The 5 Best Upwork Alternatives for Businesses and Freelancers in 2023

While you may take pride in powering every aspect of your website or business, it is neither healthy nor sensible to do so. In contrast, a freelancer may be on the same treadmill but to find and win quality work. Upwork wants to help these people connect within a marketplace. However, there are a variety of Upwork alternatives to choose from that will increase your chances of success.

Of course, not all marketplaces are created equal, and you should consider whether the website you choose has enough “pedestrian traffic”. This is just a starting point, as you should consider whether this traffic (both end users and freelancers) is of a high enough quality. Additionally, you should also consider the fees that a marketplace charges as this could impact your income and/or budget.

In this post, we’re going to look at five different Upwork alternatives and why they deserve to be on this list. The first entry is one that has walked around the block a few times.

The Best Upwork Alternatives to Hire Web Professionals in 2023

These are the five Upwork alternatives that we are going to present to you (in no particular order):

Number one on the list (that’s in no particular order) is arguably the most well-known of all gig marketplaces. Fiverr is the cheapest way to find expertise in almost any field you need.

It could be considered the Amazon of the gig economy, since Fiverr’s unique selling proposition (USP) is essentially “cheap and abundant talent, with virtually no risk to the consumer.” It’s a company that we feature in several places on the KCCSB blog.

Fiverr – one of the best Upwork alternatives

In fact, this image shows some of the niches and industries where Fiverr taps into talent and consumer needs. We’ll get into that in more detail in a minute, but there are a number of standout aspects of Fiverr that make it a key Upwork alternative:

  • Unless your budget is zero dollars, Fiverr can find someone to accommodate your available capital.
  • Additionally, you can find a freelancer to do any task you need in an immense number of niches – similar to the WordPress plugin directory
  • On the consumer side of Fiverr, protection is the focus. For example, money is not exchanged until you approve the work, and there is a robust one Review and Rating System to give feedback.

The rating system helps in many ways. First off, you can see everything you need to know at a glance from the Marketplace main screen:

Fiverr profiles in a grid display.

This includes a standard five-star rating (along with the number of sellers). However, every seller is also part of a four-tier system. This gives you more opportunities to create “Gigs”, add more goodies to your various packages and withdraw money sooner.

In its early days, Fiverr had a worse reputation than it does today. However, it has gone from a “$5-or-no-dice” approach to one where sellers now offer a range of gigs for different budgets.

Plus, each gig is based on a flat fee rather than an hourly rate – so you know exactly what you’re spending. In fact, using a few Fiverr Gigs to run some WordPress tasks could be a good strategy.

PeoplePerHour is the UK’s Fiverr, but with no practical digital boundaries, anyone can use the service. This is good news because there are plenty of freelance talents waiting for their next project.

PeoplePerHour's homepage - one of the best Upwork alternatives

While Fiverr talks about “gigs” and had to drag itself to a more professional foothold, PeoplePerHour comes up with this built into its presentation. It feels more professional to use a system of projects and suggestions to ensure the right freelancers and clients come together.

Still, there are some similarities to Fiverr, as you would expect with this type of system:

  • You can rate and review freelancers to provide feedback.
  • There is a dedicated communication platform that helps everyone keep track of the progress of a project.
  • There is also a lot of protection for a client’s money through an escrow system.

The latter is important as each client is required to pay a deposit upfront to confirm the start of a project. However, further funds are not released to the freelancer until the client approves the work.

Speaking of work, the niche offering is similar to other marketplaces. Buyers’ needs include digital marketing, rapid web development work, and design work:

The PeoplePerHour profile list.

While there are always outliers, you should expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $55 on an hourly basis. This is obviously different from Fiverr and means you should manage your budget to ensure you can afford the freelancer in question.

We think that PeoplePerHour is also a good way to work with a freelancer on a long-term basis. The hourly rate is not an unlimited purse for them. Instead, you could schedule 20 hours of work and run this type of project almost non-stop if needed. Think of tasks like managing social media or maintaining the website on an ongoing basis.

Guru is one of the best Upwork alternatives that offers a sleek looking and professional marketplace that targets more formal talent than the others. That’s not to say it doesn’t offer freelancers working as marketers, developers, and designers; but there are also niches that cover legal, secretarial, engineering and architectural industries.

The Guru Homepage - The Best Upwork Alternatives

We’d say that Guru looks more like Upwork than the ones on the previous list. A client posts a job, a freelancer replies, and the conversation begins. However, unlike Fiverr and PeoplePerHour, there’s plenty of room for freelancers to specify what they do rather than a few hundred characters under a profile picture:

A profile for an agency on Guru.

With all due respect to Fiverr et al., Guru offers businesses professional services instead of logo making for $5. In fact, you can see this in some of the prices for specific freelancers:

Two profiles on Guru showing the fees they charge.

They’ll note an hourly rate, along with some sort of minimum spend. Also note that Guru also shows how much a freelancer has earned in the last 12 months. You could sit down and break this number apart to decide how many hours a freelancer has worked in a year, but it really is an indication of how good they are at the job.

Overall, you should consider Guru in the following cases:

  • You have a long-term need and a budget to match.
  • There is only a short-term need for a freelancer, but you need quality work in a professional environment.

Each of these scenarios is custom made for Guru. It’s a match between high-quality freelancers and clients with the budget, so it’s a serious offer.

In many ways, Hubstaff Talent sits between a number of Upwork alternatives on this list and Upwork itself. It offers a range of freelancers but focuses on development niches. In addition, the diverse pool of freelancers also offers a range of prices that are on the cheaper side.

Hubstaff talent

However, you’ll find that Hubstaff’s talent marketing puts these low-cost options front and center. The freelancers with higher rates have suitable talent and credentials:

A profile of Hubstaff Talent showing the candidate's depth and hourly rate.

However, you get quality when you choose the right freelancer, which is the goal. Of course, you should pay as much as you need to onboard the right person, but with Hubstaff Talent, that cost fits most budgets.

Speaking of which, you don’t just get to choose from an experienced band of digital mercenaries. The search options (and therefore any freelancer) also indicate working part-time or full-time. This means Hubstaff Talent can help you find your next permanent position if you choose, rather than one-time help.

Back to prices and fares, and we did a quick search across different price ranges to see what variety there is:

  • $1-5 per hour: ~37,000 results.
  • $5-20 per hour: ~81,000 results.
  • $20-$50 per hour: ~26,000 results.

While our test isn’t scientific, it gives you more choices ranging from $5 to $20. However, this does not judge industry, niche or talent. We would expect those with higher rates to offer a more specific and knowledgeable service. A quick look at the results of the lowest price range did not impress us in terms of quality.

Overall, Hubstaff Talent is for those who need someone on a budget right now. Consider this Upwork alternative if you want an experience that’s a step above Upwork or Fiverr but can’t afford the guru freelancer spend.

The marketing and presentation for freelancers is trendy, cool and cutting edge. So come here to find talent that will hopefully match your exciting vision.

The Freelancer Website - Best Upwork Alternatives

There are two ways to procure the services of a freelancer:

  • Browse the search function to select some candidates from the database.
  • Post a job and describe what you want and how much you’re willing to spend. From there, freelancers can bid for the work and outline what they would do to help you make them a success.

In our opinion we don’t like the open competitive aspect of freelancer jobs as you can see profiles of those bidding for work and how much:

Two public bids for a project on Freelancer.

Still, it’s a useful (and necessary) way to win contracts. On the other side of the coin, you can search for suitable freelancers and the listings are easy to analyze and browse through:

The profile list on Freelancer.

Overall we would say that Freelancer is good for clients who want to discuss a project and get feedback on its feasibility. If you’re a freelancer, you should be able to rely on your work and output to keep up with others in the field.

As far as plans go, you get more value in the $10-$30 range since that’s where most freelancers sit. The good thing about Freelancer’s system is that you can gauge the talent’s relative expertise before paying any money.

Discover the perfect freelancer marketplace in 2023

If you run a website or business and need an extra pair of hands, you have a lot of potential work to do. As a freelancer, when you need to find a new business that pays well and is reliable and consistent with the work, you also need to put in the hours.

A solution like Upwork connects business owners and freelancers to shorten the process of finding each other. However, there are many Upwork alternatives out there, and one might suit you better.

For this post, we looked at five different Upwork alternatives. Here is a short summary:

  1. Fiverr. Cheap, popular, and plentiful freelance talent are the order of the day here.
  2. people per hour. A more traditional marketplace that connects freelancers and clients with an attached hourly rate.
  3. guru. This Upwork alternative offers high quality at a premium price, wrapped in a professional presentation.
  4. Hubstaff talent. A marketplace that bridges the line between PeoplePerHour and Guru at a price closer to Fiverr.
  5. freelancer. This marketplace is cool and vibrant. There are freelancers that cover most niches at an affordable price for everyone.

If you’re looking for help with a WordPress site, we also have separate posts on the best places to hire WordPress freelancers and tips on hiring a WordPress developer.

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