Upwork vs Fiverr: Which is Best for Freelancers (2023)

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The freelancing industry is booming like never before. With remote work becoming increasingly popular and businesses relying more on outsourced services, freelance marketplaces have become an essential part of the modern workplace. Leading the charge in this ultimate debate, we’ll look at Upwork vs Fiverr.

Upwork is a global giant with established clients and experienced freelancers, while Fiverr offers a unique platform connecting buyers to talented service providers across various categories.

This article will compare Upwork vs. Fiverr – two of the biggest online freelance work marketplaces – to help you determine your needs best. We’ll discuss their pricing models, services offered, and advanced features to give you a better understanding of these two platforms. So let’s dive deeper into Upwork vs. Fiverr!

What is Upwork?

upwork homepage interface

Upwork is a world-renowned freelancing platform that connects businesses to professionals around the globe. With over 59 million registered users, Upwork offers services ranging from web development and graphic design to writing and marketing, generating a revenue of $0.59 billion in 2022.

Upwork acts as a mediator between clients and freelancers (even beginners) looking for work; clients post job opportunities, while Upwork’s unique platform allows freelancers to apply. Upwork’s dedicated tools simplify communications, payments, and project management so everyone stays organized while efficiently completing tasks. Upwork provides an extensive selection of services and a reliable way to place orders or search for suitable opportunities.

Pros of using Upwork:

  • Upwork can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.
  • Millions of freelancers worldwide use Upwork, so businesses have a large talent pool.
  • The platform’s integrated escrow payment makes it easy to manage and secure payments.
  • Upwork saves businesses time by evaluating freelancer resumes like profiles, communicating with candidates, and posting jobs.
  • It ensures the project is done on time and efficiently by tracking progress screenshots every 10 minutes.
  • Talent Scout can help you find the best candidate for your project.
  • You can easily communicate with your client through the messaging feature in desktop, browser, and mobile apps.
  • It gives access to file sharing and project management tools to make collaboration easier.
  • Companies can get help from freelancers when needed – over 59 million professionals are available on Upwork.
  • You can work with a freelancer who has the skills and expertise you need for your project – over 100+ categories of services are available on Upwork.

Cons of Upwork:

  • High competition for top talent on Upwork can lead to higher bids for projects by businesses.
  • The large pool of freelancers means there is a risk of hiring low-quality talent, compromising the quality of work delivered.
  • Upwork charges a service fee of 20% for the first $500 earned by the freelancer, resulting in additional costs for them.
  • Upwork uses a virtual currency called Connects that allows users to bid on job posts, but there is a limit of 10 Connects per month, and extra Connects can only be purchased for an additional fee.
  • The platform can be challenging to navigate, and some users may find it complex to use.
  • Users may also need help with customer service and support, as they often receive slow or no response.
  • Additionally, payment processing times can be extended (up to 10 days)

Upwork Fees

For Job Seekers

Upwork offers a variety of fee options for job seekers. They charge a 20% service fee for earnings up to $500, a 10% fee from $500.01 to $10,000, and a 5% fee for any amount over $10,000. This service fee is taken directly from each payment received by the freelancer.

Upwork Enterprise clients receive an even better-discounted service fee of 3%. Additionally, there is no cost to join or maintain a profile on Upwork, and the service rate for any given project is locked in for its duration. Each payment processed through Upwork Payments also comes with a payment processing fee calculated as a percentage of the total amount billed. Upwork provides job seekers with flexible and affordable options.

Mandatory or optional charges for freelancers

Freelancers need Upwork virtual currency called Connects to bid on job listings. After the free sign-up, you will receive 60 Connects to use for your job proposals–and most jobs require 1-6 Connects for bidding. Additionally, you will be granted 10 free Connects each month. However, if you run out of Connects and cannot submit your job proposals, you will have to purchase more. Upwork charges $0.15 per Connect and sells them in bundles of 10, 20, 40, and 60:

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

If you are looking to up your chances in the competition, a subscription to Upwork’s Freelancer Plus account for just $14.99 per month can give you access to 80 extra free Connects each month, along with other premium features. This is an excellent way to increase your chances of winning jobs.

You can also earn Connects by referring friends to join Upwork – every successful referral will give you 20 Connects. This is a great way to increase your Connects without spending money.

For Employers

For each transaction made through Upwork, a 5% fee is applied to the hiring party; this applies to fixed-price projects, hourly rates, project catalogs, and contracts. US clients who use ACH transfers are eligible for a 3% fee. The platform charges a $29.99 fee to feature your job post and reach out to more potential freelancers.

What is Fiverr?

fiverr homepage

Fiverr is an online platform that connects buyers and sellers of freelance services. With millions of active users worldwide, Fiverr provides a range of budget-friendly services starting from just $5. Freelancers can choose from various categories, including digital marketing, writing & translation, graphic & design, programming & tech, business, and more.

Fiverr also offers a wide range of tools to help freelancers get started, such as automated invoicing, payment systems, and project management tools. Through its secure platform, buyers and sellers can safely interact with each other to complete projects quickly and efficiently. Fiverr is an excellent way for new or experienced freelancers to build successful careers.

Pros for using Fiverr

  • Fiverr is an easy-to-use platform that provides access to many freelancers worldwide. With no fees for joining, and services starting at just $5, it’s a cost-effective way to get work done without breaking the bank.
  • Its user-friendly interface makes it simple to find the right person for your project, communicate with them, and manage payments securely through its escrow system. Buyers are protected with a 14-day refund period should any disputes arise.
  • Fiverr offers customer support services if you need help finding or managing service providers. This ensures everyone gets a great experience using Fiverr—from buyers to sellers.
  • Fiverr is an ideal platform for connecting businesses and individuals with the right freelancer for their job. With its secure payment system and wide range of services, it’s no surprise that Fiverr has become a leading choice in the freelance marketplace.

Fiverr Cons to consider

  • Fiverr charges a 20% fee from seller order earnings.
  • Quality of the work received can be inconsistent due to anyone being able to sign up and offer services.
  • Hourly project rates are not available.
  • Delivery speed of the project can vary depending on the freelancer, size & complexity of the project, and other factors.
  • Limitations may exist over the project if working with a freelancer for the first time.


For every order placed on Fiverr, the seller is charged a 20% service fee. Buyers must also pay an additional 5.5% of every transaction, plus an extra $2 if they purchase less than $50.

If buyers don’t find what they’re looking for, they can post requests, and Fiverr will match them with the most relevant sellers according to their brief.

The platform has a user-friendly interface so buyers can easily navigate, and you can access the perfect service provider.

The Fiverr community encourages people to share their experiences and learn from each other. This will help you gain new skills in areas you’re unfamiliar with or improve on existing ones that need improvement. Fiverr is a great place to find quality services at competitive rates.

Upwork vs. Fiverr: Top Differences

Regarding freelancing platforms, Upwork and Fiverr are two of the most popular services available. Both offer a vast pool of talented professionals but differ in their approach to hiring and pricing structures.

For Employers

Upwork makes it easy for employers to find the best fit for their project. By signing up for an account, you can browse freelancers’ catalogs and post a job. You can also send invites or hire the Talent Scout team to provide you with a shortlist of top candidates in just three days.

Meanwhile, Fiverr streamlines the buying process by allowing buyers to browse Fiverr gigs and quote directly or post requests to select relevant sellers. Its dedicated success managers are also available to assist business clients with finding the right candidate for their project.

For Freelancers

Regarding freelancer bidding, Upwork requires its users to use Connects to bid on job posts, while Fiverr eliminates this hassle by allowing clients to approach sellers directly. Upwork allows freelancers to choose an hourly or fixed rate for projects. In contrast, Fiverr restricts all its users (even those with a Business account) to flat-rate pricing.

Upwork Job Success Score

On top of that, Upwork has a Job Success Score, which is a rating assigned to freelancers based on their client feedback. The score ranges from 0 to 100 and reflects successful projects, timely delivery, communication skills, and client satisfaction. High-scoring freelancers have an advantage regarding job offers and other opportunities.

Fiverr Seller Level

Fiverr Seller Level is a comprehensive rating system that evaluates a freelancer’s performance and experience on the platform. The levels start from New Seller to Top Rated Seller, with each level having specific requirements such as a minimum number of completed orders, positive feedback, and other criteria. Freelancers in higher tiers will be more visible in search results and have access to increased earning opportunities, personalized offers, and other benefits.

Upwork vs. Fiverr: Pricing

For Job seekers

Regarding pricing for job seekers and employers, Upwork charges a 5-20% service fee depending on the earnings from each client. In comparison, Fiverr has a fixed 20% service fee for each order which makes them offer more budget-friendly services than UpWork while maintaining quality.

For Employers

On the employer side, when a client transacts payment, Upwork takes a 5% fee from each remittance, while Fiverr takes a 5.5% service fee from each gig purchase (charge only $2 for orders under $50). Fiverr is still more affordable than Upwork in many cases.

Upwork Features

Ten free Connects

With an account on Upwork, you get ten free Connects each month to access job opportunities.

Direct Contracts

This feature allows freelancers to quickly and easily connect with new clients, discuss terms and conditions, create contracts, etc., directly on the platform.

Free of cost Talent Scout program

Upwork offers a free talent scout program that helps recruiters find vetted freelance professionals best suited for their projects.

Vetted job opportunities from Talent Specialists

Upwork’s Talent Specialists vet job listings before they go live, ensuring that only high-quality roles are posted on the platform.

Hourly Payment Protection

On Upwork, freelancers can rest assured knowing they will always get paid for their work, as clients must make payments through Upwork’s secure payment system.

Work Diary

This feature allows freelancers to track how much time they spend on each task, helping them stay organized and productive.

Feedback Removal For Top-Rated or Top-Rated Plus Badge Freelancers

Upwork recognizes successful freelancers with badges that show their commitment to providing quality services. These badge holders also have the option to remove feedback from unsatisfied clients if necessary.

Freelancer Plus Subscription

A subscription program that gives access to exclusive features and resources to help freelancers run successful businesses on Upwork.

Time Tracking

Freelancers can use this feature to track their time working on tasks, helping them stay productive and organized.

Invoicing and Reporting

Upwork makes it easy for freelancers to create invoices and reports that summarize their activities on the platform.

Verified Badges For Freelancers

To show customers that they are reliable, experienced professionals, freelancers can earn verified badges by submitting work samples or going through a process of identity verification.

Offer Bonuses To Freelancers

Clients can reward top-performing freelancers with bonus payments for exceptional work.

Set Up A Virtual Talent Bench Of Trustworthy Freelancers

With this feature, clients can quickly locate and hire a pool of pre-vetted freelancers with the necessary skills to complete their projects.

Mobile App For Project Management

Clients and freelancers can manage their projects on the go, using Upwork’s mobile app.

Collaborate With Other Team Members

Freelancers can invite other team members to collaborate on their projects, making it easier to split up tasks and stay organized.

Fiverr Features

Multi-Currency Support
Fiverr allows you to transact in various currencies and reach a global market without any hassle in currency exchange — they do it for you.

Custom Offers
With Fiverr, you can create custom offers based on your clients’ needs. This is an efficient way to ensure that both parties can agree on the terms of their agreement and that everyone understands the details.

Multi-Category Jobs
Fiverr has many different categories for freelancers. Whether you’re doing graphic design, web development, or even writing freelance articles, there’s likely a job type on Fiverr that fits your skill set.

Secure Payment Process
Fiverr offers a secure payment process that protects both parties from fraud or theft. With this process, your money is safely secured until the job is completed and you receive feedback from the client.

Private Communication Platform
Fiverr also provides a private communication platform for freelancers and clients to communicate without having their messages seen by anyone else on the website. This allows them to discuss sensitive information without worrying about privacy breaches.

Seller Rating & Feedback
On Fiverr, there is an extensive rating system where buyers can rate their experiences with sellers based on the quality of work, timeliness of completion, and customer service. Having these ratings helps buyers find reliable freelancers who are sure to provide the best services.

Fiverr Workspace Features

It includes invoicing & reports, payment processing, time tracking, client & contract management, and task management. With these features, you can easily manage your freelance jobs and keep track of payments, deadlines, and other details.

Payment Processing
Fiverr also makes it easy for freelancers to receive payments quickly by offering a secure payment process that ensures both parties are protected from fraud or theft. Plus, they offer a variety of payment methods, including PayPal and credit cards, to make receiving payments simple.

Which platform is easier to use?


When looking at Upwork, it has an intuitive and straightforward design that makes it easy for freelancers to find job opportunities and for customers to locate the right talent for their projects. Upwork offers a range of helpful tools and services, such as chat, time tracking, and project management, which let freelancers and customers collaborate smoothly. This makes it an excellent option for individuals and organizations who need freelance professionals.


Fiverr simplifies the process of searching for services with its user-friendly interface. You can browse through available services quickly and easily without wasting time or jumping through hoops.

The transparent pricing feature lets you see the service’s cost before purchasing. This is one of the reasons why Fiverr has become so popular with freelancers and corporations. Fiverr makes for a convenient and accessible way to find your needed services.

How to decide which is best for you in the Upwork vs. Fiverr battle

When deciding between Upwork vs. Fiverr, there are a few factors to consider.

Upwork offers a broad range of services, from web development and graphic design to copywriting, while Fiverr specializes in creative and digital services. If you’re looking for specialized work or a specific type of service, then Upwork is the better option. Additionally, they have a more rigorous vetting process, leading to higher-quality results.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to get services on a budget, then Fiverr may be worth considering – however, keep in mind that the quality may not always be consistent. Additionally, their platform is much simpler and easier to use than Upwork.

Choosing Upwork vs. Fiverr will depend entirely on your needs, budget, and preferences. Think about what you want from a freelancing platform and select the best one that meets your criteria!

3 Alternatives to Upwork & Fiverr

Upwork and Fiverr have become go-to solutions for freelancers who are looking for jobs, clients, or side hustles. However, Upwork vs. Fiverr can be a head-scratcher for some people. If you’re in that boat, we think the best approach is to check Upwork and Fiverr’s alternatives.

Freelancer, FreeUp, and SolidGigs are all great alternatives to Upwork, and Fiverr that offer different platforms and approaches to finding platform-based freelance work. From much lower fees than Upwork & Fiverr to curated listings based on your skill set, these three alternatives are worth checking out if Upwork & Fiverr aren’t what you’re looking for.


Freelancer.com is a premier platform that has grown widely, with over 45 million professionals from 247 countries. It covers a range of industries, from web development, graphic design, writing, and data entry to more specialized areas like engineering and architecture.

Freelancer’s innovative contest format makes it unique, which allows businesses to post job openings and professionals to compete by submitting their best work for consideration – only the winning submission will be paid out. Several membership options are available, ranging from free to $69.95 per month; even the top-tier membership provides access to 700 monthly bids.


SolidGigs is the perfect platform for freelancers looking to find high-paying clients and advance their freelance careers. With a monthly membership, they will access job listings that have been handpicked just for them, plus essential tools and expert training to help them enhance their skills and secure the ideal clientele.

With SolidGigs, freelancers can easily reach their professional goals and make the most of their experience. It’s the perfect way to take their freelance career up a notch. Join SolidGigs now and make your dreams of finding great clients come true!


FreeUp is designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs, world-class freelancers, and remote workers. Through their platform, businesses can discover hundreds of lucrative job opportunities posted daily, and freelancers have the freedom to set their rates and work from home.

This platform also provides various resources, including 24/7 support, webinars, and a supportive Slack workspace to help you grow your freelance business – all supported by an internal team dedicated to your success.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time professional or need specific project assistance, FreeUp is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

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 are competitive forces in the freelance marketplace, each with its unique pros and cons. Upwork has a more traditional structure and pricing system, while Fiverr is simpler and more affordable.

If you are a creative, start out with testing the market on Fiverr.
If you are outside of the creative industry, establish yourself on Upwork.

Because they are so similar, ultimately, choosing Upwork vs. Fiverr will depend on your individual needs as a job seeker or employer, considering factors such as pricing, features, ease of use, and any other requirements you may have.

Freelancer, FreeUp, and SolidGigs are alternatives worth exploring to improve your freelance career success further. Consider all these elements when deciding which platform best suits your particular needs. With the right combination of these platforms, you can reach new heights in your freelance career.

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Written by Asma Younas

Staff at Millo.co

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.

Asma's Articles

Reviewed & edited by Adam Wright, at Millo.

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