Upwork vs Fiverr: Comparing the Freelance Platforms and Opportunities

By: Louie Z. Sawyer | Updated: April 9, 2021
business owner working at desk comparing fiverr to upwork comparing freelance platforms

Are you debating between Upwork vs Fiverr for your professional needs? Get an idea of how these freelance platforms work in this comparison guide.

Upwork vs Fiverr: Comparing the Freelance Platforms and Opportunities

The freelancer economy continues to grow at an incredible rate. According to a study commissioned by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, the majority of the workforce will be freelancers by 2027.

You better get acquainted with freelance job boards now, because they will be the future. Comparing two of the most popular, Upwork vs Fiverr, can help you decide which one is best suited to your particular task.

Upwork vs Fiverr: Looking for Freelancers

Hiring freelancers can help reduce your overhead, but you need to pick the right ones. A difference between Upwork and Fiverr is in how you seek out freelancers to hire in the first place.

Upwork stars from your job posting, whereas Fiverr starts with the freelancers posting their skills.

When business owners first start working with Upwork, most of them will begin by posting the specifics of their project. That will include the requirements of the task, and some details about your company.

Upwork will then analyze those requirements and show you the best freelancers for your particular task. You can also ignore their recommendation and search through potential freelancers on your own.

You then evaluate bids from competing freelancers, schedule a chat to discuss the project further with your chosen candidate, and finally hire them.

Fiverr, on the other hand, starts with freelancers posting tasks, or “gigs”, they can complete and the prices they charge for each. If you want to hire freelancers, you search through those listings to find someone with the skills you need.

To help you decide Fiverr includes a review system where you can see the type of work a freelancer has done in the past, as well as their customer reviews.

Differences in Prices and Payments

There is quality talent on both platforms. But, while Fiverr includes many skilled freelancers (especially for things like graphic design), Upwork generally gives you more ways to vet your candidate.

As noted above, Upwork provides video chat for you to speak with candidates. They also administer skills tests and verify the identity of any potential freelancer. As a result, freelancers on Upwork may be more expensive but also more verifiably skilled.

Upwork also provides the option to pay freelancers by the project or by the hour. They also provide a time tracker to monitor the freelancer’s work.

Because Fiverr starts with posted gigs, basically anyone can post any type of job. You can find someone to do any task you might need, but there are fewer tools to vet them before you hire them.

For that reason, Fiverr can be a great place to find relatively cheap solutions for simpler jobs. In fact, the name originally referenced the $5 gigs you could find on the platform.

Because everything is based on gigs, you cannot pay Fiverr freelancers by the hour.

Bottom Line: It Depends on the Job

Whether Upwork or Fiverr is better for your business depends mostly on the specifics of your task.

For a more complicated or specific job, you’ll probably want to go with Upwork. The cost will likely be higher, but you can find someone easily with the specific skills you need, and vet them more closely.

Fiverr is better suited for smaller, simpler, or more specific jobs. The cost is generally low enough that you can hire multiple people to design your logo, for instance, and then pick the one you like most.

Freelancers Let You Focus on What You Do Best

Whichever portal you choose, Upwork vs Fiverr, working with freelancers can help your company focus on its core competencies. That will make you more efficient and drive up profits.

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