A Freelance Marketplace Comparison: Freelancer vs Upwork vs OnBench

Freelancer vs Upwork vs OnBench

As a business owner, you will naturally want to hire the best developers and programmers. But, where to find programmers and developers that are perfect for your enterprise? Well, there are various avenues through which you can do it, one of them being through a freelancer marketplace like Freelancer or Upwork. Similarly, there are other freelance portals like OnBench where you can find web developers.

Each of the freelance platforms has its own sets of pros and cons. So, how do you choose a freelancing platform to hire developers? By having a detailed look at the functioning, strengths, and weaknesses of each platform to carry out an in-depth comparison between them.

Depending upon your requirements you can choose either of the freelance platforms permanently or switch between them on a project basis. In this article, we will focus on the three major freelance platforms, Freelancer, Upwork, and OnBench. A detailed comparison of Upwork vs Freelancer vs Onbench will help you decide your strategy for your next qualified developers’ hiring process.

Where to Find Qualified Developers in 2021

You might need full-time assistance or might require an individual who can help you part-time on your projects. Whichever the case, you first need to analyze and compare the various options available to you to hire developers on a freelance basis. Let’s first take a look at the various freelance marketplaces where you can find web developers.


Freelancer is one of the most recognizable and dominant platforms in the world of freelancing. It is the world’s largest freelancing marketplace with over fifty million users, including freelancers, from across the globe. Thus, Freelancer can be a good choice, if you are looking to hire developers without any geographical constraints.

The Hiring Process

Freelancer offers one of the broadest sets of highly-skilled candidates to select from, with freelancers available for hire from all over the world. The price range of the freelancers, too, range broadly depending upon their region.

When you post a job requirement to find web developers, the platform provides you the option to invite recommended candidates who can then wish to bid on the project. A large number of freelancers don’t generally opt for a paid model. Free users are provided with the option to bid on eight projects a month.

However, Freelancer gives priority to its paid users, and they can bid on up to seven hundred projects in a month, depending upon the membership plan. Hence, you might miss out on talented candidates who happen to be free users and are restricted by the number of bids.

Freelancers can be hired for a few dollars, depending upon the project and the freelancer’s working charges. However, due to the high cost of membership plans, freelancers tend to charge higher in the first place to cover their membership charges.

You can choose to hire developers from any of the applicants based on the skill set and working charges. The platform offers an escrow payment system, meaning it handles all your transactions for a small fee. Similarly, it also charges clients and freelancers for featured listings.

The Candidates

As mentioned earlier, Freelancer has a very strong community of talented freelancers. Thus, you can easily find developers on the site, even within a few hours of posting a project. After the bidding period is over, you can filter and hire developers best-suited to your needs. Since Freelancer charges ten percent of the project and has high membership charges, it is likely that candidates will bid high to earn profits from the project.

While the freelancers on the platform are talented and reliable, helping you find some of the best developers, there have also been instances of clients being scammed. Thus, as a precautionary measure check for reviews and ratings from other clients before hiring qualified developers. The scamming scenario is, unfortunately, common across the various freelance marketplace, whether it be Freelancer or Upwork, or OnBench.


The platform is free to sign up, post projects, receive bids, and hire the best developers. However, you will have to pay a small fee when a project is accepted by the freelancer. For fixed projects, a fee of three percent or USD 3 (whichever is greater) is levied. Similarly, for hourly projects, a fee of USD 3 is levied on each payment made. Clients can cancel the project at any time up to seven days after a freelancer has accepted the project to be eligible for a full refund of the fee.

For freelancers, membership plans start as low as ninety-nine cents to about seventy dollars a month, depending upon the plan. Currently, there are five membership plans available to candidates, each at a different price range and available features. There are also annual plans for the same that provide discounts for yearly purchases.


Like Freelancer, Upwork is another reputed and well-known freelance platform with a global presence and a strong network of freelancers. Thus, you can use this platform, too, to find developers if you are looking for an alternative to Freelancer.

The Hiring Process

Upwork allows clients to search for freelancers across a range of categories, to help you find the best-suited ones. You can invite recommended freelancers to bid on your projects after posting them. Similarly, you can also search for candidates by filtering them based on various criteria. You can also chat with freelancers to gauge their capabilities before handing them the project to ensure that they can complete it as required.

For instance, while posting a requirement to find developers, you can add the project descriptions that explain the nature and scope of the project. Upwork will then recommend candidates based on the project description. Similarly, you can also filter candidates on your own matching the project criteria. In addition, other freelancers on the platform, too, can respond and bid for the project.

Once the bidding period is over, or you have found the qualified developers, you can stop accepting bids and narrow down your choices. You can interview the freelancers who bid on the project and hire the ones you find appropriate. When it comes to payments, Upwork has a similar system to Freelancer. The platform has options for escrow on payments, with it taking a commission for handling transactions.

The Candidates

Similar to Freelancer, Upwork has a diverse range of freelancers, including qualified developers, from all over the world. Based on the project size and freelancer charges, you can find programmers and hire them for a few dollars per hour or even hundreds of dollars per project. Additionally, since Upwork, too, charges freelancers on their earnings, they might charge higher rates than usual.

Although the platform is highly reliable to find developers, there have been instances of fraud, like other freelance marketplaces. Similarly, delays with project submission are one of the most common complaints of clients when it comes to Upwork. Therefore, before hiring a freelancer, make sure to check out their ratings, reviews, and client testimonials before hiring one.


Upwork charges clients anywhere from three percent to ten percent as processing and administration fees. The fees are dependent on the project cost and the subscribed plan. Depending upon the location, clients can also pay monthly fees in exchange for the subscription.


OnBench is a relatively new freelance marketplace founded in 2020. The difference between OnBench and the other previously mentioned platforms is that OnBench is a platform dedicated to developers and caters specifically to a B2B audience. Businesses can find developers and development teams easily with OnBench.

The Hiring Process

When it comes to hiring qualified developers, OnBench has a slightly different operating model than other freelance platforms. It acts only as an aggregator, helping businesses find developers and vice-versa. You cannot hire developers directly through OnBench. Clients post their requirements to find programmers and developers, while development companies add their services and employees available for the project.

The Candidates

Since the platform is dedicated to developers and development teams, businesses can easily find candidates for their projects. There will be no unwanted applications and you will end up saving time, money, and resources in filtering and awarding the projects. Thus, if your question is specific to ‘How to find developers?’ Then OnBench is the perfect answer.


OnBench has only one single charge that businesses will need to pay to have their employees appear in the search result. The rest of the website is free to use. There are no other project fees, commissions, or other charges on the platform. This makes OnBench one of them, if not the best platforms, to find programmers and developers.

Platform Comparison

Now that we have seen how each of the freelance marketplaces work, let’s have a comparison of OnBench vs Upwork vs Freelancer. When it comes to comparing the three freelance marketplaces, we find many similarities and differences between them.

UpWork and Freelancer are generic freelance platforms that allow clients to find freelancers from various domains. OnBench, on the other hand, helps clients specifically find programmers and developers.

Similarly, if we compare the pricing of Upwork vs Freelancer, we see that both platforms have an escrow payment method and deduct a portion of the project fees for handling transactions between clients and freelancers. OnBench, however, has no such charges. It only charges developers and development companies to be visible in the search result. There are no project charges or commissions deducted by the platform.

The major difference between the three platforms, however, is the operating model. While Upwork and Freelancer help to connect clients and freelancers, allow them to communicate, carry out transactions, and other project-related work on the platform itself, OnBench acts only as an aggregator. It only helps businesses find development teams through their platform. The rest of the activities involved with the project, such as communication or transferring the project fees to the developers, can be carried out directly between the clients and developers, without any need to use the platform.


All three platforms are an excellent medium to finding freelancers online from all over the world without any restrictions. Depending upon your project scale and requirements, you can hire freelancers or a team from either of the above-mentioned platforms. However, if you have a specific question of how to find developers, then OnBench is your best bet as it is specifically curated for the developer community.

We can’t give the title of ‘The best freelance marketplace’ to any of the above-mentioned platforms, but there can be ‘the best freelance marketplace for your needs,’ depending upon your requirements. Using the detailed comparison mentioned in this article, you can decide on a freelance platform for your next project that will work the best for you.

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