Top 10 Websites to Learn Coding (Interactively) Online

By . Filed in Web 2.0

Gone are the days when programming languages could only be mastered programmers like Bill Gates, who later got to dominate the world by storm. Now everyone holds the same potential, and the chance to learn and even master programming language easily. Today, we will show you 10 interactive websites that will help you do that.

interactive code learning site

That’s right, forget about complicated setups and black, cold command prompts that make you want to quit before you start, and say hi to 10 educational websites with instant and interactive lessons that teach you programming languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby and even iOS. Pick up tips, screencasts and even best practices from industry professionals.

Kickstart the beginning of your new path into programming today!

Codecademy

Codecademy is indisputably the most famous website to teach you to code interactively, thanks to its helpful interface and well-structured courses. Upon visiting the main page, you can already start tasting the programming right away, with its motivating on-screen console. Pick a course that Codecademy offers from Web Fundamentals, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby and APIs.

codecademy

Inside each lesson is a panel that explains necessary code and instruction. Another panel allows you to get your hands dirty by writing acceptable code, then checking if you are doing the right thing. Don’t worry about making mistakes, as both instruction and code panels will warn you of errors, and provide hints. It is as if there’s a kind teacher right beside you.

Code Avengers

Code Avengers is designed to make you love programming. Though it only offers HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript course for now, each of the courses is carefully designed to truly entertain you while leveling your programming skills painlessly. At the end of each lesson you also get to play a mini game to release your cumulated stress, and keep you going for longer.

code avengers

Code Avengers has a gradual approach to interactive learning. It does not explain too much knowledge that isn’t essential for beginners, just a bit of code and playful instruction, making things very easy to digest. You also get to play with the code, then see the impact of the changes immediately. It is carefully crafted with the beginner’s comfort in mind.

Code School

After you finished courses in Codecademy or Code Avengers, and you are ready to further expand your capabilities, Code School is the next quality website you should land on. Unlike most interactive learning sites, Code School offers more in-depth courses to train and turn you into an expert with the industry’s best practices.

Overall, the courses are categorized into 4 main paths, and they are

  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • HTML/CSS
  • iOS

code school

Almost all courses are aggressively polished with impressive design and informative screencasts, though the challenges after the screencast might bit a bit hard for amateurs. Luckily, there are hints and answers to refer to. While most of the offered courses are free, certain ones will require you to spend $25/month to access the entire course including all screencasts and challenges, and also all other courses in Code School.

Treehouse

Treehouse courses are more project-oriented than language-oriented, so they are perfect for novice programmer with a planned purpose, such as building a website, or an application. For example, the Websites course is all about building a responsive website, interactive website or even WordPress theme – a very practical and efficient way to master related languages. Nonetheless, they have released a plethora of foundation courses with a video-then-quiz approach.

treehouse

For Treehouse, every course is divided into different stages or modules, and beyond every first stage the learner will be invited to pay a monthly subscription fee of $25 to access all courses with 650+ videos, and an exclusive Treehouse Members Forum as a bonus. If you are serious about your programming future, you could subscribe the $49 monthly plan to obtain in-depth interviews with leading industry pros and cutting-edge workshops.

LearnStreet

If you are that kind of personnel who do not fancy playful design and prefer to deal with cold hard codes, LearnStreet is probably your thing. It currently offers JavaScript, Python and Ruby courses at beginner level. With a click on the ‘Start Course’ button you will start the lesson with an exercise, a code interpreter and a glossary panel (for new programming terms).

learnstreet

LearnStreet adopts command prompt-styled code interpreters with human language to explain function and encourage you whenever possible, the kind of command prompt you want for your own local machine. However, the code interpreter could be as rude as standard command prompt, as most of the times it requires you to type in the absolute same code and content it asks for.

Other than that, it’s truly friendly and enjoyable, and most importantly, free.

Udacity

Udacity is the unification of insightful video lectures and improved quizzes to achieve the interactive feel for students, so it’s ideal for those who don’t like to read but rather get explanations from industry professionals such as Google employees.

udacity

You will be given a screencast from pros discussing the topics and instructions, then you will take either logic or programming quizzes to strengthen your understanding or forge it into a skill. The good thing about Udacity is it provides more videos than any other site, and the instructors are either real-life professors or industry veterans.

The only pitfall here is most courses are not much related to each other, so Udacity is probably not your starting point, but a virtual university to further your study.

CodeHS

At this point all websites you read here are mainly dedicated to web development and computer science, but CodeHS is one with simple and fun game programming lessons that involve problem solving, JavaScript, animation, data structures, game design and puzzle challenges.

codehs

The advantage of CodeHS is it teaches you to think, and solve a problem like a programmer with its first course, Programming with Karel. The lessons are fun as you will learn how to use the code to move the dog, Karel to complete given tasks and puzzles like picking up ball and building a towel. It plants a solid concept of programming and the way it solves the problem systematically in your mind.

Other than the course mentioned above, you must sign up first with $25 per month to continue your learning journey, but it’s a perfect site to learn basic game programming effectively.

Khan Academy

Although Khan Academy’s courses are not as structured as CodeHS, it serves as an open playground for both novice and amateurs particularly interested in learning drawing, animation and user interaction with code. It does not preach any specific programming language, but the code pattern it adopts can be applied anywhere, as a majority of languages share the similar programming pattern.

khan academy

You can first join the Programming Basics course to watch and learn basic concepts, then explore the given code after the video tutorial to validate your doubts. With Khan Academy, you can save your modification as a Spin-Off for everyone to enjoy and customize. There have been hundreds of spin-offs just from one lesson in one course, so imagine the community size, and the lesson’s effectiveness.

Scratch 2.0

Think CodeHS and Khan Academy are still too hardcore for your child, who has no comprehension beyond basic English? No worries, there is something even easier for your aspiring next-gen programmer, and it’s called Scratch. Previously an offline software that allow kids to create, upload and share their projects proudly, Scratch is now fully online with its 2.0 successor.

scratch 2.0

It’s not about programming though, but a combination of visual blocks of commands that tell assigned objects how to behave, such as telling the cat to move 10 steps, or yell ‘meow’ when it touches the owner’s leg. By using this visual programming method, the young programmers will form a habit of breaking a problem into smaller blocks, and solve them one by one logically.

SQLZOO

Structured Query Language (SQL) is just a language purely designed to store and retrieve data from a database, so imagine the boredom you will experience when programming a warehouse. Yet SQLZOO wants you to learn SQL happily with its interactive interface and smileys.

sqlzoo

Since there is really nothing too deep to explain for a straightforward language like SQL, the site will only ask you to replace the variables like city names or population number, and raise the difficulty from that level. One huge let-down will be the shortage of hints, answers and forum, so you are probably doomed if you fail to solve any one of the quizzes, just like old times.

Comparison Chart

Here’s a comparison chart for you to get a bird’s eye view of all these awesome places to learn how to code.

Website Course Feature Pricing Difficulty
Codecademy HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Ruby, Python, API Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free Easy – Intermediate
Code Avengers HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Note Free Easy
Code School HTML5, CSS, CSS3, jQuery, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, iOS Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Forum Free, $25/month Intermediate – Hard
Treehouse HTML, CSS, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, iOS, Android, UX, Database Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free, $25/month, $49/month Easy – Hard
LearnStreet HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free Easy
Udacity Web Development, HTML5, Python, Java, Computer Science, Algorithm, AI Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Forum Free Intermediate – Nightmare
CodeHS Problem Solving, JavaScript, Animation, Game Programming Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver Free, $25/month, $75/month Easy – Intermediate
Khan Academy Programming Basics, Canvas Drawing, Animation, User Interaction Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Project, Discussion Free Easy – Intermediate
Scratch 2.0 Visual Programming Visual Editor, Project, Forum Free Easy
SQLZOO SQL Code Interpreter Free Easy – Hard

Have you studied at any website we showcased above? How’s the experience? Or have we missed certain interactive learning sites with rich assets for budding programmers? Let us share our experiences and resources to help and inspire each other then!

Author:

Alvaris is a web designer, developer and staff writer for Hongkiat.com.

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