Why Bloggers Should Learn Code & 5 Places to Learn How


When I tell people that I blog, more often than not, they say, “Oh, you're into computers, eh?” Yes, even in San Francisco/Silicon Valley the global epicenter for technology. The truth is, I really don't know “computers” that well. I bought a new laptop on Sunday and needed my husband to help set it up. When it comes to code, admittedly, I know the very basic of the basic of HTML and that's about it.

Why Should Bloggers Learn to Code?

It came to me when I knew I wanted to do things with my blog, but didn't have the technical knowledge to make it happen. Things would break, and I couldn't fix them. Sure, I could pay to have them fixed but…

  • Developers are expensive.
  • Finding good, reliable and affordable developers is incredibly hard.
  • Finding developers who love your website as much as you do… well, also hard.

What do you do when you want to run an experiment on your blog with a new interactive feature? Should you pay a developer to do it? And what happens if you don't like it? Change it back. That also costs money. Sure you can have the basic template for your blog, but after a certain point you become a slave to what's available (at a low cost). You'll continually be following trends rather than innovating.

…after a certain point you become a slave to what's available (at a low cost). You'll continually be following trends rather than innovating.

The truth is, I'm writing the post more for myself than for everyone else. I love the developers I use now, they're fantastic. But it still costs money every.single.time. I want to do something. It becomes a question of how badly it's needed. Also, knowing code helps to know what's possible, if you do work with developers, it helps you to give direction, and knowing code is a rare and desperately needed skill, if you want to go beyond blogging and found a start-up, it will help you get funding if you know how to code.

Where To Learn Code:

Luckily there are loads of resources online and even locally (especially for those living in the San Francisco Bay Area). Many cities have meetups and classes that teach code, but here are a few places you can start looking:



Code.org has basic tutorials available for free and in multiple languages. Stick your toes in creating mobile apps, java script, create a holiday card, or just tinker with creating your own program!

Girl Develop It

girl develop it

If you're more into taking real-life classes, Girl Develop It is an organization specifically to teach women to code.  The classes vary in price, and are available around the US, Australia and Canada. Who says code is for boys?


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If you're more a self-starter or can't attend a physical class, Codecademy has free interactive courses for everything from HTML to Python.

c<>de school

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A little more indepth, c<>de school has a subscription program, so for $29 per month you can learn from their online courses.

Coding Dojo

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If you have some time on your hands (and maybe even looking for a career change) and are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Coding Dojo can teach you to become a junior developer in just 12 weeks. Various coding bootcamps are around, so look around for one near you if that's an option! I personally would love to do it!

Do you know code? How did you learn? Do share!

[image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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21 Responses

  1. Zunera Serena

    Wow great timing and once again great post. I spent all day learning about CSS stylesheet and I couldn’t agree more that bloggers should learn this for their own blogs.

  2. Monika Faulkner

    To be honest, I’m still learning my way around my blogger template…adding “code” on top of that seems really scary. And since I’m doing all my blogging with my iPad right now (I don’t even have a smartphone yet, I’m THAT low-tech!) I don’t believe it’s an option. But I will keep it in mind for when I upgrade to a laptop!!

  3. Adrian

    Great article! I’m in the process of searching for developers now and it’s been a long, hard process. If I knew more I could be saving a lot of money in the future. I will definitely check out some of the options listed in this article.

  4. Brian Jackson

    This was a great piece of article, really enjoyed reading it. And yup, I’m still learning too, but this article really helped me a lot.


  5. Shannon

    Fantastic post! It’s amazing how many little things come up on a day to day basis that require little tweaks here and there. In my last post I wrote about my frustration with HTML after trying for two days to figure out why I was getting huge gaps between an image and a link. Learning code is literally like learning another language, but it’s a necessary language in this crazy blogging world. Really looking forward to browsing these resources!


  6. Kimberly

    Now THIS Is useful information! Basic html is a must — I’m so happy I started building websites when I was in Jr High, even tho ppl made fun of me, it’s been extremely helpful as an adult. And knowing how to at least edit basic PHP and understanding CSS can save you a lot of time, frusteration and money (esp if you use wordpress). But honestly, editing a php template is pretty much common sense once you start fooling around with it.


  7. Sarah-Louise

    In total agreement with this post. And surprisingly the other week I was reading a post about learning code for blogging (can’t remember where) and there was a comment on it where a blogger had basically said they didn’t see the point in learning to code and that focusing on content was more important. I couldn’t believe it! Of course content is fundamentally important to the success of your blog but let’s be honest there’s nothing worse than a blog with terrible design – it puts off readers.
    I’m trying to pick up some code myself, as you pointed out it’s really helpful when you can troubleshoot and understand why something has went wrong. I’ve focused a little more on CSS at this stage as I was trying to fix padding and things on my blog but am planning to delve more into the html. I know the basics, but there’s plenty to learn!

    Thank you for this post!


  8. Oksana Radionova

    You forgot to mention what may be the most important reason to learn code: SEO! How else will you know about primary keywords, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc.?

    I’ve been fortunate in that I was a freelance graphic + web designer before starting my blog, but I cannot imagine the hassle other bloggers go through trying to figure out the basics, let alone more complex coding. Shameless plug: I do freelance graphic + web design! Feel free to email me for a free project estimate! XOXO


  9. Katerina

    That was a great article, so useful. When I first started -not that long ago- I was so overwhelmed from all the information concerning Blogger or WordPress that I had to work with a developer. But still there are things I need to fix or change or add and can’t do it by myself. So I believe basic HTML is absolutely necessary.

  10. Monica

    I learned to code with the first version of my blog. I had to. A friend created it for me but whenever I needed something, I had to pay him to do it or wait until he had some free time. It was time consuming. My blog was nicer looking but I switched to WordPress because I didn’t want to take the time to code anymore. Sometimes you have to decide what’s more important to you. My time feels more valuable so if I need future coding, I’d rather pay the money.

  11. George Saines

    Hey Jennine, I definitely agree with your conclusion, as someone who struggled with WordPress customization for a year or two, I found myself bumping up against the prebuilt limits of the templates almost immediately. That’s actually the reason that my cofounders and I started CodeCombat since I’d tried Codecademy and several others repeatedly but could never stick with it.

    Here are some of the other resources I’ve found that might be interesting for your readers:
    Grok Learning: https://groklearning.com/
    Dash: https://dash.generalassemb.ly/
    Thinkful: http://www.thinkful.com/
    One Month Rails: https://onemonthrails.com/
    Betathegame: http://betathegame.com/
    CodeHS: http://codehs.com/
    Treehouse: http://teamtreehouse.com/
    CodeAvengers: http://www.codeavengers.com/
    Skillcrush: http://skillcrush.com/

  12. Taylor D

    I definitely think knowing coding is a huge advantage these days. Having the power to design your blog exactly the way YOU imagine it is so helpful and important!

  13. Eli Guerrero

    Great post, but I’m not pretty sure that learning to code is always a good idea.

    It’s for sure the cheaper way for starting and get a decent blogsite. But, the time you want to move an step forward I think you must focus on content and let design/seo/coding to somebody else. High quality content is king at Internet (you’ll get your traffic through it). And getting this interesting content requires lots of hours…

    What do you think?

  14. Ashley Taylor

    I know and have learned a bit of code, because my boyfriend is a web developer. That’s actually how we met. I hired him to create my site. Now we run a web design business and are building our own blogging platform!

    xo Ashley

  15. Lix

    Thanks for sharing these resources – I’ll be sure to check them out. I know a little bit of code, but not as much as I’d like to. To be honest, the graphic side of web design is a lot more appealing to me, and even if I learned to code, I’m pretty sure I’d rather stick to offering graphic design services and only minor coding/website setup and installation – but knowing how to build a website still seems like an essential bit of expertise for my career so I’d like to have a more thorough understanding of it than I do.

  16. Kris

    hey Jennine, this is in complete parallel to my current M.O. I think it’s important to learn code so that you can accurately depict your persona via a digital platform b/c that’s definitely where we’re heading. & yeah… hiring developers is such a cockblock to life, financially lol. thanks for the encouragement & the resources. I can’t wait to improve my site.

    Kris x loveyouduh

  17. Josh

    You’re totally right there Jennine. There are also many more negative things when hiring someone to code for you, like if you find developer which promises you he will do something in about few hours, and then it turn out you wait him for few days to finish, while all your work waits and you’ll loosing money and nerves.
    Too much reasons to learn to code by yourself.

    I like this post, you’ve done it very informative and detailed. Good job!

    Best regards,