Learn CSS: The Best Courses and Resources
If you’re considering becoming a web designer, it’s crucial to learn how to create effective websites. But where do you begin? We suggest you start by learning CSS. Used concurrently with HTML, this basic programming language is a building block of countless web pages, and thus one of the best languages to learn.
Web development and design are some of the fastest-growing occupations in technology. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for web developers and digital designers is expected to grow by 8 percent over the next decade. So, it’s the right time to start taking CSS courses.
This programming staple can make your career easier by giving you more options in how you create digital products. Below, we’ll take a look at what CSS is, and how you can begin to learn and apply it.
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What Is CSS?
CSS stands for cascading style sheets. When looking at a front-end web page (like this one), you are viewing a product of CSS. You can use it to change the size and color of fonts, and create unique layouts.
You will often see CSS used in pages coded with HTML. The relationship between HTML and CSS is an important one in programming. Although you can use it to create layouts, HTML can be a restrictive and challenging markup language.
Cascading style sheets, on the other hand, allows you to easily apply attractive visual elements to your webpage. CSS is a breath of fresh air compared to the bare-bones elements that are supported by HTML. It enables a more streamlined development process and responsive web design.
What Jobs Use CSS Skills?
Now that you know more about how CSS layouts transform web pages, let’s take a look at some of the top jobs that use CSS.
- Web design. First and foremost, CSS skills are best put to use in web design jobs. That is what CSS was made for, after all. Web designers use CSS to create webpages for all kinds of businesses.
- UX/UI design. Knowing what makes a website visually appealing is a major talent. If you become a UX designer, you will be focusing on the experience the user has on the web pages you design.
Likewise, a user interface (UI) designer focuses on front-end web development. They deal with font sizes, CSS layouts, and more.
- Email development. Email campaign developers are masters of HTML, using their skills to design all of the emails a company sends to its subscribers. They use CSS to ensure that their emails catch the eye of potential customers.
- Computer programming. It’s natural to pursue a career in computer programming once you learn CSS. However, to succeed in programming today, you will likely also need to learn other languages. Once you diversify your skills, you will be able to work on a range of projects, such as designing and developing video games and other software.
Steps to Learn CSS
So, what is the best way to learn CSS? Below are the essential steps you should follow to develop a solid working knowledge of this code.
Some of the best education you can get is achieved simply by practicing. This rule certainly applies to figuring out how CSS works.
Practice the terminology, and how to access and tweak a CSS grid layout. Although it may be tempting to jump right into a CSS course, we recommend that you at least practice some rudimentary CSS tricks first so that your coursework will be more manageable.
2. Learn HTML
Any time you use the Internet, you are likely running into hundreds of elements created using CSS and HTML. Of course, HTML is used for much more than just bolding some text on a website. You must take the time to fully learn HTML if you want to succeed with CSS.
3. Experiment With Design Characteristics
Experimenting is a huge part of web design and coding. Whether you are trying out advanced CSS features or are just changing the layout of a web page, experimenting will help you excel.
It can lead to unexpected breakthroughs and will get you closer to mastering CSS and HTML.
Since HTML/CSS deals heavily with UI and UX design, it will also benefit you to study design principles. While you are experimenting, think carefully about what looks best on the webpage. What design layouts are eyesores? Which design flows the best? Answer these questions on your own through practice.
4. Take CSS Courses
Thanks in part to COVID-19, online courses are all the rage. Naturally, there is a bevy of great online CSS courses waiting for you. You can find many of these CSS courses on massive open online course providers or through coding bootcamp operators.
Choose the learning method that works best for you so that you can make the most of the opportunity. Once you have completed a course, you will be ready to apply the practical knowledge you have gained to your career.
5. Build Your Own Project Using HTML/CSS
Once you have taken courses and experimented, and feel like you have nailed down the important HTML elements, it is time to start your own project. Creating a project using all your newfound knowledge is a fantastic way to become a successful web developer and a savvy designer.
The Best Courses to Learn CSS
Now, it is time to look into some of the best CSS courses. Since HTML/CSS is so widely used, you’ll have many options to choose from.
What better place to learn the basics of HTML elements and CSS grids than from the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization that spearheaded the effort to streamline and popularize CSS?
In these courses, you can learn about everything from essential HTML elements to CSS pseudo-classes. W3Schools’ classes are a fantastic option for students of all levels, whether you’re preparing for your first job, or have no experience in web design.
This website should be your first stop if you are just starting to learn CSS.
This top-rated Udemy course will teach you easy methods for creating websites. Students will learn relevant real-world skills that they can use to develop any type of website. Along with the essential HTML elements, students will also learn jQuery, and will end the 12-hour course by completing an in-depth project.
This course includes supplemental materials like the e-book Best Resources for Web Design and Development with HTML5 & CSS3.
Codecademy highly recommends this course on the fundamentals of HTML/CSS. The institute recommends new web developers learn HTML because it’s an easy way for beginners to build simple websites and will look good on your resume.
At Codecademy, there are multiple courses available from beginner to advanced levels. Some great options are Front-End Development, Learn Responsive Design, Learn CSS, and Learn HTML.
This is a great, all-encompassing Udemy class that will set you on the path to learning CSS. Along with HTML/CSS fundamentals, you will also learn clever CSS tricks and design strategies.
The only suggested requirement is that you understand basic HTML elements. Basically, if you can italicize text and change its color, then you are ready. Even if you can’t, you should still be able to handle this course material.
If you are worried that learning CSS will be complicated, then this free course is perfect for you. Provided by freeCodeCamp, it takes you through how to use CSS for responsive web design. The instructor will introduce students to the fundamentals of effective visual design and color palettes. She will then walk learners through which colors are the most eye-catching.
This is another fantastic course from freeCodeCamp. In it, instructor Amy Haddad will guide you through the basic yet crucial act of finding the right font size. There is a lot to be said for selecting a strong, attractive font. If you take this free course and the previous one regarding color, you will be one step closer to mastering HTML/CSS.
With over 14 straightforward CSS courses, the team at Interneting is Hard has put together a great introduction to front-end web design concepts. The first course explains how CSS and front-end development work.
This is one of the best ways to learn CSS because Interneting Is Hard has a great UI. It makes learning this programming language manageable and pleasant.
With well over 12,000 students enrolled in Eric Vida’s HTML/CSS course, it’s no wonder that it’s highly rated.
Throughout 16 lessons in this Scrimba course, Vida covers the basics of CSS by guiding students through the process of building their own websites. The course follows many of the steps listed above: practicing, experimenting, and starting your own project.
Students will begin their journey by creating HTML/CSS code snippets in a Word document. This will be used to create a web page later on in the course. Filled with useful details and invaluable advice from the teacher, this is a great place to start learning CSS.
Why Learn CSS?
There is no downside to learning CSS. Compared to other coding languages, HTML and CSS are among the easiest. They are not the most powerful coding languages, but they can still have a meaningful impact on UX/UI design.
As explained above, there are plenty of places online where you can learn to code for free. Select the one that appeals to you the most, and prepare yourself to study, practice, and experiment.
Businesses that want to stay relevant must employ strong visual web design elements. So, if you learn CSS and play your cards right, you could land a job at either a start-up or a well-known tech company.
Learning CSS is a very practical skill. It will improve your eye for design, and give you background information on how the Internet works. If you are dead set on becoming a web developer, there is no better place to start than by learning CSS.