Ever seen a website from the 90s? They’re all blocky text and coloured boxes, like someone copied and pasted them from a Microsoft Word document. To anyone currently interested in web design, they’re almost painful. I mean, just look at Amazon’s original site:
Or how about Yahoo?
These sites were revolutionary at the time, the best designs that HTML had to offer, and now we, with our beautiful splash pages, media integration and broad website functionality, laugh at how archaic they seem.
We’ve come a long way from the early days of HTML. Today, anyone can create gorgeous websites to entertain followers, promote brands or sell products. We drag and drop our way to dynamic, customized websites in just minutes. It’s so simple, and yet web design and development is actually an intricate art with constantly evolving technology.
For those of us who want to understand what’s going on behind the scenes, there are plenty of places to learn web design, theory and code for free. One of the largest, most accessible troves of web design knowledge is YouTube, where professional designers and developers can create easy-to-follow, visually engaging tutorials.
10 best YouTube channels for web design tips
If you’re looking to take your lifestyle blog, author page or online custom T-shirt store to the next level, here are (in no particular order) the 10 best YouTube channels for web design tips and lessons, so your site won’t end up looking like you pulled it straight out of the 90s.
Sure, you can copy and paste some code to create a green box or change your headers to Avenir Bold. But does that teach you anything? Scott Tolinski and Ben Schaaf’s goal is to “teach more than just what to type when.” They create tutorials that aim to turn around your web tapestry, exposing the loose ends and stitchwork behind it. They supplement their HTML, CSS, and Drupal guides with practical applications within platforms like WordPress. A great option for anyone looking to dive into the basics and work their way up.
All hail Google, Refiner of the Search, Keeper of Internet Knowledge and Lord of the Web Crawlers (have I been binging Game of Thrones? Maybe). But seriously, Google has its hands in everything, especially YouTube content. Developers is less about web design tips/tutorials and more about news, industry trends, interviews, and best practices. Sessions from conferences, developer interviews, updates on Google technology: it’s a smorgasbord of enlightening videos. And since Google pretty much runs the Internet, it’s worth looking to them for what’s next in the world web design.
Gary Simon can show you how to do it all. His channel offers a spectrum of lessons on both backend and frontend web development, so you can learn both sides of the coin, gain a more comprehensive understanding of design and transform into a full stack developer. Gary’s created over 100 courses for Envato Network’s TutsPlus.com, DigitalTutors.com, Pluralsight.com, LinkedIn Learning & Lynda.com, so he knows what he’s doing.
Who said building websites was all about the code? I mean, yeah, the code is a huge part, but an artistic eye is equally important. If you lean more toward the frontend design elements of web development, let Charli Marie indulge you. A talented graphic designer, she intertwines art and technology and shows how they interact on the web. Plus, her vlog posts offer some great professional development advice on time management, organization, freelancing and life as a designer.
Derek Banas will teach you Java in 30 minutes. Don’t believe it? Give it a try. He’s more programming focused that some others on this list, but he makes helpful videos for anyone looking to learn code and apply it to their everyday Internet lives. He’s a web development polymath, with comprehensive lessons on all kinds of topics. His videos are 30-60 minute deep dives into the essentials behind web programming. Want to learn Python while cradling an overstuffed burrito on your lunch break? This channel is for you.
Sometimes when I watch people do things they’re really good at, I get discouraged. ‘Why can’t I be that good?’ I say, without any plans to put in the time or practice. But somehow, Child’s videos are highly motivational and uplifting. He’s a designer and illustrator with a bunch of great web design tips and an open invitation to watch him work. He has a running series where he streams his own work sessions, providing valuable insight into design techniques and workflow. And if that wasn’t enough, Child also offers walkthroughs of Ruby on Rails, Illustrator and more, so you can make your portfolio or online store jump off the screen.
UI/UX is an essential part of web design, and Mike Locke’s videos are essential viewing for anyone looking to enter the field. He’s engaging and passionate, and his channel is chock full of practical wisdom. Locke doesn’t stick only to technical stuff; he has plenty of videos on professional development for people in all stages of their design journeys. Come for the UX advice, stay for the career advancement.
Ever stare at an Adobe Illustrator window for several minutes, wondering what each tool does, before selecting one at random, realizing you have no idea what you’re doing and questioning your whole life? No? Well, I have. And Tutvid’s broad catalogue of Adobe tutorials will ensure that you never will. Learn how to create logos, edit videos, develop photos and design awesome web elements.
The Net Ninja
That’s about enough video content to last you the rest of this year, and next, and maybe the one after that. Web design and development is tough, there’s no doubt about it. But with so much knowledge at our fingertips, so many experts willing to share their wisdom, even beginners can build functional, engaging websites for any purpose. So, whether you’re selling a custom T-shirt or showing the world how cute your dog is in a rain jacket, spend an afternoon (or several) studying these channels, and you’ll gain the skills and confidence to make it happen.
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