Learn How to Code for the Web

Every day, thousands of us take a leap into the Web development industry, while those who are established are constantly migrating to or learning new web technologies. The web is full of technical, in-depth tutorials, but a decent introductory training materials can be very difficult to find. In this post, we’ve scoured the Web for free teach-yourself web development materials covering a wide range of topics including HTML5, JavaScript, PHP and Ruby on Rails. Add something new to your list of skills without shelling out a fortune.

General Web Development


W3Schools is a  developer’s portal with tutorials and references relating to web development subjects, including HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, and SQL. The tutorials and references on the website are accompanied by great try-it-yourself examples.


Tizag was created to be a stepping-stone to the budding webmaster and a handy reference to the veteran developer. Each tutorial has been written to be easy-to-understand and the references covers in-depth attributes/tags/syntax of each language along with accompanying examples.

Google Code University

Google Code University is an initiative from Google and schools across the US to provide course content and tutorials on programming related topics. You can find great courses on desktop, web and mobile programming as well as courses on specialized topics like web security, distributed systems and Google APIs and Tools. All courses are accompanied by great examples and exercises.



HTML-5-Tutorial.com is geared to those who want to edit and write HTML code by hand. Knowing how the nuts and bolts of a webpage fit and work together gives you the means to utilize HTML5’s full potential.


HTML5Doctor has a growing list of categorized posts grouped in order to get you started with HTML5 or help you understand the specification and specific elements a little more. The blog posts are well written with ample of code samples.

Dive Into HTML5

Dive Into HTML5  is a free online version of Mark Pilgrim’s book “HTML5L: Up & Running”. It seeks to elaborate on a handpicked selection of features from the HTML5 specification and other fine Standards.

JavaScript & jQuery


Codecademy is an interactive command-line driven teach-yourself tool that makes learning to code easy, fun and addictive. JavaScript is currently the only web-based course available and is broken down into eight lessons that will teach you how to set variables, create alerts and work with strings. You will earn badges each time you complete a lesson and you can track and share your progress with your friends.

Eloquent JavaScript

Eloquent JavaScript
is a free online book providing an introduction to the JavaScript programming language and programming in general. It goes beyond the cut-and-paste scripts of the recipe books and teaches you to write code that’s elegant and effective. Apart from a bookful of text, it contains plenty of example programs, and an environment to try them out and play with them.

jQuery fundamentals

jQuery fundamentals is a free ebook that provides an overview of the jQuery JavaScript library. When you’re done with the book, you should be able to complete basic tasks using jQuery, and have a solid basis from which to continue your learning. This book was designed as material to be used in a classroom setting, but you may find it useful for individual study.


appendTo offers a couple of fundamental JavaScript and jQuery screencasts designed to help you learn at your own pace. Most of the screencasts are accompanied by exercises to test the skills you’ve just learned.

JavaScript Garden

JavaScript Garden is a growing collection of documentation about the most quirky parts of the JavaScript programming language. It gives advice to avoid common mistakes and subtle bugs, as well as performance issues and bad practices, that non-expert JavaScript programmers may encounter on their endeavors into the depths of the language.

jQuery Air

jQuery Air is a free web-course offered by code school. You’ll watch five videos, each followed by code challenges where you’ll learn to code jQuery and apply principles directly in the browser.

Mozilla Developers Network JavaScript Guide

Mozilla Developers Network JavaScript Guide is a comprehensive guide that explains everything you need to know about using JavaScript. It covers topics like variables, expression, operations, objects, methods and arrays.

JavaScript Essential

JavaScript Essential is a book available for free reading online. It is designed to provide a detailed and comprehensive, yet easy to follow, guide to developing powerful, dynamic web pages using JavaScript.


Zend’s PHP 101

PHP 101 is a 15-part tutorial series intended for everyone interested in learning about elementary PHP 4 or basic PHP 5. These tutorials are highly informative and entertaining at the same time.

Practical PHP Programming

Practical PHP Programming is a series of PHP tutorials with the goal of making the task of learning PHP something fun. It contains lots of information for newcomers as well as information on advanced functionality in PHP for veterans.

PHP 5 Power Programming

PHP 5 Power Programming is a free eBook (available in PDF) that will show you how to make the most of PHP 5’s industrial-strength enhancements in any project – no matter how large or complex. Whether you’re creating web applications, extensions, packages, or shell scripts – or migrating PHP 4 code – this book covers high-powered solutions you won’t find anywhere else.


phpacademy has a growing collection of over 300 video tutorials covering a wide range of PHP-related and other web development topics for both beginner and intermediate users. All the videos are on-demand and completely free.

Ruby on Rails


RailsforZombies is browser-based tutorial that will teach you the basics of web application development using Ruby on Rails. It consists of 5 video lessons broken down into different video chapters. You can watch the videos online or download them to watch offline – either on your desktop or iPhone/iPad. Each lesson is followed by exercise where you’ll be programming Rails in your browser.


RailsCasts offers screencasts (both free and paid) featuring tips and tricks with Ruby on Rails. The screencasts are short and focus on one technique so you can quickly move on to applying it to your own project. The topics target the intermediate Rails developer, but beginners and experts will get something out of it as well.

Four Days on Rails

Four Days on Rails is a free eBook that attempts to teach you the underlying coding that goes through developing a Rail application. After reading this 40-pages eBook, you will have a useful toolbox of Rails techniques and a good idea of where to look on the web for more information.

Ruby on Rails Tutorial book

The Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial book teach you how to develop and deploy real, industrial-strength web applications with Ruby on Rails. It covers a wide array of topics including installing and deploying Ruby on Rails, scaffolding, working with static pages and handling layouts, etc.