Top 50 Guides for New Web Developers

For those just getting started in Web development, the options and information out there can seem overwhelming. While this may be so, it’s truly an asset to be able to have access to limitless choices. You will, however, need to choose a place to begin learning all the things you don’t know. Whether you have a basic knowledge of Web development or are a complete newbie, here are 50 guides that can help you to learn and expand your knowledge so that you can build more successful and accessible sites. Programming Languages While the Web may have started out primarily in HTML, the number of programming languages out there today has grown considerably. Here are some guides to help you learn the most popular.

  1. Complete CSS Guide: Learn the basics of CSS with this guide. You’ll discover the reasons why you should use CSS and everything you’ll need to know about coding from the basics to the advanced.
  2. Bare Bones Guide to HTML: For those seeking an HTML guide, this one will help you learn the basics to get started. It contains all the essential codes that you’ll need, as well as links to other sites with additional information you might need as you learn.
  3. XHTML Tutorial: Not sure what the difference between HTML and XHTML is? Not to worry, this guide will help you to learn, as well as teach you about the basics of XHTML syntax and how you can use it in your Web design.
  4. 30 AJAX Tutorials: Here you’ll find a list of 30 different tutorials on AJAX that can help you learn everything from creating rounded corners to how to make an AJAX website in less than 10 minutes.
  5. Java Tutorial for Beginners: For those new to programming websites in Java, this guide can help you learn the basics. You’ll also find helpful resources on the site for source code and applets.
  6. Writing Your First PHP Script: PHP can be a great way to program your pages, and this tutorial can help you get started. It provides an example of how to program a feedback form, but the site also contains dozens of other tutorials and guides to help you make the most of PHP.
  7. Learn All About Ruby on Rails: Ruby on Rails is fast becomming a programming language of choice due to its clean syntax. With the informtion on this site, you can become a Rails expert. You’ll find links to books and manuals as well as numerous tutorials to get you started.
  8. Beginner’s Guide to CGI Scripting with Perl: Designed for the novice, this guide will help in learning the basic elements of the Perl programming language. You can read the guide online or download it for reading when you’re not online.
  9. Beginner’s Guide to Python: Python is a free and versatle programming language and you can learn to use it whether you have previous programming experience or not. Check out the resources on this site for tutorials of all levels and examples to help you learn.
  10. Introduction to Web Programming: If you’ve got a little programming knowledge under your belt, then check out this four part class on what you’ll need to know to get starting programming on the Web, including CGI and Java basics.
  11. Firebug Tutorial: Firebug can help you to make sure that your sites are bug free before you open them up to users or even live from the Web. Here you’ll find a tutorial on how to get started with Firebug so you can improve your coding with less effort.
  12. Ultimate Web Development Cheat Sheet: Make your life a little easier with this cheat sheet. You’ll find quick references for CSS, Java, HTML, colors and much more.

Usability and Optimization Make sure your site is as easy-to-use and user friendly as possible with these guides that will help you design and program a great site.

  1. Usability.gov: This government website gives step-by-step instructions and suggestions on how to design user friendly websites. It will take you through everything you need to think about before designing your next site.
  2. Designing More Usable Websites: Everything you ever wanted to know about usability you’ll find on this great site. You’ll find tools, guides, and tons of links to studies and websites on making your website accessible to everyone, even those with disabilities.
  3. Weblog Usability: Top Ten Design Mistakes: Beginning bloggers often make some key design mistakes that can make their pages hard or even painful for visitors to use. Here you’ll find instructions on how to avoid common design mistakes.
  4. Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Website: Here you’ll find 14 ways that you can help your website to load faster and perform better to make it easier for visitors to use.
  5. 11 Ways to Improve Landing Pages: Landing pages are the first things users see when they visit your site, so make sure yours will draw in users to make purchases or subscribe to your site. These 11 tips can help you get started on making better landing pages.
  6. Dive Into Accessibility: This online book can help you learn how to design a site to work with color blindness, cognitive diasbilities, and those with other visual diabilities or impairments.
  7. 5 Ways to Optimize Your Design: If you’re new to the web design game, then these basics will help you get on the right track. Neil Patel gives advice on design, content, and navigation to help you make the most of your site.
  8. The 10 Commandments of Site Navigation: While innovation is nice, it’s also nice not to confuse visitors to your site with complication navigation. These 10 rules can help you design navigation that’s easy-to-use and won’t frustrate visitors.
  9. The Eyes Have It: Part of making your new site usable is working with the way users will view it, and you can get a leg up on that by reading about eye tracking studies. This article will give you some helpful tips on how to incorporate the results of these studies into your design.
  10. UITest: In order to make sure your site is as accessible as possible, use this site to give it a quick check. You’ll find out whether or not your site will work for the colorblind, what your load time is, and whether or not your code could use some tweaking.

Design and Content Your site won’t go too far without a great layout and some interesting content. Learn how to improve both with these guides and articles.

  1. The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web: Typography is an important part of print design, and the same holds true for Web design. The online text will teach you how to use typography from choosing fonts to laying out your text to improve the look of your webpages.
  2. Web Style Guide: Make sure your sites are easy to use and attractive by reading up on these style basics. You’ll get a chance to learn about graphics, text, multimedia and more.
  3. All Graphic Design: Make sure your page looks good by paying attention to not only your coding but your graphics, buttons and photos as well. On this site you’ll find numerous tutorials, resources and tips on everything from graphic design basics to fonts, graphics and more.
  4. Basics of Web Design: There are lots of things that go into creating a great website. Here you’ll find links to numerous resources that can help you to develop every aspect of your design.
  5. Understanding Web Design: It can be difficult sometimes even for the best designers to make the leap from print to Web design. This article can help give you some background on designing for the Web, and things you’ll need to consider when you are designing your site.
  6. Whitespace: Sometimes what you don’t include can have just as big of an impact as what you do. Find out all you need to know about how to use whitespace effectively on your page to achieve the desired effect and appearance.
  7. Improving Content: Making a page that looks good is important, no doubt, but don’t forget about what your page says. At the end of the day, that’s what users will be focusing on. Get advice on making your content as intruging as possible with this article from Devlounge.
  8. A Web Developers Guide to Writing Great Web Content: Whether you’re selling a product from your site or just writing about your day-to-day life, you can benefit from the suggestions in this guide to improve your writing.
  9. How to Write Great Copy: Unless you’re selling something that practically sells itself you’re going to need to write some great copy to move your product. Here you’ll find guidelines on how to create copy that works on the Web.
  10. Web Design: 15 Important Research Findings You Should Know: Science doesn’t just help to develop new drugs and less wasteful cars, it can also help you to design a better webpage. Check out these research findings to see how you can use them to improve the design of your page.
  11. Copywriting 101: Learn the basics of copywriting from Copyblogger with this ten-step writing tutorial. Additionally, you’ll find resources on writing for search engines and how to create great headlines.

General If you’re just starting out the amount of things you don’t know can far exceed what you do. These sites cover a wide variety of topics to help you get a little information on a lot of topics.

  1. SmartWebby: Need to learn how to do pretty much everything involved with Web development? Then SmartWebby will be a great resource, with articles and how-tos on topics ranging from help with Dreamweaver to learning to use different CSS styles.
  2. WebDev How-To: Here you’ll find a step-by-step guide to building a website from the purchase of a domain name to creating great content and bringing users to your site.
  3. Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing: Learn how to do just about everything you’ll need to do to get your site up and running from user tracking to choosing a good Web host.
  4. Web Page Design for Designers: Whether you’re more of a designer or programmer, you’ll find loads of tutorials and guides on this site. Learn how to improve your CSS, build a better blog, or even the basics of color theory.
  5. Web Developer’s Virtual Library: This site contains an incredibly conprehensive collection of tutorials, forums, and articles on every aspect of Web development from programming to choosing the right software for the job.
  6. Webmonkey: Need to know how to get your e-business started or a reference guide for Java? You’ll find both and much more on this resource-laden site.
  7. Web Developer’s Handbook: You’ll find an almost overwhelming abundance of resources on this site. From the creative side of development to usability resources, this site has it all.
  8. W3 Schools Web Tutorials: This site has loads of tutorials on just about every topic imaginable from HTML to CSS to ASP. You’ll also find a "try it yourself" editor that lets you edit sample code and view the results immediately to see if you’re getting the hang of it.
  9. Web Design Bits: For the beginner, this site can be a great resource. There are tutorials on topics ranging from programming languages to internet marketing and Web hosting to help you learn everything you need to know to be a great Web developer.
  10. The Site Wizard: Chances are pretty good that if you have a question about Web development, Site Wizard has an article or tutorial that will answer it. Beginners will benefit from the A-Z Guide to Starting Your Own Website and articles about Web development basics concerning design and revenue.

Promotion and Marketing You could just sit back and let your site market itself, but then you probably wouldn’t have nearly as much success running a site. Here are some resources to help you get your website’s name out there.

  1. Web Site Promotion Guide: Bring in more traffic to your site with the articles on this site from Charlie and Bruce Morris. You’ll find information on how to work with search engines, promote your site, and help build traffic.
  2. A Promotion Guide: New to the whole Web promotion thing? Learn the basics with this simple free tutorial that will help you learn to list your site in directories, search engines and more.
  3. The Web Marketing Checklist: Learn what you need to do to get your site the traffic it deserves with these 32 tips from Web Marketing Today.
  4. A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization: Part of being a great Web developer is getting your site out there so potential visitors can find it. This guide can help you make the most of search engines to bring in more traffic to your site.
  5. 10 Quick Ways to Increase Conversions: Turn those idle visitors on your site into customers or subscribers with these 10 tips. You’ll bring in more revenue by doing simple things like including contact info, fixing errors, and more.
  6. Less Obvious Ways of Promoting Your Website: Why not take the road less traveled and promote your website in a less common way? In this article you’ll find several different methods of promotion you might not have thought of.
  7. How to Attract Links and Increase Traffic: There isn’t much point in having a website if no one visits it. Beginners can learn the basics and even advanced web developers can learn a few tricks from this article.

Comments

  1. Schneemann says

    I’m not sure I agree with the inclusion of Usability.gov. Truth is, those “research based guidelines” aren’t based on any research, unless you regard collating a bunch of other guidelines by a bunch of other people. That’s not to say I disagree with the substance of their guidelines but rather that I find it disingenuous to call paraphrasing other people’s work as “research”.

  2. The Web Host Review says

    This is a realy nice list and i like the fact that CCS is at the top because anyone who is not using it needs to get there act together.

  3. Andrew says

    Great list! Personally, I used diveintopython.org for learning python, but all the others seem perfect. I’ll start learning PHP right away :P

  4. Toccara Kallam says

    Dreamweaver has been lately my personal goto program for years. I really do not know what I would undoubtedly do with out it. There were times when I initially begun working with the application, and I thought it was way too complicated. Now I fly around it, and it has grown to be an asset in my personal tool box. Anyway thanks for the information.

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