Fiverr vs. Upwork: The Freelancer’s Perspective

Today’s advanced work environment is technically equipped to facilitate remote work in almost every industry and this has shone the limelight over capable freelancers from around the globe to whom companies can now outsource work. Earlier, finding the right freelancer to fit the company requirements and coordinating work with many that were even overseas was a tedious task. This has been made simple by various freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and many more.

On the other hand, freelancers have a wide range of opportunities available to choose from, at the tip of their fingers. But before diving into a freelancing website, a marketplace comparison is essential in every case including freelance marketplaces. Each of these freelance job sites functions differently and therefore one may suit the freelancer better than the other.

So in this article let’s take a look at a comparison between two of the best freelancing job sites and how they function.


Upwork began in 2015 following the merger of one of the first freelance platforms called Elance with oDesk. Elance began as an outsourcing platform for IT companies in 1999, but soon expanded into various other industries and evolved into Upwork in 2015. In a short span of 2 years, Upwork had 3 million job posts to its credit which was worth 1 billion. By 2018 it had around 34.76 M monthly visits.

Fiverr was founded in 2010 by Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman. It is a company that aims at providing high-quality work at the best prices, making it an attractive option for both individuals and companies. By 2018 it had already grown to 35.95 monthly visits and around 1 million transactions

Therefore in terms of popularity and acceptance among users, they stand neck to neck


Although these platforms essentially offer a marketplace to hire freelancers, the way they function is almost entirely different.

Upwork follows a procedure whereby client companies can publish their projects or work on the platform stating all the requirements. Freelancers can then choose from among these projects if they have the required skill sets. Freelancers, therefore, have to register on the platform by specifying a particular area of expertise so that they may be chosen for work in the same field.

As for Fiverr, the functionality refers to freelancers as sellers who post their capabilities. Each of them will appear under a certain category or subcategory along with star ratings for the quality of their work. This allows companies to choose the best-suited freelancer based on their requirement and ratings.

The mode of operation of both of these platforms is almost exactly opposite to one another. While companies publish their work for freelancers to bid on Upwork, Fiverr gets freelancers to post their best work and companies to pick.


Fiverr is known as one of the cheapest freelance marketplaces. At the outset this might seem like an obvious disadvantage to the freelancer, however cheap labor also means more work and therefore starters may find it easier to get work over Fiverr.

On the other hand, there is clearly a better earning potential on Upwork, but it’s also important to note that Upwork charges the freelancer a fee on every completed project and so a significant percentage of the earnings will account for that.

Job Opportunities

As discussed earlier the mode of operation is different for both. Upwork allows freelancers to actively look for opportunities while Fiverr puts the freelancers in a more passive position wherein they are required to wait until something comes up.

With that being said the frequency of landing a job on both platforms are quite the same and either marketplace poses a stiff competition for freelancers to fight against. As such websites gain momentum freelancers will have to prove themselves in order to remain in the game.


Both Upwork and Fiverr are freelancing platforms that are doing exceptionally well in the market. They are some of the first to come into existence and continue to prevail among the top freelancing websites by updating themselves as per the needs of their clients.  However, they differ in their functional features even as they exist for the same purpose and therefore freelancers must weigh them out before concluding which one is a better fit for their needs.

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