Squarespace Design Course / Faq

Squarespace Design Course
Frequently Asked Question

🍽 Table of Contents

👋🏼 Have a question or want us to assess if this is right for you? Email us at hello@ilovecreatives.com


Are you super excited and want to get a head start?

One of the first things we ask you to do is to introduce yourself to the class. Here are some questions you’ll need to think about:

  1. Who is you?

  2. What is your aesthetic? If you had to pick 1-3 websites that you wish you designed, which would they be? (share links, Pinterest boards, something we can see)

  3. What do you want to build in this course?

  4. What are you excited to learn more about?

Really think about Question No.2 as this will be part of the course!

Why is this course better than other Squarespace Courses?

Ok, we’re not about to toot our own horn so here’s what our students have to say:

Nicole King said, “Puno’s course takes it way beyond just Squarespace. It’s kind of like you have this really great 🥑guac (the guac are creative ideas on how to build a site), and Squarespace is just the chip to help you seize the guac. Okay, maybe that metaphor needs a little work, but every other Squarespace course I looked at, the output just looked like Squarespace sites. Puno’s style and approach means I’m making something agency level, something I can feel really good about selling to my future clients. Plus, did I mention the format is really fun? Gamification for the win!”

Marcus Garrett said, “It’s a really well-designed course. There are a lot of moving parts from the portal, to Slack, to Office Hours. It all works somehow and it feels seamless. You’re getting an amazing value.”

Chelli said, “This course is very different than any other course I’ve seen. I would recommend this course to someone because of the gamification, intimate accountability, freelancing section, and because Puno makes the experience very special. She covers both the design aspect and the freelancing aspect, instead of having to buy separate courses. The fact that this covers both is one of the main reasons why I purchased this one instead of others. This is my favorite course I’ve ever taken! I’m having so much fun with the process and I love it here. So happy I joined ❤️❤️

Should I take this or a UX Design Course? 

We actually discuss this on 1-800-PUNO Episode 9: How should I learn web design?  

I’m a business owner looking to build my business’ website, is this course for me?

I think this would be such a good way to efficiently learn how to build and maintain your own site. Just to give you an idea most web developers charge hourly, and will cost extra money if you ever want to go back and make changed to your site, so $899 is really a steal.

You can definitely use your own site as part of your Level 3 portfolio. Even when you finish the course, you'll still have access to the Slack community to receive design feedback and any coding help if you want to revisit your design as your business grows.

Should I take this or another Visual Design Course?

I would say pick a teacher you want to learn from. Design is subjective and the type of websites you want to create also matters. First, watch 1-800-PUNO Episode 9: How should I learn web design? This will determine what you should learn. From there, research your instructor(s). Are you inspired by their portfolio? Then, take a look at the student work. Are you inspired by that? If you're stoked about who you'll be learning from and who your peers are, I think your experience is going to be way more fun!

One thing to add, we don't teach Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, or Canva, but I have a videos that show how I use Photoshop for Squarespace. Spoiler alert: I don’t use it much for Squarespace clients. We're actually in the process of making a Photoshop course! Watch out for that end of 2019. 👍🏼

I've never designed a website before, is this going to be too advanced for me?

No doubt, this will be a lot of information and it might feel really fast, but it's self-paced so go at your own speed. Check out Rika's instagram post 👉🏼about her experience!

Rebecca Haf had no previous design experience and she said:

“This is by far the best online course I’ve ever taken. I’m not a trained designer and before I started, I’d never built a Squarespace website (or any website). By the end of level one, I had the technical tools to build a Squarespace site and the rest of the course has given me the confidence to turn it into a business.”

Shawn Binder also had this to add:

“This course gives you the building blocks to understand Squarespace, then empowers you to cultivate design skills on your own. Being amongst such talented and friendly students really forced me to step up my design game. Everyone is giving really helpful feedback and tips, and being exposed to designers from all skill levels then being able to see how they approach things has been the greatest crash-course design education. This course will empower you to educate yourself.”

I've got pretty good design chops already, what can I learn? 

Here's a testimonial from Mindy, who is UI/UX Designer from Use All Five:

"This is NOT your average online course. It is so much more. First off, as a designer, I now fully understand the magic of Squarespace as a tool. I never knew how much you could create with it and I’m so glad I have it under my belt now. Second, every little detail was thought out–from the amazing 3D world to the little GIFs throughout. Third, PUNO. Not only is she the ultimate fountain of Squarespace knowledge, she’s also hilarious, engaging, and incredibly genuine. She shows true dedication to everyone’s growth via answering questions on Slack, the live calls, and sharing her favorite resources.”

Here is what Carol De Lucca had to say:

I’m a graphic designer and I’ve been using Squarespace before this course, but I often felt stuck or my sites looked too much like the templates; in the end, they weren’t what I envision them to be. Then I decided to take this course and I’M SO GLAD I did it! I’ve learned SO MUCH and I feel much more confident about using Squarespace now.”

Manisha Tolani said, “I didn’t expect it to be this enjoyable honestly, and initially, I wondered how Puno would teach customization. I thought the first exercise was time-consuming, but after doing it all, I realized there is sooo much more you can do — you just have to get a little creative. I appreciate having my mind opened there.”

Margaret Royena said “[Puno] has an extensive resource page that I found really helpful and there are some worksheets that really helped out my process for designing. It really has [Puno’s] personal style to Squarespace in it. If you’re wanting to get more experiential website design, it’s worth it.”

I don't have any coding experience, is that a problem?

That's perfect! We teach you how to hack the Squarespace features and blocks so that you don't have to code, but we also show you some CSS. In Level 3, you get a bunch of code snippets and resources. Most of our students have never touched CSS! 

Jennifer Grimm said, "I JUST FIXED MY NEWSLETTER BLOCK AND I FEEL LIKE A WIZARD!" Our goal is to make you feel like a wizard, heh. 🧙🏻‍♂️

Margaret Royena said, “I went into the course with really basic knowledge of CSS and it really helped me stylistically. I was also worried about that, but each lesson was step-by-step and very approachable! Although, it does help to get a little familiar with the layout/back end of Squarespace. It wouldn’t hurt to YouTube the basics of HTML & CSS to understand the language a bit more 😊

I don’t want to be freelancer, is this still right for me?

Justyn Warner said, “I have had a few clients ask where I learned my skills from and I would tell them about this course. I would explain how awesome it is in just understanding how to design for yourself. You don’t have to get into freelancing just to be a better designer. Also, I definitely recommend this to other artist friends because I think its something that everyone show know. You can never learn too much and I think you should always be learning and finding ways to make your business better, especially until you can can afford a team of people to assist.”

Do you go over the full client process in the course?

From Puno: “Yes! I show everything, from what I put on my website to my actual on-boarding emails with a client (eg, asset collection and contracts). More importantly, I show you how to track your time so you don't get burnt out!”

Mindy said, “So many hot tips about freelancing. Worth. Every. Penny. Especially because with that newfound knowledge, it’ll really be no time before you make that amount back anyways. Personally, I think of it as a short term investment that’s gonna make you serious bank. 💎"

Nicole King said, “The tips Puno gives a long the way about her workflow is a game changer and worth the price of admission alone.”

I’m not a graphic designer, is it possible to offer freelance clients website design without branding services?

From Puno: “So I'm pretty horrible with logos. I'm more of a layout person. If a client has a budget of under $10K, I typically just suggest they use a text-based logo. This is me usually finding a good looking custom font for them. If they have an extra $5K, then you can tap into the ilovecreatives network and find them an illustrator or someone who specializes in logos. 

Also, I personally work with my students to help me flesh out my designs on Squarespace. So to answer your question, yes, you can totally be support for other designers, however I think you'll find that learning graphic design (specifically for Squarespace) isn't as daunting.”

Nicole King said, “I realized that I need to know web to succeed in design. Branding projects really don’t exist without them anymore. In fact, I feel like websites are really the gateway to all of the other design work I’m used to (packaging, events/experiential, etc.).”

I’m a little worried about finding my first clients. Do you go over this?

From Puno: “Finding client work is a valid question! Here’s what we do in the course:

  • Portfolio. This is HUGE and so important in getting work specifically with Squarespace. Part of that is making sure that your portfolio reflects the aesthetic of clients you want. This is where our Level 3 design critique and the Slack channel come into play.

  • Client Finding. We'll talk about networking and ways I pro-actively reach out to people. My first year of Squarespace Freelancing, 59% of my clients came from networking and 41% came from referrals. You can hear more about it in my Keynote Presentation at the Squarespace Circle Conference.

  • ilovecreatives Approved. We have a list of all the students that have been ilovecreatives approved and spread as much work as possible, as I still get client requests. My first goal is to help you pay off the course with actual clients, but if you're a rockstar it's really easy for me to recommend you for work. For example, one of my students has already made well over $10K from my referrals. You will need to apply and have a somewhat similar aesthetic for me to recommend you. We're always happy to work with you and give you very specific feedback on your portfolio!

  • On-going help. You have access to the course and the community for forever! I would chat with a few other students as well. They are still really active in the community even though they passed the course.

I need to stress, if you don't have a solid portfolio that matches the type of people you are trying to work with... it doesn't matter how you find them! Start thinking about what type of clients you want and what type of aesthetic they gravitate to. Then, create the most epic portfolio ever. ✨”

Gawoon Chung, said “You will learn so much from this course, regardless of your skill level, and leave with tons of useful design tips and tricks (even new opportunities)! Don’t miss out!”

Margaret Royena said “It was all I needed to get dope clients from Instagram who already have or are interested in building and maintaining their sites on Squarespace!”

Do you discuss how to overcome objections of people who don’t want to use Squarespace?

Oh yes! And honestly, you'll have a lot more confidence persuading clients once you have a better grasp on what Squarespace is capable of. I get this question from clients all the time: Should I use Shopify or Squarespace? Fortunately, someone called in about this on Episode 12 of 1-800-HEYPUNO. ☎️

Is it worth learning so much about one platform?

From Puno: “I don’t see Squarespace going anywhere anytime soon. According to Wikipedia, in 2017, Squarespace raised an additional $200 million in funding, boosting its value to $1.7 billion. You know who else raised that much? Shopify! Have you seen Shopify’s stock since they IPO’d? 📈💰Wait, so am I saying that I should learn Shopify? If you want to! Personally, it wasn’t for me as my platform of choice. I feel like Squarespace customers value design. Shopify customers do, too, but I know more people that can afford Squarespace budgets. Plus, I really didn’t want to learn javascript or manage a bunch of developers. I do it every now and then, and I’m reminded how much it doesn’t spark joy. CSS and hacking features is enough for me!”

Nicole said, “I had been looking at taking some online university courses for web design and business, so my biggest concerns with this course were ‘would it be stupid of me to invest time and money into specializing in online one platform, and not being generally trained’. I’m not only comfortable with my decision, but it was the smartest thing for me to do.”

Is the course content dripped over time or do we get access to everything right away?

You get content as you progress through the levels, but you can finish the levels as quickly as you want. So, it's kind of both? You'll have access to the course forever so if you ever get behind, no worries. However, for those of you that want it, we have Accountability Check-Ins that you'll hear more about once you enroll.

What kind of work can I expect to create?

From Puno: “It depends on your goals. Most students are here to freelance, but some people want to use this course to build their own websites (eg, George McGraw built his non-profit's site: https://www.navajowaterproject.org and increased donations by 60%!).

If you're here to freelance, I would highly suggest using this time to create work that you want to. We've had some people use client work, but I would only recommend doing that if (1) you submit your work before you submit it to the client and (2) if you think you have absolute creative control. You get two design critiques from Gabriel and I, so don’t waste it if you can’t take the feedback!”

Sam Zauscher said, "I have to send a client 2-3 different comps this week which will ironically interfere with going full speed here. Sure, I could use the site comps for level 3, but if I only have this limited window for having feedback from such a killer group I'd much rather use it on a few spec sites I'd love to design / go wild with."

What is the Slack community about?

We often hear that our Slack community is one of student’s favorite parts of the course! We trade design tips, give/receive critiques, and share potential opportunities. Not only will you get access to Puno and a team of TAs, but you’ll be making tons of design friends your first day!

Tanasha Juarez said, “One of my favorite aspects of the course is definitely the community. With the setup that is currently in place (i.e. Slack) there are no tiers or hierarchies built in which was extremely helpful for me as a beginner. I’m not sure if it was intentionally built that way, but all conversations are open and inclusive which has been HUGE for me as a novice. 🌮 rewards are genius as well. I think those were vital to the foundation of support, inclusivity, and conversation. The conversational style of Shawn, Gabriel, and Puno has been insanely refreshing also. I’m a big online class taker and as you know it’s easy in those situations to get into a top-down conversational style but the way all of you stay relatable in tone makes it feel like chatting with friends.”

This is what Hawne Zhu had to say about our community: “Puno’s great at teaching Squarespace and she’s super fun, but the community is really the best part of the course. It’s so helpful to have people who are on the same project to discuss with when you run into obstacles.”

Is the Live Office Hour 1-on-1 or a group call?

From Puno: “The Live Office Hour is a live group video call (recorded if you can’t make it). If I wasn't able to answer the question in the live call, I usually just take it to the Slack Channel and answer it there. I haven't had any complaints about the call feeling too noisy. In fact, some people say this is their favorite part of the course because they get to see how I figure something out.

You will have a dedicated TA and the community is quite active. We're pretty good about answering most questions in the Slack. However, if you are trying to implement javascript or something really advanced, we feel that's a bit out of scope from the course and help as best as we can. In most cases, we try to show you an easier solution so that you can work towards that 2 hours a day life. 😉”

Zippy Burman, said this about the Live Office Hours: ”Puno's live Q&A's are one of the best parts of the course. It's refreshing to watch the process…It's raw and unfiltered! Watching her process and hearing questions from other students (that I would have probably never even thought of) has helped me understand even more how to ‘hack squarespace’.

Also, thank god for playback! (1) It's great for anyone who's unavailable during that hour to watch in real-time, and (2) Watching the videos back is like a gold mine of extra knowledge!” They also edit the videos and make them searchable in the resources page so you don’t have to watch all of them to find answers.”

What if I miss the Live Office Hour?

From Puno: “No worries! It’ll be recorded and if you have any questions you want me to answer, feel free to add them to the Google Hangout before the call begins.”

How much of the course is focused on technical skills, and how much is focused on business growth, and how much is focused on confidence building?

50% technical (Squarespace and CSS)
40% design confidence
10% client - freelancing

From Puno: “A lot of people think that learning the ropes of freelancing is the key to getting client work. For me, it’s your portfolio. I recommend designers all the time and sometime it falls flat because their portfolio doesn’t convince the client that they can make a Squarespace site, not look like a Squarespace template. You don’t have to have a ton of sites or a crazy, unique portfolio, but do you need to have one solid site that clearly showcases you’ve got design chops. That last part is subjective, but we’ll give you our opinion and what works for us.

The biggest goal for me is to give you confidence. Once you have that, you'll have the motivation to keep iterating on your designs and playing with ideas.“

Nayade Bermudez Brito said “I love how transparent Puno is, and how helpful both Puno, Gabriel & the whole Community are!”

How much time do you recommend spending each week on this course to maximize learning?

From Puno: “I would say at least 10 hours a week over 2 months. Everyone's technical and design level is different, but you should push for this schedule:

Level 1: 3-10 hours (depending on your experience)
Level 2: 2 hours
Level 3: 30 (10 hours per website, depends on how far you want to take it)
Level 4: 2 hours

And then an additional 10 hours, trying out extra tutorials and chatting it up with community on Slack! You’ll probably spend a whole day getting to know everyone the first day. I know I do!

Total time: approximately 54 Hours over 2 months

This course is self-paced, but if you are trying to make some extra cash freelancing, you’ll need to get into the habit of designing regularly. Plus, you want to know how much you’re capable of doing in an hour or how long it takes for you to finish a website. The goal is to keep getting more data so you can estimate client work more accurately.

If you are designing a site for yourself, get 👏🏼 it 👏🏼 done! It takes me about 10 hours to design a simple 3 page site like this: https://www.bytoni.com and https://www.candidnetwork.co, but I've also spent hours looking at fonts from previous clients and I I’m REALLY fast! If you don’t design a site in 10 hours, that’s totally fine, but I just want you to know how fast you can get if you put the work in.

Nadia had this to say about the course pace: “My life is super crazy and full of ups and downs right now, so being able to learn at my own pace is a lifesaver. Definitely would recommend to anyone thinking about web design!

Is this course fun?

YES. Haha, but for real, we went out of our way to make sure the content is super engaging and full of information. We want to ensure that your brain AND your stomach (because of belly laughs?) are fully exercised. TBH, this online course world can be really weird and fake and you knowwwwww… that’s not us. We want to be the good weird. ✌🏼

John DuPre said, “Puno is an awesome goofball which is super refreshing in this space and learning from/interacting with her is a fun time. I am also pumped about the community that will develop here. I have a feeling that Puno’s outreach methods attract a certain type of awesome human and I can’t wait to connect with the crowd accumulated here!”

Why is the course $899?

From Puno: “Fair question! We really thought hard about the amount of education you receive with the course. Most students take about 54 hours over 2 months which comes to $17 per hour.

Additionally, if you plan on freelancing, you can charge from $500-3000 for most Squarespace sites. Obviously, budgets can be larger than that depending on scope of work, but most of my clients are around $3K. If you are building your own website, that’s about how much you’ll be saving. Plus, you won’t need to hire anyone for on-going maintenance!

Another way to think about it is, my hourly rate is $150/hr. That’s about 6 hours of face-time with me and I gotta say, this is a much better way to learn from me. 😉”

Mindy said, “I think it’s absolutely worth the money. I’ve actually gotten way more freelance projects because of it so I’ve definitely made my money back.”

Nicole said, “It was a little tricky convincing my husband that it was a good investment. The cost is a little high (especially with the damn Australian conversion rate) but the return on investment is huge. I gained so much information in the first lesson, and it didn’t stop when I reached the trophy. With the Slack channel and access to the office hours, I’m always learning and know I have continual support.”

Catherine Dunn said, “I realized investing in myself is priceless. Plus, I’ve already learned WAY more in Level 1 to up my SS game. It really breaks down the SS platform so that you FULLY understand how to use and manipulate it vs picking templates that feel right and working within them. Plus, Puno and the videos are just as entertaining as informative.”

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes! If you’re on the waitlist, you will be emailed information about payment plans during the enrollment period. You won't be able to "graduate" the course until all the payments are made, but you can work through all of the content.

What if I struggle to finish online courses?

We feel you! Sometimes life gets in the way. That is why we designed our Accountables weekly video chats that come with the course. Each week we’ll send you a motivation email jam-packed with actionable tips to keep you on-track. Each week we’ll meet and chat with your fellow students about the topic and how you can get-r-done!

Here is what some of our Accountables had to say about the experience:

Jennifer Grimm said, “Another thing—Puno and the team hold you accountable. That's something I found lacking in other online courses but here, you have her team and the whole Slack crew cheering you on and pushing you to make your work better. It can always be better. Last, she sets you up with the tools and knowledge to start taking on clients. This course gave me the confidence to take on projects I never would have—like a Web and branding project over 3x the course fee. I immediately made my return! Thank you from the bottom of my little non-programmer heart.”

One of the most important things I learned is that it’s ok to share how everything is going even if it’s a mess, that I have to stop “destroying” my own path due to comparison, imposter syndrome. When I used to share with people that are not creatives, they tend to say: “look for another job” or “that’s stupid” , so it was an overwhelming feeling to be part of the accountables!

Do it! It’s just an hour of your time that can totally change your day/week/life?

If you'd like to be supported and surrounded by a group of awesome folk whilst taking the course, I'd wholeheartedly recommend it. Shawn was a great TA and I'm glad I signed up to it!

What is the 60 day trial about?

As a Squarespace Circle member and Authorized Trainer, one of the benefits we get is giving 60 day trials out. For this course, you'll be given three 60-day trials.

What is your refund policy?

We are happy to do a partial refund within 7 days of purchase depending on your situation. Why partial? We have to turn down other students and we hire TAs to ensure a smooth on-boarding process.

 

👋🏼 Have a question or want us to assess if this is right for you? Email us at hello@ilovecreatives.com


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