Why you should question W3Schools

Hello, after reading so much about the pros and cons of W3Schools this article (archived) makes it quiet clear why it isn’t a trusted source of information, and I wonder why this article is in the web archives …
Best regards,

Wow…those authors spent a whole lot of time on that article. I simply go to MDN for all my lookup needs and sometimes W3 Schools has good easy to follow examples.

The site has been updated since then and has removed those article specific comments. I think they have shifted from rather than bashing W3Schools to just promoting that there are better resources out there. Maybe even also because W3Schools has improved its quality since then. That archived article is from 6 years ago. But interesting nonetheless! Thanks for sharing!


Now look at the front page for that site today rather than a time machine post, they accepted the criticism and worked towards fixing the problems, now you will be as hard pressed to find an example with issues there as you will on MDN

With the current state of W3Schools, I feel like it’s a bit like the issue of citing Wikipedia in a school paper. Do people tell you not to do it because Wikipedia isn’t useful? No, because it’s not the “official” source. I’m not in a camp that says “go to Stack Overflow before you ever darken the domain of W3Schools,” because there have been many times that I go to MDN and say “huh? I don’t understand this explanation. Or the individual words of which it is composed.” and then go to W3Schools and see something simpler that helps me get a handle on it. BUT I would still treat it with a modicum of suspicion, as not always the most sound explanation, and use it only when MDN isn’t making sense to me.


I wouldn’t write off the creditability of w3c school just because some guy says so. There are perhaps misleading information, but that could be said for any industry.

Stack overflow for instance sometimes get mixed answers. One guy would discredit another just because it doesn’t suit their desirable explanation and terminology.

I don’t ask question stack overflow since I find a lot of response from these pros to be quite rude. I had many bad experiences with tech guys like these who only have a one way thinking.

There are certainly a lot of amazing materials out there’s, the question is can you understand them? If it can’t be understood, it is only as creditable as the ones that aren’t.

MDN often uses many complex terminology to explain simple concepts. What baffles me is that why don’t use simple language and it often complicate things that otherwise should have been easily understood.

W3c offers a way to understand some of these complexity with simple terms. That doesn’t mean it is not correct, it just meant that the entire mechanism isn’t fully expressed and it is up to the reader to dive deeper.

But to say outright something is increditable is foolish at best since everyone describes what they understood based on their perspective. If I say it is day here and you say night where you are. Who is right?

1 Like


I’m glad to see this thread. When I started web dev studies in November I found W3schools right away and used it quite a bit as a reference tool. Then a month or so later I discovered that it had a bad reputation. I started to have doubts about using it but then came to realize that apparently it has improved a lot. I haven’t found another place that explains HTML, CSS and JQuery concepts so simply with useful examples. MDN is obviously more in depth but sometimes I find it overcomplicated. I find w3schools very useful and very user-friendly.


They are very clear about their opinion about W3Schools -> "W3Schools still has issues but they have at least worked on the primary concern developers had. For many beginners, W3Schools has structured tutorials and playgrounds that offer a decent learning experience. However, it would be a mistake to continue your education without learning from more reputable sources, so when you’re ready to level up, move on."
What really surprised me was to know that W3C and W3Schools only have a similar name, and it makes me wonder who’s behind the schools? it seems some time ago it was “Refsnes Data, a Norwegian software development and consulting company”.
Best regards,

They do have the best color picker I know of.

1 Like

Yes, and their glossary is very well organized. And their nav bar examples are pretty useful, among many other examples.