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Lynda.com Review

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Lynda.com is a solid, reliable source of training on many web development topics. Regardless of whether one is a beginner or advanced web developer, Lynda.com offers many levels of website tutorials that address all aspects of web development. From beginning topics such as basic html layout to advanced topics such as Ajax programming, you can be assured that you can advance into higher levels of training with TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winning Lynda.com.

The company offers web based training and standalone tutorial packages on CD/DVD-Rom.

Standout Features:

  • A large selection of tutorial topics
  • Up to date applications are covered
  • Self paced instruction
  • DVD tutorials come with exercises
  • Tutorial books are also offered alongside tutorials
  • One low monthly subscription fee for all online tutorial videos
  • Closed captioning are available on many training sessions

Each online tutorial is presented as a video with an instructor teaching each training session. Screenshots, illustrations, and animations are presented to aid in clarifying the instruction. One can pause, rewind, or fast forward each online tutorial session. With a paid yearly subscription, there are also exercises presented to help integrate the training topics into practical use. Standalone tutorial packages come with exercises on disc as well.

The web training service is offered as a subscription service with a monthly fee of $25.00. A basic, yearly subscription service is offered for $250. Beyond that is a yearly premium subscription is offered for $375 with exercises. Over 42,678 tutorial videos are offered through the subscription service covering over 678 topics. There are over 366 tutorials offered on CD-Rom or DVD-Rom. Each standalone title is priced separately and includes training exercises alongside videos.

For working professionals or those with limited time, the self paced tutorials offered by Lynda.com are very flexible and convenient. While they may lack the instructor led interaction of live courses, the video instruction are excellent and supplement class work is available for many tutorials.

The wide range of training topics and all-in-one subscription fees are a great bargain for one’s training needs. One can start as a beginner and work up to advanced levels of instruction without having to sign up for another training service. Each video is presented with a fast streaming process so they loaded quickly. The simple interface and the breakdown of each training session into sub topics were helpful for easy navigation. The ability to go to a specific section of a tutorial was great and each video was broken down into short sections. Another positive feature is the inclusion of closed captioning for hearing impaired users.

Depth of Topic Knowledge

Lynda.com offers a very large range of topics pertaining to web development and design. Basic web development topics include Html, Xhtml, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, SEO, Asp.net, JavaScript, ColdFusion, MYSQYL, CSS, Ruby on Rails, Ajax, PHP, Flash, and XML. Further topics include E-commerce, web accessibility, information architecture, Joomla, Wordpress, and AIR. Even more topics are offered on general applications and programming languages. One can find many levels of training for many topics including ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, XML, and MYSQL. This range of topics and depth of training offer a one stop solution for one’s web development training needs.

You'll be hard pressed to find a larger library of tutorials and topics covered than what is available through Lynda.com. This is especially useful for one-stop web design training, as true web design encompasses a wide variety of skills. Web designers need to know how to create XHTML code, but also should understand how a web page can be made more visually appealing.

Tutorial Interaction

The video training sessions range on Lynda.com from very good to good. While many training sessions are offered as full blown instructor tutorials, some offer instruction that is closer to slideshows than video instruction. Many training videos have on screen presentations of each instruction set. This is helpful for those that wish to practice each tutorial topic as they watch the instruction. For premium subscribers and DVD tutorial owners, exercises are given to help practice each topic area covered. 

The lack of workable exercises in monthly and basic yearly subscription service tiers was a large minus. However, to be fair, one can replicate the onscreen exercises performed by instructors in a separate window. Still, exercises that utilize what is taught onscreen could be a great help in learning about web design and development. One simply cannot learn to code Xhtml and CSS by merely watching a video. One has to practice each subject and put the knowledge into use. Luckily the tutorials on Lynda.com also offer practice projects that are available separately. One can also easily follow along with each tutorial by practicing what the instructor is demonstrating in the video.

Ease of Use

One can easily navigate through the different courses using drop down menus on their home site. Each course is presented with a breakdown of contents so one can either watch the training session from the beginning or at a pre-selected point. Each video session is presented in a separate, large window. The videos are streamed via QuickTime and other video players.

Lynda.com’s web portal is one of the best found and is easily accessed for learners from different skill levels. Beginners will enjoy the easy chunking of content into manageable sections. Advanced learners will like the easy shortcuts to content areas without having to navigate through introductory sections.

Knowledge Support

Lynda.com offers separate training books (for purchase), to help practice each topic covered in the training sessions. One can email their support department for technical help for using their products or online tutorials. There are also online libraries including videos that offer more help in content areas such as web design or programming. While the courses are generally given in video format, there are also instruction books that offer exercises and projects to complete alongside the tutorials.

Coverage of Leading Applications

The biggest positive element in using Lynda.com is the large library of tutorials. Lynda.com offers some of the most comprehensive coverage of leading applications and services. Not only are web design topics covered but there are many tutorials on database design, programming, digital media, web server software, e-commerce solutions, and more obscure graphic programs that other sites may not cover. In fact, if one needs to use a less known application such as PaintShopPro or Interactive Designer then Lynda.com may be your best choice.

Not only does Lynda.com offer a large library of tutorials on many different applications, it also keeps one of the most update offerings online. Tutorials are released constantly and one be assured that the latest editions of popular applications and technologies are being developed by Lynda.com. Lack of up to date application support is one of the biggest problems for tutorial websites. This is one area that helps Lynda.com pull ahead of its competitors.


Lynda.com offers an economic training service that covers a wide range of topics in web development. Its video training sessions are broken down into small segments for easy recall and navigation. While the lack of interaction and exercises in the monthly and basic yearly subscription services was a setback, its fast speed streaming offers a no hassle access to each training session.

Lynda.com offers a very extensive library of tutorials that are more cost effective. Depending on the learning method preferred, the tutorials offered by Lynda.com may be more suitable for those with time constraints or those who wish to have a more casual learning experience. Lynda.com offers self paced courses that are very flexible.

Another plus for Lynda.com is their continuing updates to their tutorial library. New tutorials are constantly added for new software and technologies. One can be assured that if new applications are developed then there will probably be a tutorial available on it from Lynda.com. The wide variety of courses allows a greater breath of coverage of web design topics. One may find tutorials that cover aspects of online marketing or content management systems which might not be offered from other training services.