Upwork Competitors: The 7 Best Alternatives for Finding Freelancers

Upwork is one of the best-known platforms for anyone looking for a freelance job or a remote employee, but there are plenty of Upwork competitors out there. Upwork is popular because it’s huge. It’s been around for more than 10 years and boasts millions of freelancers in a multitude of fields.

Its strengths, though, are also its weaknesses.

Why you should use an alternative to Upwork

Posting a job on Upwork can be a hassle. The sheer number of applicants to any job can be overwhelming, and some applicants will mass-apply to jobs they definitely aren’t qualified for. Sorting the wheat from the chaff can be a job in and of itself.

Yes, Upwork has a rating system for freelancers, but that rating system doesn’t show you how readily a freelancer communicates and other key work habits you should observe before hiring someone.

Upwork’s messaging platform and payment systems are cumbersome and rife with bugs. Communicating—especially with multiple freelancers—can be a giant pain. It can also be quite costly to hire and work with freelancers through the platform. (In fact, we save over $30,000 every year by not using Upwork.)

Upwork may be the biggest name in the game, but there are many Upwork competitors out there, some of which are gaining steam. Check them out below, or click one to jump right to the description of that site:

The best Upwork competitors and alternatives

Credo

Upwork alternatives: Credo freelance marketplace

One of the biggest problems with freelance marketplaces is that you just have to trust a freelancer who says they’re good at what they do. You can check their portfolios, but that’s not always a great indication of the quality of their work. Credo aims to solve that issue by vetting all of their providers before listing them on the site.

Unlike many freelance marketplaces, Credo specializes in a very narrow field: SEO and marketing. When you land on the site, you can choose from a list of services you’re interested in:

  • SEO consulting
  • SEO site audit
  • Content marketing/link building
  • Facebook ads
  • Google/Bing ads
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Other

Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a list of providers that you can choose from. And because those providers have been closely vetted by the founder of Credo, you can be confident that you’re getting absolutely top-notch talent for your project.

Fiverr

Upwork competitors: Fiverr freelance marketplace

Fiverr bills itself as the world’s largest online marketplace for $5 services. You can find just about any kind of service you want for five bucks, including folks who will “say anything you want,” paint their body with your logo, and lots of other wild services.

While it’s named Fiverr, the site lets users post projects for much more than $5. The twist is that users post these services, not buyers/employers. Buyers can search for and browse the marketplace, but it’s the sellers who post what they are willing to do and for how much, not the buyers.

As you might suspect, Fiverr isn’t very likely to yield a high-quality outcome for you or your business. Buyers’ options are limited, and most of the power is in the seller’s hands. If you’re looking to accomplish a quick, clear-cut job that you know is virtually impossible to mess up, it might be worth looking at Fiverr.

But don’t expect to establish any long-term, trusting relationships with high-quality freelancers there. Of the sites like Upwork, this is one of the more unique. Though it is an Upwork competitor, it has a very different business model, and it’s good for different types of work.

Freelancer

Upwork alternative: Freelancer freelance marketplace

With more than 9 million projects posted and more than 17 million users, Freelancer is a massive and constantly growing Upwork alternative that offers similar benefits without all the downfalls.

For employers and small businesses, signing up and getting started on Freelancer is quick and easy. You post a project to get started, filling out project details, skills you want applicants to have, pricing options, and project files for applicants to peruse.

You can post a project at a free, basic level, or you can pay to have your project classified as private, urgent, NDA-required, and much more. Employers can also skip this process entirely and reach out directly to a freelancer they find attractive for the job.

Once you submit your job, freelancers will bid on your project. You can review their portfolios, history of work, qualifications, and other details.

While Freelancer offers time tracking tools, they’re not free, and your freelancer is incentivized to bill as many hours as possible if your project is being paid by the hour. Once the project is completed, businesses have the option to rate and review their freelancer. Membership starts free but increases as users go from Basic to Standard and then to Premium. Critiques of this service include payments processing very slowly and lackluster customer support.

Hubstaff Talent

Upwork competitors: Hubstaff Talent freelance marketplace

Hubstaff Talent connects freelance professionals and clients with efficiency and finesse. It’s a free directory for companies looking for remote talent across the globe. There are no markups and no fees on either side (freelancer or business owner). That means freelancers get exactly what their client pays them.

This free platform displays a freelancer’s hourly rate, skills, experience, availability, résumé, and languages spoken. Freelancers also have the option to add a short description to provide more information on themselves. Profiles can be filtered by skill, availability, years of experience, or country. You can also run a search for keywords or phrases.

Get 100% of what your client pays you

No middlemen fees. Pinky promise.

In order for business owners to find freelancers and agencies, they simply have to browse the profiles on Hubstaff Talent, contact their chosen freelancers directly, decide on work terms, and get started.

Agencies can start a profile and add team members in order to be found by business owners. Freelancers only need to start a profile, get found, contacted, and then hit the ground running.

To complement the free directory, Hubstaff’s time tracking software allows you to manage a remote workforce. Along with the numerous features the software offers, such as time tracking, activity monitoring, and automatic payroll. One of the major benefits is that all this comes with a simple and flat pricing structure (starting at $5 per user per month).

We’re a bit biased, but we really think that Hubstaff Talent is the best of the Upwork alternatives. Because we built it to the best of the Upwork alternatives. It’s totally free to get started, so sign up today!

Outsourcely

Upwork alternative: Outsourcely freelance marketplace

Outsourcely was actually born from the frustration of using platforms like Odesk, Elance, and Freelancer for many years. The main frustrations the founders of Outsourcely wanted to solve were the difficulty of finding reliable freelancers, high payment processing fees, and not being able to hire directly.

You can find a freelancer with a skill search or by posting a remote job. Then you’ll contact candidates using real-time private chat, browser-to-browser video and voice calling, video and voice messaging, or direct email. This makes hiring fast and easy.

Outsourcely allows you to hire remote workers directly and pay them directly. This can save you thousands in fees. Once you hire on Outsourcely, you can manage everyone via the Team Workplace platform. You can even invite your existing team to their Team Workplace platform.

Employer pans start at $19 per month for limited contact options. You can pay up to $229 per month for the ability to post and manage a huge number of jobs. Even taking exorbitant Upwork fees into account, this is one of the more expensive alternatives to Upwork.

Outsourcely is offering all Hubstaff readers a 30% discount. Enter hubstaff30 to get 30% off all plans.

Textbroker

Upwork competitors: Textbroker freelance marketplace

If you’re looking for high-quality writing services, Textbroker could work for you. Like Fiverr, this site is an Upwork alternative, but it runs things differently. Textbroker guarantees your work will be done, even if your writer gets sick, can’t complete the job, or otherwise drops off the face of the earth.

Buyers post a request for content, and the site matches the request to one of its thousands of writers. Writers are categorized by skill level, and the pricing matches, so buyers chose what quality level they want from their writer and move forward. If the writer you chose is unable to complete your assignment, it’s automatically re-assigned, which is a neat feature.

The downside to Textbroker is that communication with your freelancer is limited. And, again, you get what you pay for, so if you chose a lower-quality content writer to complete your task, you’re likely to get low-quality work. While the site does boast some high-quality writers, you may be better off forming more personable relationships with writers directly, especially since content is such a nebulous field with a lot of gray area.

Workhoppers

Upwork alternatives: Workhoppers freelance marketplace

Workhoppers is the anti-thesis of  Upwork-type freelance sites and was designed for companies to find and hire professionals in their own city, for contract, gig or part-time work at a flat rate.

With Workhoppers, there are no commissions paid. Employers just pay a monthly fee (plans start at $19 per month). There’s also no bidding or complicated processes to estimate the cost of a project.

Workhoppers believes in the advantages of working face-to-face, even if it’s just once a month over a coffee. Companies and “workhoppers” can communicate directly and agree together on the terms of the contract. Workhoppers uses a powerful matching algorithm to highlight the most qualified freelancers. That means you don’t have to go through the sorting process.

Once the job is completed, businesses have the opportunity to review their freelancer. All companies and jobs are vetted before they can post on the site. The intent of the site is to encourage companies to hire and meet with freelancers in their community. This focus on long-term relationships is better for everyone.

The obvious downside of Workhoppers is that, depending on where you live, the cost of a local freelancer could be higher. Our 2017 Global Freelancing Trends survey showed that freelancers in places with higher costs of living charge more.

You can specify that you are seeking a freelancer in another city but, since there is no escrow payment processing, you need to establish trust. The site is a great option for projects that require meeting face-to-face.

Your favorite Upwork alternatives

Whichever alternative to Upwork you choose to work with, remember that you need a reliable solution to manage your team of freelancers and/or remote workers. Many of the platforms outlined above will try to rope you in, but remember that you have the freedom to choose another solution that makes more sense for your business.

Do you prefer to hire on Upwork? Or have you used any of the alternatives above? Did we miss your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Hubstaff time tracking
  • raresaturn

    Elance used to be great! Upwork, not so much. They actually limit the number of jobs you can apply for, and then charge you for applying for jobs you may never even get. No thanks.

  • Enjy El Mallah

    Same thing happened to me .. Upwork just suspended my account without prior notice.. I did not know they can do that because I apply to many jobs and only gets hired for a few. It sucks

    • Chan Curmy

      Upwork just simply suspend their clients account, i believe upwork will be closing very soon , as customers is leaving upwork

  • Linda Johannesson

    Thanks for such a fabulous resource. Like others, I’m looking to extend my reach on various outsourcing platforms. I have my own clients, but love the serendipity and, ya, the extra money, that comes from adding freelance clients to the mix. But, I’m not prepared to give 20% of my earnings away, so I’m glad to see there are now so many alternatives. I suspect, I’m about to get busier! Thanks for passing along this timely information!

  • Brian B

    I saw a service and forgot the name- they provide the standard people “instantly” rather than at the Upwork pace (send emails about a job, slow back and forth). Does anyone know services that do that, especially one that’s quite popular?

    • Samuel Lee

      Problogger?

  • Pixel & Code

    Upwork raised their fee by 10% and now for each project under $500, they will charge 20% of the project fee. I’ve been working on Elance (now upwork) for the last 3 years to build my profile of more than 350 completed projects but finally, that was the last blow. Feels like all my efforts are going down the drain now. Good to come across this blog post, i was able to find a couple of new freelance websites I didnt hear about before. Will try my luck there. But, with all honesty, I have realized that for a stable business growth, you cannot simply rely on a freelance website and that’s why we’re moving now to getting business directly through our website and keep these freelance websites just to get some extra projects. My advice to everyone reading this comment : I’ve learnt the hard way after spending 2 years on Elance(Upwork) that in order to successfully run a small web design business, it’s better to build your own website and get work directly, do not rely on freelance websites at all.

    • Walbert

      I am also here because of this and I hire people. This will also be more expensive effective June. It seems upwork wants to get rid of people…

    • Welcome – we are glad you are here. We’re also releasing a directory soon that we’d love to have you be a part of. There are no fees.

      • Antony Hepworth

        This sounds fantastic, do you have a timescale please?

        • We’re looking at probably around 30 days out so not too long

          • Antony Hepworth

            Fantastic Dave, thank you for the update. Looking forward to that…

    • Here’s actually a quick form that you can use to get notified when we are ready to go with our new directory – it’s releasing in about 30 days. – http://goo.gl/forms/GrdS6ZMFVs

      • Pixel & Code

        Form submitted.