Desktop displaying coding process How to Code a Website: A Guide for Beginners in Web Design

How to Code a Website: A Guide for Beginners in Web Design

With increased use of the Internet, many designers have migrated from their previous professions to the web design world. Today, we have new tools and platforms to make the web design role more streamlined. From simple website design to advanced web design projects, learning to code is an important part of developing websites.

You should learn to code if you want to work in web development. You can take coding lessons and access online coding classes and coding resources to help you learn quickly. Some even offer professional development assistance. The following guide will give you a beginner-level explanation of how to code a website from scratch. 

How to Code a Website from Scratch

With technological advancements, you don’t necessarily need to code to build a website. Many platforms will provide you with drag-and-drop tools so that you can customize the site without having to worry about the server side of development. If you’re only focused on web design, you won’t have to deal with programming. 

However, if you are still interested in developing a website from scratch, you’ll need to know about coding fundamentals. You can start working on your own projects with programming languages. You should learn HTML, CSS, SQL, PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript. These types of code are vital to web design.

All coding languages have different functions, so it’s important to know the main differences. Some are mainly used for front end processes, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Others, like SQL, PHP, and Ruby, are mostly used for the server side of the development process. 

Website Coding Languages

Programming languages are how we communicate with computers and provide them with different commands and coding outs. As a web developer, you will also work with frameworks such as Node.js and Ruby on Rails. Frameworks are programming environments and the platforms that you use to develop software. 

Coding languages function on the front end of the site, the backend, or both. The front end is essentially what you see, while the backend is the behind-the-scenes work. You can also learn full stack web development, which includes both.


HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a programming language used to build a structure for a particular website. This structure can be in a group of paragraphs, images, tables, and bullet points. Keep in mind that HTML just works with the structure, so it doesn’t have anything to do with the methods used to display the content. 


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the programming language used to display the website’s design. It includes features like fonts, colors, and layouts. When building a website, you need to make sure that the design is uniform across all devices. This is why you’ll use CSS to adapt the page presentation across multiple screen types.


Java is an all-purpose programming language that is mostly used on the backend part of the development process. It is also used for mobile development, big data, game development, and numerical computing. This programming language is considered one of the fastest and most reliable coding languages.


Python is an object-oriented and general-purpose programming language like Java. It is used for data-related processes like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. This programming language’s syntax is easy to learn and perfect for beginners. Python can be used for either backend or front end processes. 


JavaScript is a front end text-based programming language. However, it can also be a backend coding language by using its framework, Node.js. There is a notable difference between JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. CSS styles the website, HTML structures it, and JavaScript makes it interactive without contacting the server. 


PHP is one of the most common coding languages used for ecommerce sites. This is a backend programming language that works directly with the structure and database of the system. It is embedded with HTML and supports large sets of data. That’s why it is so efficient for ecommerce websites that handle inventory, marketing, and sales data. 

Website Coding Tools

The next step in coding a website is figuring out where to write your code. There are three ways of doing so: a word processor, a text editor, or an integrated development environment (IDE). However, both word processors and IDEs are usually advanced.

Therefore, it is better to start your journey in web development by using a text editor. This is a drag-and-drop coding software with which you can input your commands for the website. Below, we have listed text editors and their differences.


Sublime is one of the most popular text editors for web development. It is compatible with front end and backend processes. It combines efficiency with an easy-to-use system. Sublime has three main features that will make your job easier when building your website. 

The Minimap feature gives you a live view of your project. The Goto Anything feature allows you to find particular lines or symbols instantly or open certain files. Finally, the Multiple Selections feature allows you to edit different lines of code at once. 


Atom is very similar to Sublime, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to get familiarized with this tool if you’ve already used Sublime. It stands out for its versatility and efficiency. It also includes a helpful built-in package manager, which allows you to add packages immediately. 

Atom has a couple of handy features, such as an integrated spell check and the find-and-replace tool, which is similar to the one you’d use in a text editor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. 


Brackets is another popular front end text editor built by Adobe. It combines the handiest development tools with design features like code hints, which integrate Photoshop with web development. In addition, it allows you to extract relevant information from PSD files to create an attractive design. 

Another great feature that Brackets uses is the Live Preview, which provides you with a small screen where you can instantly see the changes made in HTML and CSS. This streamlines the process for an optimal coding process.

Where to Learn How to Code a Website

a desktop displaying lines of code and website layout How to Code a Website

CSS is used to adapt the web format to different devices.

If you have no programming experience, it may be a good idea to join an online course. Most of these courses have an introductory level that will help you get familiarized with coding fundamentals. Take a look at the following list to know the best web development course providers.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an online course provider that offers programs in different subjects like web development and statistics. The programming course will teach you valuable skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SQL. The course is 100 percent online and free. It comes with video tutorials, instructor-guided practices, and tests to help you learn basic code. 


Codecademy, pronounced like code academy, is another massive online open course (MOOC) provider that offers programs in different programming fields like machine learning, web design, web development, and data science. Many Codecademy courses are free, but you will have to pay for a $15.99 subscription if you’d like to have a certificate of completion. 


Coursera is one of the most popular MOOC providers. It has over 3,000 courses in fields like business, computer science, data science, arts, and humanity. You can take one of its programming courses to start learning about coding a website. Coursera is a membership-based platform, and the price varies based on your location.


Udemy is another popular MOOC provider that offers free and paid programming courses. This provider has over 5,500 programming courses for your skill level. There are several introductory programming courses offered at Udemy as well as options for absolute beginners. Most courses are free, but you can obtain a certificate for a fee starting at $9.99. 


edX is a course provider that offers programs in multiple fields like business, social science, computer science, and artificial intelligence. edX has several intro to programming courses to help you learn essential computer science fundamentals. It also offers advanced courses so you can write custom scripts and put your learning into practice. 

Website Builders 

If you’re still not convinced about coding, you can try using a website builder. These are drag-and-drop platforms that allow you to create a website without worrying about the programming process. 

Website builders allow you to play around with the design and structure of the website with some limitations. They typically have predetermined designs and templates that you can tweak. Read below to learn about the most popular website builders.


WordPress is a PHP-based website builder that you can use to create your own site without any programming skills. You can create many types of websites, from ecommerce to forums and lifestyle blogs. It is popular because of its plugins that can help you learn SEO, which stands for search engine optimization.


Wix has become one of the most widely-used website builders on the Internet because of its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. It comes with a large set of template designs and structures you can use to customize your website. The only drawback with this website builder is that since so many people use it, many companies use the same templates. 


Squarespace has a streamlined interface and free templates that you can customize. You can change the layouts, colors, and fonts with no coding experience. There are also more attractive web design templates that you can use for a fee. It also offers interactive tutorials and custom domain services.

How to Become a Professional Web Developer

If you would like to become a web designer or web developer, you should follow a couple of steps. You need to educate yourself, practice as much as possible, and create a portfolio to showcase your skills. 

Online Web Developer Classes and Tutorials

To get familiarized with programming fundamentals, you should take an introductory course or watch YouTube tutorials. This way, you will get an idea of what you’ll work on if you decide to take a step forward and build a career as a web developer. Many of these resources can help you learn to code for free.

Learn to Code Websites on Your Own

Then, you can start working on small projects on your own to practice what you’ve learned. That way, you will be more comfortable when implementing more intermediate to advanced methods. 

Web Developer Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are practice-oriented and teach you the latest trends in the market. You will learn about front end, backend, and full stack web development. In addition to that, you will likely receive career training to help you find a job after graduation. 

Create Your Technical Resume 

You should create a curriculum vitae (CV), an executive summary focused on your experience with technical projects such as websites and mobile apps. It is crucial to have a technical resume because it’s the best way to show recruiters you have the skills needed to be a web developer.

Submit Your CV

Once you have the required skills and experience, you can start submitting your resume to companies you’d like to work with. You’ll most likely have to go through a tech interview, where recruiters will provide you with technical problems and you need to come up with possible solutions. 

Taking Your Website Coding Skills to the Next Level

You can advance your web development career by taking a step forward and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology (IT). That way, you’ll not only learn about web development, but also other in-demand skills like artificial intelligence or machine learning. 

A bachelor’s degree will provide you with credibility and the appropriate training to become an expert in the field. Even though coding bootcamps and other resources are helpful, they are not as recognized by employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers need at least an associate degree.

If you want to learn how to code a website, you should start now. These resources will help you write clean code and continue your learning journey. There are many different resources for students, so you can learn to code online for free from anywhere.

How to Code a Website FAQ

Is it hard to code a website?

Yes, it can be hard to code a website. Building a user-friendly website takes work, especially if you’re working from scratch without the help of a builder. However, the final result is rewarding and can make your business get attention from the appropriate audience.

Is it worth coding your own website?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’d like to have a fully customized website without worrying about plugging compatibility or complex maintenance, coding your own site is a good idea. However, you need time and commitment to build an efficient site.

Can coding make you rich?

According to PayScale, the average salary for web developers is $60,259. PayScale also reports that late-career web developers can earn $81,682 per year. You will need to work hard and remain a lifelong learner to succeed in this profession.

Is web design a dying career?

Web design and web development are far from dying. According to the BLS, the demand for web designers and developers is expected to grow up to eight percent by 2029, which is much faster than the average.

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