We thoroughly tested every website’s search engine, freelancer profiles, general pricing, and support to ensure a smooth and efficient hiring process. Only the freelance sites that performed exceptionally well and satisfied our rigorous standards made it on this list. Read on to find out which ones you can count on.
- The most budget-friendly platform
- Easy-to-use help and support
- Wide range of job types available
- 100% safe payment system
On Fiverr, you never have to worry about being hit with a big invoice at the end. Projects are paid by the job – meaning the total price is set when you hire the freelancer. If you don’t hear back within 24 hours after the project starts, you can cancel the project at no charge to you.
Another thing I like about Fiverr is how easy it is to determine if a freelancer is qualified and reputable. While all freelance sites provide reviews, Fiverr’s are easier to search. Fiverr’s rating system considers delivery time, customer satisfaction, and service quality – and makes it easy to find the hidden gems.
One of Fiverr’s strongest benefits is the Fiverr Pro service, which narrows down your search to the top candidates in their field. Yes, you have to pay extra – but it’s well worth the price. Each Pro Verified freelancer is vetted to assess their educational background, work experience, client reviews, and portfolio strength, which means less time searching and less risk of poor quality.
Top freelance categories: Graphic design/logo design, website design, writing, voiceover recordings, social media
- Gigantic talent pool
- Best choice for long-term relationships
- Worky diary, management tools, and easy monitoring
- Low fee and advanced Payment Protection Plan
Upwork is a versatile freelance marketplace that boasts millions of active profiles. You can easily find your next favourite freelancer by either posting a job or browsing through thousands of gigs.
Hiring, screening, and interviewing candidates has never been this easy. You can sign up to the platform and post your first job in less than 30 minutes. If you’d rather browse through the platform’s super-detailed profiles, you’ll appreciate the endless filters you can use to narrow your search. I love how you can filter results based on freelancers’ Job Success Scores.
Millions of freelancers are available to be hired, and Upwork makes it easy to connect with them. With the click of a button, you can initiate chats, schedule video meetings, exchange files, and even monitor work by keeping an eye on work diaries.
Upwork’s Payment Protection plan adds an extra layer of security. Since payment isn’t released until clients approve the work, freelancers are encouraged to deliver precisely what they’ve promised.
Top freelance categories: Writing, graphic design, software development, IT support, and data science
- Extremely rigorous screening process
- Best choice for niche freelancers
- Talent hand-selected for you by experts
- Two-week trial period with each freelancer
Toptal pitches itself as a global network of world-class talent. Of the 100,000 or so people who apply each year to join Toptal as freelancers, only 3% cut. Although Toptal only has five main freelancer categories – designers, developers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers – each category is broken down further. If you click through to see the skills directory, you’ll find more than 200 types of developers alone.
There’s a rigorous screening process. There are five steps and it can take up to five weeks to make it all the way. If a freelancer doesn’t make it through round one, they can say goodbye to Toptal. So you know you’re getting the best.
Every time you start working with a new freelancer, Toptal gives you a trial period of up to two weeks to decide whether it’s a successful match for you. If you’re not completely satisfied, you won’t be billed for the time and you can move on to the next match.
Top freelance categories: Software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers and project managers
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- High-quality, pre-vetted talent
- Simplified hiring process
- Ability to build whole teams
- Easy to replace freelancers for free
GrowTal focuses on providing top-level marketing services to agencies and growing businesses.
Each freelancer on the platform undergoes a rigorous selection process, ensuring that you only work with professionals with a proven success track record. GrowTal’s team of experts will help you find the perfect match for your project by understanding your requirements, goals, and budget.
GrowTal’s pool of marketing experts includes SEO consultants, UX designers, and content marketers – just to name a few. Projects are delivered on time, and you can even build custom freelance teams to tackle more complex tasks.
The catch is that you’ll likely need to pay a bit more than you would on other popular freelance websites, such as Fiverr and Upwork. Users also pay a $500 deposit fee to join the platform, which might put GrowTal out of reach for the average marketer.
Top freelance categories: Digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, social media, and growth hacking
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- Great for one-off projects for small businesses
- Offers a wide range of design types
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 support
With over 750,000 designers on DesignCrowd, you’re bound to find one who matches your style. To get started, you select a package based on the number of submissions you want and then post a brief for three to 10 days. Because of DesignCrowd’s affordable prices, it’s a great fit for smaller businesses with occasional design needs. Plus, there is a wide range of design types, from business cards to web design.
The process for DesignCrowd is similar to 99designs but cheaper and less in-depth. Your brief is only one page, and you miss out on features like designer reviews and their job success rate. If you’re on a budget, I’d call it a worthy trade-off though.
I like how you can either work with a designer one-on-one or run a contest and review submitted designs. Once you choose your favourite design, you can provide feedback and ask for free unlimited revisions.
Top freelance categories: Graphic design projects including logos, web design, and print projects
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- Best platform to find experienced freelancers
- Higher fees than other platforms
- Useful project management tools
- Freelancers located around the world
Let’s get this out of the way from the start – Guru’s fees are a lot higher than what most freelance platforms charge. But for your money, you get access to Guru’s higher-quality and experienced freelancers. For some projects, it may be worth the fees when you need an exceptionally skilled freelancer.
I found the profiles on Guru easier to navigate than on other sites because the rates and feedback scores are easy to find. I like that you can get quotes from individual freelancers with a click of a button.
For the most part, the site works like other platforms, but I found the Work Room feature very useful. You can add multiple freelancers to a project, which isn’t an option on other sites. I also like the ability to assign roles and manage everything – communication, payments, tasks – in a single place.
Top freelance categories: Design and art, writing and translation, programming and development
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- The best choice for ease-of-use
- A great choice for international companies
- Wide range of templates to start projects
- Free to post a project
Freelancer.com is home to a large number of freelancers from nearly 250 countries, but it lacks the wide range of freelancer types found on Upwork and Fiverr. While it’s similar to other freelance sites, with the option to either create a project or search for freelancers, I found this site easier to navigate and more intuitive to use.
What makes Freelancer less cost-effective than sites like Fiverr or Upwork is all the fees you have to pay for add-on features. Featuring your project, making it private, hiring a recruiter, and requiring an NDA all incur separate fees that stack up fast. However, if you don’t plan on using any of these add-ons, it probably won’t be an issue for you.
But I do like how much easier Freelancer.com is to use than other sites. While setting up a new project on some platforms was a long and tedious process, Freelancer.com made it simple. You start by finding a project close to your needs and then, using it as a template, create your own. This not only saves time but helps you think of terms and skills you may not have considered. Even better, there is no fee to post an ad.
Top freelance categories: Graphic design, marketing, writing, and app design
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