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Upwork vs Fiverr: Which is Best for Freelancers (2024)

upwork vs fiverr who wins
Table of ContentsUpdated Feb 01, 2024

The freelancing world is exploding like never before. As more people work from home and companies lean on outside help, places like freelance websites have become key to today’s work scene. We’re diving into a big showdown: Upwork versus Fiverr.

Upwork stands out as a worldwide leader with its long list of clients and seasoned freelancers. On the other hand, Fiverr shines by linking customers with skilled pros in a bunch of different areas.

We’re going to pit Upwork against Fiverr, two of the top spots for freelance gigs online, to help you figure out what’s best for you. We’ll look at how they charge, what they offer, and their cool extra features to make sense of these platforms for you. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of Upwork versus Fiverr!

What is Upwork?

upwork homepage interface

Upwork is a top freelancing site that links companies with pros worldwide. It’s huge, with 59 million users, and offers everything from web design to marketing, pulling in $0.59 billion in 2022.

Upwork helps clients and freelancers (even newbies) connect. Clients post jobs, and freelancers use Upwork’s cool platform to apply. Upwork has tools to help with chatting, paying, and keeping projects on track, making things smooth for everyone. It’s a go-to for a wide range of services and finding the right gigs or talent.

The Upsides of Upwork:

  • It can be cheaper than hiring someone full-time.
  • There’s a massive pool of freelancers from all over, giving businesses lots of choices.
  • Payments are secure and easy to handle thanks to an escrow system.
  • Upwork helps save time by sifting through freelancer profiles, chatting with them, and posting jobs.
  • It keeps projects on schedule by taking screenshots every 10 minutes to track progress.
  • Talent Scout is there to help find the perfect person for your project.
  • Messaging is easy across desktop, browser, and mobile apps.
  • File sharing and project tools make working together a breeze.
  • With over 59 million pros on Upwork, help is always there when you need it.
  • You can find freelancers with just the skills you need from over 100 service categories.

The Downsides of Upwork:

  • High demand for the best freelancers can drive up project costs.
  • With so many freelancers, there’s a chance of hiring someone who doesn’t deliver quality work.
  • Upwork takes a 20% fee from freelancers for the first $500 they make, which can be a downside for them.
  • Freelancers need “Connects” to bid on jobs, and you only get a few each month for free. You have to buy more if you run out.
  • The site can be tricky to get around, and some folks find it hard to use.
  • Getting help from customer service can be slow or unhelpful.
  • Sometimes, it takes a while to get paid (up to 10 days).

Fees on Upwork:

For Freelancers:

  • Upwork charges a sliding service fee: 20% for the first $500, then 10% up to $10,000, and 5% after that. This fee comes out of the freelancer’s earnings.
  • Enterprise clients get a special 3% fee.
  • Joining and keeping a profile is free, and the service rate for a project doesn’t change once it’s set.
  • There’s also a fee for processing payments.

Freelancers need “Connects” to bid on jobs. You start with 60 and get 10 free each month. If you run out, you have to buy more:

  • 10 Connects for $1.50
  • 20 Connects for $3.00
  • 40 Connects for $6.00
  • 60 Connects for $9.00

For a better shot at jobs, you can pay $14.99 a month for a Freelancer Plus account, which gives you 80 extra Connects and other perks. You can also get more Connects by referring friends.

For Employers:

  • There’s a 5% fee for every payment made on Upwork. This goes for all types of projects and contracts. If you’re in the US and use ACH transfers, the fee is 3%.
  • Want more freelancers to see your job? It costs $29.99 to feature your post.

What is Fiverr?

fiverr homepage

Fiverr is a popular online marketplace that connects buyers with freelancers offering a variety of services. It’s known for its affordability, with gigs starting at just $5. Freelancers on Fiverr offer a wide range of services, from digital marketing and writing to graphic design and tech support.

Fiverr makes it easy for freelancers to get started by providing tools like automated billing, secure payment methods, and project management features. This ensures that both buyers and sellers can work together smoothly and safely. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced freelancer, Fiverr offers a platform to build and grow your freelance career.

Benefits of Using Fiverr

  • Fiverr is user-friendly, making it easy to find and hire freelancers from around the globe. Joining is free, and with gigs starting at $5, it’s a budget-friendly option for getting tasks done.
  • The platform’s design helps you quickly find the right freelancer for your project, communicate effectively, and handle payments securely through an escrow system. If there are any issues, buyers have a 14-day period to request a refund.
  • Fiverr provides customer support to assist with finding and managing freelancers, ensuring a positive experience for both buyers and sellers.
  • With its secure payment system and a vast array of services, Fiverr stands out as a top choice in the freelance market.

Drawbacks to Using Fiverr

  • Fiverr takes a 20% commission from freelancers’ earnings for each order.
  • The quality of work can vary since the platform allows anyone to offer their services.
  • Fiverr doesn’t support hourly rates for projects.
  • The turnaround time for projects can differ based on the freelancer, the project’s size and complexity, and other factors.
  • There might be limitations when working with a new freelancer for the first time.

Fees on Fiverr:

  • Sellers face a 20% service fee on their earnings from each order.
  • Buyers pay an additional fee of 5.5% on every purchase, with a $2 fee added for orders under $50.

For buyers who can’t find the service they need, Fiverr allows them to post requests. The platform then matches them with suitable freelancers based on their project requirements.

Fiverr’s interface is straightforward, enabling buyers to easily find and connect with the right service providers.

The Fiverr community also plays a role in enhancing the platform’s value by encouraging users to share their experiences and learn from one another. This collaborative environment can help users acquire new skills or refine existing ones. Fiverr is an excellent resource for finding quality services at competitive prices.

Fiverr Vs Upwork Head to Head

When it comes to freelancing platforms, Upwork and Fiverr lead the pack but cater to different needs and preferences.

For Employers:

  • Upwork is great for finding the perfect match for your project. You can browse freelancer profiles, post jobs, and even get a shortlist of top candidates from the Talent Scout team within three days.
  • Fiverr simplifies the process by letting you browse gigs or post requests to attract relevant sellers. Business clients get extra help from dedicated success managers to find the right freelancer.

For Freelancers:

  • Upwork uses a system called Connects for job applications, offering more flexibility with hourly or fixed-rate projects.
  • Fiverr lets clients come to you, sticking to a flat-rate pricing model for all its users, including those with Business accounts.

Unique Features:

  • Upwork has a Job Success Score reflecting a freelancer’s reliability and quality, based on client feedback.
  • Fiverr uses a Seller Level system to rank freelancers, affecting their visibility and access to earning opportunities.


  • Upwork charges freelancers a sliding service fee (5-20%) based on earnings from each client, while employers pay a 5% transaction fee.
  • Fiverr takes a flat 20% from freelancers for each order and charges buyers a 5.5% service fee, making it generally more budget-friendly.

Upwork Features:

  • Free Connects, direct contracts, a Talent Scout program, vetted job opportunities, and payment protection are some of the highlights. Freelancers can also remove feedback, subscribe to Freelancer Plus, track time, and manage invoices and reports. Verified badges and the ability to offer bonuses or set up a virtual talent bench enhance the platform’s value.

Fiverr Features:

  • Offers multi-currency support, custom offers, a wide range of job categories, a secure payment process, and a private communication platform. The Seller Rating & Feedback system helps maintain quality. Fiverr Workspace includes invoicing, payment processing, time tracking, and client & contract management.

Ease of Use:

  • Upwork boasts an intuitive design with tools for smooth collaboration, making it ideal for both individual and corporate use.
  • Fiverr offers a straightforward interface with transparent pricing, making it easy to find and purchase services.

Choosing the Right Platform: Consider your specific needs, budget, and the type of services you’re after. Upwork offers a broader range of services and a more rigorous vetting process, while Fiverr is known for creative and digital services at competitive prices.

Alternatives: If neither Upwork nor Fiverr seems right, consider Freelancer, FreeUp, or SolidGigs. Each offers unique features and benefits, from lower fees to curated job listings tailored to your skills.

The best platform for you depends on your individual needs, whether you’re an employer looking for talent or a freelancer seeking opportunities.

Upwork vs Fiverr Head to Head

Freelancer TypesSituated across more than 180 nations
Operating across 12 industry sectors with a pool of over 10,000 skills
Above 70% possess a college diploma
In excess of 20% hold an advanced degree
More than 500 available skill sets across 9 industry verticals
Freelancer SearchPost a job and receive requests for proposals
Browse Project Catalog
Browse available opportunities and seller profiles
Submit a request for help
Hiring ProcessBrowse freelancer profiles or review proposals
Speak with top freelancers
Enter into a secure contract
Place payment into escrow
Receive and approve work
Release payment
Browse and select Gigs
Pre-pay Fiverr for Gig services
Receive and approve work
Fiverr releases payment
Billing MethodsCredit card
US bank transfers
Credit card
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Fiverr account balance
Service Fees5% processing fee on all transactions (some U.S. clients using ACH bank transfer may be eligible for a 3% processing fee)
$2.95/contract initiation fee
5.5% fee on all transactions
Additional $2 fee for Gig purchases of $50 or less
FeaturesFreelancer identities are verified
Give great freelancers a bonus
Bring your own talent onto the platform
Collaborate with other members of your team
Build a Virtual Talent Bench™ of trusted freelancers
Dedicated mobile app for hiring and project management
Give great sellers a tip
Collaborate with your team when using Fiverr Business
Fiverr Business users may pay by wire transfer or cash deposit

Our Verdict in the Upwork vs Fiverr Debate

Upwork and Fiverr stand as leading platforms in the freelance marketplace, each presenting distinct advantages and challenges. Upwork offers a more conventional approach with a detailed pricing model, catering well to a broad range of industries beyond just creative fields. Fiverr, on the other hand, is known for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive starting point for creatives looking to dip their toes into the freelance world.

For those in creative professions, Fiverr can be an excellent platform to test the waters and gauge market demand for your services. Its straightforward structure allows for easy entry and the opportunity to build a portfolio and client base with minimal upfront investment. On the flip side, professionals outside the creative sphere might find Upwork’s comprehensive environment more conducive to establishing a solid freelance presence, thanks to its extensive job categories and more traditional project-based engagement model.

When it comes down to choosing between Upwork and Fiverr, the decision hinges on your specific needs, whether you’re seeking freelance opportunities or aiming to hire talent. Factors such as the platform’s pricing, available features, user experience, and your particular requirements play crucial roles in this decision-making process.

Moreover, exploring alternatives like Freelancer, FreeUp, and SolidGigs can further enhance your chances of success in the freelance arena. Each of these platforms offers unique benefits and could serve as valuable additions to your freelancing toolkit, depending on your skills, industry, and preferences.

The choice between Upwork and Fiverr—or the decision to incorporate other platforms like Freelancer, FreeUp, and SolidGigs—should be guided by a careful assessment of your individual goals, needs, and the nature of your freelance work. By strategically selecting the platform(s) that align best with your career objectives, you can optimize your freelance journey and achieve greater heights of success.

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Written by Asma Younas

Staff at

Asma Younas is a Mphil scholar and blogger, passionate about adding value to people's lives. Dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, she loves being a regular contributor on various platforms.

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Reviewed & edited by Adam Wright, Editor at Millo.

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