We recommend the University of Michigan’s Web Design for Everybody as the best web design course for most because of its comprehensive curriculum designed for beginners. Enroll for free to view the course content and decide if it’s the right program for you.
Web design courses can help beginners and advanced web designers learn techniques to start or advance their careers. Our research team spent dozens of hours researching the content of 25 web design courses to shorten our list to five top options. During the process, we considered learning formats, scheduling options, pricing structures, and testimonials to determine the best courses.
Find our reviews for the best web design courses below as you prepare to learn.
The Top 5 Best Web Design Courses
The following five courses offer various learning formats, schedules, and content for web designers. The University of Michigan’s Web Design for Everybody covers a wide range of topics and is taught by experienced professors, making it an excellent potential choice for many. Enroll in the course for free to learn about financial aid options for affordable learning.
- Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization by University of Michigan — Best for web design certificates
- Build Your First Web Pages With HTML and CSS by OpenClassrooms — Best for complete beginners
- Design 101: Product & Web Design Course for Beginners by DesignLab — Best for web design mentorship
- Ultimate Web Design Course by Webflow University — Best for learning to design with visual editors
- Introduction to Web Development by Raspberry Pi Foundation — Best short-term web design course for employee training
Below, we outline some of the best web design courses for specific situations before diving into in-depth reviews.
Match Your Scenario to the Right Web Design Course Solution
We’ve identified a few scenarios where someone might want to participate in a web design course or what they specifically look for in a course. Then, based on our research, we chose the top two best courses to fit the following situations:
- You are new to the world of web design and want to explore it as a career
- You need a web design certificate for an employer
- You don’t have a large budget for a web design course
- You want to move past the basics to learn responsive layouts and advanced elements
- You need a flexible learning schedule to strengthen your skills around your job
You are new to the world of web design and want to explore it as a career.
Best Option: OpenClassrooms
OpenClassrooms takes beginner web designers on a journey from learning the basics of HTML and CSS to working with more advanced strings of code to customize a website’s design. The course doesn’t dig into anything beyond entry-level web design, making it ideal for individuals who are deciding if a career in web design suits them.
This course is also free, so there’s no financial commitment necessary to explore its content.
Another great choice: DesignLab
DesignLab’s Design 101 web design course also caters to beginners with easy-to-follow content, mentorship sessions, and hands-on projects. However, it does go a little more in-depth with designing elements and UIs to give a more complete picture of what a web design career might look like.
If you have no previous web design experience, consider:
- Professional instruction: Is the course self-taught or guided by instructors? Instructor or mentor-led courses can sometimes make learning difficult concepts easier.
- Mentorship: Mentors offer one-on-one guidance for learning the ins and outs of web design.
- Learning format: Courses can include in-person instruction, online learning, or video lessons. Some learners work better with one format than others.
- Learning material: Beginners can benefit from video lessons and hands-on activities that reinforce their understanding of web design concepts.
You need a web design certificate for an employer.
Best Option: University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s course through Coursera provides a certificate of completion at the end of the six-month program. The certificate can meet the requirements of many employers who want to see proof of a candidate’s understanding of CSS, HTML, and responsive web design.
You can display your digital certificate on your website, LinkedIn, or resume.
Another great choice: DesignLab
Design 101 by DesignLab features an online certificate of completion in a landing page format, making it easy to share with prospective employers or link to from your online portfolio.
DesignLab also offers special pricing to organizations that want multiple employees to participate in the course, so it might be worthwhile to ask your employer if they’re interested in signing up.
If you need proof that you took a course, be sure to look for:
- Certificate options: Some courses charge extra for participants to receive a certificate. Also, consider how your certificate will be available. Digital certificates are often the most accessible, allowing sharing, printing, and displaying online.
- Course length: How long will it take you to earn your certificate? Does your employer have a deadline?
- Prestige: Research the web design course to learn more about its reputation in the web design industry. Employers may not hold a certificate from a less prestigious course with as much weight as one from a well-known company or university.
You don’t have a large budget for a web design course.
Best Option: OpenClassrooms
As a free course, you can’t go much more budget-friendly than the Build Your First Web Pages With HTML and CSS course from OpenClassrooms. It may not give you as much detailed information as paid courses, but you can still learn entry-level web design skills necessary to start creating simple websites.
Another great choice: DesignLab
DesignLab’s four-week web design course is $399, making it an affordable alternative to university certificate programs and web design bootcamps.
The company also offers discounts to veterans and existing students and doesn’t charge enrollees until the course begins. You can also opt for a two-part payment plan that splits the course into two equal payments spaced four weeks apart.
When you want to learn web design without the cost of a bootcamp or degree, think about:
- Pricing: Web design courses range from free to thousands of dollars, allowing individuals with any budget size to find a suitable fit.
- Payment options: When you’re on a budget, look for a course with payment options, like installments, financial aid, or special discounts.
- Course length: Longer, in-depth courses typically cost more than shorter overview courses. Consider whether starting with a shorter course might be more cost-effective for you.
- Course content: How complex does the course content get? Content can influence price, so you’ll need to weigh your budget versus the knowledge you’ll potentially get from the course.
You want to move past the basics to learn responsive layouts and advanced elements.
Best Option: Webflow University
Webflow University’s web design course starts with introductory concepts, like HTML structure and CSS basics. Then, it transitions into more complex topics, like dynamic videos, form styling, and relative positioning.
This course also works specifically with Webflow, a responsive visual designer that fits in with a more modern form of web design. For forward thinkers looking to dive into the next phase of web design, Webflow University’s course could be the right fit.
Another great choice: University of Michigan
If you’re an intermediate web designer, consider:
- Course content: If most of the course caters to beginners, you probably won’t get the skills you expect from it.
- Certification options: Show that you’ve mastered more advanced skills with the option of gaining certification at the end of the course.
- Hands-on activities: Learning complex web design techniques can become easier with hands-on projects using tools you’d use in your career.
You need a flexible learning schedule to strengthen your skills around your job.
Best Option: Raspberry Pi Foundation
If you’re learning web design while working full-time, you may benefit from taking a course that doesn’t require in-person learning or scheduled meeting times.
Raspberry Pi Foundation’s introductory web development course is designed to finish in just three weeks with a commitment of about two hours each week. It’s also self-paced for you to log in when you can, yet includes discussion rooms for interactions with instructors and other classmates.
Another great choice: OpenClassrooms
OpenClassrooms’ flexible video-style format allows for self-paced learning whenever you can log in. You can also enroll at any time. The course only requires an estimated 5-15 hours of work, making it suitable for busy professionals.
If you need a course that won’t interfere with your professional or personal life, look for:
- Course length: Courses that only last a few weeks can feel more appropriate for a busy schedule than months-long courses.
- Learning format: Look for courses designed for self-paced learning with asynchronous lessons, meaning that you don’t need to meet with instructors at any specific time or day.
- Course content types: Making content available through on-demand video and hands-on practice modules avoids the need for in-person or scheduled instruction.
Web Design Course Reviews
After researching multiple web design courses, we narrowed the list down to the following five choices. We considered what course-takers typically look for in a web design course, like being beginner-friendly and having flexible scheduling. The five courses reviewed below matched several common needs, and our in-depth reviews explain how.
University of Michigan – Best for Web Design Certificates
The University of Michigan, in partnership with Coursera, launched its web design course for learners with no prior experience to gain the skills necessary to start a web design career. Enrollees can begin the asynchronous program at any time and finish in six months or less.
At the end of the course, enrollees get a certificate to share on their website, online portfolio, or LinkedIn profile, or they can print it to attach to their resume for job searches. The certificate includes the Coursera seal to add to its legitimacy.
What Makes the University of Michigan’s Course Great
Although this web design course is intended to be completed in its entirety, students can enroll in only the courses within the specialization they’re interested in and still receive a certificate.
Additionally, some colleges and universities may accept your certificate as transferable credits to a degree or certification program.
Students can also benefit from getting graded quizzes and assignments with feedback, hands-on programming projects, and a pausable subscription to return to the program on your time.
You can enroll in the course for free to view its content, but you’ll need to pay for it to access all materials and gain a certificate. Enrollees do that by subscribing to Coursera Plus, which is $59 per month or $399 per year. This subscription gives you access to more than 7,000 courses on Coursera.
OpenClassrooms – Best for Complete Beginners
People who haven’t used any HTML or CSS previously need to start somewhere, but YouTube videos and blog posts often presume their audiences know the basics. OpenClassrooms combines all the essential groundwork topics of web design into one easy-to-follow course, taking beginners on a guided walk-through toward entry-level web design mastery.
The course includes video lectures for each section, allowing you to go back and rewatch anything you’re unclear on and complete modules at your own pace. At the end of each section, a quiz reinforces your knowledge of what you just learned.
Of course, if you’ve had some experience building websites but want to transition into learning more complex topics, OpenClassrooms’ course will seem juvenile. However, you can skip ahead to any section you want to focus on if you already feel comfortable with fundamental skills.
What Makes OpenClassrooms Great
OpenClassrooms starts at square one for anyone just getting started with web design. It covers introductory information about HTML5 and CSS3, including writing HTML code and using basic CSS strings to add design features to that code.
All you need to get started is a code editor, like Visual Studio Code, to help you practice writing and editing HTML and CSS strings.
Each subsection includes a text description of the subject at hand and a short video offering a more visual approach to the lecture. These quick videos are easily digestible, showing simple, distinct code that’s a breeze for beginners to replicate.
OpenClassrooms’ web design course is free. Simply log in or create a free OpenClassrooms account to browse the content and see if it’s the right program for you.
DesignLab – Best for Web Design Mentorship
Online instruction isn’t for everyone, but mentorship can make it easier for some learners. DesignLab provides four mentorship sessions to students enrolled in its Design 101: Product & Web Design Course for Beginners program.
These mentors are experienced web designers vetted by DesignLab who partner with the company to assist students in their learning path. As an enrollee, you meet with your assigned mentor for one hour each week, allowing you to ask questions and get clarity on challenging topics.
The four-week course covers design ideation, topography, layout design, and color theory while working on a web design project completed during the final week.
What Makes DesignLab Great
In addition to the one-on-one mentor coaching you’ll get each week as a DesignLab student, you’ll also get feedback on your assignments to help you adjust your practice as you move through each section.
Another benefit is career coaching to help you transition from being a web design student to an industry professional. You’ll gain expertise in job searches and networking as you prepare for your new career.
This course begins on a rolling basis, with new classes starting every four weeks. With only a 10-15-hour commitment suggested each week, it’s flexible for those with busy professional or personal schedules.
Enter your email address to get a free copy of DesignLab’s course syllabus before enrolling. The course costs $399, but you won’t get charged until the course begins. Two-part payment plans are also available.
Webflow University – Best for Learning to Design with Visual Editors
The new wave of web design prioritizes visual editing, allowing you to see what happens when you make changes to code that affects a website. Webflow University teaches the ins and outs of Webflow, a visual editor that competes with WordPress.
Even if you don’t use Webflow, this course can work as a practical introduction to visual web design. Many visual editors have similar features and still require the use of code to create specific website behaviors. You’ll learn those essential aspects of web design in this course.
Plus, Webflow University really digs into more complex web design concepts than other courses, with topics like layout positioning, hiding overflow content, and changing effect filters. As a result, you get introduced to advanced techniques while learning visually through Webflow.
What Makes Webflow University Great
Webflow University walks enrollees through more than 100 videos, spanning everything from designing basic navigation menus to improving on-page SEO.
In addition to learning how to design with Webflow, you’ll also spend some time working in Webflow CMS. This is ideal for students who intend to make Webflow a key player in their web design career, as they’ll learn both the important back-end and front-end aspects of design and how they rely on one another.
Most videos are under five minutes long, allowing you to work through them at a pace that conveniently fits your schedule.
The course itself is free, and you can begin it by creating a Webflow account. To use Webflow for practice, you’ll need a paid account. Pricing begins at $16 per month when billed annually.
Raspberry Pi Foundation – Best Short-Term Web Design Course for Employee Training
If you need a quick introduction to web design, this Raspberry Pi Foundation course is an excellent choice. Employers looking to train entry-level web designers might opt for this course to catch new employees up to speed on current practices without making them commit to a months-long program.
With content designed to teach basic web design over three weeks at just two hours per week, most learners will find that this course can seamlessly fit their personal and professional schedules. The course provides a digital certificate of completion, again making it a smart option for employers.
Shared on the FutureLearn platform, enrollees can discuss course concepts with other learners and instructors around the world to enhance their understanding of what they’ve learned.
What Makes Raspberry Pi Foundation Great
As students progress through the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s web design course, the platform keeps track of and displays their progress to motivate them to finish. And, if anyone decides they have time to move through the content faster, the self-paced format allows that to happen.
Learners must also finish all assessments in the course to earn their certificate, so you can rest assured that no employee skirts around learning important techniques.
The course is available to start at any time, so you can begin your employees’ learning tracks as soon as you hire them.
Subscribe to FutureLearn’s monthly plan for $27.99 to access this course and thousands of others for subsequent learning opportunities. However, an individual plan won’t allow for multiple certificates for the same course. Instead, consider contacting FutureLearn to join FutureLearn for Business.
Quick Sprout Web Design Courses Related Content
Web design is always evolving as user and website needs change. While these courses can provide a good start for learning web design, there’s plenty more to learn. Consider browsing the following QuickSprout web design resources to expand your knowledge.
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The Top Web Design Courses in Summary
Web design courses are available for individuals with beginner to advanced skills. The right course for you includes content that can help you grow as a web designer while proving your expertise with a certificate to show to employers or clients. Our top recommendation, the University of Michigan, offers an affordable and content-rich solution that takes web designers on a journey through a spectrum of web design topics for all skill levels.