7 best web design courses for when you're just starting out

Find the best web design courses, free and paid, to sharpen your skills as a web designer and visual developer.

Jeff Cardello
May 20, 2020
Web design

So you want to be a web designer? Great! But how do you learn the basics, and turn your designs into functional websites?

The internet is filled with a wealth of classes and resources out there to help you out as a web designer. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals or build your first custom website, it’s all out there. To cut through the noise, we made a short list of web design courses — designed for anyone who wants to dive into the world of web design.

7 web design courses for beginners (free + paid)

Here’s 7 online classes perfect for a beginner to better understand the art of web design.

1. Ultimate Web Design Course

webflow university web design course

Web design and development doesn't have to be difficult, and Webflow University has made it as easy as possible to learn. Webflow's free web design training lets you go at your own pace in learning about visual design. You’ll get to learn the key concepts as well as how elements like typography, page design, and UI design all come together.

The Ultimate web design course encompasses +100 videos. It starts with what you need to know if you’ve a new web designer and have never used Webflow, and its coursework builds into more advanced design concepts.

If you’re new to Webflow, and web design, you’re going to want to start at the very beginning. Much like reading a novel, you’re going to get confused if you skip around. Consider the intro to designer tutorial like the first chapter, setting the scene of what’s in front of you on the designer screen, and how these controls work. 

From here, your journey as an aspiring web designer continues. You're going to learn the basics of HTML, how CSS classes and subclasses function, how to construct a page design with elements like containers, divs, flexboxes and grids, along with so much more. And of course, we'll take you through how to use one of Webflow's most powerful features, the CMS — enabling you to create dynamic blogs.

Along with these fundamental web design skills, you’ll learn about SEO — with lessons explaining how organic and paid searches work, setting up Google analytics, and optimizing your website for search engines.

web design parallax movement tutorial

Once you know the fundamentals, you can then explore more advanced topics like learning how to create sophisticated animations and interactions, as well as a host of other lessons that can help you to make your design work stand out.

Even if you know nothing about HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, Webflow puts everything in front of you that you’ll need to create responsive websites. Webflow University courses break down the basics, with step-by-step instructions that will transform you into the designer you always wanted to be.

2. Creating a Clean & Simple Website with Webflow

jan losert simple webflow course

Jan Losert, a talented Czech designer, has put together a comprehensive online web design course with Creating a Clean & Simple Website with Webflow.

He teaches the rudiments through a step-by-step guide to designing and building a startup community website. Jan seems genuinely excited by design, and his upbeat enthusiasm makes for an inspiring viewing of all these lessons. 

Not only does he talk you through every part of its construction, but he makes the entire website available to clone for free. This lets you see how the various elements come together, and how everything functions together in the page design. Working through this stripped down, real world example makes understanding these concepts so much easier than starting with something too ambitious.

webflow designer

These lessons cover the important design principles everyone should know. Building navigation, creating calls to action, using div blocks, SEO, and responsive web design are just a few of the lessons. There’s so much here in this free online course, and even if you already have a bit of experience, you’ll find something helpful. 

If you want to learn about web development, you shouldn’t start out with something that’s too complicated. Jan’s Creating a Clean & Simple Website with Webflow, gives a straightforward project, with plenty of functionality, making it a great starting point.

3. The Webflow Masterclass

Ran Segall, founder of Flux Academy, embodies all that it means to be an independent web designer. As someone who knows visual design, what it takes to work with clients, and run the business side of things, he brings both experience and expertise. His premium Webflow Masterclass synthesizes all of his smarts for a course that’s both enlightening and inspiring for any aspiring web developer.

An entrepreneurial spirit is the underlying thread that runs through this coursework. Learning the skills to create customized websites not only makes you a better designer, but someone who can charge a premium for what you do. 

Along with tutorials in learning about web design and Webflow, there's other materials to help you out in your career. One of the hardest things when you're blazing the trail as a freelance designer is figuring out how much to charge. There’s a discussion dedicated to pricing your own work. This mix of teaching design skills, and navigating other aspects of the job, makes this a well rounded course.

This online course isn’t only valuable in broadening your knowledge, but a celebration of the no code movement. Ran’s philosophy is about going beyond the bounds of templates and to use Webflow to open new gates to creativity and revenue. We think this is a good message for any web designer, no matter where you’re at in your career.

4. Memorisely

memorisely ux ui bootcamp

If you’re a web designer and you don't know anything about UX or UI design, it's like being in construction and not understanding architecture. You can throw something together that has a structure, but it's hard to gauge whether it's a functional space that people will enjoy to make their way through. UX shapes how someone experiences a website on an emotional level, while UI puts in place the controls and pathways to maneuver through it. Both disciplines take the raw materials of a page design and put them together in a way so that someone will have a positive experience navigating through it.

Even for those who have experience, it’s easy to mix up what UI and UX are. You should know that UX (user experience) is concerned with how user flow and information architecture affects someone scrolling through a website. You also need to realize that UI (user interface) focuses on the usability of menus and buttons, and the visual styling of these elements. Being able to talk about UI and UX, without sounding like a dummy, helps people trust that you know what you’re doing as a web designer. Memorisely offers an education in both, to better inform you and broaden what you know about these respective web design disciplines.

Memorisely offers 6 week part time bootcamps, as well as monthly ebooks that explore various facets of UI and UX. These ebooks are especially keen for those who want to be hip to new developments and ideas, and include templates (with some being Webflow) to see these concepts in action.

Online learning, though convenient, can sometimes feel disconnected. There's no classmates to get together with and go over homework. Your instructor doesn't have an office you can stop by to chat. Memorisely emphasizes the community of their platform. You're not alone in this bootcamp, and work alongside others virtually. With Zoom meetups, and other opportunities to meet and engage with others into design, it's a friendly online space.

In this digital age, where we feel more and more compartmentalized and separated from meaningful interactions, it's nice to have a place like Memorisely that never strays from keeping people at the center of what they do.

5. Design + Code

design+code free webflow course

Wow. There are no shortage of interesting courses here on Design+Code. Whether you want to learn React, Vue, After Effects, or Webflow, there’s a ton of educational materials here to help you. Scrolling through their catalog of classes you’ll find other topics enticing to creatives like sound design, video editing, app design and game creation. It’s like shopping in a warehouse store for design geeks and the tech savvy, with shelves lined with goodies to teach you new skills.

Their free Webflow class takes you through building a functional website. This isn't a stripped down, lackluster web page just for the sake of learning, but a fully fleshed out web design with multiple pages containing interactions, CMS data, as well as payment processing. You're provided with the Webflow assets which makes it easy to follow as well as go in and experiment with the design on your own.

This online course puts an emphasis on conversions. It teaches how content, calls to action, and incorporating customer feedback can enhance the user experience. It’s easy as new web designers to get too wrapped up in the visual side of things, while overlooking these design principles that help encourage conversions. 

6. Design. Build. Launch.

caler edwards design build launch course

There’s a lot to love about Caler Edwards’ Design. Build. Launch. YouTube series about designing with Webflow. One of the best things is that having completed this online course you end up with your own portfolio website. Not only do you learn about the web design process, but you walk away with something you can use.

Another great aspect of this web series is that it begins the design process with the free to download app Adobe XD. Caler teaches you how to wireframe as well as some of the basics of UX design and UI design. This starting point gives you a bit of practical theory before going in and designing. Having these concepts in mind, as you jump into building a page design with Webflow gives you a deeper understanding of what you’re doing.

This course then takes you through step-by-step in building a web design. You learn how to put in linked navigation, practice responsive web design, as well as assembling together elements to build out your layout. 

The last video of the series touches on SEO which is all so important in organic reach. This topic can be one of the most mysterious facets of web design but Caler makes these concepts easy to understand. He goes in and shows you how to use Webflow to add title tags, meta descriptions, and how open graph systems work for social media. If you’re designing your first website, this is a step that’s easy to neglect. 

7. Learn UI/UX

learn ui ux course

Learnux.io offers a range of web design courses. When you land on their website, you’re greeted with fresh and fun scroll triggered animations, interactions, and smart page design — making a big first impression. The UI and UX are so well thought out, that you know that you've found the right place for learning about these facets of web design. 

The HTML/CSS lessons in particular have value for new designers who want to grasp how CSS and HTML works. Having a solid handle on the complexities of cascading style sheets will give you a head start in understanding how these functions when you’re applying them somewhere like Webflow.

From the basics of UX and usability, prototyping, to the final hand off, these video classes teach every part of the design process so that beginners who complete them will have the essential skills needed to create their first website.

Begin with web design courses and end up a designer

When you first decide to learn the skills of a web designer, the route that lays before you may seem daunting. Stretching out before you are such essential concepts like UI and UX design, visual design, CSS, HTML5, responsive web design, as well as the design principles that you should follow.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a designer, there are so many classes and design platforms like Figma, Adobe XD, and Webflow that can help you on your way.

Let us know in the comments below if there are any other web design courses you think aspiring web designers should know about!

Jeff Cardello

Advocate for better design and professional writer excited by tech, entrepreneurship, and branding. Writes the occasional joke on Twitter.

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