Upwork was formed by merging two popular freelancing platforms, oDesk and Elance. Upwork is arguably the largest freelance marketplace at this time. That said, it doesn’t mean that Upwork doesn’t have issues – for instance, it doesn’t tell you about the availability of the applicant and the sheer volume of the applicants for any job makes it tough to weed out the ones who are unqualified.
Upwork is the biggest player in freelancing market, but there are many alternatives. Let’s check out 15 alternatives with considerable traction.
Freelancer is one of the most competent alternatives of Upwork with more than 9 million projects and more than 17 million users. It is a gigantic and constantly growing platform that offers almost all of the benefits of Upwork without most of the negatives.
For business owners, it is quite easy to sign up and get started. You post a project, fill up the requirements along with associated information like the skills of applicants, pricing by the number of hour or fixed price and relevant files. There are different project types – free, basic level, private, urgent, NDA-required, and much more. Employers also have the option to directly connect with the freelancers without going through the job posting process. Once the job is submitted, freelancers will bid on the project and you’ll able to review their portfolios, reviews, qualifications and other details. After the project completion, the employer gets option to rate and review their freelancer. The negative issues of this platform are slow payment processing and poor customer support.
Hubstaff Talent is a free platform that connects freelancers and employers across the globe. As there are no markups on the fees for both of the sides, freelancers receive exactly what their client pays them. It displays a freelancer’s hourly rate, skills, previous work, availability, resume, and languages spoken. Freelancers are also allowed to add short “bio” to provide additional information.
Business owners can find freelancers and agencies by browsing the profiles on Hubstaff Talent and selecting the team of choice directly and finalise the job details. Apart from the free directory Hubstaff offers time tracking, activity monitoring, automatic payroll etc., to easily manage remote time. All these additional offers come with a simple and flat pricing plan ($5-$9 per user per month).
Outsourcely was started with the idea of hiring high quality (vetted) freelancers from more than 130 countries who are interested in long-team projects. This is great for employers who are looking for dedicated remote teams for long lasting projects. Employers search remote workers by skill or by creating a job post. It also lets both of the parties connect via real-time private chats, browser to browser video & voice calling, messaging and emails. Outsourcely lets you to hire remote workers directly and pay them directly. Apart from saving processing fee, you also get to manage the team via Outsourcely platform. You can even invite your existing team to their Team Workplace platform. Plans start at $9 – $99 /month depending on the number of works you’d like to interview and number of jobs you’d like to post.
Fiverr works on a different model – it’s the biggest online marketplace for $5 services, and these services can be anything including people ready to dance in front of you in banana suit, paint logo on their body and much more. Although the name says Fiverr, the site allows users post projects for a lot more than $5. The unique thing about this platform is that sellers post what they will be doing for how much and buyers browse the marketplace to hire them.
As per pricing option is limited by $5 multiples, it might not always yield good quality output.If you can looking some cleacr cut and simple job quickly this can be right platform. But, there won’t be long-term relationship with the sellers.
Guru is similar to Freelancer.com and helps business owners hire technical, creative or business folks from the 1.5 million freelancer network. Freelancer are evaluated by the reviews, recommendations, and testimonials along with portfolio. Guru.com lets you create agreements, add milestones and tasks, communicate, and share documents. Only after the completion of the project, you need to pay. Guru is great for small and mid-sized business owners who need a one-time project like a website, app, or even an article.
Workhoppers.com was created for companies to find and hire professionals in their own city, for contract, gig or part-time work at a flat rate. This site also doesn’t charge any fees to both of the parties. Workhoppers believes in the positive points of working face to face even if it is just once a month for a coffee. Companies and ‘workhoppers’ can connect directly and form the terms of the agreement. Their skill-matching matching makes sure that the employer gets the best possible freelancer without investing a lot of time on the selection process.
Once the job is completed businesses have the opportunity to review their freelancer. All companies and jobs are verified before they can create job posts. The issue with Workhoppers is that, because of its localised hiring process freelancers work can attract drastically different fees according to the city. This platform is indeed great for the kind of work that requires face to face meeting.
This site offers three options to get started – Browse Hourlies, fixed price offers that can start immediately, job post to attract applications and contact the freelancers accordingly. Similar to other marketplaces, PeoplePerHour allows you to choose freelancers based on reputation. Employer can go through the reviews of previous projects and hire someone depending on the budget. PeoplePerHour’s proprietary discovery technique, Hourlies helps you find a service at a fixed price so that you’re completely aware of the final price.
You also get options to manage the project, share documents, and pay for the service without ever leaving the platform. The satisfaction guarantee ensures that you pay only when you’re satisfied with the final outcome. This platform is also great for one-off projects.
It is a China-based internet marketplace for non-physical products including service, designs and digital goods. With more than 7 million users and combined with their sister website zbj.com, they are one of the largest crowd-sourcing service companies. The website offers a place where employers submit service requirements and freelancers can place bid to work on jobs. Though it is projected as a global marketplace, this freelancers community is heavily dominated by the Chinese.
99 Designs as the name suggests is great for anything related to design – website design, logo, brand, T-shirt to laptop cover. 99 Designs pioneered the marketplace where vendors compete for your payment in the form of a competition. You post a design brief stating the requirement and then launch a contest on the marketplace. You’ll get a lot of images, provide feedback, and finally pick a winner. With affordable pricing that starts at $299, you get to launch a contest and receive close to 30 designs (multiple solutions to one problem).
TopTal focuses on high quality providers via rigorous screening process to ensure the employers work with only the best of the best. You inform TopTal what type of developer you need to build your software, they find the perfect developer to suit your needs. And the most compelling part of TopTal is that you get to work with the developer risk free.
From their website:
“If, for whatever reason, you are not completely satisfied with an engineer you have been paired with, you will not be liable for any payment, and we can either part ways or we will restart the entire cycle with you at absolutely no cost.”
Note that they are one of the most expensive hiring marketplaces on the web. But that’s what it takes to get quality output. Here are some of the numbers from their FAQ page:
- $1,800 – $3,200+/week per full-time Front-End or Back-End engineer
- $1,000 – $1,600+/week per part-time Front-End or Back-End engineer
- $1,200 – $1,800+/week per full-time Quality Assurance (QA) engineer
- $600 – $1,000+/week per part-time Quality Assurance (QA) engineer
Codeable offers no obligation and no risk wordPress projects. You can create a task and the team of hand-selected expert WordPress developers will ask questions and estimate it for free. You pay only when you finalise a developer as per the estimation and happy with proposed project timeline. Developers are only allowed to estimate if they are 100% sure they can complete the work. This means that as a client you will hire a developer who has completely reviewed the requirements of your task. It’d be nice to note that 98.9% of all jobs are rated 5 out of 5 stars.
This freelance marketplace caters exclusively to Europe. Twago stands for Teamwork Across Global Offices, and positions itself as the leading platform for online work in Europe with 225,000 registered users on its platform. It works just like some of the other sites that were mentioned here. First, you create a free profile and add a job post with skills, requirements, and budget. Once service providers review your job post, they will ask questions, provide feedback, and the most qualified will apply to get your project. Finally the employer will review feedback, answer required questions, and select the most suitable freelancer. Payment and project progress can be managed via Twago’s system.
This marketplace focuses on logos, graphic design, and company naming. It has two ways to work – you can crowd-source your project (post a job and pick your favourite design) or go through their database of 176,000 designers to find the one that you’d like to work. You have option to pick from 43 categories including logos, stationery, web design, and even get help naming your company. One an average each post receives close to 120 responses. As an employer you get an opportunity to go through vast array of designs and select the one that suites you requirements; then work with the designer to get it perfected. As the job poster, you get 100% freedom on your price and your deadline. Like other freelancing marketplace there is price protection as well.
This platform helps you hire local freelancers who might or might not be skilled. Although it initially started as a consumer marketplace, TaskRabbit has many useful applications for businesses. If you need a personal assistant who is local, or a handyman to work on logistics, or someone to be a cook at the company picnic, TaskRabbit can help.
This freelancers marketplace owned by Amazon.com allows you to hire people to perform tasks that computers cannot do in the present scenario. Amazon calls the businesses and entities who post “Human Intelligence Tasks” as requesters. These tasks include things like reading scanned copies of receipts and converting them text or searching the phone numbers of analytics companies. Workers in the marketplace can browse and complete the tasks with which they are comfortable. There is rare interaction with the person (or people) who work your tasks. Payment automatically gets disbursed on completion of the project.
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