Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 by Jonas Schmedtmann is not Udemy’s most advanced course. As the title suggests, its focus is the modern versions of HTML and CSS.
So what exactly makes this HTML and CSS course so special?
And as a student, you get to start from the ground up. It’s rare that a Udemy course doesn’t throw all sorts of technology at you, especially with the booming popularity of all-in-one coding bootcamp-style courses. After all, the Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele has nearly 500,000 students enrolled. So that must be what most students want, right?
And the success of Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 is proof of that. (The “5” in HTML5 simply means you’re working with the most up-to-date major version of HTML. Same with the “3” in CSS3. But make no mistake, there are a LOT of features in these newer versions.) Clocking in at a modest 12 hours, this Jonas Schmedtmann course boasts nearly 150,000 students. With a 4.6 average rating, it’s also one of the best-rated on Udemy too.
So is it any good?
Like most things in life…It depends.
If you have zero experience with web development – read on.
If you already know HTML5 & CSS3, move on. (May I interest you in a React course?)
Schmedtmann’s course starts off with nearly 30 minutes of HTML basics. Images, links, HTML structure, and a nice 10-question HTML quiz are some of this section’s features.
Then you swiftly move on to CSS (used to style your HTML).
Then comes the “protein” of the course, and the reason you paid for it: the project. Jonas Schmedtmann actually invented a fake company exclusively for this course. You’ll be making a website for this company, and it’s no simple task.
First, you’ll be challenged for hours as you add features and functionality.
Then you’ll use media queries and learn responsive web design. He has you spend over an hour adding some cool animation effects with jQuery, and then it’s on to optimization. Finally, you launch your project for the world to see.
As a bonus, you get to learn Flexbox, and some quickie PHP to make your project’s form work. But don’t worry, the PHP thing is largely just a code-along to make your project more interactive, rather than an actual coding or software development lesson.
Like I mentioned earlier, the biggest and best feature of Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 is the project. Hands down. It really helps that you aren’t bogged down with other side challenges or mini-projects. You focus on one capstone project for the entire course, a food delivery site called Omnifood. This lets you concentrate your efforts on one big site that looks great with its clean, modern layout and styling.
With some tweaks, you could easily fit this project into your design portfolio, or even use in your front-end developer portfolio.
The other thing I like about this course is the 7-step systematic approach to building projects. This is a skill you can apply to just about any web development project.
He defines these 7 steps as follows:
- Define your project
- Plan out everything
- Sketch your ideas before you design
- Design and develop your website
- It’s not done yet: optimization
- Launch the masterpiece
- Site maintenance
While the project and the 7-step methodology are fantastic, the course is not without its weak spots.
My critique with this course is that you are only scratching the surface with HTML5 & CSS3. There are so many things HTML5 can do now. Gone are the days where it simply just helped format text and images! Similarly, CSS has a ton of amazing features that are not mentioned in this course, such as Grid Layout.
(To be fair, Schmedtmann has another course on advanced CSS, where he also shows you the finer aspects of Flexbox.)
The other issue is the lack of updates. Unfortunately, the last update was in November 2018. In the world of web development, that’s a long time. Towards the end of the course it becomes more and more obvious that the updates are negatively affecting your ability to code efficiently, especially with the jQuery section. This can definitely be a make-or-break if you’re totally new to coding, and at the very least, pretty frustrating.
Also, keep in mind the instructor has medium-to-heavy accent, so some of the concepts may be difficult to hear or understand. Closed captions could solve this potential issue.
In summary, Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 by Jonas Schmedtmann is an excellent beginner’s video course – with caveats.
While it doesn’t touch upon many of the more elegant options in HTML5 & CSS3, it does give you the building blocks to build beautiful, basic websites. Be prepared to push past a few frustrating sections where things are rusty and dusty.
The main focus is building one single project, giving you lots of hands-on opportunities. That’s a great skill to have! Whether you end it there or move on to front-end or full-stack web development, you’ll be equipped to do some pretty cool things.
Check out the course here!
Sticks to the building blocks - no confusing extras
One big beautiful project
Scratches the surface of HTML & CSS
No Grid Layout section
Only the real basics of Flexbox are explained
Outdated in places