Upwork vs freelancer
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Upwork Vs Freelancer: Which Platform Is Best?[2023]

When you’re trying to choose between Upwork vs Freelancer as a platform of choice, there might be many factors pulling you towards each side. 

You might be more familiar with one site or the other in your freelancing journey, whether it’s Upwork or Freelancer. 

But one thing’s for sure is that both Upwork and Freelancer are excellent platforms.

Both have many benefits whether you’re an employer looking to hire or a freelancer starting out.

When I started out in my freelancing journey, I spent many hours poring over many freelancing sites out there such as Upwork vs Fiverr vs Freelancer, trying to see which would be best for me in terms of opportunities and cost. 

If you don’t have time to dive into the research and want a quick lowdown on which platform is best, then I’d have to say it is hands down Upwork as the platform of choice if you’re looking for quality work. 

As a business owner, you should also look to Upwork to hire quality talent at competitive prices. 

Want to know why?

 You’ll have to read to see why Upwork comes out tops when it comes to Freelancer vs Upwork. 


What Is Upwork?

What Is Freelancer?

For Employers Looking For Freelancers 

  • Pros And Cons Of Using UpWork As An Employer
  • Pros And Cons Of Using Freelancer As An Employer

For Freelancers Looking For Work

  • Pros And Cons Of Using UpWork As A Freelancer
  • Pros And Cons Of Using Freelancer As A Freelancer

Main Differences Between Upwork Vs Freelancer

Fees On Upwork Vs Freelancer

Upwork Vs Freelancer: Which Is More Worth It?

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Upwork vs freelancer

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is a freelance work marketplace which connects freelancers or independent professionals with companies and clients. 

Upwork provides opportunities to freelancers who work in fields like writing, design and development, bridging them to clients with these requirements. 

A site like Upwork saves freelancers from the need to source for clients on their own or deal with their own invoicing and billing. 

Upwork vs freelancer

What Is Freelancer?

Freelancer is a crowdsourcing marketplace platform where businesses can advertise for freelance contract jobs. 

It has a presence in more than 240 countries and has freelancers in a variety of areas including writing, software development, data entry and design. 

For Employers Looking For Freelancers 

Pros And Cons Of Using UpWork As An Employer

If you’re an employer looking for freelancers, chances are you want someone that meets your requirements quickly and is affordable, in line with your budget. 

Here are the pros and cons of using Upwork to hire freelancers from an employer’s perspective:

Using Upwork As An Employer
Vetting process for all freelancers on the platformSlightly limited number of freelancers due to stringent vetting process 
Ability to browse through profiles and project catalogues Upwork profiles are resume-styled and do not have graphics 
Signing up and posting a job is free 5% processing fee (unless you are an eligible US client) 

Pros Of Using Upwork As An Employer

  • Higher Quality Freelancers – Upwork’s vetting process means that as an employer you’ll get access to a pool of whittled down freelancers who are more likely to meet your job requirements.
  • Dual Browsing Options – Upwork allows employers to browse profiles and also project catalogues, so you can choose to hire someone based on their portfolio or if you’re short on time, you can just pick a project or a gig you need to be done. 
  • Quick Sign-Up Process – Signing up and posting a job as a client is free and you don’t pay anything till you hire someone and the job is completed. 

Cons Of Using Upwork As An Employer

  • Slightly Limited Pool Of Freelancers – Thanks to Upwork’s stringent vetting process, you may have access to a smaller pool of freelancers. However, this also means the freelancers are of better quality. 
  • Non-Creative-Friendly Interface – Upwork’s interface prioritises showing you a resume-styled profile where the freelancer’s experience, rate and skillsets are shown instead of design work. This makes it more cumbersome for employers as they’d need to click into the profiles to access creative portfolios. 
  • Processing Fees – You won’t need to pay to list a job, but you’ll need to pay a 5% processing fee once your freelancer has completed the job. 

Pros And Cons Of Using Freelancer As An Employer 

Using Freelancer As An Employer
Low employer feesNeed to pay for upgrades after posting a job if you have more requirements
Interface isn’t as user-friendly
Platform is known to have billing glitches 

Pros Of Using Freelancer As An Employer

  • Low Employer Fees – You pay 3% of the project cost or of each milestone payment (for hourly projects), or a $3 fee whichever is more. 

Cons Of Using Freelancer As An Employer

  • Need To Pay For Upgrades – Freelancer makes you pay more before hiring to mark your job as urgent or to hide submitted bids. These upgrades start from $9 and can go up to $199 if you’re looking for someone to do full-time work. 
  • Congested Interface – As an employer looking for a freelancer, time is often of the essence and Freelancer’s interface isn’t as intuitive when it comes to searching for suitable profiles for jobs. 
  • Platform Glitches – While no platform out there is perfect, Freelancer appears to have intermittent billing issues and has a history of duplicate billing clients so you’ll need to cross-check your bills if you go with Freelancer.

For Freelancers Looking For Work 

Pros And Cons Of Using UpWork As A Freelancer

Now you know by now that Upwork is the platform of choice for me as a freelancer but it is definitely not without its demerits. Here are some of the pros and cons you’ll need to be aware of when using Upwork as a freelancer:

Using Upwork As A Freelancer 
Many clients and job opportunitiesHave to keep working relationship on the platform for two years before taking it offline
Easy and affordable to get startedNeed to buy Connects to bid for projects
Quick payment upon completion of projectService fees can add up

Pros Of Using Upwork As A Freelancer 

  • Many Job Opportunities – It is clear that Upwork has many job opportunities for freelancers seeking work, with work available across 10,000 job categories
  • Easy To Get Started – Setting up a profile is free and you get 40 Connects at the start to help you bid for jobs. 
  • Quick Payment – Hourly-rate contracts are billed weekly while you can get paid quickly upon completion and approval of fixed-price projects, after a five-day security period. 

Cons Of Using Upwork As A Freelancer

  • High Opportunity Cost Of Conversion – If you want to avoid service fees on Upwork and go off the platform, you can only do so after two years, or there are hefty conversion fees to be borne by both ends. 
  • Need To Pay To Play – Once you’ve run out of Connects, you’ll need to buy them ($0.15 each) to bid for projects. 
  • Service Fees – If you have projects below $500 in earnings, you have to pay 20% in Upwork fees for freelancers, which works out to up to $100. It can be a lot when you’re a freelancer just starting out. 
Upwork vs freelancer

Pros And Cons Of Using Freelancer As A Freelancer 

Freelancer is not without its merits so here are some of the pros and cons of Freelancer for your consideration:

Using Freelancer As A Freelancer
Lower processing fee of 10% More scammers on the platform 
Easier to get onto the platform Company charges $5 or more for skill tests

Pros Of Using Freelancer As A Freelancer

  • Lower Processing Fees – When you’re starting out, money is tight and you’ll want to keep as much of your earnings as possible. So Freelancer’s fees of 10% (or $5 minimum for fixed-price projects) are great as it keeps those costs low. 
  • Low Barriers To Entry – Freelancer doesn’t have a vetting process like Upwork so it’s easier to get onto the platform if you are a beginner. 

Cons Of Using Freelancer As A Freelancer

  • Prevalence Of Scammers – Not having a vetting process means that anyone can post a job on Freelancer, which has increased the prevalence of scam jobs on the platform. Make sure you do your due diligence when applying for jobs and carrying out work. 
  • Additional Costs – Freelancer charges you $5 or more for skill tests, whereas Upwork doesn’t charge for its readiness test, or any test for that matter. 

Main Differences Between Upwork Vs Freelancer

After a deep-dive into the pros and cons between Upwork Vs Freelancer from both perspectives, here are the main differences between both platforms in a nutshell:

Service Fees For Freelancers5% to 20%Flat fee of 10% or $5 minimum for fixed price projects 
Additional Costs To FreelancersMay need to buy Connects ($0.15 each) to bid on projectsOption to upgrade to Freelancer Plus at $14.99/monthNeed to pay $5 or more for skill tests Option to upgrade to membership tiers from $4.95/month to $59.95/month
Ease Of JoiningHave to be vetted before joiningNo vetting process 
Processing Fees For Employers5%3% or $3 minimum for fixed-price projects 
Additional Fees For EmployersNone Additional fees from $9 if you’d like to hide bids, among other services 
Upwork vs freelancer

Fees On Upwork Vs Freelancer

If you’re wondering whether there is a difference between Freelancer and Upwork fees, yes there are differences.

The fees for Upwork across freelancers and employers are as follows:

  • Service fees vary from 5% to 20%. Freelancers are charged 20% for the first $500 they earn from a client, 10% from $500.01 to $10,000, and 5% after $10,000
  • For employers, Upwork charges 5% as a processing fee, though some eligible US clients still pay 3%. But the good part is that Upwork gives employers access to its Plus features for free. 

The fees for Freelancer are as follows:

  • For freelancers, the fee for fixed-price projects is 10% or $5 whichever sum is greater, and it is a flat 10% for hourly projects.
  • If you’re an employer on Freelancer, you pay 3% or $3 for fixed-price projects (whichever is greater), of the final payment you make to the freelancer. For hourly projects, there is a flat fee of 3%

Upwork Vs Freelancer: Which Is More Worth It?

In deciding between Freelancer or Upwork, which is better, the clear choice is Upwork. On Upwork, the fees are a lot more upfront and regardless of whether you’re a freelancer or employer, the quality of work and opportunities is better. 

FAQs On Upwork Vs Freelancer

Is UpWork The Same As Freelancer?

No, Upwork is not the same as Freelancer. They are different platforms though both of them have different features and are suitable for freelancers across various skill sets. 

It may be easier to find higher-quality jobs on Upwork but you’d have to be vetted to join. 

Which Platform Is Best For Freelancers?

Here are some of the best freelancing platforms for freelancers:

Which Is Better UpWork Or Fiverr Or Freelancer?

In deciding which platform is better, Fiverr is great if you’re looking for creative professionals, while Upwork is best for those who may need more types of talents for other types of projects.

Across these three platforms, Upwork vs Freelancer vs Fiverr, every platform has its unique points and my personal go-to is Upwork as a client and as a freelancer for its network of opportunities and its reputation. 

Which Freelance Website Is Best For Beginners?

Now if you’re wondering which freelancing website is best for beginners, here are some of the top ones:

If you’re wondering which is best among Freelancer vs Upwork vs Fiverr, every site has its merits and downsides. But my top choice remains Upwork as a beginner freelancer. 

Is UpWork Good For Beginners?

Upwork is good for beginners. It has many opportunities across a variety of clients and also offers competitive rates. The Upwork community is also helpful and there are many resources to help you along your journey.

I also have a guide on how to help you out as a beginner on Upwork! I was there once too afterall! 

Upwork vs freelancer

What Is The Easiest Job In Upwork?

Some of the easiest freelance jobs to earn some quick moolah with limited experience include:

  • Data Entry Work
  • Social Media Management
  • Writing 
  • Research Work 

Which Freelancing Website Is Best?

If you’re looking for some of the best freelancing websites out there, here’s your go-to list:


If you’ve been in a conundrum about whether to go for Upwork Vs Freelancer, I hope this article has helped smooth out some of those questions you had.

Each platform comes with its pros and cons and you’ll need to see which cons you can compromise with when choosing the best platform for yourself as a freelancer or as an employer.

My ultimate choice for freelance work is definitely Upwork, and I can also teach you how to find freelance jobs on the platform if you want to learn more. 

Which platform did you eventually decide on to do freelance work? I’m curious!

Tell me which and why that worked out best for you down in the comments below! 

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