I get quite a variety of questions here on WebDevAddict from folks looking for advice. As a result, I decided to compile a one-stop FAQs/Resources page to answer all your commonly asked questions! I’ll also be updating this often, so be sure to check back to see what has changed along the way.

See something missing? Drop me a line and let me know.


Web Dev Tutorials for Beginners

Online Tutorials

For beginners, I think it’s crucial that web development lessons be fun, interactive, and goal oriented. That’s why I usually recommend the CodeAcademy suite of web development courses for budding web dev addicts.

For a beginning web developer, I’d recommend taking the following tutorials (in order):

These introductory courses will be perfect for getting your feet wet. As a bonus, you’ll have a completed project at the end of each course to show off your new skills!

If you feel you want to dive deeper into any of the front-end languages covered in the first two courses, CodeAcademy also offers more in depth learning for each of the following front-end web languages:

Print Tutorials

If you’re a learn-by-the-book type of person, I recommend Jon Duckett’s suite of web development books. I’ve always found these to be superior to other books for beginners because of the author’s use of graphics and imagery to visualize his points. This really helps beginners with core web programming concepts that are otherwise notoriously difficult for beginners to understand.

jon-duckett-html-and-css
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
This first book is the best place to start if you’re brand new to web development. It explains both the HTML and CSS programming languages in an accessible, easy to understand way.


jon-duckett-js-jquery
JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development
This second book covers both the JavaScript and jQuery programming languages, and how both can be used to develop more fun and interactive websites.


If you’re sure you’re ready to dive in to his teachings, Jon also now offers the Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set of both books on Amazon for a slight discount (as of this writing it’s just about a $5 discount when you buy them together).

Online References

References aren’t only for beginners, but they serve as a quick way to familiarize yourself with the different terms and capabilities of different programming languages. Take a quick peek:

 


Web Hosting

When it comes to web hosting, it seems like there are a million options to choose from. Shared hosting or dedicated hosting? Managed or unmanaged? Even after figuring out the details, there is an abundance of web hosting services still to choose from. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

With that being said, I usually suggest web hosting based on the experience level of the person seeking it. I have two tried and true recommendations, one for beginners to web hosting, and one for more experienced users who want to manage their hosting themselves.

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For beginning developers – Blue Host
Blue host was my go-to shared hosting provider when I was just starting out in web development. I couldn’t even could how many websites I started with them, and always was happy with their quality of service. If you’re new to web hosting, a managed and shared hosting plan like what BlueHost offers is definitely the way to go.



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For beginning developers – DreamHost
While I’ll admit I’ve never used DreamHost personally, my mother hosted her websites on their shared hosting servers for years now (yes, web development runs in the family). She has always raved about their services and support, so I recommend them to others now as well.

If you decide to go with DreamHost, you can score a free domain name with a yearly hosting plan by using promo code WEBDEVFREEDOMAIN when you sign up.



For advanced developers – Digital Ocean
If you’re looking for a dedicated server that’ll give you more control and flexibility, I’d stronly suggestDigitalOcean. I now host all of my websites (including this one) on DigitalOcean and couldn’t be any happier with it. Just know that if you choose this route, you’ll need to be familiar enough with web hosting to set up and manage your box yourself.

 


Images for your Website

Unless you have a secret stock of photography ready to go, fancy-ing up your website with images can seem like an expensive task. Stock photos can run quite a pretty penny, and not everyone wants to pay a premium for photography.

The following resources are what I use to gather photography for my websites (this one included!):

  • CompFight
    Most of my images come from CompFight, which is a brilliant image search engine powered by Flickr. Just make sure to only the use images listed under the Creative Commons License, and give the photographer proper credit on your webpage.
  • FreeImages
    Again – be sure to credit the photographer.

WordPress Themes

Free WordPress Themes

In case you’re looking for a great WordPress themes to use on your next website, I’ve compiled a list of the best free WordPress themes I could find online. You won’t believe the quality you can get from a free theme!

Premium (Paid) Themes

There’s lots of resources available when you’re looking for the perfect premium WordPress theme, so here’s a list of a few suppliers I’ve used before:


 

 

If there are any other types of resources you think would be useful to have here, please let me know so I can add them.