This is a short, to the point guide for anyone trying to get started with web development. This is not meant to be an exhaustive resource or to cover any particular topics in depth. Instead this is meant as a quick explanation of a few things to help total newbies get started.

The Basics

All websites and Internet-based applications were built by Web Programmers. Web Programming is not difficult to get into. There are 3 fundamental technologies (programming languages) that are used to create pretty much all websites: HTML, CSS, JavaScript. These "languages" are just text telling web browsers what to make the web site look like and how it should function:

  • HTML is used to create the structure of a website
  • CSS is used to "style" a website (colors, shapes, lines, etc.)
  • JavaScript is used to bring additional functionality to a website

How to Get Started

Now before you begin, you'll want to make sure you're using the right tools. Let's start with your web browser. If you're using a computer with Windows on it, you're most likely using Internet Explorer to browse the web. There are a number of reasons why Internet Explorer is bad for web programming, but I won't go into all that right now. That being said, I recommend using Firefox or Chromium (the non-Googled version of Chrome). Each of these browsers are free to download and use.

Use a Text Editor for Programming

You don't need this right away, but I recommend getting SublimeText eventually. You will probably need to download the regular Windows version. It is free to download and use for a limited trial period. If you would rather not ever pay for your editor, you can try Atom instead. It is free and open-source.

Learning Web Programming

There are a lot of great, free resources for learning web programming:

  • Codecademy HTML + CSS course
  • Codecademy JavaScript course
  • DuckDuckGo - A search engine that respects your privacy. Learning how to search the internet for help to your programming problems is a skill that you will need.
  • StackOverFlow - A question and answer forum where you will likely find someone else who has already asked a question that you have - and usually another person has shared an answer.

By far the most important thing to remember is that it isn't easy and that's ok! If you can stick with it long enough, you will learn that those tough times are a necessary part of the whole. And, when you figure something out for the first time for yourself, it will all be worth it.