5 Websites That Will Teach You How to Code From Scratch (FREE & Paid)

coding websites for beginners

There are so many websites these days that can help you learn how to code, and it can become difficult to pick the best one to level up your skills.

How do you decide where to invest your time and money?

Being that I’m a self-learner, I took it upon myself to try out a lot of the popular online learning sites. Based on that, I’m going to share my thoughts on the best ones. I’ll compare the top contenders to help you determine the best fit for your learning goals and budget.

Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • What each platform offers
  • Key features
  • Pros and cons
  • Pricing models
  • My recommendations

irrespective of whether you are in the foundational stage or an experienced developer looking to learn more, This article will give you a detailed look at the best places to learn coding in 2024.

1. Coursera

The heavyweight Coursera is the first on the list.

Founded in 2012 by Stanford computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.

Today it has over 125 million learners and with good reason—Coursera partners with top universities and industry leaders to deliver premium education online.

What Does Coursera Offer?

The stats speak for themselves:

  • 12,000+ courses covering programming, data, cloud computing, and more
  • 960 Specializations to develop job-ready expertise
  • 100+ Professional Certificates to boost your resume
  • Content translated into multiple languages

You can choose to study analytics at Yale, Python from Google, or machine learning with IBM. Coursera connects you to world-class instructors at elite institutions. The breadth of quality courses here is unparalleled.


what makes Coursera stand out?

– Top Quality Education

Coursera prioritizes depth over breadth. While alternatives like Udemy boast more courses, Coursera focuses on university-level content from industry experts.

– Professional Instructors and Certificate Recognition

In addition to studying with professors from schools like Stanford and University of Michigan, many Coursera courses offer shareable Certificates and Specializations recognized by companies like Google and IBM.


However, Coursera isn’t without downsides:

– It’s Quite Pricy (but worth it)

Superior quality comes at a price. While other platforms have free or very affordable options, most Coursera courses fall between $39-99.

– Subscription Model

Coursera operates on subscriptions, meaning you lose access when you stop paying. If you want to revisit courses later, you have to maintain an active membership.

2. Zero to Mastery

Founded in 2019 by Andrei Neagoie, Zero to Mastery (ZTM) is an engaging online academy specializing in coding and computer science education.

The hands-on courses strive to both teach core technical skills and prepare students for developer careers.


Effortlessly capture web elements (HTML, CSS, React, JSX, or Tailwind CSS) from any website and convert them into reusable web components in 1-click.

Your shortcut to faster and easier web development and design.

What Does Zero to Mastery Offer?

The course catalog includes:

  • Web development
  • Python
  • Machine learning
  • Cyber security
  • Cloud computing
  • Developer tools

For beginners with no prior coding experience, Zero to Mastery offers numerous entry-level courses and coding challenges to build competency. But they also cater to seasoned developers leveling up their skills.

Two major perks stand out about Zero to Mastery’s offerings:

Access to All Courses

Get access to the full course library—including bootcamps, career guides, and workshops—for one monthly or annual subscription fee. No limitations.

Strong Online Community

The active Slack community facilitates networking, career advice, and accountability for aspiring developers. This built-in support system amplifies the value of the core curriculum.


Let’s explore a few specific upsides:

– Practice-Focused Courses

Zero to Mastery focuses on practical learning. Each course requires building real-world projects to master employable coding skills.

– Interview Preparation

Zero to Mastery not only teaches basic things like data structures and algorithms but also helps students get good at technical interviews. This focus on career readiness makes students highly employable.


That said, ZTM has some drawbacks to consider:

– No Free Courses

While some rivals offer free sample classes, Zero to Mastery provides only paid subscriptions. However, take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee.

– Time-Intensive Courses

Each course demands a serious time investment to complete the projects. If you want quick classes, this accelerated format may not suit your needs.

3. Udemy

Founded in 2010, Udemy is an online course marketplace hosting over 210,000 classes on topics ranging from coding and business to design and marketing.

The platform allows anyone to publish courses, which means there’s a wide variety of courses. However, the quality of courses tends to vary as a result of this, unlike sites like Coursera which are supported by universities.

What Does Udemy Offer?

On Udemy, you’ll discover courses including:

  • Web and app development
  • Game development
  • Cloud computing
  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Software testing

With 82,000+ instructors, there are a lot of technical subjects covered. But like I already said, the quality of courses change a lot because it depends on how much the person who made the course knows about the subject.


Let’s explore some Udemy highlights:

– Huge Course Selection

Over 210,000 courses means beginners and advanced coders can hone highly specialized skills for every need. Filter for topic, skill level, and other parameters to narrow options.

– Free Content

Browse thousands of zero-cost classes to sample topics and instructors risk-free before purchasing premium courses.

– Lifetime Access

Once purchased, Udemy courses remain accessible in your account indefinitely for anytime review. No need to maintain a monthly subscription.


Despite immense course volume, Udemy struggles with:

– Inconsistent Course Quality

With limited oversight over independent instructors, course quality varies tremendously. Carefully vet each course’s rating and feedback before enrollment.

– Unqualified Instructors

Since anyone can publish courses on Udemy regardless of credentials, many teachers lack expert qualifications that university-affiliated platforms require.

– Low-Value Certificates

While Udemy offers completion certificates for finishing classes, these certificates are rarely acknowledged by hiring managers or graduate programs.

– Outdated Content

Udemy doesn’t always make sure courses are kept up-to-date. So, courses that used to be really good can become outdated if they don’t get updated with the newest coding languages and tools. Always check when a course was last updated if it’s an older one.

4. Codecademy

Founded in 2011 and recently acquired by Skillsoft, Codecademy focuses squarely on helping beginners learn how to code. Currently, 50+ million learners use Codecademy to develop in-demand technical skills.

What Does Codecademy Offer?

The catalog covers:

  • 15+ programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and Go
  • Web development
  • Computer science
  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Math

For coding newbies, Codecademy gently onboards students through interactive tutorials with augmented learning tools like their “Practice Pad” code editor. However, it’s not just for beginners. Developers with intermediate and advanced skills can find resources to expand their skills further.


the advantages of Codecademy are:

– Free Limited Access

You can check out some courses and the first few lessons of premium content without providing payment information. It is perfect for beginners still deciding if coding is right for them.

– Huge Course Selection

Codecademy is known for its excellent teaching in the most popular and profitable programming languages. It gives you the skills to code anything you want.

– Codecademy Go App

Paid Pro subscribers unlock the Codecademy Go mobile app allowing you to learn coding anywhere without web access. Download lessons and exercises for offline practice.

– Hands-On Learning

Codecademy eschews passive video lectures for active coding challenges. The learn-by-doing method cements practical skills for career application.


Despite the positives, Codecademy falls short in a few areas:

– No Accreditation

While Codecademy provides completion certificates, these credentials are not officially accredited by any educational institutions or employers.

– No Offline Access

All Codecademy courses and materials require an internet connection. Lacks offline accessibility options competitors integrate. Except you are a paid pro subscriber, which gives you access to the Codecademy Go mobile app.

5. Skillshare

Founded in 2010, Skillshare takes a distinctly creative approach to online learning with a catalog that covers illustration, graphic design, photography, programming and a lot more.

With over 600,000 members taught by 8,000 teachers, the community-driven platform balances independent creators with rigorous quality control

What Does Skillshare Offer?

Skillshare courses fall into two buckets:

Skillshare Originals: Premium courses designed in-house by industry experts. For example, their UI/UX Designer Prep Course is taught by Facebook’s former Principal Product Design Manager.

Member Courses: Independent teachers within the Skillshare community can also publish classes after passing a quality review. These vary from coding tutorials to watercolor painting techniques by fellow creatives.

In total, Skillshare offers 25,000+ classes across topics like:

  • Animation
  • Graphic design
  • Web development
  • Marketing
  • Productivity

While mainly targeting creative fields, Skillshare still provides valuable programming content within its broader catalog.


What makes Skillshare such a patronized learning platform?

– Community Focus

Beyond structured lessons, students can share works-in-progress, provide peer feedback, chat with teachers, and otherwise engage with fellow creatives interested in coding, design, and more.

– Affordable Pricing

With monthly and annual subscriptions under $20, Skillshare offers outstanding value compared to pricier alternatives. The low cost removes barriers inhibiting otherwise curious-but-hesitant aspirational learners.

– User Friendly Platform

Both web and mobile apps make learning fun and intuitive. This student-centric UX keeps you motivated to progress onto your next lesson.


However, Skillshare falls behind in certain facets:

– Uneven Course Quality

Like Udemy, anyone can publish on Skillshare leading to a spectrum of course quality. However, rigorous vetting during onboarding ensures foundational competence.

– No Accreditation

You won’t earn accredited Certifications to exhibit your coding mastery to future schools or employers. Skillshare focuses squarely on skills enrichment.

Pricing Comparison

PlatformPricing ModelsCost Per CourseCost For All Access
CourseraSingle Course or Subscription$39-99 Per CourseCoursera Plus Subscription: $399/Year
Zero to Mastery1/3/Lifetime SubscriptionsIncluded Monthly: $39-$149
Yearly: $294-$990 Lifetime: $999
Udemy Per Course| Average $12 (On Sale)Pay Per Course, No Subscription
CodecademyFree or Premium SubscriptionsDepends on SubscriptionPro Plan: $20-$30/Month
SkillshareMonthly & Yearly SubscriptionsIncludedMonthly: $14-19
Yearly: $96-$168

As we evaluated earlier, Coursera and Codecademy cost more but focuses on high-quality coding lessons. In contrast, self-paced eLearning marketplaces like Udemy emphasize breadth (a wide range of courses) over depth. Choose the option that aligns best with your learning style, goals, and budget.


With alot of platforms available in 2024, there ‘re no shortage of options for those looking to begin their journey. From short introductory courses to multi-year Master’s Programs, beginners through experts can access well-packaged curriculum to lear systematically step by step.

Top Platforms Per Learner Level

Based on our analysis above, here are my top recommendations based on experience level:


  • Codecademy: Interactive tutorials carefully onboarding coding first-timers

Intermediate Learners

  • Free Code Camp: Self-paced mastery through real-world projects
  • Zero to Mastery: Career-accelerating courses, events, and developer community

Advanced Developers

  • Coursera: Specializations and Professional Certificates from elite institutions

Ultimately you can’t go wrong with any option on this list. Each platform empowers you to cultivate profound coding abilities on your schedule through engaging digital education.

The abundance of exceptional resources available today eliminates all excuses holding you back from an exciting developer career. Commit now to finally gaining the skills transforming your potential into industry-leading technical mastery!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which platform is best for total beginners?

Codecademy is the most beginner-friendly option, with extensive tutorials, practice projects, and supplemental tools tailored for coding first-timers.

Does it cost anything to try these platforms?

Many platforms like Udemy, Skillshare and Codecademy offer limited free trials. Zero to Mastery provides a 30-day money back guarantee on subscriptions.

Can I access courses offline?

Features vary. Udemy allows offline downloads to desktop/mobile apps. Codecademy limits accessibility to online only.

How do the class projects work?

Projects range from tiny one-page apps in Codecademy to fully-fledged programs and portfolio sites you can showcase in your GitHub via Zero to Mastery.

Do any courses on these platforms offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

Some select Coursera courses provide eligible CEUs upon completion. Other platforms focus on hands-on skills over accreditation.

Do I get an official certificate to show employers?

Yes, Coursera awards sharable Certificates that you can share to show your new skills. Other platforms’ certificates might not be as respected.

What coding languages can I learn?

Anything mainstream like JavaScript, Python, Java, C#, Ruby, PHP, Swift, SQL, Go, etc. So search the platform for your language of choice.

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