Upwork vs Fiverr: An In-Depth Comparison of the Top Freelance Platforms

upwork vs fiverr

The freelance industry is growing quite fast, and today, companies need versatile talent more than ever. Gone are the days when freelancers were looked through a narrow scope. With the popularity in freelance marketplaces, though, as a freelancer (or agency) how do you compare Upwork vs Fiverr?

The internet is flooded with a list of platforms where you can find plenty of online freelance jobs or freelance professionals.

Though each platform is great in its own way, Upwork and Fiverr are two of the biggest players dominating the present scene in the world of freelancing.

After knowing this fact, the most probable question that might come up here is which is better? In the battle of Upwork vs Fiverr, which one should you choose, and why?

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Well, to unlock this mystery and help you make a better choice, we have come up with this article to provide you a detailed comparison between the two.

Let’s get started!

Upwork vs Fiverr — Platform Overview

Upwork Overview

The story of Upwork began when a tech lead of a Silicon Valley start-up realized that a friend in Athens would be his perfect companion for starting web projects online.

Although the team agreed on this, they were somewhat concerned about working with someone who lives at the other end of the world.

Hovering over a solution to this reaction led two friends to create a new web-based platform that provided remote work with visibility and trust.

The platform became so successful that both the partners thought of making it more beneficial for other businesses and talented workers.

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In 2015, they came up with a new company and named it Upwork – now the world’s largest freelance job site, where every year, millions of jobs get published, and freelancers earn handsome money with over 5,000 skills in more than 70 working categories.

Fiverr Overview

In 2010, the company came into existence with a thought to provide a platform to freelancers so that they can offer their services worldwide.

Unlike Upwork, the founders of Fiverr (Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger) were very clear about the fact that they wanted to provide a two-sided platform for individuals to buy and sell a variety of freelance digital services.

Within a short period, i.e. in 2012, the company hosted a whopping 1.3 million gigs. The transaction volume of the website grew to 600% and in early 2013, it ranked among the top 100 most popular websites in the United States and top 200 in the world.

upwork vs fiverr: upwork in detail

Upwork in detail

How does Upwork work?

When it comes to dealing with Upwork, you can be on both sides of the spectrum: looking to hire, or looking to work. Here’s what you’ll need to know for each.

If you are looking to hire on Upwork:

  • You first have to post your requirement related to the type of project and skills required for creating an Upwork account.
  • Upwork will analyze your requirement and show the top freelancers and agencies to you using its data science.
  • Then you have to view the profiles of the selected candidates (based on client ratings, job success scores, portfolios, etc.)
  • Next you have to evaluate bids by taking into consideration their thought processes, qualifications, overall costs, etc.
  • Then you schedule a chat and find out which one suits you better for your project.
  • Finally you get a contract created with your selected professional.

You can also search their website for the best freelancers and agencies that can see your job and submit proposals to them too.

If you are looking for work on Upwork:

  • Create an Upwork account.
  • Upwork advanced algorithms will highlight the best jobs for you.
  • You can also search for projects and reply to client invitations.
  • Though the achievements you have on projects increase your chances of getting hired, by adding the status of your prestigious programs, you can gain more visibility.
  • You can get extensive work with top clients.

Is Upwork easy to use?

Yes, it is! If you are a client, you can send and receive files in a protected environment. You can share your feedback with the freelancer via chat, text, or video.

Talking about payments, well, you only have to pay for the work you approve. You can also access your transactions and invoice history on Upwork.

Being a freelancer, you can also enjoy the above benefits. The only difference lies in the payments. For hourly work, you need to submit timesheets via Upwork.

For fixed-projects, the set funds and milestones are released as per fixed-price escrow instructions. You can also choose the payment method that works best for you.

What fees does Upwork charge?

As a client, you have four pricing tiers to choose from. The Basic account is all the essentials you would need to find and hire freelancers, and the paid plans are simply added perks for helping you find quality professionals.

Features

Basic
(Free*)

Plus
($49.99/month*)
Business
($499/month**)
Verifies work history and reviews X X X
Safe, easy payments X X X
Built-in collaboration tools X X X
Upwork payment protection plan X X X
Customer support X Premium Premium
Reporting Transaction details Team reporting Company reporting
Job post and talent sourcing assistance X Advanced
Dedicated account management X Advanced
Invites to freelancers 3 per job post 15 per job post Unlimited
Featured Jobs upgrade X X
Consolidated invoicing and billing X

*3% payment processing and administration fee on all payments to freelancers and agencies.

**10% service fee on all payments. This includes payment processing and administration fees.

Who is Upwork best for?

When comparing Upwork vs Fiverr, there’s no question that both are versatile in offering jobs to individuals of many different industries. Since we’re talking about Upwork, here’s who they’re best for:

  • Writers

Since writers have the opportunity to bid for jobs, they know exactly what type of work they bid for. They get a better idea of what is expected from them during the phase of interview. This helps them in making the final deal.

  • Mobile and Web App Developers

Without any doubt, this is one of the most apparent points in the Upwork vs Fiverr comparison. Upwork’s hourly billing feature makes it easy for developers to charge for an hour instead of the whole project.

This way, they get paid for any additional work and the extra hours they put in to finish the project.

  • Customer Service and Sales Agents

Sales and support agents have the opportunity to charge on an hourly basis. Though Upwork cautions against external communication, on the platform it is not banned. This makes it easier for agents and clients to train and communicate.

  • Bitcoin Experts

From writing jobs to development of blockchain, bitcoin experts have plenty of opportunities on Upwork. You have the choice to pursue precisely what the client wants and bid accordingly.

During the phase of the interview, you can ask the clients questions to analyze how much time would be required and figure out if the job is worth your time or not.

What are the top advantages of Upwork?

  • Build long-term relationships

If a client hires a freelancer and they like their work, the client may choose to take the services of the same freelancer in the future. It helps freelancers build a long-term relationship with clients. It also gives them relief from communication and payment related issues.

  • Hassle-free communication

Upwork helps in sending and receiving files in a protected environment. Clients can share your feedback with the freelancer via chat, text, or video. Also, to avoid any confusion, Upwork keeps records of all your transactions and invoices, which can easily be accessible by clients.

  • Free Signup

Upwork charges zero fees to signup on their platform. Also, soon after creating an account, freelancers get 60 connects to bid for a job.

  • Fixed-price protection

Escrow lets clients double-check the final work before they release payments to freelancers.

  • Hourly payment protection

As part of the service, Upwork collects the information of freelancers’ work on a client project. This feature is known as a work diary. The feature helps in ensuring that an hour paid is an hour of work – providing you with an easily accessible, billable time system with work details and in-progress screenshots.

  • Mobile App

Through the mobile app, Upwork gives its users more freedom to get connected on the go and keep their projects moving. Freelancers can quickly accept offers, chat with clients, send and receive screenshots, search for jobs, and much more.

On the other side, clients can get a notification on the acceptance or rejection of the offer, chat with freelancers, send and receive screenshots, set milestones for fixed-price jobs, and much more.

upwork vs fiverr: fiverr in detail

Fiverr in detail

How does Fiverr work?

Before we move forward with the process, we would like to explain the meaning of a few terms that is being used by Fiverr. It will help you understand things in a better way.

  • Gig: A gig is a service offered on Fiverr’s platform. For example ‘I would like to write quality web content for $10.’
  • Seller: A registered user who offers Gigs on the platform.
  • Buyer: A registered user who purchases Gigs from the platform.
  • Order: When a buyer buys a Gig, it is known as order.

Now that you know the terms, it’s time to learn how Fiverr works. Here are the steps:

If you are a buyer

  • Create a Fiverr account.
  • Find the services you want by browsing the Fiverr catalogue in different categories. You can also use Fiverr’s search engine and filters to find a specific seller or Gig.
  • Once you find your Gig or seller, click on ‘more information’ to learn more about the seller such as price, description of service, work samples, etc. If you think that you have found an appropriate seller, you can proceed by placing an order.

If you are a seller

  • Create your seller profile. Since your profile will present you to the community, create it in a professional manner.
  • Create the Gig you want to sell on Fiverr. It gives you an opportunity to show off your talent and help buyers get the information required to help them choose their sellers.
  • Add video to introduce your service. It will add a personal touch and will attract more buyers.
  • Add three different compelling packages on your Gig page. It will not only give your buyers more choices but will also push your average order value higher.
  • Maximize your income by upselling your Gigs with extra services before, during, and after the order.
  • Send offers to potential buyers in a customized manner.

Is Fiverr easy to use?

Yes, it is! On Fiverr, payments get released to a seller once the project is approved by the buyer. You can find Gigs within minutes and know the exact charges that need to be paid off.

There are no hourly rates. Fiverr also has a 24/7 support service. You can ask your queries or questions at any time of the day.

What fees does Fiverr charge?

First, Fiverr is completely free to sign up and use. Once you get into buying jobs, or selling services, however, is when the fees come in.

If you are a buyer and you are making purchases up to and including US$20, you have to pay US$1 as a processing fee. If your order exceeds US$20, Fiverr charges 5% of the grand amount.

If you are a seller, Fiverr will take 20% from every job.

Apart from that, Fiverr also charges some costs for taking out funds from the account, the details of which are given in the table below:

PayPal 2% of the total withdrawal amount up to US$1
Local Bank Transfer (LBT) US$3 per transfer
Fiverr Revenue Card US$1 within 2 days or US$3 within 2 hours
Direct Deposit (ACH) US$1 per transfer
(US only)

Who is Fiverr best for?

With the comparison of Upwork vs Fiverr, they both are catered towards freelancers of many kinds. However, Fiverr definitely has a reputation for being most suitable for these industries:

  • Logo designers or illustrators

Fiverr makes communication easy for designers and illustrators. You have the option to give a client a questionnaire where you can ask as many questions and details required to complete a project.

For instance, if a designer needs to create a logo, you may ask for details like the name a client wants to put in the design if they have any slogans, their choice of colors, the feelings they want to evoke from the design, their target audience and much more.

  • Writers

No matter what type of writing you specialize in, Fiverr provides you an option to set the price and also provides buyers with an option for upgrades. Depending on the word limit or timeframe, you can set different prices.

Just like designers, you can also add a few questions so that you get a better understanding of the requirement of buyers.

  • Voice-Over actors

Because of a limited extent of Fiverr’s Gigs, Voice-Over assignments are ideal for the platform. You get the script from the client, and you deliver it. So simple! You are not required to spend extra time asking for unnecessary details.

What are the top advantages of Fiverr?

  • Secure Payments

All clients who place requests from the platform are checked by Fiverr. This gives a sense of security to sellers or freelancers for getting paid correctly.

  • Stable source of income

Since Fiverr has a fixed-priced model, it can be a great source for stable income.

  • Encourages clients to give tips

Fiverr encourages clients to give feedback or tips on work. This motivates the freelancers and helps them improve their skills.

  • Easy Bidding

Fiverr makes it easy for the sellers to find buyers by matching their profiles with the Gigs they require.

  • Mobile app

Just like Upwork, Fiverr too allows its users more freedom to get connected on the go and keep their projects moving.

the differences between upwork vs fiverr

Differences between Upwork vs Fiverr

Hiring process

Upwork operates on bids. You have to bid on the projects, draft a project proposal, set the price, and submit it. To bid for the project, you need to have Connects — tokens that are offered every time you bid. Every Upwork member is credited with 60 connects at the beginning of the month.

Most of the projects require offerings up to 1-5 connects. When you are being approached or re-hired by clients, you don’t require connects. Once you get shortlisted by a client, you will be contacted by them for an online interview.

If things go well, they will send you an offer letter. If you accept it, you have to create a contract on Upwork.

Fiverr doesn’t operate on the job posting system. You need to create posts around the gigs. Buyers search for gigs, and if they find your gig impressive, they place an order.

There are steps to create a gig (which has already been explained above). Once you submit your gig, it will start showing up on relevant searches. If the buyer likes your gig, they will buy your gig and they may ask a few questions before placing an order.

With the ‘buyer requests’ feature, Fiverr also allows buyers to post a job. If you find it relevant, you can also send them an offer. The process of creating an offer is similar to creating a gig.

Getting paid

On Upwork, in case of hourly contracts, you can retrieve/extract your income within ten days of completion of the billing cycle. You have to download their Team App — an app that keeps records of billable hours and upholds clarity too by taking screenshots.

For project-based contracts, you have to discuss the payment structure with the client and come up with a milestone. For each milestone, the client prefunds your payment, which becomes available five days after the milestone is completed.

Once you complete the project, the client gets 14 days to approve your work and release your payment. If they don’t reply, your earning will automatically credit to your account.

On Fiverr, all orders are considered complete when a client reviews and accepts the work. If the client doesn’t take any action, the status will automatically change to ‘completed’ in three days.

Once the order gets completed, the amount is credited to the Fiverr account which can be withdrawn after 14 days. For long-run projects, you can set milestones. But it needs to be priced above $100.

Service Fee

Upwork charges agencies and freelancers a variable fee depending on the duration of billings with a specific client. Simply put, the more work you do with a client, the more you take home. Here are the rates:

  • 20% for the initial $500 billed with the client
  • 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for lifetime billings with the client that go beyond $10,000

Additionally, Upwork charges $0.15 per connect.

Fiverr, on the other hand, also charges 20% as a service fee on all the projects, but unlike Upwork, it doesn’t vary on getting repeated clients. Apart from that, Fiverr charges for withdrawing funds from the account (as we already covered earlier).

Which platform is right for me?

When comparing Upwork vs Fiverr, both platforms offer distinct features and services. This is why the decision of choosing one platform depends on the budgets and preferences of the customers.

Both platforms provide the services of highly-professional freelancers, which make these platforms highly popular among buyers. Also, both these platforms are certified and are equally reliable as affirmed by companies and freelancers who use them daily.

So, if you want to decide between Upwork vs Fiverr, and which platform will fit your needs best, the smartest choice is to explore both the platforms on your own.

So, are you ready?

The gig economy has made it easy for companies to find a pool of talented individuals online. They can easily connect with them anytime, anywhere. A lot of freelancers have already opted for freelancing as a full-time job, and they are finding great success.

So if you are in a field of freelancing, but haven’t started earning handsome money, utilize this Upwork vs Fiverr comparison as a jumping off point.


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