The 5 Upwork Competitors To Hire Freelance Developers

5 Upwork Competitors

Upwork was created when two freelance work marketplaces known as Elance and oDesk merged their platforms. Today Upwork is justly known as one of the most popular platforms to find the top freelancers. This huge marketplace has been around for more than 10 years and it often appears as the first choice when a business needs to hire a freelance programmer. Yet, there are plenty of sites like Upwork that also offer top-notch freelance developer services.

In this article, we will introduce you to 5 of them.

Why Consider An Alternative To Upwork?

In a nutshell, there are three good reasons to consider other freelance developer sites and main Upwork competitors:

1.    Upwork security often fails

Even though Upwork has an ID verification procedure and escrow payment protection, it still fails to protect you from scammers. A con artist can still create a fake profile with misleading information and get away with your money without delivering the work. Or the system can experience a data breach and support won’t be able to do anything about Upwork data breach .

2.    Their support isn’t always helpful

Clearly, you’d expect high-quality support from companies like Upwork, but it isn’t always the case. Sometimes Upwork support fails due to a large volume of requests from millions of users. The users’ main concern is that the support team doesn’t always know how to help unless the problem is already described in existing automated manuals. In other words, if you experience anything slightly more unique than can be found in FAQs, you shouldn’t expect much assistance.

3.    Bidding is often unfair

As a person who urgently needs to hire a freelance developer, you most likely don’t have time you can waste sourcing endless underqualified candidates. Upwork has millions of freelancers and many of them will bluntly place a bid for just any job without looking at the job description. You’ll have a few suitable candidates and the rest will be people with the unfit skillset. Qualified developers are most likely busy getting hired on other platforms with a more complex screening process.

Of course, Upwork isn’t all bad. It offers a safe escrow payment solution and a big variance of freelancers. The ID verification system is also rather functional. Yet, there are other freelance programming sites that can do even better.

So Where Else Do You Find The Top Freelancers?

1. is a popular Australian-based Upwork competitor. Freelancer is a marketplace to find software development, copywriting, UI/UX design, and all other kinds of freelancers.


Both Upwork and Freelancer use the bidding system. As a client, you post a job description, and freelancers who meet your requirements apply for your job. You then source the potential candidates and pick those that match your needs.

Also, both Upwork and Freelancer offer all kinds of freelance help. You can get any kind of help you might need. Both marketplaces are free to register and have somewhat similar fees. Sadly, each company is known for poor customer support.


Freelancer, one of the biggest Upwork competitors, will charge 3% of the sum or of $3 (whichever is greater) for fixed-price contracts and 3% of each payment you release to a freelancer for hourly-rate projects.

Upwork has a 3% payment processing fee for all kinds of projects. Yet, freelancers pay 20% of the fee to the website.

Who’s better?

In the Freelancer vs Upwork game, Upwork would win due to a better user interface. Freelancer’s design looks outdated and bulky with many users complaining about it. Also, Upwork has a more secure ID verification process making it more difficult for scammers.

2.    Fiverr

Fiverr management describes its business model as “freelance services for the lean entrepreneur”. Why lean? Well, freelance services packages start from a $5 budget. A freelance developer on Fiverr will be referred to as ‘seller’ and will rather offer you to purchase his services package. 


Both marketplaces are good if you want to hire freelance developers or any other kinds of freelancers. Although functionality and hiring process on Upwork and Fiverr are very different from each other.


Fiverr charges a $1 processing fee for the jobs with a price of less than $20 and a 5% commission from the gigs that cost more. Upwork charges 3% of the payment’s processing fee.

In comparison, Upwork offers better payment security by using escrow payments. Fiverr reportedly often has issues with credit card charges and deducts money from the user’s account multiple times.

When a client posts a job on Upwork, freelancers apply to this job competing to be picked. Fiverr’s model is quite different. Freelancers post their gigs and offer their freelance payment processing developers letting clients browse for the most suitable candidate.

Who’s better?

Well, it’s hard to choose. Fiverr is awesome if you want to outsource smaller tasks and don’t want to bother with creating a job post and screening endless candidates. Also, Fiverr is famous for high-quality media specialists, so if you need a video editor or a voice-over specialist Fiverr is a place to go. If you are looking for other kinds of specialists and especially if you want to hire a freelance programmer, we’d suggest using Upwork. Upwork is also better at handling payment security and has a better fee policy.

3.    OnBench

OnBench is one of the most recent Upwork competitors. OnBench is a freelance developer team search company founded in 2020. It’s a B2B marketplace where clients post job listings searching for programmers and companies that can provide developers apply for those jobs.


Both Upwork and OnBench will help you to hire freelance developers. And that’s about it. The hiring process on OnBench is drastically different from Upwork.


While Upwork freelancers take care of their profiles themselves, OnBench lets companies handle presenting their candidates. As OnBench runs on the B2B model, so you’re dealing with software development companies management who can pick a suitable candidate or a team from their staff for you.

Also, Upwork charges the client 3% of the order price and 20% from freelancers. If you hire professionals on OnBench, you only pay for the services as the platform is completely free to use and doesn’t have any hidden fees.

OnBench also offers individual customer support. They usually reply within 24 hours and deal with your problem directly.

Who’s better?

If you are looking to quickly hire a developer for a short-term project and you have limited time, we recommend using Upwork. You can find all kinds of freelancers on Upwork and work with them directly.

Although, if you want to have a long-term partnership with your developer or you are looking for a software development team, OnBench is a way to go.

5. Guru

Guru freelance marketplace exists since 1999. It has 1.5 million members that offer around 2 million services. The platform has a clients’ Work Room that allows customers to manage their contracts. As on many other sites like Upwork, clients create a job post and freelancers place bids to the jobs.


Similar to other Upwork competitors, Guru has a comparable bidding process. Also, the freelancers’ ratings are calculated based on the job score rate and clients’ reviews.


While Upwork uses escrow to secure payments, Guru uses the SafePay system. As a client, you upload the necessary amount to the SafePay before a contractor starts working on your project and once the job is done, money is released to a freelancer. Many users have problems using SafePay as it often releases the payment without the client’s confirmation that the job is complete letting a scammy freelance developer get away with your money.

Who’s better?

With Guru having a 2 out of 5 stars rating on Trustpilot, we’d definitely recommend choosing Upwork over Guru. Poor payment security, therefore freedom for scammers to fool you created a bad reputation for Guru. Yet, it still has millions of users worldwide who work within this platform for the last 20 years making it one of the oldest Upwork competitors. We’ll let you make your choice.

There are many sites like Upwork. Some are very similar, like, and others are targeted towards slightly more sophisticated needs, like OnBench.

Most important that there is a choice. So if you are ready to try something new and find the top freelancers, not on Upwork, the options are endless.

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