A few years ago I wanted to learn to code, but I had no idea how to get started.
Today I work as an engineer on the Publisher Engineering team here at Mediavine. A question I hear often is the one I was asking myself: Where to start?
When I first began, my only coding experience thus far was tweaking things on my WordPress blog. I realized that I could edit the CSS on my WordPress theme, and began experimenting. I knew I wanted to learn more, but wasn’t sure what to learn next.
There’s a vast amount of free coding resources on the internet, so deciding on what to choose can seem overwhelming for a beginner.
Let’s go over some of the essentials of web development and some of the best resources for getting started with coding.
So You Want to Learn to Code…
Most people with any interest in coding have probably played around with HTML at some point. HTML blocks are the building blocks of the internet. HTML is at the core of every web page and provides the basic structures of our sites.
HTML is a fantastic starting point for anyone who wants to learn web development.
Here are a few great (and free) resources for learning HTML:
If your site was a house, you could picture HTML as its fundamental building blocks. HTML could be the walls, roof or furniture. CSS on the other hand is the styling of your site. If an HTML element is a wall, then CSS is the color of the wall.
While “the frontend” of a site is commonly described as the part of the web you can see and interact with, the backend of a site usually makes up things that a site’s user cannot see, such as your site’s database and server.
There are many backend (or server side) languages to learn from. One of them is PHP.
PHP is a commonly used server-side language. WordPress is written using PHP and you may have seen it if you’ve looked at the theme of your WordPress site. While most WordPress users don’t need to know PHP to have a WordPress site, knowing PHP can help you understand more of how your site works. With PHP you can develop WordPress plugins and create WordPress themes, as well as create any kind of site or app you want.
Here’s a couple of resources for getting started with PHP and WordPress. These are resources that have been helpful to many developers here at Mediavine.
One of the ways that Mediavine developers like to learn beyond taking tutorials is by building. If you have an idea for a site or app you are excited about, start building it and Google as you go.
Coding can seem daunting, but anyone can learn to code with practice and in time.
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