Fiverr vs Upwork: Who Has the Best Freelancers?

More than 59 million, or one-third of the US population participates in the “gig economy,” a revolutionary way of working that allows talented professionals to work on small projects and one-off assignments instead of full-time jobs.

While some perform gig work — -driving for ride-sharing companies, delivering food, freelance writing, online tech support — -as a part-time supplement, there are others that work in this economy full-time.

Online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have dominated the gig work industry, connecting freelancers to businesses in a simple-to-use format.

Why Outsourcing is So Popular

There are a number of benefits to using an outsourced platform for freelance work, making them attractive to small business owners.

  • A transparent rating system means you know exactly what you’re going to get. You can review the freelancer’s past work, reviews and on-time performance.
  • An easy to use payment platform means that you don’t have to worry about the business side of things like invoices and accounts payable — -just pay and order instantly
  • Simple dispute resolution. If you’re not happy with your project, there are steps that you can take to remedy the problem


Fiverr’s business model is quite simple.

Freelancers, or sellers, offer their services for the low price of $5 per job, or “gig.” The low cost makes it appealing to cash-strapped business owners or creatives who simply need a freelancer to complete simple tasks.

The real profits come in, however, with the upgraded services that the freelancers offer. A seller might offer to create a simple logo for $5, but if you want customization, faster delivery or multiple formats, there are additional costs. In the end, the logo ends up costing about $30, which is still a deep discount over a traditional graphic designer.

Fiverr’s freelancers offer their services in a marketplace and you simply choose the one you want to work on your project. There are benefits and drawbacks to this, and many business owners find it challenging to search for the freelancer who can perform their exact task. Fiverr doesn’t offer a way for the business owner to simply post the job and invite freelancers to apply. Despite this, with more than 7 million users on the site, it is not hard to find one who can complete your project.

One of the big draws of Fiverr is the ability to search and sort for a freelancer based on a few key factors. You can sort by budget, location, quality rating and skill. This makes it easy for you to narrow down the right person for the job.

Communicating with your freelancer on Fiverr is easy. Once you have selected the talent to work on your job, you can use a simple messaging system to communicate the details of your project, share files and review documents. Fiverr’s freelancers are based all over the world, and the site handles time differences by displaying the current time in your freelancer’s location, making communication a breeze.

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Fiverr’s Value

  • Allows for easy scalability
  • If you need a small job done, you can start there, adding on more as needed
  • Great for micro-gigs and small tasks
  • If you just want someone to edit a short video, perform some Web searches or manipulate an image, Fiverr is a simple and affordable solution
  • Lower costs mean that you can use the platform to test out multiple freelancers for a relatively low investment


Founded in 2013, Upwork resulted in a merger between Elance and oDesk, two popular freelancer platforms.

Upwork’s model differs from Fiverr’s in a few distinct ways, most notably the starting price point for freelance jobs. Freelancers set their own pricing on the site, charging hourly or flat rates for projects. One of the most convenient features of Upwork is the ability to post jobs and allow freelancers to submit bids.

This makes it easy to compare pricing, availability, and skillsets without having to search through endless profiles to find the right freelancer.

Upwork also offers a variety of tools that make it convenient for small businesses

  • Skills tests that freelancers display on their profiles. Search by skill level to narrow down the pool of eligible workers
  • An easy to use messaging system that allows you to easily communicate with your freelancer, make updates and share files
  • An extensive review system means you don’t have to hire blind. See what other business owners have said about the freelancer
  • Payment protection plans mean that in the case of a dispute, you will have a representative to solve the problem

Upwork’s Scaling Features

Businesses often start with Upwork as a way to source quick talent, then later scale-up, hiring a freelancer on a full-time basis. It is an excellent way to test out the freelancer’s talents and skills before making a long-term commitment. For larger companies,

Upwork has introduced an Enterprise program that allows for volume pricing and the hiring of freelance teams to complete larger, long-term projects.

Upwork Payroll

Upwork Payroll is one of the best ways to easily classify your W2 employees and remain compliant with local and federal regulations.

Upwork Payroll offers a streamlined system of hiring, managing and paying employees, as well as takes care of the HR function when it comes to IRS compliance. Upwork Payroll also handles the management and administration of the Affordable Care Act mandates, notifying your team of their eligibility and getting them signed up for healthcare programs. Upwork Payroll also handles the payment of employee premiums, when applicable.

Small businesses love Upwork Payroll because it allows them to test the waters with a few freelancers before bringing them onboard as regular employees. Companies save up to 40 percent of the costs of hiring through a staffing agency, and the Upwork platform allows managers to start their projects faster.

A business that has run a successful marketing campaign might use Upwork as a means to bring on a team of freelancers to quickly meet demand.

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Tyler Horvath

Hello, my name is Tyler Horvath and I am a entrepreneur and digital nomad. Follow me to learn how to make money online!