparison chart here.

1. Treehouse Web Design Track 

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Treehouse offers tracks which are a series of courses put together to help you learn all the fundamentals of web design. While it does not touch upon JavaScript, it’s a course that’s mostly centered on HTML and CSS.

The track starts with an introduction to HTML and CSS and gradually builds up to cover more advanced topics like responsive web design, flexbox, layouts, and SVG basics. In the regular plan, you’ll test your knowledge through quizzes and interact with the other students through the platform’s forums

  • Price: $25 per month

Treehouse has 3 plans available: $25 for Courses, $49 for Courses Plus, and $199 monthly for the Techdegree plan.

  • Free Trial? Yes, for 7 days
  • Duration: 41 Hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Self-paced: Yes
  • Certificate of Completion: None. Only available for the Techdegree plan
  • Refund Policy: Treehouse does not offer refunds but you can choose to cancel your subscription anytime. 
  • Job Assistance: None
What you’ll learn:
  • Introduction to HTML and CSS
  • HTML and CSS Basics (layouts, selectors, forms, tables)
  • Web Design Process
  • Typography for Designers
  • Advanced CSS (Mobile-First Layout, Responsive Web Design, CSS Flexbox Layout)
  • Bootstrap Basics
  • Prototyping in the Browser
  • CSS Transitions and Transforms
  • Wireframing
  • SVG and Sass Basics
  • Touches up both the basics and advanced areas of HTML and CSS and sets up a solid foundation for web design.
  • Offers a 7-day free trial.
  • Certificates are only available for the Techdegree plan which is more expensive at $199 per month.
  • No refunds available.
  • Videos are not downloadable for the regular plan.
Who is it for?

The Treehouse track is ideal for beginners, and for those who are looking to go beyond the basics of HTML and CSS. If you are looking to learn more about those two topics, then this course is for you.

2. Udemy Web Design For Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS

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If the technical jargon is already overwhelming and intimidating you, Udemy’s Web Design course by Brad Schiff is the answer to that. The course is an 11-hour on-demand video where it covers 22 sections of web design basics. The sections are further divided into 71 short lectures. The step-by-step tutorial that you can learn at your own pace is perfect for those who don’t want to experience information overload. 

At the end of the course, you will have learned to build a website that is compatible with desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. 

  • Price: $119.99 one-time payment with lifetime access. Note: there are frequent sales and you’d be able to get this course for as low as $24.99
  • Free Trial? None
  • Duration: 10h 54m
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Self-paced: Yes
  • Certificate of Completion: Yes
  • Refund Policy: All Udemy courses are refundable provided that it is made within 30 days of purchase or you have not consumed an unreasonable amount of the course.
  • Job Assistance: None
What you’ll learn:
  • HTML and CSS Essentials
  • Adding Media to a Web Page
  • Text Basics
  • Semantics & Organization
  • CSS Typography/Using Custom Web Fonts
  • Sass
  • Responsive Website
  • Bootstrap
  • JavaScript
  • Live Website using Github Pages
  • Cross Browser Compatibility
  • Use of Github to push a website live allowing you to have a shareable link of what you’ve created.
  • One-time payment with lifetime access anytime to the course.
  • The course is short and simple and won’t cause any overwhelming information overload.
  • Only has one project to practice what you’ve learned. Users report that they would have loved more projects to reinforce their learnings.
  • The course is outdated. To date, only one update has been done in 2020 which is the use of GitHub to push a website live. It would be better if Brad redoes the whole course with updated resources.
  • The course goes by too quickly and is hard to follow along.
  • No chance to ask questions or interact with the tutor. 
Who is it for?

If you want something quick and easy or just want to see what the web design process is, then this course is for you. The lifetime access is also a plus if you dont’ want to keep paying a monthly recurring fee.

3. Codecademy: Build a Website with HTML, CSS, and GitHub Pages

learn web design with codeacademy

Codecademy is a fantastic resource for coders and web designers who want to learn how to build a website. The platform has several free courses for beginners and paid courses with certificates the intermediate courses. 

Their Build a Website course will teach students to read and write code, build their website from scratch, design and layout their website with their own style and finally, launch their own website. Projects include creating a fictional tea shop, an arts and crafts store, and Colmar Academy’s website.

The site has two plans which are more on the budget-friendly side, especially for the Plus Plan. If you’re not yet ready to shell out money, Codecademy also has a bunch of free courses for web design and development that are made up of 1-8 lessons per course.

  • Price: $13.99 per month for Plus Plan, $23.99 per month  for Pro Plan
  • Free Trial? Yes. You get a free trial period of 7 days for both Plus and Pro plans. 
  • Duration: 10 Weeks
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Self-paced: Yes
  • Certificate of Completion: Yes. Professional certification is also available for the Pro plan.
  • Refund Policy: Refunds aren’t available but you can cancel for free anytime or take advantage of the 7-day free trial period before fully committing to it.
  • Job Assistance: Job assistance is available for the Pro plan.
What you’ll learn: 
  • Beginner HTML & CSS
  • How to Build Websites
  • Intermediate CSS: Colors, Typography, Layout, and Positioning
  • Responsive Design and Accessibility
  • Advanced CSS: Flexbox and CSS Transitions
  • Publishing a Website
  • Capstone Project
  • It has real-world projects for building websites.
  • You get to practice on their mobile app.
  • Quizzes and personalized practice are available for both plans.
  • Completely self-directed. No mentors to guide you when you have questions or need more information.
  • No refund available
Who is it for?

Great for beginners in a smaller budget that want something a bit more in depth than a regular free course. Suited best for people who can work great without much guidance.

4. Webflow University: Ultimate Web Design Course

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Webflow is a website builder similar to WordPress. Their online learning platform, Webflow University offers a free course that quickly goes through all the things you need to know about web design. The course will also teach you how to build a website without code using Webflow.

At only 5 hours, the course is designed to give you a quick intro to web design. You’ll likely need to enroll in another course that is much more in-depth if you’re planning to have a career in web design since the course is catered to beginners looking to build their website within webflow.

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 5 Hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Self-paced: Yes
  • Certificate of Completion: None
What you’ll learn:
  • HTML and CSS Basics
  • Elements
  • Buttons & Links
  • Typography
  • Media
  • Social Media
  • Styling and Layout Basics
  • Flexbox and Grid
  • Advanced Layout
  • Styling Typography
  • CMS and Dynamic Content
  • 3D Styles
  • Effects
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Free
  • Quick and easy to follow
  • Teaches you how to build a website without code
  • The course is very short and basic. You’ll need to continue learning with another course from this list to get you the closest to a starter path.
Who is it for?

The course is designed for bloggers/freelancers or anyone who wants to build their website using Webflow. It is a great course since it helps you get started designing almost straight away, and helps you familiarise yourself with the building blocks that compose most websites. In other words, it will help you tune into the design without having to do so many technical steps before testing the waters.

5. Alison: HTML Fundamentals

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In this course, you’ll be learning the basics of HTML5 and CSS3 to build a website. It touches on adding text to websites, linking pages and adding HTML5 streaming videos to your sites. At the end of the course, you’ll need to complete a final assessment.

The whole course is free but if you want to get a certificate, you’ll have to pay for it. However, if you don’t mind not getting a certificate, the course is comprehensive enough to take, and best of all, it’s free.

Alison also has tons of other free courses related to web design.

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 3-4 Hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Self-paced: Yes
  • Certificate of Completion: You’ll have to pay for the certificate if you want to get a digital or physical copy.
  • Job Assistance: None
What you’ll learn:
  • Fundamentals and addings styles in HTML5.
  • Linking pages and controlling page layout.
  • Adding styles and HTML5 streaming videos to sites.
Who is it for? 

If you want a simple and easy-to-understand web design course, this short 4-hour course is great to teach you the basics.

Comparison Chart 📊

CoursePricePrerequisitesCertificate ofCompletionDuration
Treehouse: Web Design Track$25/MonthNoneOnly available for the Techdegree Plan41 Hours
Udemy Web Design For Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS$119.99 One-time paymentNoneYes10 Hours and 54 Minutes
Codecademy: Build a Website with HTML, CSS, and GitHub Pages$13.99/month for Plus Plan$23.99/month  for Pro PlanNoneYes10 Weeks
Webflow University: Ultimate Web Design CourseFreeNoneNone5 Hours
Alison: HTML5 and CSS3 FundamentalsFreeNoneNone4 Hours
Course comparison chart for web design courses 2023

If you’re still having trouble picking a course, here’s what we suggest:

  • Best for those who want to get lots of practice in building websites: Codecademy: Build a Website with HTML, CSS, and GitHub Pages
  • Best for those who want short lessons: Udemy’s Web Design for Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS
  • Best for those who want to quickly learn to create a website without learning code: Webflow University: Ultimate Web Design Course 
  • Best for those looking to learn all the fundamentals of web design: Treehouse: Web Design Track
  • Best for those who want to get a taste of web design: Alison: HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals

Runner-up Courses

Want some additional recommendations of online web design courses? Check the list below

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1) Brainstation: UX Design Course Online

The course will teach you to master UX tools, Figma and Invision. It will also teach you to conduct user research, develop prototypes, and develop user intuitive designs. Classes are live and led by expert instructors. The downside, however, is the price which is a one-time payment of $3,250 or $290/month but they do offer financing options.

Price: $3,250 one-time payment or $290 per month.

Duration: 5 to 10 days

2. W3Schools: Web Development Bootcamp

W3Schools is one of the biggest online platforms for web development. Its web development bootcamp is a full-time 6-month course that requires 6 hours of learning per week. Aside from the usual fundamentals of web development, you’ll learn React JS, Back End Development, and DevOps. You’ll have assignments to complete and at the end of the bootcamp, you’ll get both a certification and diploma. If it’s a diploma you’re after, then this course will sit right with you.

Price: $2,995 one-time payment or $595 per month

Duration: 6 Months

3. Design Lab – Design 101: Product & Web Design Course for Beginners

If you want to learn the “design” part of web design, Design Lab’s course is centered on all the creative aspects of web design. You’ll learn about graphic design, typography, imagery, wireframing, layout and composition, and design presentation. What’s great about is you get to spend time with a mentor and be given 16 hands-on projects to kickstart your portfolio. 

Price: $399

Duration: 4 Weeks

4. Flux Academy – The Webflow Masterclass

If you loved Webflow’s free course, then you might want to check out Flux Academy’s Webflow Masterclass. The masterclass is taught by Webflow experts, Ran Segall and Kabarze. The course’s topics include Webflow CMS basics, Animations and Interactions, Responsive Web Design, and Sliders and carousels. The course also offers access to a community and all students are entitled to free lifetime course updates. 

Price: $695 single payment  or $278 per month for 3 months

Duration: 12 Hours

5. Future Learn: Introduction to UX Design

Created in collaboration with Canva, Future Learn’s course offers a basic introduction to UX Design and how it can be an effective marketing tool for businesses. Key topics include design challenges, user research, information architecture, and usability testing. 

Price: Free to audit but with limited access, $129 one-time payment or $39.99 monthly payment

Duration: 4 Weeks 


What jobs can you get when you complete a web design course?

We recommend not to apply for web design related courses if you just completed one course, this will only cause discouragement and might disuade you from learning.

You’ll need to devote more time in order to build your skills further, given than most recommendations in this article are tailored to beginners, we would recommend to continue your learning journey with intermediate courses in order to build a portfolio of your work before applying for jobs.

Do I need certain qualifications to become a Web Designer?

As with most tech jobs, becoming a Web Designer does not require you to have a degree. Most employers instead value your portfolio which will demonstrate your skills and experiences. 

Does Web Design require Coding?

Yes. Specifically HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Are there free Web Design courses?

Yes, we mention a couple in our list, like Codeacademy and Webflow’s Univertisy. Although free courses are short and have limited features, it’s a great way to get short intros and learn the basics of web design.

What other tools or software do I need to learn if I want to become a Web Designer?

Invision and Figma are just two of the tools you’ll encounter when you start learning web design. Other tools you’ll want to check are Adobe Dreamweaver, WordPress, Wix, Google Web Designer, and Sketch. Other helpful tools are Photoshop, Illustrator, Trello, and Canva. 

You don’t have to learn all these but you’ll certainly come across these tools once you start mastering web design. 

Is a career in Web Design worth it?

Yes. A career in any tech-related field pays well, is constantly in high demand, and is recession-proof. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Web Developers and Designers will grow to about 23% from 2021 to 2031, and the average salary is about $50,000. 

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Interested in pursuing Data Analytics or UX design instead? check-out this article on Merit America.