Choosing the right freelance marketplace can be difficult, as there are many popular ones to choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so knowing what these are can help save you time, money, and heartache. Upwork and Freelancer.com are two of the most popular, so let’s compare and contrast their features.
I’ve been testing out both platforms as a client and freelancer for the past few weeks, and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by both. Having said that, Upwork did score more points overall for doing a couple of things better than Freelancer.
I’ve found that Upwork offers work of higher quality than Freelancer, even though Freelancer charges a lower payment fee. Upwork has also greatly simplified the hiring process, and its work and management tools are probably the best I’ve ever seen.
If you’re a small business owner who wants to hire skilled professionals, or a freelancer looking for work, read on to find out which platform is best for you.
For Employers Looking For Freelancers
As an employer, you want to find the most qualified freelancer for your project while staying within your budget.
I found that Upwork offers a better hiring experience than Freelancer.
Here are some things you should keep in mind before making a decision.
Upwork Is a Bit More Versatile
Upwork is a great platform for finding work because it is so versatile. You can find all sorts of work on Upwork, from writing and editing to design and programming. And because Upwork is a freelancer marketplace, you can often find work that is more flexible and interesting than what you would find through a traditional job site.
Freelancer and Upwork boast having millions of registered users, giving you plenty of qualified help to choose from. Upwork’s vetting process results in a smaller pool of freelancers, although they are arguably more qualified.
Both Upwork and Freelancer offer advanced search filters, making it easy to find and hire the right candidate. On Upwork, top-rated freelancers have their shiny badge displayed next to their profile, and Freelancer tags elite-level workers through the Preferred Freelancer Program.
You’ll find plenty of detailed reports and work-related tools on both platforms, but when it comes to the actual hiring process, Upwork is a lot more versatile. You can browse jobs posted by freelancers and get to choose from a huge talent pool.
Ease of Use
Upwork Offers a More Solid User Experience
Signing up and posting my first job on Upwork was not the most difficult task. The process was easy to follow and made sense once I got used to it.
The interface is clean and I love how Upwork’s search engine and discovery feature are laid out. The many categories to choose from make finding the right freelancer easy, and even a simple keyword search brings up hundreds of capable freelancers.
Generating reports and monitoring hires is easy on both platforms.
Although it took me a bit more time to get used to all the different buttons and menus, Freelancer’s interface is still intuitive and feature-packed.
I was really surprised by the huge number of applications I received after posting my first job. It turns out that a lot of agencies post as individual contractors on Freelancer, and it’s hard to tell which applications are real. Sifting through all the automated applications was an exhausting, time-consuming process.
So, Upwork is the better choice for freelancers – it doesn’t have as big of an issue with bots and offers a better user experience overall.
Pricing and Fees
Freelancer’s Upgrades Drive the Cost Up Every Time
There are only a few minor differences between posting jobs on Freelancer and Upwork. Both platforms charge similar fees, which are only payable once the project is completed successfully. The main difference is in the fees charged and the optional extras that clients can purchase.
Upwork now charges a 5% processing fee on all transactions, up from their old fee of 3%. However, they make up for this by giving all users free access to Plus features. US clients who pay with a checking account will still only be charged 3%.
If you work for a large organization and need to outsource some work, you may want to consider an Upwork Enterprise account. This account comes with some extra perks, though the fees for this service vary. Contact Upwork for a demo if you’re interested.
There are some things you should know about employer fees on Freelancer:
- Signing up and posting a project on this site is free. Once a freelancer is hired for the project, the site charges a fee. If you cancel a project within 7 days, you will receive a full refund of all associated costs.
- For fixed-priced projects, you will pay 3% of the project cost or a $3 fee. (whichever is greater). This charge is only applied once a freelancer has been awarded the project and they have accepted the project terms.
- For hourly projects, there will be a 3% fee for each Milestone Payment made to the freelancer. These payments are automatically generated every Monday and released to the freelancer on Wednesday.
On paper, Freelancer is a bit cheaper than Upwork. However, when you factor in the cost of perks and upgrades, Upwork is actually the cheaper option. All of Upwork’s services, including advanced reports, access to premium talent, and advanced freelancer search, are available for free to all users.
On the other hand, freelancers don’t have this problem. You need to pay more for additional upgrades, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality and service.
- Feature your job so it appears on top of freelancer searches: $9
- Hire a recruiter: $9.50
- Mark your job as urgent: $9
- Set your job to private: $19
- Make freelancers sign an NDA: $19
- Hide submitted bids: $9
- IP Agreement: $19
- Full-time work: $199
It can be costly to constantly upgrade your subscription with add-ons, so it’s often better to pay a higher fee upfront. This way, you won’t have to worry about unexpected costs every time you need to hire someone.
Support/Live Chat Sytem
Contacting a Real Human Shouldn’t Be This Difficult
Although online marketplaces have their shortcomings when it comes to support, Upwork and Freelancer aren’t all that different.
Although both platforms offer support, it can be difficult to get in touch with a human representative. In addition to FAQs and extensive knowledge bases, help articles are available; however, they may not always provide the answers you are looking for.
If you contact Upwork’s live support, you will only be able to reach a human representative after you have beaten their AI in a chat. The bot is quite knowledgeable, but if you are having technical or payment issues, it will not be much help.
Freelancer has 24/7 live-chat support, but the operators can take a while to reply, especially if they are AFK. You can always write an email or submit a ticket, but you may not always have time for that.
Although neither platform offers phone support, this is not too surprising. Therefore, since neither platform really impressed me, I am calling this a draw.
Better for Employers?
It’s clear that Upwork is the better platform for most employers. With more hiring options and less spam, it’s the obvious choice.
The quality of work is better on Upwork, and you might have to pay freelancers slightly higher rates. However, Freelancer’s upgrade fees make it a more expensive option overall.
Upwork is more transparent with its pricing, so you will always know how much a project will cost. The Freelancer platform spams you with upgrades and additional charges for every job you post – an annoying and misleading way to make money.
For Freelancers Looking For Work
There are a few key differences between Upwork and Freelancer that can affect how much work you can find and how much you’ll get paid. From my experience, clients on Upwork tend to be more willing to pay a fair wage. However, this generally comes with higher expectations in terms of the quality of work.
While both platforms are good for freelancers of nearly all skill sets, it’s easier to find and secure quality job posts on Upwork due to their vetting process, which effectively narrows down the competition. You need to be approved to create an account on Upwork, while anyone can open a Freelancer account.
In exchange for connecting you to potential clients and job opportunities, both of these platforms will charge you a percentage of your earnings.
The fees for Upwork start out high but lower over time. The fee structure is as follows:
- Upwork charges 20% on the first $500 you earn from a single client.
- This fee drops to 10% once you’ve earned more than $500 with the same client.
- You only pay 5% on anything earned above $10,000 with a single client.
Freelancer’s fees may not be as high as those of other platforms, but there’s no incentive for users to form long-term relationships with clients. It’s important to keep the following in mind when considering Freelancer’s fees:
- For fixed-price projects, you’ll pay a fee of either 10% or $5, whichever is greater.
- For hourly projects, you’ll pay a flat 10% fee, making this a more popular choice for smaller projects under $50, as the total fee will be lower.
- For services, you’ll be charged a 20% fee.
Working With Clients
When it comes to clients, both Upwork and Freelancer have their issues. While most clients are honest people simply looking to get their projects completed quickly and professionally, both platforms also host a fair number of scammers.
In my experience as a freelancer working on both platforms, these issues seem to be far more prevalent on Freelancer.
Despite this being an unavoidable part of freelancing, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re working with an honest and reputable client. Here are some pro tips:
- Only work with those who have a verified payment method, As they have demonstrated their ability to pay you for your services.
- Be sure to check a client’s feedback score before beginning work, It’s best to buy from sellers with good feedback ratings to avoid any problems.
- It is best to work with clients who are already familiar with the platform and have a proven track record of reliability.
- Read over your client’s job description carefully, Beware of those that are vague, confusing, poorly written, loaded with typos, or send mixed messages.
With Upwork’s advanced filtering system, you can identify clients who have verified their payment and have hired on the platform previously.
Better for Freelancers?
For freelancers, Upwork is usually the best choice. You’re more likely to find honest work and long-term projects. However, because of Upwork’s screening process, only workers who are genuinely needed are allowed to join.
Upwork is a better option for freelancers than Freelancer, as it offers higher pay rates and more opportunities to complete long-term projects. Even if you lack experience, you can still get more out of Upwork by taking on a few quick, short-term projects.
So, Who’s the King?
If you’re an employer looking to hire a freelancer, Upwork is the better option. Freelancer.com has a number of advantages over other freelancing platforms. First, it is easier to use. Second, the fees are more transparent. Finally, the quality of work is generally better.
The biggest downside of Freelancer.com is that it does not have a vetting procedure to screen out bad actors. This has allowed spammers to take over the platform and make it less useful for legitimate freelancers.
As a freelancer, it may be difficult to get accepted into Upwork, but it will be worth it in the end. Upwork clients are more likely to offer you long-term work opportunities, pay better, and be more honest.
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Current Market Statistics Of Upwork
The current market statistics of Upwork.com show that the site has a total of 12,849,861 freelancers registered from all over the world. Out of these, 4,872,094 are from the United States. The site has a total of 3,716,542 clients from all over the world, out of which 1,104,018 are from the United States.
Current Market Statistics Of Freelancer.com
As of June 2019, freelancer.com had 20 million registered users and over 10 million projects posted. The average hourly rate for freelancers on the site is $21.50. The top skills required by employers are web development, graphic design, data entry, and writing.
Current Market Value of Upwork.com
The current market value of Upwork.com is estimated to be around $1.5 billion.
Current Market Value of freelancer.com
The current market value of freelancer.com is estimated to be around $3.5 billion.
A: I use Fiverr when I need something done quickly. The massive pool of talented professionals waiting to be hired is very convenient, and it only takes a few minutes to pick the perfect gig. I use Upwork when I need to find reliable candidates for long-term projects.
A: Upwork is a great platform for finding freelance work, provided your profile is approved by clients. The platform offers many work and management tools to help you stay productive, as well as honest and well-paid jobs. The fees are fair and incentivize long-term relationships with clients.
A: If you’re a client looking to hire someone, Upwork is a great place to start as it’s easy to use. Upwork also offers some great opportunities for those who want to be hired. However, in order to make the most of these opportunities, you need to make sure your profile is as detailed and accurate as possible. Additionally, be sure to use the advanced filters to find the perfect job for your skillset and experience.
A: In my experience, Fiverr is an excellent choice for employers who want to tap into a huge talent pool and find the right fit as quickly as possible. Alternatively, while Upwork’s solutions may not be as quick or immediate, they are a better fit for business owners who are looking to hire long-term.