Upwork is a popular job board and freelancing site with thousands of freelancers coming every day to look for jobs, new clients and make some extra cash. And hundreds of companies pay thousands to Upwork freelancers to work for them.
However, there are a few disadvantages that Upwork consists of that force the users to look for some great Upwork alternatives.
Another scenario is where the users don’t get proper clients or freelancers on the platform to work with them. This makes them look for a few sites like Upwork to register, additionally.
As a freelancer, I have worked on various freelancing sites and marketplace over the past years. With my experience, I have compiled a list of the best Upwork alternatives that you should definitely try to find the appropriate freelancer or client.
Fiverr – Best Overall Upwork alternative
Fiverr is one of the most famous and trusted alternatives to Upwork. Fiverr has a huge user base and a huge marketplace. You just need to register with the website and then you can post your talent as gigs. This can be anything from digital services, web design, and content writing to graphic design and development.
It is a great place where you can find affordable work-from-home professionals and freelancers who are willing to work with you in whatever capacities you need. There are more than 200+ categories now – ranging from digital services to graphic design and website development.
Fiverr takes a few commissions from both freelancers and businesses. That’s how every freelancing site works, right? Because they need money to maintain the site. However, the amount of commission they charge per transaction is really important. Let’s break it down.
Fiverr fees for Freelancers
Fiverr charges 20% of the total for each gig that the seller completes. For example, if you sell a gig for $10, find a client, and complete the order, you will be paid $8. The remaining $2 will be charged as the commission fees.
Fiverr fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
Fiverr charges 5.5% on all orders. Moreover, $2 will be charged extra if your order is below $50. For example, If you buy a gig that costs $10, you will be required to pay $12.55 in total. That is 5.5% plus $2, which makes it a total of $12.55.
However, if you buy a gig that costs $55, you will be required to pay $58.02 in total because Fiverr only charges 5.5% for every gig that is above $50.
As I said earlier, Fiverr is one the most or the most famous marketplace for freelancers or agencies and businesses with some serious pros.
- You can improve your skills and discover new opportunities more easily with the Fiverr skill test.
- You get certifications after passing the built-in tests. Though Upwork also has the certification, currently, it’s only available for a limited number of people via invites.
- You have full control over your project.
- You have more freedom in terms of pricing and payment terms.
- It’s cheaper than Upwork, especially if you’re just starting out.
- A lot of categories to choose from. This makes anyone join the platform and sell their talents.
- A lot of low-quality and fake sellers
- High-commission structure
- New freelancers may find it difficult to get their first clients.
Freelancer.com – Can be a great fit for anyone
Freelancer is another great Upwork alternative that you must try. This was the first freelancing platform I used and to be frank, I started freelancing on freelancer. It has over 41 million freelancers on the platform with a huge variety of jobs posted daily.
It works pretty much similarly to the Upwork concept where businesses and agencies post jobs and freelancers bid on them. Moreover, with Freelancer, employees can find and contact the freelancer without posting the jobs with the help of the marketplace.
The platform has over 1800 categories to show your talent or find your perfect freelancer to work on your project. From mobile app development and graphic designing to 3D modeling, Freelancer got you covered.
Just like other freelancing platforms, Freelancer.com also charges standard fees from both the employer and the freelancer.
Freelancer.com fees For freelancers
For each project you complete, freelancer.com will charge you $5.00 or 10% depending on the maximum amount.
For example, if you work on a project worth $80, you will be charged $8 calculated as 10% of the total worth. However, if you work on a project that is $40 worth, you will be charged a standard fee of $5 because the 10% of $40 is $4 which is less than the $5.
So whichever is higher is charged on your end as the commission.
Moreover, with the free account, you can only bid for up to 6 projects per month. To unlock more bids, you have to choose the paid membership from over 4 plans starting at $4.95 with 50 bids.
Freelancer.com fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
For each project you complete with the freelancer, you will be charged $3.00 or 3% depending on maximum the amount. Similarly, 3% will be charged for hourly work.
- Freelancer has a very lean approval process. This makes the newbie join and bid on the project more easily.
- Freelancer takes less commission than Upwork for smaller amounts.
- Rising dispute resolution is much easier on Freelancer compared to Upwork. It requires certain requirements to be met to be eligible for dispute resolution on Upwork.
- For anyone who is getting started as a freelancer, Freelancer.com is the perfect place because of its liberal rules that benefit newcomers.
- Since the platform has no screening process, anyone can join and bid on the project. This makes the platform less trustworthy with regard to fraud freelancers.
Toptal – Best for Top-Tier professionals
Total is somewhat different than Upwork, in fact, it is different from any other freelancing platform. The site contains only the most experienced and talented freelancing professionals. Even the site, states itself as a freelancing site containing the top 3% of talented people.
This will be a goldmine for businesses, and agencies looking for talented freelancers. However, for “getting started” freelancers, it will be a daunting task to get approved by Toptal.
Because the platform will go through a thorough screening of the application to filter out the top “3%” of them.
Toptal works quite differently than the other platforms. Let’s see
Toptal fees for freelancers
Surprisingly, there are no fees or commissions for freelancers on Toptal. This makes it one of the best Upwork alternatives to try.
Freelancers get what they set as their price for the job. So if a freelancer priced his project at $1000, 100% of the amount will be credited to the freelance.
Total fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
While Total doesn’t charge anything on the freelancer end, they charge a lot at the employer’s end.
They literally charge double the amount the freelancer agreed to work with. For example, if the freelancer you’re working with has set their price as $1000, it will appear to you as $2000 including their fees. So you will be required to pay $2000.
Disclaimer: This information is from a freelancer working on Total as a designer. This might be true or false or might differ for other job categories because Total doesn’t reveal their fees structure publically.
As an employer, you have to deposit a $500 upfront fee to get started. However, this will be subtracted from your next invoice or refunded if you don’t want to continue using Toptal.
- At Toptal, the payments are extremely high compared to Upwork (or any other platform) Greatly benefits freelancers.
- Only talented and experienced freelancers are available to work. This helps companies and agencies to hire only advanced professionals.
- The 5-step screening process will filter out most of the applications resulting in the most talented freelancers on the platform.
- Suitable only for large agencies and businesses because of its overpriced commissions and fees.
- The 5-step screening process is good for companies to find good professionals, however, it’s extremely difficult for new freelancers to join the platform.
Guru – Affordable Freelancer Marketplace
Guru is one of the oldest freelancing sites in existence, founded in 1998, and able to serve as a great Upwork alternative. The site offers similar features to Upwork, including project postings by both employers and freelancers, who can choose projects at their convince.
Guru is a great place for new freelancers to get started because of its liberal screening process. However, there are also a lot of fake freelancers on the platform, which can make it difficult for employers to find quality candidates. The site is still worth checking out, but finding quality freelancers might take some time.
Guru charges nominal fees for every transaction and monthly or annual fees for paid memberships. Let’s see them in detail.
Guru fees for freelancers
For each transaction, a nominal fee of 9% of the total cost will be charged to the free account. However, for the professional, business, and executive membership, the fees will be reduced to 7%, 6%, and 5% respectively.
The professional plan will cost $11.95, the business plan will cost $29.95, and the executive plan will cost $49.95 per month.
Moreover, the ability to bid on the number of projects will also range from 10 bids per month to 50 bids per month depending on the plan.
Guru fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
As an employer, you will be required to pay 2.9% on each payment. However, the fees will be refunded as cashback if you choose the payment method as wire transfer or Echeck.
- Simple screening of the application process that lets new freelancers join and find jobs easily.
- A streamlined dashboard that lets you track time, monitor project processes, and more.
- Very affordable compared to the other Upwork alternatives on the list.
- The liberal screening process can allow scammers and fake freelancers to post or bid on the project.
- The free plan might suck for freelancers without ratings. On the other hand, paid plans give a boost to your profile on search results (actually a pro for paid members while a con for non-paid members).
- Finding a trusted and creditable freelancer can be difficult.
People Per Hour – Best Upwork alternative of UK based users
Like most of the other Upwork alternatives on this list, People Per Hour allows employers to search for the projects already posted by freelancers, approach freelancers directly, or post their own projects for freelancers to bid on.
People Per Hour also welcomes new freelancers to the platforms. While you can find more professionals on Upwork and Toptal, People Per Hour contains newbies who are inexperienced in the field. This might be somewhat bad for employers but can be a good start for freelancers.
However, the new freelancers will offer their jobs for a low price which might feel positive for employers who are on tight budgets.
On the other hand, while employers may find it difficult to find good freelancers but it is not an impossible task. The platform still contains many good freelancers who are willing to work with them but finding and approaching them might be difficult compared to Upwork.
People Per Hour commission and fees
People Per Hour charges only on a transaction based and doesn’t include any monthly or annual plans.
People Per Hour fees For freelancers
On People Per Hour, freelancers are charged 20% of their revenue for each project if it is priced under €250. The percentage decreases to 7.5% for projects above €250 and 3.5% for projects above €5000.
Additionally, the freelancers are required to pay a few pounds extra if they would like to propose more than 15 projects. It ranges from €5.95 for 5 proposals to €19.95 for 50 proposals.
When withdrawing, there are a number of charges depending on the method of withdrawal will be applicable ranging from €0 for a UK bank transfer to €29 for an international bank transfer.
People per hour only lists the rates in euros . USD converted price is not included here because of the conversation fluctuates all the time.
People Per Hour fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
For buyers, People Per Hour charges %10 of the total amount and a standard fee of €0.6.
- Best platform for anyone who is getting started as a freelancer.
- Employers can find a lot of affordable freelancers.
- No bid-based workflow for freelancers.
- People Per Hour is so popular in the UK which is helpful in finding English speakers.
- Built-in video chat tool for better communication.
- Ability to directly search for freelancers.
- Might be difficult for employers to find experienced and talented freelancers. Though the reviews and ratings might help, still experienced professionals are hard to find.
- A lot of fake freelancers waiting for jobs.
- Commission and fee structure are very expensive.
- Support is available only via a support ticket, which can take up to 7 days to get a reply.
- A lot of negative reviews flooding all over the internet.
Freelancer Map – Best Upwork Alternatives for Developers
Freelancer Map is one of the best Upwork alternatives for developers to get hired. Freelancer Map is unlike other alternative platforms, which offer a marketplace-based platform for freelancers and agencies to communicate, It works in hiring and requirement methods instead.
The employer can list the job on the site and freelancers can contact the employer for further details. Moreover, employers can either reply to individual freelancers or reply to them in bulk for faster screening of the freelancers.
Once an employer is comfortable with a freelancer, he can hire him without the help of the platform.
The platform reveals all the details of the freelancer including his phone number to contact him privately. This is strictly prohibited on Upwork and most of the other Upwork alternatives on the list including Fiverr.
Freelancer Map fees and commissions.
Since you have the ability to communicate directly with the employer or freelancer, there will be no need to pay commission fees to the platform.
However, there is a paid plan that will boost the visibility of the freelancer profile.
Freelancer Map fees For freelancers
On the free plan, the freelancers can apply for up to 15 projects per month with limited access to the platform. The free plan actually works like a free trial to test out the platform. The paid plan costs $24 per month or $13 per month (if paid annually) which unlocks all the features and the ability to apply to unlimited projects.
Freelancer Map fees for businesses, agencies, and employers
On the free plan, the employers can post 2 jobs per month and can contact unlimited freelancers. The paid plan costs $104 per month or $71 per month (if paid annually) which allows you to post unlimited jobs.
- There are no processing fees for each time when completing a project because this is not a marketplace but a place for the employer and freelancer to connect.
- Ability to contact the seller directly.
- Best suited for developers and IT professionals.
- Freelancers and employers can work together in long-term relationships, privately.
- Only works as a platform for employers and freelancers to connect. All the payments between them should be handled by themself.
- The free plan only allows very limited access to the site.
Few more Upwork alternatives that are worth mentioning.
- Brigad – A freelance platform dedicated to hospitality and health care.
- SEO Clerks – One of the best Upwork alternatives for SEO, web design, and marketing.
- Behance – Owned by Adobe for the designers to showcase their portfolio to attract employers.
- Simply Hired – Best for finding local jobs in India.
- codeable.io – The best Upwork alternative for WordPress developers.
- iWriters – Content writing platform to hire experienced writers.
- 99designs – Best for graphic designers, logo designers, and other designers.
The freelance platforms and marketplace listed above are the best Upwork alternatives that provide a secure and trusted environment to help freelancers find jobs and clients find freelancers.
To help you secure higher earning potential, the companies have implemented a number of solutions for employers and freelancers to differentiate themselves.
However, each has its own pros and cons which are listed below each platform to help you better understand it.
Whether you are a freelancer or an employer, go through all the platforms to find the best for you.
If you have worked on any other platforms that are not listed here and are actually good, comment it down.