Becoming a web developer takes years of training and experience. School can help but is it really necessary? Getting a degree will help you land a steady job. And you will get paid well since web development is one of the leading job markets to date. Most corporate jobs though will not push you to become an expert in your field. School and a degree will teach you the basics, and some intermediate skills you need to work for a company punching a clock.

With so many sources online you can teach yourself and learn faster and more specific skills you need to hone your skills. Tons of business out there are people who are self taught. Code is somewhat of an art, and learning the basics gets you the fundamentals, but developing a productive efficient workflow will push you to the max.

web design

6 Websites that will help you learn to Code for Free

Writing code is an amazing skill to acquire, whether your reasons for learning are educational, recreational, or even for purely professional purposes there is no denying that in a rapidly advancing world, the ability to write code is certainly a commodity.

Still, understand that not everyone has the time to attend physical programming courses or the means to take expensive classes online. That is why we have compiled a list of 6 wonderful websites, all free to use, that are assured to be great virtual classrooms.

1) CodeAcademy

CodeAcademy is a website that is “committed to building the best learning experience inside and out…” they pride themselves on creating a new, innovative learning system that differs from standard classroom logic. With over 5.5 million registered users, CodeAcademy offers courses in HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP and registration is 100% free.

2)The Code Player
The Code Player is a free interactive website that allows its users to watch video walkthroughs of different coding elements in order to explain the step-by-step process of coding on a more comprehensive platform. The Code Player offers lessons in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript and even allows users to create their own video walkthroughs presentations after they becoming coding experts.

3) Udacity
Developed by Stanford University, Udacity is a MOOC (massive online open course) that makes actual college courses and programs free to take online. Udacity offers the same Introduction to Computer Science course that is taught at some of the major universities in the country. This course is completely free to take but Udacity does offer a more in depth formal enrollment for a monthly fee.

4) Coursera
Coursera is another MOOC that allows users to take free online courses from some of the Nation’s top universities. Courses on Coursera are also offered in five different languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese and are taught by professors from all over the world.

5) Code Racer
Combining the fundamentals of coding with online racing games, Code Racer is a definite must for those who find traditional online courses tiresome. Online users experience fast-paced learning of HTML and CSS while trying to stay ahead of the “race track”. Code Racer is also great for more experienced coders who are looking to exercise their coding skills. Registration and use of Code Racer are completely free to use.

6) HTML5 Rocks
HTML5 Rocks is a website developed by Google that is free of charge and grants users access to a database of resources to help them learn HTML5. Users of HTML5 Rocks have the benefit of learning through different types of media, such as, slideshows, video presentations, as well as traditional text. HTML5 Rocks also offers its users the opportunity to choose from three different development categories of studies and focuses (gaming, mobile, or business).

Other resources

Search Engine Visibility

What Is Google Penguin And How Does It Affect You?

Google Penguin was first launched in April 2012. The goal was to stop sites from spamming their search results, particularly those who bought links or used rank boosting paid link networks. Whenever there is a major Google update, however, people struggle in terms of what to do. By the time they have figured it out, a new update is already available. This has happened with Google Panda, which was quickly followed by Google Penguin, followed by Google Hummingbird. However, some of the key rules remain in place and it is important to be aware of these in order to have a high ranking website.

History of Google Penguin

Penguin was an update that was launched on April 24, 2012. It changed the way Google’s algorithm ranked sites. Essentially, the goal was to punish those websites that spammed Google itself. Spam tactics include “cloaking” and “keyword stuffing,” which violate the guidelines that Google has designed.

Once upon a time, Google would only update once every few years. Now, however, their algorithm changes around twice a day. And every once in a while, the changes are so significant that they give it a name. Penguin is one of those, as are Panda and Hummingbird.

What Does Penguin Look for in Its Algorithm?

Only Google really knows what its algorithm looks for specifically. However, Penguin has a very strong focus on links and making sure that any link on someone’s website is actually genuine. Essentially, any link to a website is a vote for its authority. The higher the authority of the site that links, the more “points” Google will award to it. However, getting lots of little points from insignificant websites is equally beneficial. This is where things went wrong, however, as this opened the doors for low quality websites to link to others in order to get their rankings up. As such, Penguin now looks for high quality links.

Penguin also focuses on anchor texts. This is the piece of text that actually encourages people to click on the link. Google wants to see that the links actually refer to what they state. For instance, an anchor text such as “dog walking” should not link to a website that offers a home shopping service, for instance. Again, however, people found that they could manipulate this, which is another reason why Penguin came into play.

Essentially, Google tries to detect how many links a website has going into and out of it. What Penguin does is detect just what the quality of these links are. The exact algorithm is not known, but is also irrelevant for a website owner.

Best Practices for a Penguin Fix

When Penguin was first released, a lot of people saw their page ranking and authority drop massively. These websites clearly had a lot of link manipulation. Others, however, only saw a small reduction. This could mean that they were unaware of the fact that they had been manipulating with poor quality links.

The time of being able to pull the wool over Google’s eyes is well and truly over, however, and it is vital to actually stick to the rules when it comes to having a good quality website. Penguin runs periodically, giving you the time to recover from a hit each time. For instance, it ran in April 2012 when it was first launched and then again in October 2013 (with a few runs in between). Every website owner should monitor when a Penguin run is happening and see what its effects are on their websites.

If their ranking drops, then it is clear that one or more of the links to and from their website are not of high quality. This is an opportunity to review the links that are there, remove any unnatural ones and focus on the anchor text as well. Additionally, website owners can use the “disavow tool” for those links that they are unable to remove. This means that they will be ignored by the algorithm completely.

Additionally, if Penguin has made your site’s ranking drop, there is no need to file a reconsideration request. You also do not need to keep manual documentation of your efforts to improve your ranking. This is because Penguin is not the same as a manual unnatural links penalty. If you receive a manual penalty, then someone will actually have filed a report against you on Google. That is something that you can, often very successfully, protest against. A Penguin drop in rankings, however, means that there is an issue with your links. And you need a plan for Penguin Recovery.