18 Best Alternatives to Upwork for Freelancers and Businesses
In light of the recent upheaval in the gig economy, many people are looking for a suitable freelance job to supplement their yearly income. As a result, we live in an era of thriving freelance platforms with ever-increasing audiences on both sides of the business.
Qualified freelancers can sell their expertise for virtually any price, thanks to readily set up payment systems and some of these platforms being free to begin freelance work. The U.S. freelancer market revenue estimate alone is considered more than $750B per year. This article complements our blog post How to make money on Upwork with the best alternatives to Upwork for freelancers and businesses.
Upwork has been the most popular site for freelancers and businesses in recent years. Still, many other platforms are also available, where you can save your team’s time by outsourcing tasks rather than hiring another full-time employee or an agency.
Also, there are great alternatives to Upwork with lower fees and more companies searching for talents like you.
You have many options if you want to broaden your horizons and see the best Upwork competitors. Fiverr, Truelancer, and Toptal are three of the most popular.
Transparency: We may get compensated when you click on links in this article.
Best Alternatives To Upwork
First, let us start with Upwork to have the right comparison aspects in place. Upwork is listed on Nasdaq with a market cap of 4.4B. The share price rallied from $5.31 in April 2020 to $64.49 in July 2021.
Upwork publishes an annual report where you can find exciting insights presented by their President and CEO, Hayden Brown.
The gross service volume of 2020 was $2.5B with 10K+ skills across 180+ countries. 30% of the top 100 Fortune companies are considered using Upwork for their freelance business. Within the key financial and operational metrics, they reported 154,000 core clients with a revenue of at least $5,000 each and a total marketplace revenue of $338,152,000 in 2020.
So why should you look for alternatives to Upwork if Upwork is the market leader with such impressive numbers? Well, most likely due to financial and talent aspects. So how much does it cost to use Upwork?
Upwork fees for freelancers
You benefit by maintaining long-term business relationships as a freelancer on Upwork. That’s because the seller fees decrease depending on the total revenue per contract. For example, the seller fee for the first $500 revenue is a whopping 20%, but then it goes lower in the revenue range of $500.01-$10,000 and goes as low as 5% seller fees above $10,000.01 revenue with a client.
Upwork fees for businesses
The buyer fees for clients are only 3% on all payments at all revenue levels. This is one of the lowest fees across all freelancing platforms.
In my opinion, it is hard to beat Upwork. The pricing is reasonable, the client reach is immense, excellent transparency is ensured, and free integrated tools like Zoom calls make it easy to use Upwork as a central platform.
However, you are here to discover the best alternatives to Upwork, and the following list contains the best alternatives. I’ve included the pricing for freelancers and businesses in each section and provided some insights into the platform to make it comparable to Upwork.
Fiverr is one of the most popular Upwork alternatives founded in 2010. Many freelancers offer fixed price services that come in packages and usually on lower fees than Upwork. They are well-known for gigs starting at $5.
Although Fiverr is one of the most convenient and simple to use sites, it is rare to establish long term relationships for work there. If you hire a freelancer, you should always check how long a freelancer is active and focus on those that have a long-term reputation with trustful reviews, well-described gigs and reasonable pricing. Many freelancers come and go. A proper due-diligence process ensures long-term satisfaction.
Fiverr uses an escrow service similar to Upwork. This way, your funds are safe. You fund your project by sending the money to escrow. The money will be released from escrow once you confirm that the project was completed successfully.
Freelancers benefit from a huge e-commerce platform with direct access to millions of potential buyers.
Fiverr is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of 4.69B at a price per share of more than $120. Therefore it is safe to say that they are regulated and 100% legit.
Fiverr fees for freelancers
Fiverr charges 20% of any orders completed on their platform. Therefore 80% of the gig price is available to the seller of the gig and can be withdrawn to the bank account. However, other than Upwork Fiverr does not reduce the freelance fees with growing revenue with a client.
Fiverr fees for businesses
As a buyer, Fiverr charges you 5% or a minimum of $2 for any order. This is one of the lowest fees for buyers in freelancing platforms, but still 2% higher than Upwork.Click Here To Check Special Offers on Fiverr
As an Upwork freelancer, PeoplePerHour is a very safe and sound alternative to seek out remote gigs. They offer a safe space for freelancers and businesses with anti-fraud protection and a money-back guarantee, and they also monitor their site for any seemingly inappropriate job.
You can also sell package offers as a freelancer or employ multiple freelancers for even the same project at once easily. Digital marketers, web developers, and SEO experts can reap the most offers on the site, but there are dozens of categories you can choose from.
PeoplePerHour fees for freelancer
There is no registration fee. PeoplePerHour takes 20% of the first $350 revenue with a client, then 7.5% between $350.01 and $6,999 revenue, and only 3.5% on life time revenue per buyer over $7,000. There might be withdrawal fees, depending on what service you use.
PeoplePerHour fees for businesses
PeoplePerHour doesn’t charge you for signing up or posting a job offer. Instead, they charge all earnings a 10% commission fee. You sometimes receive a promotional email from PPH where you get a promo code and discount for your next order of up to 10%.
Among the sea of Upwork competitors, the freelancer platform is wildly popular to find and offer social media marketing projects, but there are over 80 categories freelancers can choose from.
Verifying your payment method as a freelancer ultimately increases your chances of receiving jobs on Freelancer because it proves you are who you say you are. Additionally, it gives you access to a 1 month free trial to the platform’s Plus Membership.
According to Freelancer, your chances of getting hired increase by 427% with a Plus Membership! You can, however, use Freelancer for free and search and apply to jobs that way.
Finally, start surfing all of the jobs that Freelance offers. The platform navigation is user-friendly, and the powerful sorting tools help you find jobs that pay the rates you want.
Freelancer fees for freelancers
As a freelancer, it’s free to create a profile, upload a portfolio and with a free membership, make 6 bids per month, and enter contests. For hourly projects, the freelance fee is 10%. For fix price projects, the fee for freelancers is 10% or $5, whichever is greater.
Freelancer fees for businesses
It’s free to sign up on freelancer.com, post a project, and receive bids. If you award the project as a fixed price project to a freelancer, they charge you 3%, or $3, whichever is greater. They charge 3% of each payment made to the freelancers for hourly services.
Truelancer is one of the most user-friendly Upwork competitors. With its simplistic platform, job board, and easy-to-use features, both potential clients and freelancers find it appealing.
Unfortunately, there is virtually no vetting process on-site, so you have to do your due diligence and make sure to choose a suitable, honest, capable co-working partner for your project.
You can find real gems on Truelancer, especially miscellaneous ones, that are hard to categorize.
Truelancer is an India based freelancing marketplace and became profitable in 2019.
Truelancer fees for freelancers
For freelancers, Truelancer charges an 8-10% service fee, and also have to pay any occurring withdrawal fees, depending on the service you use. In a free membership plan, there are 20 bids included, but you can buy further proposal credits. 5 more cost $4, 10 more $6, 25 more $12 and 50 bid proposal credits cost $20.
Truelancer fees for businesses
Truelancer only charges a payment processing fee that varies between 2-3,9%, based on the used method. Bank transfer, for example, is free of charge. Using a credit card can cost up to 3.9% plus $0.32.
Toptal proudly offers an opportunity and platform for the upper 3% of top freelancers and experts. It is the most exclusive and harder to get into among Upwork alternatives.
They don’t reveal exactly what you need to get access or be considered top talent, but they certainly do their due diligence during the application process. For example, I was told by a freelancer when she applied while consulting for a reputable company, and they contacted three of their previous employers for references.
Once accepted, they also provide career coaching, and you can earn more money per project with high-profile clients on TopTal than on any other freelancing platform.
With a limited number of freelancers and clients, most businesses use Toptal’s platform to outsource sensitive tasks that require a complex set of skills. The majority of clients are looking for PR experts, marketing strategy specialists, or a masterful project manager.
Toptal fees for freelancers
Toptal takes a commission of the freelancer’s payment. The client never knows the real rate of a freelancer, and the freelancer doesn’t know the real price of the project.
Toptal fees for businesses
Toptal doesn’t charge the clients who want to hire on their platform. Instead, it regulates the hourly and fixed rates of freelances, which start at $60/hour and $1,000-2,000$ per week.
The minimum deposit per hire is $500.
Crossover is a relatively new platform to find freelance work or hire from an alternative talent pool for a task. They offer several high-paying remote jobs for freelancers with a high skill level.
As an Upwork competitor, it has a great platform, easy to use, screens clients and online workers, but doesn’t have a broad audience, so you have a minimal choice on both ends of the bargain, unfortunately. Also, they require freelancers to strictly monitor their working hours, and there are other controversial rules.
On the other hand, they take pride in providing the top 1% of talented freelancers and trusted clients after they have passed cognitive tests, English proficiency tests, a job assignment to assess their level of skills, and a personal interview.
Crossover fees for freelancers
Crossover doesn’t charge any commission for freelancers employed there. Their fees are built into the payments, but it’s not publicly available, how much exactly.
Crossover fees for businesses
Crossover doesn’t charge an extra fee for businesses for hiring on Crossover. The built-in percent of their fee is not publicly available.
AngelList sounds like a great Upwork alternative, as the platform claims to be the world’s largest startup community. Rest assured, freelancers can choose from thousands of tech jobs at startups, and companies can find skilled IT experts for their firms.
Some of the most popular services are product design, software engineering, data science, growth marketer, and data analyst.
AngelList fees for freelancers
Freelancer publishes their job post on AngelList Talent in an intuitive and straightforward process. It is very worker-friendly, and the platform is easily manageable. The typical salary range is $40,00 – $140,000. I did not find any detailed information about the fees for freelancers.
AngelList fees for businesses
Although posting a job on AngelList is entirely free, you can access Pro or Team memberships as a startup or company. A Pro membership is $250/ month, and a Team membership is a custom offer tailored for each firm’s unique needs.
These advanced membership plans include pre-screened, curated candidates for each role, an account manager, and sourcing agent, plus unlimited access to potential candidates and their profiles.
However, there is no transparent pricing about the fees available on the website. It seems that sometimes a 20% comes on top. But even within the terms and conditions, I did not find exact specifications.
DesignCrowd is the number one design marketplace for graphic and web designers with its own freelance design community you can join. Also, participating in a design contest on the site can boost your chances of getting recognized for projects.
Among Upwork competitors, it is the most popular when it comes to design services. You can sell or buy any graphic design, logos, web design, business cards, app, or 3d designs, but also email marketing.
DesignCrowd fees for freelancers
DesignCrowd is free to sign up for freelancer designers, but they will ultimately charge you 15% commission on your design projects.
DesignCrowd fees for businesses
For customers, they can charge you up to $129 or a 4% transaction fee for posting a design project, which is non-refundable.
10. Hubstaff Talent
Hubstaff Talent, like Upwork, offers a wide variety of professional services, at different skill levels, by thousands of freelancers and digital nomads on their platform.
You can sell your skills or buy expertise in digital marketing, sales, design, writing and content marketing, digital marketing, development, SEO, and business consulting.
Although the support is helpful and the website is easy to use, there is essentially no screening for freelancers. Many of them accept assignments at well below market prices in developing countries. This issue has been present at other sites, and many people believe that minimum hourly fees should be controlled on each site to ensure the quality of services supplied.
Hubstaff Talent fees for freelancers
As a freelancer, Hubstaff is free of charge to use.
Hubstaff Talent fees for businesses
There are several categories to choose from when using Hubstaff as an employer. For solo users, it is still free of charge. But you can upgrade to a Starter membership for $14/month with 2 users. Pro membership costs $20/month for 2 users, and the Enterprise plan can be requested.
However, those costs only include the features to track your freelancers’ work. I did not find any concrete and transparent details about fees for freelancers and businesses for hiring and revenues with freelancers.
When checking Hubstaff Talent, there were only 317 jobs posted with 70,260 profiles in 198 countries.
Outsourcely is not as established as several other Upwork alternatives. Still, it can be a great asset for small businesses to save time on the hiring process and have access to a larger pool of candidates.
It’s also a great platform to set up long-term connections, not just to get temporary gigs. You can find talented hirees in digital marketing, web development, design, application development, writing, sales, and customer service.
Outsourcely was established to outsource specific tasks that a remote team might need assistance with, possibly in the long run.
On the other hand, some very complex, almost consultative roles are not in sync with the main profile of the platform, such as business development consulting or active project management.
Outsourcely fees for freelancers
It is free to join Outsourcely as a freelance worker, but you can get access to a Featured profile for just $10/month to stand out in the crowd of competition with a featured profile.
Outsourcely fees for businesses
For companies, there are three plans available when using Outsourcely. Free membership lets you post one job per month but without hiring options. You can only browse through the candidates, so you can safely say it solely assesses your possibilities.
A Small Business membership plan costs $79/month and lets you post 5 jobs/ month, message, video chat, screen. You can hire freelancers and use up to 3 accounts. And it also gives you access to email and chat support anytime you need it.
A Professional membership plan is $229/month and suits larger firms. You can post 30 jobs/month and also have an unlimited message, video chat, and screening for hiring freelancers for your companies projects. In addition, it gives you 10 user accounts and email, phone, and chat support.
FreeUp is a client-focused platform, and as an Upwork alternative, it strives to screen remote workers only to allow the top percent on their site. They want to make the matching process between client and freelancer much faster this way.
Not only do they pre-screen your candidates, but they offer almost concierge-level support and very low turnover, according to them.
Their specialties are Amazon services, customer service, web development, and copywriting.
There is no monthly fee charged for either the freelancers or their clients on FreeUp, only a fixed commission after each order or payment.
FreeUp fees for freelancers
FreeUp is free to use for freelancers. You set your rate and get paid the amount minus potential conversion fees and payment transaction fees.
FreeUp fees for businesses
FreeUp only charges a 15% commission on each project or payment made for orders with a $2 minimum.
Several sites like Upwork are popping up each week to offer even newer platforms for finding a niche or higher-paying gigs. Although the competition is fierce, Guru claims to operate with the lowest handling fees in the industry for clients.
Guru fees for freelancers
Freelancers on Guru can choose from several membership plans. With a free account, you are charged a 9% commission on each of your invoices, and you can bid on 10 jobs per month.
With Basic membership costing $11,95 monthly, the commission is 9%, you have 50 bids per month, ask the employer questions directly regarding the job offer, and use $1,000 worth of search boost.
Professional membership costs $21,95 monthly, takes 7% commission, and gives 50 bids monthly, with a 100 annual rollover. You can also link your personal website and portfolio with this membership and use $2000 worth of search boost.
A Business membership is $33,95/month, with 50 bidding opportunities, 6% commission fee, 200 annual bid rollover, and $4000 worth of search boost.
The priciest Executive membership is a whopping $49,95/ monthly, offering 5% commission, 50 bids monthly, 300 annual bid rollover, and an $8000 search boost.
Guru fees for businesses
For employers, Guru charges a 2,9% handling fee that you can even get back as a cashback if you choose wire transfer or an eCheck. You can post unlimited jobs and hire as many freelancers as you need for this fee.
99designs is a platform for vetted freelancers of graphic designers or companies that wish to hire them.
You can either start or enter a contest or set up one-on-one work with a freelancer or a client. You can set up a contest for freelancers, apply to them and buy the winning graphic design based on a creative brief you provide.
99designs fees for freelancers
99designs charges $100 spread out over the first $500 revenue with a client (20%). Then, the Entry fee is 15%, the Mid-Level fee 10% and the Top Level Fee 5%, based on the level of the designer. The level of the designer is defined by various criteria taken into consideration by the 99designs designer curation team when reviewing your profile. In other words, the better you are, the lower the fees.
99designs fees for businesses
As a company or employer, you can choose from fixed price packages ranging from $299- $1,299, all of them giving you full copyright ownership, and some of them let you hire Top Level designers.
You can also start an individual contest if you don’t want to purchase a package for $299. There is also a 5% platform fee for clients in 1:1 projects.
15. Writers Work
Among the Upwork alternatives, Writers Work is the only site specialized for the everyday gig-hunting freelance writer. You can set up an online portfolio and land gigs as a freelance content writer right away. The gigs come from established business partnerships with some writing job businesses.
Writers Work fees for freelancers
You can choose between a monthly subscription for $15/month or a lifetime membership for $47.
Writers Work fees for businesses
Employers can set up job listings for free on Writers Work, but they don’t clarify whether it takes any payment to hire freelancers.
ServiceScape has quite a large pool of talented freelancers and outstanding ratings. They specialize in editing, proofreading, translating, and writing freelance services.
ServiceScape fees for freelancers
ServiceScape takes a whopping 50% commission on all services, from edition, translation, and graphic design to writing jobs.
ServiceScape fees for businesses
It seems that businesses do not pay fees here, while freelancers pay 50% commissions. That’s an untypical imbalance. There are also some additional fees for editing and translation certifications mentioned on the site.
Becoming a “Tasker” on TaskRabbit opens your opportunities to work on all types of projects in your area. That’s what makes this alternative to Upwork stand out. Sometimes, working online is not for everyone. Having the opportunity to offer your services locally to those searching is a great way to boost your client base.
Visit TaskRabbit’s introductory Tasker page and walk through the prompts to set up your local service provider account. Providing an accurate location is key to finding jobs in your area for this platform.
Be sure to check for your location on their recently updated list before signing up. There are hundreds of specific services listed on TaskRabbit, and you may find your exact talent needed in your own neighborhood.
Listing your services with TaskRabbit opens new opportunities and helps you gain exposure to potential clients. From cleaning to shopping and delivery to handyman services, you’ll find it all on this local Upwork alternative.
Taskrabbit fees for freelancers
Freelancers on Taskrabbit are called Taskers. They pay a non-refundable registration fee of $25. There are no additional fees for taskers.
Taskrabbit fees for businesses
Taskrabbit is intransparent about the fees. The help guides I reviewed do not contain specific information about the fees. They only mention that a 3% fee might be applied to credit card payments in the terms and conditions. However, on Reddit, I found a post from summer 2021 that Taskrabbit now charges a whopping 35.3% so-called Trust and Support fee to clients. Chats on Twitter and TrustPilot confirm that.
If you want to hire local freelancers or offer your skill in gigs, Workhoppers is precisely what you need and an excellent place. Find the right freelancers and hire talent in your local area for a part-time or full-time job. The Workhoppers matching algorithm curates a list of the best possible candidates from the freelance marketplace.
workhoppers fees for freelancers
There are no fees for freelancers and experts on workhoppers.
workhoppers fees for businesses
You can find the best talent and multiple freelancers starting at $29 per month with the basic plan. This includes 1 job post and 1 skill with match alerts and some promotions. The most commonly used one is the Essential subscription for $59 per month with up to 3 jobs active and social media promotion included. The Enterprise ($275/month) and Concierge services ($325/recruit) are for more prominent companies looking in various cities for vetted freelancers.
As an Upwork guru, you have a set of standards you are looking for when you want to discover sites like Upwork and look for more clients. In many cases, Upwork remains the best choice for freelancers and businesses.
Some of these features are built-in payment processing, having your portfolio showcased to clients aesthetically, a platform that lets you track time for your projects, and transparent commissions or fees for the platform.
On the other side, you can find many Upwork alternatives to manage freelancers as a business for reasonable fees.
In either case, you also have to consider currency conversion charges when choosing your payment options.
It’s an open ended market, with tremendous possibilities to showcase your talent and sell it for a lucrative price, and also to find the best high-quality expert as a business owner in any field you can think of.
Each of us has our preferences. Yours might be to have a large pool of projects to choose from at any given moment, and Upwork competitors are all offering a niche that can accommodate your specialty in one way or another. Other people have other preferences, and businesses have different perspectives than freelancers.
During the research, I noticed that many providers do not list the fees at all. This is disappointing. To me, hidden pricing details are the perfect reason to avoid a provider.
Apply Common Sense
Keep in mind, if it is hard to discover the fees involved, it is better to go with another vendor. Some of the providers mentioned in the list are intransparent, but they are particularly strong in specific niches. Therefore you should contact their support to ask your questions before getting started. Also, keep in mind to quickly send your first invoice to see if you really get paid, how long it takes, and the overall fees.
If you experience any kind of problems with such lower-priced test projects, you should go with another platform.
The top two platforms are Upwork and Fiverr since both are companies listed on a U.S. stock exchange. They are regulated, they have exceptional integrated tools and straightforward processes and a massive reach for freelancers and businesses.
Avoid Freelance Scams
One of the regular schemes is fraudsters posting a gig, then asking for your Whatsapp. They offer you a lucrative gig in personal messages, but you have to pay an administrative fee upfront.
Be mindful not to give out your phone number, Facebook, or WhatsApp, not before establishing a solid work relationship beforehand. Insist on keeping your communication on-site until you have a long history of projects with the partner.
How can I get a freelance job?
Becoming a freelancer takes time and effort. But the flexible hours and high-income opportunities are well worth it. To get freelance work, sign up for your favorite providers. It’s always important to display accurate and helpful information about yourself and your experience as possible. Sometimes, your first few freelance jobs are rocky, and the income is lower than expected. But if you build client testimonials and increase your knowledge and expertise in your field of work, then getting freelance work becomes easier with better pay.
What is the best freelance website for beginners?
To me, Upwork and Fiverr are the best freelance websites for beginners. They are listed on a U.S. stock exchange, entirely transparent about the fees, and they pay freelancers on time. Long-term business relationships get rewarded with low freelancer fees. Also, the costs for businesses are much lower compared to many competitors.