Upwork Vs Fiverr: What’s Best For Biz Owners & Freelancers? [2023] 

You’ve probably landed here because you’ve searched ‘Upwork vs Fiverr’ and you’re curious as to which platform is better for you as a freelancer and as an employer.

Both platforms are well-established marketplaces for both freelancers and employers, and given their popularity, both definitely have their pros.

But what about their cons and what are their main differences?

When I first started out on my freelancing journey, I too had similar questions with so many freelancing platforms out there.

Which do I choose between Upwork vs Fiverr vs Freelancer? 

In this article, I’ll zoom into Fiverr and Upwork and give you a deeper glimpse into the differences between Upwork and Fiverr so you can better decide between Fiverr or Upwork as a freelancer and an employer. 

Ultimately, we’ll also look at which is better, Upwork or Fiverr.

If you want the quick answer – Upwork definitely shines as the clear choice whether you’re an employer or a freelancer, but Fiverr has its perks when you’re a business owner. 

Want to know why? Read on to find out!

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upwork vs fiverr

What Is Upwork?

Calling itself the world’s work marketplace, Upwork was founded two decades ago and prides itself in connecting businesses with freelancers and agencies around the world.

Upwork is free to register and use in general but charges fees for confirmed jobs and payments.  

upwork vs fiverr

What Is Fiverr?

Fiverr is similarly a freelance service marketplace that links freelancers to businesses and vice versa, and was started in 2010. They get their name as the site originally allowed freelancers to price their jobs or gigs at $5 a task, or essentially a fiver. 

Fiverr’s focus is more on one-time gigs but should clients and freelancers want a longer-term relationship, they can use gig milestones or repurchase a gig. 

1.For Employers Looking For Freelancers

Pros And Cons Of Hiring On Upwork As An Employer

With freelancers across more than 10,000 skill sets, Upwork definitely gives employers plenty of options when they’re looking for freelancers. 

Here’s the lowdown on the pros and cons of hiring on Upwork as an employer:

Hiring On UpWork As An Employer
ProsCons
Quality of freelancers are betterCost of hiring the freelancers is higher
Lower fees for employers and no upfront rates Freelancers build the costs into their quoted rates 
Ability to create customized job postingTakes longer to sieve through talent as you might receive many proposals when posting
Availability of hourly-rate or fixed-rate projects

Pros Of Hiring On Upwork As An Employer

  • Quality Freelancers – Freelancers have to pay Connects to upkeep their profile and Upwork also restricts freelancers from signing up if a category is over-saturated. 
  • Contract Flexibility – Availability of hourly-rate contracts or fixed-rate contracts depending on your business requirements 
  • Lower Fees – Fees are passed onto the freelancers so as a client you only pay 3% payment processing fee. Freelancers pay a rate of 5% to 20% depending on their earnings from that project. 
  • No Upfront Costs – You only pay a service fee when you hire someone and the job is done. 
  • Ability To Create Job Posting – If you can’t find what you’re searching for in the marketplace, you can post a job posting so freelancers can apply. 

Cons Of Hiring On Upwork As An Employer

  • Lengthy Vetting Process – When you post an open job, you’re likely to get inundated by proposals. Try to weed out lower-quality talents by posting invite-only jobs or get freelancers to type in a word hidden within your posting to ensure they’ve read it. 
  • More Expensive – With Upwork passing the costs onto freelancers in the form of service fees, freelancers may mark up their quoted prices to cover the service fees. 

Pros And Cons Of Hiring On Fiverr As An Employer 

Fiverr started out mainly offering creative gig workers a platform to provide clients with affordable, value-for-money services, and it still excels at it. 

Here’s a quick rundown on the pros and cons if you’re looking to hire through Fiverr:

Hiring On Fiverr As An Employer
ProsCons
Creative-focused so you can see creative and design portfolios at a glance Limited availability of freelancers for other non-creative skillsets like web development 
Low-cost as price starts from $5 for a gigPossibility of receiving lower-quality workOften a lengthy negotiation process when you want more customized work and add-ons
Only fixed-price contracts with no option for hourly-rate contracts
upwork vs fiverr

Pros Of Hiring On Fiverr As An Employer

  • Creative-Focused – Fiverr’s freelancer profiles are visual so if you’re an employer looking for creative work to be done, Fiverr’s great for you to vet those creatives at a glance.
  • Cost-Saving – Fiverr’s focus on one-time gigs means that you have a wide variety of talents available to provide the service you may need, allowing you to look for the most value-for-money provider.

Cons Of Hiring On Fiverr As An Employer

  • Only Fixed-Price Contracts – Fiverr doesn’t allow for hourly-rate projects so if you’re wondering if Upwork is better than Fiverr, it is if you need an hourly-rate contract with your freelancer. 
  • Freelancer-Focused – Fiverr is freelancer-focused, so it means freelancers set the scope of work they want to do. Often you can negotiate if you have a more specific task you want to be done, but it does mean if you have very specific project requirements, you may need to pay substantially more.
  • Fewer Job Categories – Fiverr is more focused on creative work and digital services so if you’re looking for other types of freelancers you may have to do a bit more digging.  

2.For Freelancers Looking For Employers 

Pros And Cons Of Freelancing On Upwork

If you’re a freelancer looking for work, Upwork could be a great place to start for you as it is home to many marketplace opportunities and also houses big names like Microsoft and Godaddy. 

Freelancing On Upwork
ProsCons 
Wide variety of clients including enterprise clientsNeed to adhere to a two-year period before moving working relationship off the platform
No to low start-up costs Have to pay to bid for projects 
Easy to get paid upon completion of projectHefty service fees when you complete a project
More than 10,000 job categories Resume-style profiles don’t allow for creative work to be showcased

Pros Of Freelancing On Upwork

  • Many Job Categories – If you have multiple skillsets, Upwork is a great playing ground as you can market all of these skillsets. 
  • Wide Variety Of Clients – If you’re starting out with no contacts, Upwork is level playing ground as you can pitch to any clients who have posted a job listing and bid using Connects to get yourself noticed.
  • No To Low Cost – It doesn’t cost you anything to set up a profile and you only pay for Connects when you’ve run out of the initial 40 that are gifted to you when you first start an account. 
  • Easy To Get Paid – Upwork allows for weekly billing if you’re on an hourly-rate project or you can just get paid whenever (after a five-day security period) if you’re on a fixed-price contract
  • Higher-Quality Clients – When it comes to Upwork vs Freelancer vs Fiverr, Upwork definitely positions itself as a more premium freelancer network so it attracts quality clients who are willing to pay for good quality work.

Cons Of Freelancing On Upwork

  • Hefty Service Fees – Now this is a common bugbear but Upwork is known for its hefty service fees which start at 20% if your project costs are below $500. It goes down to 10% once you’ve passed the $500 threshold, and 5% if you pass $10,000 in lifetime earnings from the client. 
upwork vs fiverr
  • Resume-Style Profiles – Upwork’s interface may not be the best for graphic designers as they don’t allow you to explicitly show your portfolio on the browsing page. Instead, clients are shown your skillset, ratings and your profile photo. 
  • Pay To Work – You have to use Connects ($0.15 each) to bid on jobs, usually ranging from 1 to 6. This encourages freelancers to bid for jobs sparingly but it also means you need to be prepared to invest slightly to secure a job. 
  • Two-Year Lock-In Period – In line with Upwork’s terms, you have to work with clients you’ve found on the platform for two years before you can take the working relationship outside of the site. 

Pros And Cons Of Freelancing On Fiverr

Now if you’re looking to start as a freelancer, Fiverr is not without its merits. Here’s why:

Freelancing On Fiverr 
ProsCons 
Quick to set up a profile and create a job listingMany profiles on the site and algorithms push down new profiles with few reviews 
No cost to get a jobLower earnings as gigs start from as low as $5 and there is a flat 20% service fee

Pros Of Freelancing On Fiverr

  • Easy Plug And Play – It’s quick to set up a profile on Fiverr and you can immediately list your service on the platform within a matter of minutes. 
  • No Costs To Get A Job – Clients come to you, so you needn’t spend time looking for clients on the site nor spend money bidding for client projects.

Cons Of Freelancing On Fiverr

  • Lower Earnings – Most clients get on Fiverr with the idea that they can get services for as low as $5. In order to charge more, you’ll need to stand out more.
  • High Commission – Unlike Upwork where the commission goes down after a certain earnings level, Fiverr always takes 20% of your earnings. 
  • Hard For Beginners – The marketplace can be quite saturated, meaning that if you’re a beginner with zero or few reviews, your profile is less likely to be shown to clients 

Main Differences Between Upwork Vs Fiverr

The key difference between Fiverr and Upwork is that because of how Fiverr started off with $5 gigs, their focus is very much on one-time gig work, whereas Upwork is focused on the long-term relationship between clients.

In a snapshot here are the main differences between Upwork vs Fiverr that you’ll need to know

UpworkFiverr
Types of projectsHourly-rate and fixed-rateOnly fixed-rate
Available skillsetsAcross 10,000 fieldsAcross 500 categories, focusing mainly on creative work 
Registration Free but will need to pay to bid for jobsFree to list 
Service feesStarts at 20% but goes down to 5% once the freelancer’s lifetime earnings with the client surpass $10,000Flat 20% of the project fee 

Fees On Upwork Vs Fiverr

These are the main fees for Upwork that you’ll need to know as a freelancer: 

  • Service fees – Ranges from 5% to 20% depending on your lifetime earnings from the client
  • Withdrawal fees – Ranges from $0.99 to $30 depending on the mode of payment chosen
  • Upwork connects which helps you bid for projects
  • Conversion fee if you want to take the client and freelancer working relationship outside of Upwork 
  • Option to upgrade to Freelancer plus at a cost of $14.99 per month 

The fees for Fiverr are

  • Seller’s fees – 20% of your earnings. However, the 20% stays the same even if you do more gigs with the same client. 
  • Withdrawal fees – $0 for Paypal, but can go up to $3 for local bank transfers

Upwork Vs Fiverr: Which Is More Worth It?

If you’re in a toss-up between ‘Upwork or Fiverr, which is better’ mode, both have their merits and it genuinely depends on what you’re looking for as a client and as a freelancer. 

My weigh-in across both is that Upwork works better for me as a freelancer than Fiverr, but if I’m solely a business owner, then I may also turn to Fiverr for quick and affordable work.

If you are a client looking for more services and freelancers, as well as more flexibility over contracts you sign (be it hourly or fixed-rate) then you should look to Upwork. 

Similarly, if you’re a freelancer with non-creative skillsets that desires flexibility in setting contracts, Upwork should be your go-to. 

FAQs on Upwork Vs Fiverr

How Is UpWork Different From Fiverr?

Upwork is different from Fiverr in the sense that freelancers have the freedom and flexibility to set hourly rates or set a flat price for fixed-price projects while on Fiverr, freelancers can only carry out flat-rate projects.

Is Fiverr Better Than Upwork?

In considering which is better, Fiverr or Upwork, Fiverr is great if you’re an employer looking for creative professionals and are seeking mainly one-off projects. On the other hand, Upwork has more talents and project types, providing variety to clients. 

Is Fiverr Or Upwork Better For A Beginner?

Fiverr is better for a beginner if you’re looking for a quick start, but rates can be low when you start from there. On the other hand, Upwork allows you more freedom to choose projects and how you want to charge. 

So truly, whether it’s Upwork vs Fiverr for beginners depends on what you’re looking for at the start. Don’t forget you can always try both platforms and see which works best for you. 

Is It Hard To Get A Job On Upwork?

It is not hard to get a job on Upwork but it isn’t that easy though there are many things you can do to increase your shot at getting a job. Some simple tips include:

  • Spend time researching on the platform and looking for a job that meets your skillset best
  • Tailor your proposals to your clients. Don’t send the same proposal to every client
  • Keep your availability updated on Upwork 

Can I Earn On Fiverr Without Any Skills?

No, you cannot earn on Fiverr without any skills. On Fiverr, you provide a service to clients and you earn from what they’re willing to pay for their skills. Not having a skill means you have nothing to offer in exchange for earnings.

What Is The Highest Paying Fiverr Jobs?

The highest paying jobs on Fiverr include work for

Should I Hire Upwork or Fiverr?

If you’re in two minds and asking:  is Fiverr or Upwork better for hiring? Fiverr is mainly for one-off gig work while Upwork leans towards long-term work.

It really depends on your needs as a client really. If you need something one-off and quick, Fiverr will be great for you as the freelancers on there typically charge less and the turnaround is faster.

For Upwork, as there are hourly rates and fixed-price projects to navigate, negotiations might take a little longer, but great for establishing longer-term working relationships. 

Is There Something Better Than Fiverr?

Toptal or Freelancer is better than Fiverr as they offer more professional freelancers. However Fiverr is still a great freelance marketplace if you’re starting out or looking for affordable talents. 

Related post:

upwork vs fiverr

Ultimately when weighing whether to go with sites like Fiverr vs Upwork vs Freelancer depends very much on your needs as a client or freelancer as every site has its pros and cons. 

Is Upwork Good For Beginners?

Upwork is good for beginners because it is free to register and start, has many job opportunities and offers beginners the chance to set competitive rates. 

The Upwork community is also highly supportive, with senior Upwork members often chiming in on the Upwork message board to help beginners. They also offer many resources and FAQs to guide you along.

I hope I’ve managed to shed some light on the Upwork vs Fiverr situation and helped you better decide as a client or a freelancer which site works best for you. 

upwork vs fiverr

I personally loved my time on Upwork as a freelancer despite its cons and it worked out well for me in the long term as I was able to reduce my Upwork fees after a while. 

But as a business owner, finding talent on Fiverr was also great for me as I was able to quickly search for freelancers offering a catalogue of services at affordable, value-for-money rates.

So really, when it comes to Freelancer vs Upwork vs Fiverr, you’ll need to weigh out what works best for your current needs and go with the best option. 

I hope this article has helped you in one way or another. 

Leave me a comment and let me know which freelance site you prefer working on and why, I’d love to know!

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