How Long Does It Take To Learn HTML and CSS Together?

In front-end web development, HTML and CSS are the most common markup and stylesheet languages, respectively. You need to learn both if you want to develop web pages or websites. So, how long does it take to learn HTML and CSS together? And, can you learn both yourself?

It can take between 2 to 6 months to learn HTML and CSS together, depending on the hours you put in daily and your familiarity with coding or expertise in computer languages. Mastering HTML and CSS will likely take 1 year or longer, subject to how you practice. 

You may learn the basics of HTML first and, subsequently, CSS. You can also choose to learn both simultaneously if the learning process doesn’t overwhelm you, but you will still require a structured approach. Read on to find out how long it could take to learn HTML and CSS together.

How Long It Takes To Learn HTML and CSS on Your Own

Those with an academic background in computer science or some exposure to related courses in high school or summer programs will probably learn HTML and CSS much faster than others with no familiarity with coding and languages.

Likewise, if you have some knowledge of HTML or its fundamentals, you might be able to start learning CSS immediately. But if you don’t know the basics of HTML, you need to learn those before you can explore the fundamentals of CSS.

learning html and css takes a few weeks
It is not uncommon to learn HTML and CSS on your own. But if nothing else I would strongly advise you to at least find yourself a mentor. Mentor will tremendously speed up the time it takes to learn to be good enough to land the first job.

You can learn both HTML and CSS on your own with the help of online resources, including but not limited to the following:

  • Books and self-learning guides
  • Tutorials: text, audio, and video
  • Practice test papers and quizzes
  • Projects for different skill levels

Info: In this article, I go much deeper into how to properly learn HTML on your own. After you know the basics of HTML you can slowly start adding CSS. It is enough if you spend 30-50 or so hours learning HTML alone, then start adding CSS. Sadly only knowing HTML is not enough to get a job, you need to know CSS and usually, JavaScript as well to land a starting front-end dev job (it took me around 3.5 months in a BootCamp to learn enough to get the first job in the field).

So, what if you have all the essential resources to learn HTML and CSS on your own? How long will it take you to learn both languages? Well, this depends on various factors, including the following:

Daily Hours Studying HTML and CSS

Suppose you decide to dedicate 5 hours per day to learning HTML and CSS. In this case, you will probably need around 8 days or 40 hours to learn the basics of HTML. If you spend fewer than 5 hours per day, the number of days is likely to increase proportionately.

Once you are familiar with the HTML fundamentals, such as tags, elements, and attributes, you will need to practice them for at least 2 or 3 days, so it would be cumulative of 10 or 15 hours if you study for 5 hours daily. Hence, expect to spend around 50 study hours learning the basics of HTML.

If you cannot study for 5 hours every day, and can only dedicate 2 hours daily, you’d need at least 25 days to learn and practice the HTML basics.

Useful info: Do you know there are more than a hundred HTML tags? But don’t worry, you will not need to know them all. Only a dozen or two are enough for daily use.

CSS takes a bit longer to learn than HTML. You may require around 100 study hours to learn all the CSS fundamentals, including basic practice, such as writing the codes and testing them. So, if you study for 5 hours every day, you’ll need at least 20 days to learn CSS.

If you spend only 2 hours or so per day, you will need up to 50 days to learn CSS. This duration isn’t confined only to CSS because you will continue to learn or improve your HTML knowledge simultaneously. 

As you learn and practice CSS rulesets, studying the selectors will refresh your memory of the HTML elements. Plus, you will have more clarity about how tags and attributes work. After you are adequately familiar with both HTML and CSS, you must test your skills with a few projects.

By this time, you will have already spent 30 days (5 hours daily) or 75 days (2 hours daily). The duration of the next phase of learning depends on how you practice and the number of projects you work on. You should try at least 5 different types of projects. Ideally, however, you should try 10 or so.

What if you practice writing HTML and CSS codes for 5 static web pages for beginners? In this instance, you may need 4 to 5 hours of coding for each, subject to your acquired skills. If you can spend that time daily, you will need 5 days for 5 projects. Larger or more complex projects will take longer.

Video: Learn HTML & CSS in 2022 | Crash Course (don’t worry if it feels hard at start, with practice the tags and CSS selectors become second nature)

Learning HTML and CSS From Scratch

Beginners should be able to master the basics of HTML and CSS together in ~150 hours. Such a learning curve is expected to prepare you to write codes without referencing any directories for the following:

  • Attributes
  • Elements
  • Properties
  • Selectors
  • Tags
  • Values

However, if you start to learn HTML and CSS from scratch, ~150 hours may be a conservative estimate. Beginners with absolutely no familiarity with coding or any computer language, be it for programming or the likes of HTML and CSS, may need more time to grasp the technicalities.

Consider the issue of syntax, for example. The formats of codes and the use of symbols will be easy to understand for those with some knowledge of coding or programming. Let me use C++ as a reference point to draw parallels in the context of HTML and CSS:

  • In C++, I can include comments in the code or program by using // or /* */. If I use //, the comment follows the two slashes. In the case of /* */, my comments will be in the space between the slashes and asterisks. Comments don’t affect the code or program.
  • In HTML, I can add comments between <!– and –> (and is the placeholder here). Anything written as comments will not appear on the webpage or website. Check the example below
  • CSS uses the same syntax as C++ does for longer comments, which is /* */. In any CSS code, I can add comments between /* and */. Web browsers ignore such comments in both CSS and HTML.
<h1> Hello world. This is a title and it is visble. </h1>
<!-- I can write any comment in here. This is a standard comment and will not be visible on a website.  -->
<p> This is visible paragraph.

So, if you are a little familiar with the codes and syntax of any computer program, you may need significantly less time initially to learn all the basics of HTML and CSS. A similar reason applies to learning HTML first and then CSS.

You need to know the HTML elements to understand what CSS does. HTML is the structure that CSS modifies with various attributes or details. HTML also has attributes for its set of elements and tags. Being familiar with those will naturally help you to understand the basics of CSS much faster.

Your Methods of Learning and Practice

The duration of learning anything eventually boils down to a few realities, such as:

  • Aptitude
  • Discipline
  • Focus
  • Intelligence
  • Knowledge
  • Practice

I can’t emphasize how important is the practice to learn the basics of web development. When starting out you will often feel stuck. Use Google and slowly you will move forward. With enough regular practice, the HTML and CSS syntax becomes to feel so natural, you don’t even need to think about what to type in order to create any website. It becomes as automatic as writing in your mother’s language.

Video: Basics of HTML syntax explained in 5 minutes

Some people will obviously take longer to learn HTML and CSS than others due to one or more of these factors. Plus, a few specific elements related to computer languages might have a significant impact on the duration of your learning curve. A relevant example is a logic.

Everything about computer programs, whether languages or systems, are essentially about logic. If you have a reasonable understanding of computer logic, you might quickly learn the nodes or data structures and semantics of HTML and CSS. Otherwise, you may take longer.

Additionally, your learning method and practice will influence how long you need to learn HTML and CSS. You don’t need to consciously memorize or rote anything if you practice writing the codes as you learn and progress through the various phases. 

Trying to memorize everything without any practice or writing code is an impractical method because there are 100s of elements and tags in HTML and CSS combined. If you consider the essential attributes and potential property values, there are exponentially more possibilities.

This necessity of practicing or writing code impacts how quickly a person can learn HTML and CSS. If you cannot study daily and practice what you learned soon enough, you might forget the tags, elements, or even the formats in different scenarios.

For instance, HTML uses < and > to open and close a tag. Also, HTML has both start and end tags. The latter is < />. CSS uses { and } to open and close a declaration. A CSS rule set uses a colon : after a property but a semicolon ; following the property value. 

The fastest way to learn all the formats and syntax elements is by practicing coding, i.e., typing or writing, not copying and pasting. Similarly, practice will help you to understand the variations of anything, such as the types of selectors, how to use two or more for the same declaration, etc.

Video: Learn CSS in 20 Minutes

How Long It Takes To Learn HTML and CSS in a Boot Camp

There are different types of HTML and CSS boot camps available online and offline. I don’t want to generalize because there are enormous differences among the various courses available and their durations. So, let me compare a few boot camps to offer you a fair idea.

The University of California, Berkeley, has a CSS coding boot camp that also covers HTML and JavaScript. A full-time program spans 3 months, whereas the part-time version is for 6 months. I’ll discuss why I am talking about a CSS, HTML, and JavaScript boot camp in the next section.

In contrast, Udemy’s HTML and CSS boot camp for beginners is an on-demand video program spanning 2 hours and 30 minutes. You will learn only the simplest basics of HTML and CSS with this Udemy course, whereas the Berkeley boot camp is comprehensive and practical.

If you need employment-ready knowledge and practice of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you will probably benefit from longer boot camps or programs than online courses and videos spanning a few hours. However, Udemy has boot camps with intermediate and advanced courses as well.

The Advanced CSS and Sass course. I actually bought this Udemy course and it is great (I own dozens of web dev courses, but that’s another story 🙂 ). I especially love advanced concepts of animations and the use of flexbox and grid. This course has 28 hours of on-demand video and 2 articles. Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheet) is a preprocessor for CSS. This longer course from Udemy covers the following:

  • Animations
  • Flexbox
  • Grid
  • Others

While you can build static websites if you know how to write basic code with HTML and CSS, you need advanced skills to develop responsive designs and other fancier features.

Some boot camps have distinct phases. For example, Fullstack Academy offers a boot camp that covers CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. This course is split into 3 phases:

  • First 4 weeks: web development fundamentals, including HTML
  • 7 to 15 weeks: advanced concepts in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript
  • 6 to 9 weeks: mastering all three with demonstration and practice

You are, therefore, looking at a minimum of 17 weeks and a maximum of 28 weeks with such a program.

Personal experience about boot camps: The full-stack web development boot camp that I attended lasted for 17 weeks (12 weeks for the frontend part). And it meant coding 6 days per week, with classes, practice, mini projects, and homework. I spent around 60-70 hours altogether on average.

How Long To Learn and Master HTML and CSS for Your First Job

If you learn HTML and CSS sequentially or together on your own, you will need 6 months or so for sufficient practice and a workable understanding of the basics. If you want to master HTML and CSS, you need at least 1 year, depending on what you consider advanced skills. 

6 months are likely to be adequate if you want to master the basics and intermediate skills, such as the following:

  • Box model
  • Buttons 
  • Colors
  • Dimensions
  • Forms
  • Margin
  • Padding
  • Tables

You will need up to 1 year or longer to master the advanced skills, including but not limited to the following:

  • Animations
  • Dropdowns
  • Grids
  • Media queries
  • Navigation
  • Text-shadow
  • Transforms
  • Transitions
Video: Step by step guide on how to get your first web developer job FAST!

I say you will need 1 year or longer because of the errors that you will inevitably have in your codes for different projects. Understanding HTML and CSS is one thing. Using everything you know and testing them will probably reveal many glitches, inadvertent or otherwise.

Having said that, mastering HTML and CSS for 1 year or so is unlikely to make you eligible for a job unless you have other valuable skills, such as JavaScript for front-end development. This is why I included it in the boot camp and course references earlier in this article.

Learning HTML without CSS is futile if you want to get a job. Mastering HTML and CSS without JavaScript is also not going to get you that first job. Similarly, you cannot learn only JavaScript without CSS and HTML. Of course, you can, but the scenario will be the same. You won’t get that first job.

Hence, you need to learn all 3 languages used for front-end web development. The situation isn’t different for backend web developers. They must learn and master .Net, C#, Java, PHP, Python, SQL, or Visual Basic, and the list goes on.

Conclusion

Expect to spend at least 3 months learning the basics of HTML and CSS. With 6 months of regular practice, you should attain intermediate-level skills in both. Continue with advanced HTML and CSS, and you should master both in 1 year. Plus, you need to learn and master JavaScript for the first job.

Being a web developer is a lucrative career with a comfy office job. You even have options to do a hybrid between a home office and in-office work. And it is very common that experienced web developers make 6 figures per year.