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Basic coding has long been the Achilles’ heel of the internet marketing community.  For too long, marketers have been willing to outsource every aspect of their web development and software creation to outside sources, costing thousands of dollars and sapping the creative control from the people who make the business decisions.  If you want to accelerate your journey into internet marketing stardom, the best thing that you can do for yourself is learning how to code basic HTML and CSS.

What are HTML and CSS?

These fancy acronyms are the building blocks of the internet, the programming language that tells computers all around the world how to display and navigate websites.  Without HTML and CSS, standardization of the internet would be impossible, and every web browser would use completely different interpretations of how to display the same content.  

Why Should I Learn?

Learning how to code might seem useless, especially with the plethora of “coding free” website builders and content management systems that are available for all skill levels of designers and developers.  Wordpress has become one of the most widely used tools in the world, especially in the internet marketing community, for the ease that non-coders can throw together a rudimentary website or blog.  Unfortunately, these template-based solutions have become SO popular that website viewers have become desensitized to their appearances.  The ability to alter the templates is vital for web developers that want to make their sites stand out, but this requires some form of coding.  Basically, unless you learn how to code, you will be stuck with boring sites or massive developer bills.

Building a Computer Science Foundation

With only a few exceptions, most countries do not incorporate programming curriculum into the mandatory coursework for their primary schools.  Learning how to code is thus a pursuit that must be self-guided, either through advanced study or through the use of tutorials and guidebooks.  I highly recommend that anyone without the rudimentary tool-kit to begin editing computer code begin with an introduction to computer science class.  These CS classes are available at nearly every college and technical school across the world, and they should be relatively cheap to enroll in as a non-degree student.

If you live in a part of the world without access to institutes of higher-learning, enroll in the free online “MOOC” classes that are offered through EdX or Coursera.  These courses have real college professors who will guide you through the computer science curriculum with graded assignments and class discussions to ensure that you are learning.

Your First (Free!) Programming Classes

After you have mastered the basics of computers and coding, move on to learning HTML and CSS with online tutorials.  The best tutorial that I have found on web development fundamentals is the one offered on Code Academy, a startup that produces high quality lectures and exercises that are free to download and utilize.  These lessons will guide you through, step by step, the process for coding your own website.  Using an intuitive editor program, and a script checker that can tell if you are succeeding, the program will ensure that you learn the best practices of whatever coding language you start with.

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