Quite a few people have reached out on Instagram asking me about my thoughts on the ilovecreatives Squarespace Design Course (a.k.a. one of the best online courses I’ve taken as a freelance designer). After several email responses to questions about my experience, I decided that it would be a good idea to condense all of my responses into one detailed blog post for future enrollees.
If you’re on the fence about taking the course, hope you find this review helpful!
*DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid by ilovecreatives to write this blog post. All opinions are my own.
*FYI: I was a part of the 2nd cohort of students back in November 2018!
Reasons why I enrolled:
“Did You have experience with Squarespace prior to enrolling in Puno's course?”
Yes. I had been freelancing as a Squarespace web designer (for a little less than a year), equipped with some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, I knew I wanted to level up as a web designer, attract more of my ideal clients and, of course, learn directly from Puno (the course instructor)!
To streamline my business and learn how Puno made the “$100k and only worked 2 hours a day” thing happen! Overall, I wanted to feel more in control over my freelance business instead of the other way around.
I wanted to know how to make Squarespace sites look less “Squarespace-y” (i.e. learn some hacks so I could add more personality to my designs).
Become more confident in my Squarespace knowledge so that I can deliver higher quality and, again, attract more of my ideal clients.
What’s so great about the course?
Access to Puno (The Instructor) and Gabriel (the course TA)'s feedback!
Puno and Gabriel really take the time to review your websites and offer their constructive criticism. Once you submit your student work, you will receive feedback in the form of screen-recorded videos. This is great because you can always download these videos and refer to them as you make changes to your submissions.
The Slack community is 🔥🔥
If you post a question about Squarespace, CSS, the course, etc. in the proper Slack channels, someone will almost always respond. Everyone (not just Puno and Gabriel) is so helpful and supportive. Even though I graduated from the course, I'm constantly checking the Slack threads because of all the tips and resources that people share.
The Squarespace Course Slack community is not one of those inactive/dead Slack communities. People are always posting or sharing cool info, inspo links, and sometimes even gig alerts (which means you might just find your next gig through this course).
Meeting other designers
I've been able to make connections with other designers through this course, which is always great for potential referrals! Plus, it’s cool to get to know designers from various creative backgrounds/disciplines and people from different parts of the world.
If you happen to be based in LA, you can also use your Slack "tacos" to vote for different types of "rewards,” such as a bonus critique from Gabriel and an IRL co-working session at Puno’s place. Speaking of which, I believe the ilovecreatives team has already hosted 1 or 2 co-working sessions—and I'm sure there are more to come!
Squarespace Design Course = actual fun.
The course itself is super entertaining and doesn't take too long to complete (4 levels in total). However, the longest part is going to be level III because you have to create three sites and get each of them approved by Puno and Gabriel. I’m not lying when I say I’ve taken dozens of online courses in the past, and that I haven’t finished a handful of them because they’re either too dry or too dense.
The Squarespace Design Course, on the other hand, is practical, refreshing, and entertaining! A) Puno is hilarious to watch and B) the course is full of gifs and tons of water breaks (which I’ve learned is VERY important—you’ll know what I mean when you take the course). Plus, because the course is gamified, you’ll actually want to unlock all the levels in order to get your hands on the shiny trophy at the end.
The Resource Library
The course Resource Library is uh-mazing. In fact, I keep coming back to it, because of the code snippets, bonus tutorials, swipe-able email responses, and other handy resources that will make you a more knowledgable and efficient designer. I also like that the library is updated quite often.
Puno’s Live Office Hours
If you run into any obstacles on Squarespace, Puno will take the time to answer your questions during her live office hours and help you find a solution or workaround. Also, she posts all of her live tutorials online via Crowdcast—which you can access at any time should you be unable to catch the live office hours.
My experience since graduating:
I’ve definitely received more inquiries than before, and I think being featured on the "ilovecreatives finest" page helped. At the moment, I'm continuing to work with web design clients 1-on-1 but I’m also doing some fun part-time freelance work for ilovecreatives and PeopleMap, which is an opportunity that I got indirectly through the course.
The $100k/year thing? First of all, let me say🎵…you will have to practice designing Squarespace sites to make this a possibility. I think $100k is realistic depending on your confidence/speed in being able to build high-quality websites, how much you decide to charge, and how proactive you are about putting yourself out there (aka “networking”). Puno talks about this in level 4 of the course and she gives you a ton of pointers on how to find clients, how to determine your hourly rate (based on her handy calculator spreadsheet), among other considerations. I already know a few students who are making some good money since graduating the course.
At the time of writing this post, I personally am not making 100k/year (who knows where I'll be at the end of this year?) but I know the framework and strategies Puno used to reach this financial target. In any case, I do think it is possible and it really depends on your network and where you are as a designer!
Just do it! 👟👟
If you want to become a better web designer in general, to expand your network, and to figure out how to make more money as a Squarespace designer, then yes, I think you should take the course.
If you’re already a Squarespace aficionado and a seasoned designer, then you might find this course helpful only in a supplementary way. But anyone who takes the course will get something out of it, regardless of skill level or background in design. I’m confident that you will find your next gig and/or cool opportunities through this course like I did (which I know many students have).
Bottom line: Not only are you making an investment but you’re also getting a return on your investment! (I’ve already made back what I invested in the course, and I know others have too.)
P.S. If you sign up, please let ilovecreatives know that I (Gawoon) referred you in the enrollment form! 👍
Need more info?
Comment below with any questions that I may have not addressed! :)