Treehouse: the future for DIY web design, web development and iOS

by Amber Dermoudy

Ever tried your hand at building your own website from scratch, only to later give up citing “irreconcilable differences” or changing this particular project status to “it’s complicated”? Even with advancements like WordPress and pre-formulated templates, sometimes it’s still not enough to give you the edge and control that you really crave for your website – and heck, you don’t have the time for a lengthy course or degree on the matter.

It’s for this reason that the people of Treehouse are really making a difference. After all, their mission statement is “to teach web design, web development and iOS to everyone in the world who wants to learn.”

What is Treehouse?

Treehouse is a group of experts who have collaborated and pooled together their knowledge in each area of web technology in order to offer the best possible resources for beginners in iOS, web design and web development. Formerly known as Think Vitamin, Treehouse was originally introduced to the web in 2006 as a site where web professionals could look up references written with quality and expertise. The startup venture was reworked into the current Treehouse back in the summer of 2010. At that time, founder and CEO Ryan Carson realised that the site had the potential to attract web desin beginners and help them launch their own online businesses by clearing up the confusion.

Treehouse teaches web design and development through a series of high-quality videos that cover specific areas. With a library of over 700 videos, the site’s subscribers are free to decide what to start on and continue based on their preferences. Aside from being high-quality, the videos are also close-captioned – a neat feature for those with hearing disabilities or a preference to learn in silence.

As a motivational factor, Treehouse also awards the users badges for each area of expertise they have completed. For example, watching all videos in Photoshop Foundations under web design earns them 4 badges (similar to those in Foursquare). And just like at uni, there are quizzes and code challenges or problems which users must solve to show that they know their material.  To make the experience even more user-friendly, all videos can be downloaded for offline viewing – a valuable option for those who don’t have constant high-speed internet.

In a perfect world, everything good is free. Although potential users need to pay to access the training videos, the knowledge they get in exchange is well worth it. At the most basic subscription level (silver membership), Treehouse guarantees the user unlimited access to the startup’s massive video collection as well as closed captioning for the videos. If a customer is still not satisfied with the Silver Membership which is priced at $25 per month, they can opt for an upgrade to Gold Membership.

With Gold Membership (valued at $49 per month), users can access even more extra features geared towards maximising their knowledge of web design and development. By offering knowledge for a fraction of the cost of a technology degree, Treehouse occupies a comfortable spot between self-study and university study. And at a time when time is invaluable, this type of easily-accessed interactive education is perhaps the most practical of them all.

by Amber Dermoudy

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