Currently, there are hundreds of job boards and talent outsourcing sites on the internet. Naturally, not all of them can fit your needs. If you think your hiring or job searching process didn’t go well on Upwork, go through my list of Upwork alternatives to choose the ideal site for yourself.
Talent outsourcing is perhaps the best concept that hit the business industry in the last few decades. Believe it or not, almost 59% percent of all US businesses outsource freelance workers to reduce their expenses.
On the other hand, talented freelancers working from home make up almost 43% of the US workforce. Simply enough, freelancing creates a win-win situation for freelancers and business owners alike.
Attributing to the high demand, there are online many platforms that help freelancers and business owners connect to create profitable work relationships.
Some people choose and switch to freelancing, especially those who are not fans of 9 t0 5 jobs. If you’re one of them, there are various side hustles that you can try and accumulate income.
If you’ve ever worked as a freelancer or thought of hiring someone on a freelance basis, you’ve probably come across Upwork.
While Upwork is a great place to get started, whichever end of the stick you belong to, I’ve listed down some Upwork alternatives for you to consider.
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Why Go for Upwork Alternatives?
Upwork is a well-known freelance platform that originated back in 1999. It was formerly known as Elance-o-Desk before it recently changed its name to Upwork in 2015.
It’s an accessible website that lets employers find the talent they’re looking for, and freelancers find high-paying job offers.
While it is one of the go-to sites for beginners in the freelancing or outsourcing industry, it does have some downsides.
Firstly, it charges 20% for every project you complete on the site as a freelancer. If that’s a turn-down for you, you can quickly go through Upwork alternatives for sites that let you keep all your money.
Secondly, Upwork lets people from all professions join. This can make things difficult for freelancers and businesses alike.
While freelancers will be entering a competitive, saturated market, companies will have a hard time picking out quality talent.
In my best Upwork alternatives list, you’ll find sites that conduct thorough scrutiny on every employer and freelancer who joins the platform.
Similarly, many sites allow freelancers from specific niches, so business owners who know what they’re looking for can streamline their search on these platforms.
Most importantly, Upwork provides limited protection against scam clients and unqualified freelancers. So whether you’re looking for work or talent for hire, you could end up wasting your time and money.
If these aspects make you second-guess using Upwork as your primary outsourcing or freelancing site, check out my list of Upwork alternatives to get the services that fit your needs.
7 Sites Like Upwork for Freelancers and Businesses
Being one of the pioneering sites in the freelancing industry, Upwork provides many commendable features for employers and freelancers alike.
However, every consumer has diverse needs when it comes to choosing an online outsourcing site. While small businesses might need to hire low-cost workers, established enterprises search for top-notch talent in every field.
Similarly, freelancers could be looking for both remote, part-time opportunities or project-based gigs. You can easily find a site that fits your needs in my list of platforms like Upwork.
Flexjobs is a reliable freelance platform founded in 2007. The website helps connect highly skilled freelancers with influential clients in their fields.
The creator herself was frustrated at the lack of serious remote options available when she had to quit her day job.
Although the membership is paid right from the start, many great features are worth the money.
Flexjobs for Freelancers
If you’re a beginning freelancer who is ready to invest some money for some good job leads, Flexjobs is the platform for you.
Not only does it help you land profitable clients, but it also provides productive career counseling in the form of resume evaluation and one-on-one career coaching.
You can also choose to take skill tests based on your profession and post the results on your on-site resume. This helps you attract more clients and make more money.
The best part is, even if you’re not impressed with the services on Flexjobs, you can get your money back within 30 days.
Flexjobs for Businesses
Flexjobs has beneficial features for employers looking for talented workers. You don’t have to go through long lists of freelancers claiming to be qualified for the job, for starters.
Usually, you only find out about their incompetence after wasting your time asking for samples or offering a test task.
Here, you can see testimonials of their talents displayed in their profile, so you know you’re not wasting your time.
Read more about the site in this full Flexjobs review.
Toptal is one of the most reliable Upwork alternatives for developers, designers, product managers, project managers, and financial experts.
Yes, the platform is restricted to these five categories and all the sub-categories included in this genre.
So, if you’re a freelancer or an employer looking to streamline your search, this is the ideal portal for you. What’s more, the platform claims to advertise only the best 3% of all the talent available online.
Toptal for Freelancers
To be honest, signing up on Toptal is quite challenging for freelancers. Believe it or not, they have a five-week-long vetting process, and they’ll let you in only if you pass all four tests.
However, if you’re an established professional in your field, you can get through the entrance tests and join the site’s non-competitive marketplace.
Here, you can easily create a reputation for yourself among employers because the market is not saturated like other freelance sites.
This can help you generate a steady workflow for yourself and create an impressive portfolio in the long-run.
Toptal for Businesses
Toptal is an expensive option for business owners compared to other freelance platforms. But, they charge legit money considering the effort they put in to bring only the best talent to your search results.
If you’re someone who can’t afford an incompetent freelancer to screw up your projects, Toptal is the go-to site for you. Most importantly, the site is highly organized, so you can easily find the talent you need in a specific category from your niche.
For example, you can only search for developers and get hundreds of search results on Upwork. Here, you can precisely search from various categories like WordPress developers or CSS developers.
Read more about the site in this full Toptal review.
SolidGigs is one of the recent players in the freelance platform game and cannot match Upwork when it comes to popularity and reputation.
However, the site works well at sorting out all the suitable job options available on more sites like Upwork across the internet.
SolidGigs for Freelancers
If you’ve just started working as a freelancer, you’re probably an Upwork and Fiverr member. In that case, you already know that these sites display hundreds of job options with every search.
If you pitch every relevant client on your list, you’ll get responses from a few dozen and end up working for only one or two from the lot. SolidGigs saves your time by providing a specific weekly gig list from these very sites.
This way, you’ll only have 10-15 clients to pitch every week, who are already thoroughly vetted and have a good reputation in your field. Although you’ll have to pay a small premium, you can compensate for that by spending your time working for gigs rather than finding them.
SolidGigs for Businesses
As a small business, if you post your job on top-rated sites like Upwork, your ad will probably get lost in the crowd. Besides that, even if freelancers approach you from the site, you won’t be able to tell whether they are worth your time or not.
Read more in this full SolidGigs review.
99designs is a unique crowdsourcing website for employers and workers in the designing field. No matter what kind of services you need or where your expertise lies, 99designs is the ultimate website to start your career or enhance your business.
99designs for Freelancers
What makes 99designs one of the best freelancer Upwork alternatives is that it gives you the exposure you need in the field. The platform provides a unique outlet for you to showcase your talent.
You don’t need to pitch clients and wait to get selected before you work on the project. You can pick any design project that sparks your interest and start working.
Yes, with hundreds of designers competing for a single gig, it’s pretty hard to get selected for the job. However, you can get to work on exciting, high-profile projects and build an impressive portfolio to land high-paying clients in the future.
99designs for Businesses
If you’re a picky client who doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the work provided by freelancers online, 99designs is the ideal platform for you.
Here, you can start a design competition and receive around 30 design responses for your post.
Besides that, small businesses can use this crowdsourcing opportunity to create a brand identity that appeals to the masses without spending big bucks on design.
Furthermore, even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of starting a contest, you can search for the right designer on the site. All you have to do is put your project in the search bar and review potential freelancers’ portfolios to find the perfect fit for your brand.
Fiverr is one of the leading Upwork competitors in the online outsourcing market. Although it was founded in 2010, years after Upwork was launched in the market, it quickly gained popularity through its affordable and accessible services.
The best part is, there is no upfront fee to sign up on Fiverr as a freelancer or an employer. The platform only charges a $5 commission when the final payment transaction is generated through the site.
Similarly, the user interface is catch and easy-to-use, so you can find your way around even if you’re a beginner.
Fiverr for Freelancers
Fiverr is the ultimate platform for beginners in the freelancing field. Regardless of the niche or the nature of your job, you can put it out there for potential clients.
What sets Fiverr apart from other platforms is that you can create your packages, set your rates, and add a personalized touch to your job ad. This helps you attract more clients to the site.
Furthermore, it requires no initial investment, so you can post your gig before you leave your day job and start freelancing permanently only when you land a few high-paying clients.
But, attributing to the site’s open and risk-free nature, the market is pretty saturated, mainly if you belong to commonly outsourced niches like writing or designing.
Once you start generating a steady workflow from the site, all you have to do is maintain an excellent rating to increase your future clients’ visibility.
Fiverr for Businesses
Fiverr is the best freelance platform for small businesses looking for affordable services. Although Fiverr allows sellers to raise their prices after a certain period, everyone has to start at $5.
That’s why, whether you need a logo design or some web content, you can easily find a gig that provides it for $5. Most importantly, you can opt for a low turnover time on Fiverr. If you’re in a hurry, you can get your services done in less than 24 hours.
Despite its vast seller base, Fiverr makes it easier for businesses to look for talent by their well-defined categories and subcategories.
Another significant aspect is that you can communicate with your employee through the platform until your project is complete. This way, they can ask you if there are any queries, and you can track the progress of your work and give insights at every stage.
ZipRecruiter is a popular and less-crowded Upwork alternative for organizations looking for talented workers and freelancers looking to apply for serious jobs.
It works like a typical job board where companies and small businesses can advertise job opportunities. This attracts interested applicants, who can apply to any job that appeals to them through the website.
ZipRecruiter for Freelancers
ZipRecruiter is a paid service, and the amount employers pay for their job ads depends on the payment plan they select. For freelancers, this means there will be minimum scam opportunities on the ZipRecruiter job board.
Besides that, when you apply for a job, the platform conducts a thorough screened process regarding your professional abilities, communication skills, and personality traits. After you pass the test, your application is displayed as a suitable option for your employers.
This not only increases your chances of getting hired for the job but increases your credibility on the platform for further job opportunities.
ZipRecruiter for Businesses
Most small business owners might be turned off from ZipRecruiter due to its high price range. Why pay for advertising your job when you can do it for free? However, free advertising displays your job to similar recipients who might waste your time.
ZipRecruiter displays your job on its platform and across other reliable job boards on the internet. This way, you don’t have to sign-up for multiple sites; you can widen your reach by signing up to this site alone.
Similarly, the applicants are thoroughly vetted, so every application you receive will be reliable. The site also offers creative templates to display your job offer so you can attract qualified individuals on the site.
Freelancer is one of the pioneering sites in the online crowdsourcing sector. Founded back in 2009, it is one of the most popular Upwork alternatives on my list.
It uses the bidding marketplace formula to connect freelancers and employers, similar to Upwork. However, both platforms are quite different when it comes to pricing, organization, and job categories.
Freelancer for Freelancers
Freelancer is an easy-to-use site for beginning freelancers in their respective fields. All you have to do is sign-up on the site and complete your profile.
After that, you can search for jobs from your niche and start bidding. Moreover, the platform offers many options to enhance your bidding game and get selected for the job.
You can add your portfolio, decide your own price range, and add verified skill options for the employers to check out. This increases your chances of getting hired whenever you bid for a job.
Freelancer for Businesses
Small businesses have difficulty finding talented employees who would see some growth potential in working for their companies. But, if you join Freelancer and place your job ad, you’ll be surprised at the bids you start receiving from talented workers.
The platform also conducts some background checks and allows freelancers to add their portfolios, skill specifications, and the price range in their bids. This helps you select a freelancer according to your needs while evaluating their expertise at the same time.
Besides that, if you’re interested in two or more bidders, you can compare their profiles to select the best pick for the job.
The best part is, you only have to pay your employers after you’re satisfied with the services you receive. However, you’ll have to pay a small premium to Freelancer, depending on the plan you select to put your job ad out there.
Looking for freelancing jobs and remote jobs is now easy with many platforms other than Upwork to showcase your skills. These platforms allow freelancers to choose from various types of jobs in the freelancing community you might try for a job inquiry.
Now that you’ve been through my list of the best Upwork alternatives, here are some concise answers to FAQ related to the subject.
Is Upwork Credible?
Yes, Upwork is a reputable freelance crowdsourcing platform that provides impeccable services for both sellers and buyers. But, there are some downsides to the platform, including its over-crowded nature, minimal scam protection, and poor categorization, making many users steer away from the site towards other options.
What is Better than Upwork?
Many Upwork alternatives are better than Upwork, depending on your personal needs and preferences.
For instance, if you’re a small business owner looking for cheap services, you could go with Fiverr. Similarly, if you’re a freelancer looking to save time, SolidGigs is an excellent alternative to the long, unorganized lists on Upwork.
Additionally, for those looking for quality and credibility, sites like Toptal and Flexjobs are unique options attributing to their skill tests and rigorous scrutiny.
Is Upwork Better than Fiverr?
No platform is better than the other. However, Upwork and Fiverr have benefits and drawbacks that set them apart and attract diverse audiences. If you’re ready to compete with a highly qualified user base and want to work on high-profile projects, Upwork is the place for you.
On the other hand, if you want to start cheap and work on short-term projects, Fiverr is the ideal site for you.
That concludes my list of the best Upwork alternatives for freelancers and businesses. Whether you’re a beginning freelancer or an employer, start by listing down your needs from an ideal outsourcing platform.
After that, evaluate each platform based on your needs to pick out the best one for yourself. Remember, the highest-rated site doesn’t need to be the best one for you. Choose wisely before you jump in. Good Luck!
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