The site is good. One thing though, I think it’s better to make sure that you make your webpage as closely similar to the the one in the challenge. you may change the colors and any stylings to your preferences but make sure that you design your page to look as close as the one given.
It will really help you learn a lot as you will struggle to get things align well as that of the project challenge given.
Also, try to make the page mobile responsive as well.
Is it normal for beginners to check others code whilst doing this challenges?
Probably yes, you learn a lot when you try to discover how someone did implement something. If I find that I don’t understand the concept, then I try to make research over the internet and I have made tremendous progress.
I also did the same project last month, here is the link. You may try to check it out and also see if you can learn a few stuffs from the it.
As always, I’m always open if you need any help.