Upwork is one of the most well-known hiring platforms out there when it comes to finding independent professionals covering an array of industries. It’s not the only platform out there, however.
There are other options to help you tap into a global talent pool. Check out online reviews to see if alternative platforms might suit your needs better. This comparison guide gives you a quick breakdown of lesser-known Upwork alternatives.
There are many alternatives to Upwork available by now.
To save yourself time and stress, take an orderly approach when comparison shopping. Make a list beforehand of what’s important to you when using such freelance hiring platforms.
So when comparing Upwork to other sites like Upwork, what should you look for?
These points aside, you may also want to visit third-party review sites to get a sense of how reliable the platform is.
You can find a wide range of professionals, from copywriters to web designers, on Fiverr and Upwork.
These are both generalist platforms. As with most such providers, the quality of work is hugely variable. You can find bona fide pros. You can also find “professionals” whose work is so bad, it's unusable.
Fiverr helps to avoid the latter nightmare scenario with Fiverr Pro. To join this next-level platform, applicants must go through multiple interviews and present work samples. You can recognize pros through the “Pro” badge on their profile. This level of vetting alone is reason enough to prioritize Fiverr over Upwork.
When we compared Fiverr to Upwork in terms of their fee structure, there is no drastic difference. In both cases, you are charged a fee when you sell a project or hire a gigger. For Fiverr, expect to pay $2 for any job valued up to $40 or 5% for those valued above $40. For Upwork, expect a 3% processing fee.
Freelancer is another Upwork alternative you may come across.
It's likewise a far-reaching platform encompassing all kinds of fields, from translation to bookkeeping. Freelancer has several disadvantages compared to Upwork, however.
Freelancer gives you a smaller pool of applicants to select from. Freelancer doesn't vet professionals any more thoroughly than Upwork. You don't get quality over quantity in this case.
Freelancer reviews repeatedly flag the lack of qualified professionals as a big problem. Plagiarism is also an issue. On top of that, Freelancer has a confusing pricing system. There is a base fee of 3% per project awarded. Then they add on other fees for everything else you need.
Upwork charges 3% on every payment made, a standard rate. The overall pricing is more straightforward, however. Upwork reviews tout the benefits of a plus plan. For a flat monthly fee of $49.99, you get advantages like project tracking, hassle-free payments, and 24/7 customer support.
Guru is yet another generalist platform trying to compete with Upwork.
This hiring platform isn't as large or as successful, for a good reason. Guru got a failing grade from the Better Business Bureau, a major red flag. Guru also only has a 2.4 rating on TrustPilot, compared to Upwork's 4.4 rating. In general, if you read Guru reviews, you’ll find many report a lot of scams.
According to Upwork reviews, this site offers better quality and better service. You have a more extensive network of pros to choose from. Client care is also more reliable.
Steer clear of Guru as an Upwork alternative. Guru may offer some cheaper labor. The risks are significant, however. Since Guru and Upwork are both generalist platforms, you won't find anything on Guru that you can't find on Upwork.
You might be starting to think that there is no superior Upwork alternative.
Enter Toptal. This freelancer platform wins points for its stringent hiring process. They compile a database of top-quality talent through a multi-step screening process. It involves a language and personality test, skills review, live screening, and test projects.
Toptal also doesn't charge you a fee, taking a cut from the freelancer instead. In contrast, Upwork reviews reveal that Upwork takes a 3% cut for any project awarded.
Toptal also does better than Upwork in Trustpilot rankings, inching Upwork's 4.4 with 4.6. While you may read negative things about Toptal, Toptal reviews note that most of these negative comments come from freelancers who didn’t pass the screening process.
This freelance marketplace reviews applications from freelancers, ensuring they are independent professionals providing quality services. PeoplePerHour thus offers reliability on par with Upwork and has a decent TrustPilot rating of 4.1
As a buyer on PeoplePerHour, all you have to do is post the project you need help with. Freelancers then respond with their proposals.
You must pay a deposit before starting the project with PeoplePerHour. Upwork reviews often highlight the benefits of the platform's “Plus” plan. PeoplePerHour doesn't have this level of service but does provide a loyalty program for premium buyers.
Sometimes a far-reaching platform like Upwork isn't the best choice. When you have freelancers covering a variety of fields, it becomes harder to find high-quality skilled specialists.
If you need design services, 99Designs platform is a smart Upwork alternative. It lets you choose the right pro for your job by holding a “design contest,” something you can’t do on Upwork. You get multiple samples and then select your favorite.
Since 99Designs is solely for designers, you can expect a higher caliber of worker. 99Designs reviews also praise the website’s ease of use.
To get started, you craft a creative brief. Pricing is transparent, tiered at different levels like bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. There’s more versatility compared to the pricing plans described in Upwork reviews.
Lemon offers yet another testament to the value of niche for-hire sites.
Unlike Upwork, Lemon focuses on developers. The platform targets explicitly entrepreneurs and startup founders, connecting them to experienced software engineers. The Lemon team vets each freelancer. Areas of expertise include Python, Android, Ruby on Rails, SQL, and more.
Lemon reviews highlight the platform's thorough vetting process. This is something that Upwork reviews lack. You work directly with Lemon, explaining your needs to them. They then go through their roster of candidates to find the perfect person for you.
While it might sound like that level of personalized service will be pricey, Lemon offers a free estimate with no obligation to hire.
DesignBro is another niche work-for-hire platform, focusing on design. Like 99Designs, DesignBro offers you the advantage of running contests to find the right professional to suit your needs. Compared to Upwork, DesignBro also provides superior candidate selection. Every freelancer is vetted and handpicked before they are allowed to join the platform.
DesignBro reviews also flag the site's user-friendliness as an advantage. A detailed step-by-step guide takes you through creating a brief for the project you have in mind. You don't get this with Upwork. While Upwork reviews still suggest the platform is useful for other fields, like SEO, when it comes to visual arts like design, DesignBro is the clear winner.
Codementor is an online platform where you can get mentorship help with all coding facets, from debugging to online programming. Codementor Arc takes this mentoring experience to the next level, providing a marketplace for you to hire coders.
Arc is explicitly geared towards full-time roles. You can also use it for contract projects requiring 40+ hours of time commitment, however.
If you need a serious, committed coding professional, Codementor Arc is an excellent Upwork alternative. The application process for Codementor Arc workers is lengthy, including an interview and a take-home test.
Given the strict selection process, it’s no wonder that Codementor reviews praise the platform’s overall quality of workers. In comparison, Upwork reviews frequently flag the platform’s lack of uniform quality as a drawback.
If you're focused specifically on finding freelancers for design jobs, you might consider DesignCrowd. You have the option of merely enlisting the help of a single designer or running a design contest. This gives you a bit more versatility than Upwork in how you find the right pro for you.
DesignCrowd reviews praise the quality of the community as well as the flexible package options.
Similar to Upwork, DesignCrowd lets you view ratings and reviews of freelancers. Both platforms thus let you weed out the good from the bad. As always, however, finding the top talent takes time. Upwork reviews consistently flag this as a problem.
With this comparison guide, you should easily find the Upwork competitor that works for you. Taking the time to research these other options will spare you time and stress. It can even save your business money in the big picture. With some effort, you're sure to find a suitable Upwork alternative.