Upwork, which came to life in 2015 after Elance and ODesk (two freelance service veterans) merged together, is a site that definitely rings a bell for those who are toying with the idea of starting a freelancer career. In fact, the site is among the most recognizable freelancer services loved by many.
Being a leading force in the industry, Upwork has over 12 million qualified professionals under its belt, earning its rightful reputation by adding professional management tools to the hands of freelancers. The site is open for all kinds of tasks that can be done in front of a computer, and it doesn’t ask an upfront payment for creating an account. The Upwork Team App is the strong point of the site, which acts as a work organizer, a time tracker and an overall clever solution through which clients and employees can commence live chats and share work documents.
Alternatives to Upwork
Even though Upfront is a leading freelancer website, it is still far from perfect: the service promises professional mediation between freelancers and their employers, but there is no live chat support. However, the site’s Achilles’ heel is without doubt the service fee, which is up to 20% deduced from people’s earnings. Luckily, there are quite a few options if you wish to try out another service.
Freelancer.com is pretty much the same as Upwork, but with a few minor tweaks. For example, this service also offers clients the chance to set up their projects to which freelancers can apply. Both parties’ work is supported by a multifunctional app that can be downloaded for desktop devices and smartphones. However, what makes Freelancer.com better than Upwork is a far more budget-friendly cost structure: it only cuts down 10% from the payroll of the freelancer. And the cherry on top is the escrow, which safeguards the payment until the work is ready.
99designs takes one element from Upwork (the artwork category) and expands it into a full service that focuses on a competitive environment for designers. At 99designs the clients set up a design contest with a specific idea in their head, while artists interpret it in their own way and create logos, illustration, 3D models and graphical work. The client reviews the submitted work and chooses one proposal that earns the prize money. While the site is limited to creative designs, high-profile artists will definitely find promising opportunities here.
crowdSPRING let’s you take your design requests to a crowd of preselected designers with who you can collaborate to reach a satisfactory end result. Even though crowdSPRING is not the best place for writers, clients are allowed to host writing or naming contests as well, which is a great way for creative minds to gain experience and feedback. In addition to this, there is no service fee for freelancers, while clients can ask for a full refund of their money if no satisfying result was submitted to their contest.
Fiverr is known as the “marketplace of services”, featuring a diverse range of categories from graphical work to coding assignments, gift creation and even video pranks. The site has a very user-friendly approach, and it never takes long to learn how to create your own offers. Despite it’s the freelancers who are looking for employers (and not the other way around), clients can also submit requests.
Toptal is the most elite service in the freelance world. Contrary to Upwork or any of its competitors, it doesn’t seek to attract half-baked talents; only the top tier workforce of the freelancing community are eligible to take on projects. In order to achieve this they pose a rigorous screening on all designers or developers. But if you get into the “top 5”, you are guaranteed to score high-paying gigs. Clients are guaranteed to receive quality work within the promised deadline, all within a professional setting backed by stellar support from the Toptal team.
Best Freelance Websites of 2022