Fiverr vs Upwork vs Freelancer: What Is the Best Outsourcing Service in 2020

This article will cover the differences between Fiverr vs Upwork vs Freelancer and help you decide which service(s) is better for you and your project.

Outsourcing is a great way to scale your business. If you don’t have the time, resources, or the proper equipment for getting a task done you can use services like Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer to find and hire trusted professionals.

What Types of Services Can You Outsource?

Your business is your business. You want control and quality, but there’s also only one of you and you need to scale. Outsourcing can be a safe and economical way to take operations to the next level.

Here are a few services that are commonly outsourced by small businesses and entrepreneurs:

Customer Support

Providing continual support for your loyal customers can be difficult and time consuming. Through outsourcing, another company is responsible for giving feedback to your customers so that they can be satisfied with your brand.

Graphic Design

The artwork that you use for your website, business cards and logos can help potential customers decide what kind of business you are. Well-designed artwork attracts people, but poor quality can turn people away. With the operations that your business performs, you may not have the time to produce quality artwork, which is when outsourcing becomes useful. For example, you can hire a professional designer to create an engaging logo for your website so that people will want to visit it and interact with your company.

Digital Marketing

With someone else focusing on reaching out to potential customers, you can concentrate on maintaining a functional workspace for yourself and for your employees. Digital marketing includes reaching people on social media and promoting your overall brand. If you outsource this task, the company that you hire can continually post messages on a social media platform, respond to any inquiries and track followers.

What Are the Best Outsourcing Services?

The best outsourcing services earned their title because they strove to make transactions easier between businesses and freelancers. Here are some of those services.


Fiverr is a popular marketplace where customers can find and hire sellers for their services in a limited quantity of categories.


Upwork is a freelancing platform that allows customers to post requests and hire freelancers in many areas.


Freelancer is a digital platform where customers can submit job requests and employ freelancers based on cost and experience in a large number

Other Popular Outsourcing Services

Besides Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer, other outsourcing services are also available.


This is a platform that originally specialized in software development but has expanded to include accounting and finances.

Crowd Content

As a writing platform, freelancers provide quality content for their clients who need blog articles, product descriptions and other items.

99 Designs

99 Designs is an art platform that allows customers to post design requests and freelance designers can compete for them.

What Are the Main Differences Between Fiverr, Upwork & Freelancer.com?

Each of these freelancing platforms provide you with a different way of getting quality content from a freelancer. For instance, on Fiverr you search for talent to outsource your work to. On Upwork and Freelancer.com, you post a job description so that freelancers can find it and bid on it. You choose one of the bidders, and the winner is responsible for delivering a quality product to you on time.

Time Trackers

Fiverr does not allow hourly contracts with customers and freelancers. The freelancers have a set price with each of their packages and work according to that, which can determine the quality of the product that the customer receives. Fiverr also does not keep track of the time that a freelancer has been working on a project. It is up to you to monitor the work and contact them if necessary.

Freelancer.com allows you to hire freelancers by the hour or with a set price. In either case, the website keeps track of the time. You can choose whether to hire someone else if the freelancer that you hired does not meet your deadline.

With Upwork, the freelancer gets a time tracker that captures screenshots and keystrokes, since the platform goes by an hourly rate. The time tracker ensures that the freelancer is working on the project. With regards to deadlines, the system does put them in a calendar, but the working freelancer can still work on the project past the deadline. If you need to, you can revoke the project from them or contact them about any issues.

Talent Pool

Fiverr has a limited talent pool because it offers categories. The freelancers vary in their level of expertise in certain areas, some are professionals while others are novices. They can build up their reputation on the platform with ratings that their clients give them based on their work. More experienced sellers get higher ratings and are more likely to provide their talent for customers in the future.

Upwork and Freelancer have a large talent pool that is full of professional and beginner freelancers. The freelancers have expertise in many categories and provide quality work for their clients. They can earn a reputation through multiple projects and reviews left by clients that they worked for.

Types of Jobs

Fiverr has a few categories of jobs that customers can request work in. These range from technology to marketing and even include writing for books and blogs.

Freelancer and Upwork have jobs available in many professional industries. This includes services that Fiverr offers in addition to data processing, transcription, copywriting and many other things.

How to Outsource on Fiverr

Since its launch in February 2010, Fiverr has been a renown freelancing platform. It has served millions of customers with its community of freelancers who are willing to accept nearly all job requests. Originally, customers only paid $5 for every service, but as jobs became more complex, Fiverr shifted to allow freelancers to offer packages of varying prices and quality.

Fiverr gives you the ability to request work in many different categories, such as:

  • Article writing and translations
  • Website design and development
  • Advertising and marketing

Search for Talent

To find a freelancer, you can search for the type of work that you need to be completed. Upon submitting your request, you will find a list of associated freelancers who perform work in that category. For example, if you search “Java Tutoring,” people who claim to have experience in that category will show up. Each one will have a rating and a portfolio description for you to review.

You can set filters on the freelancers who show up in the results. You can specify the freelancer’s rating, what level they are, your budget constraints and time constraints. A freelancer’s level refers to how much experience they have had selling their services on Fiverr. One who is a Level One seller will have fewer reviews and critiques than a top rated seller.

Additionally, you can indicate whether you only want professional services so that you can almost be guaranteed to receive quality content. These services are usually under Fiverr Pro and come at a greater cost than the standard Fiverr services.

Review Portfolios and Pick A Package

Inspect all the freelancers who you think are capable of completing your task. You can review their rating out of five stars, how other people have rated them and what others have said about them. If many people have positive critiques about a particular freelancer, then it is likely that they are qualified for what you need them to do.

In addition to ratings, you can see what kinds of services freelancers offer and what packages comes with each service. Each package has a different price and quality that you can choose from depending on your needs. If you need a professional job done, then you can choose the freelancer’s most expensive package. With this type of package, the freelancer usually takes a longer amount of time to create a quality product in comparison to other packages.

Fiverr Pricing & Fees

Freelancers on Fiverr set their own rate for their services through their individual packages. However, Fiverr will charge you a certain percentage based on the initial cost of the service. If you purchase a service that is less than $40, Fiverr will charge you a $2 service fee. For all other purchases, Fiverr charges a 5% service fee. Regardless of the amount of the purchase, Fiverr does not charge taxes.

Fiverr Payment Methods and Escrow

Fiverr allows you to pay for all services using any method that you desire, which are these:

  • Credit or debit card: Most customers prefer to use this method. To speed up your transactions, you can securely save your card information through Fiverr.
  • Apple Pay: This feature is available through Fiverr’s iOS app and is restricted to countries where the app is available.
  • Google Pay: This feature is available through Fiverr’s Android app and is restricted to countries where the app is available.
  • iDEAL – The Netherlands is the only region that has this payment option.
  • PayPal – Like connecting a credit or debit card, you can sync your PayPal account to your Fiverr account so that you can accelerate your transactions.

When you find a freelancer to perform your work, you pay upon hiring rather than waiting for the freelancer to submit a finished product. The only way you can pay is through Fiverr’s order page with one of the above payment methods.

How to Outsource on Upwork

Upwork was originally known as Elance-oDesk when it launched in 2015. It is currently the largest platform for freelancers and is continually growing. About 12 million freelancers have found work through it, and nearly 5 million customers purchase services from it. Upwork offers jobs in engineering, IT operations, software and web development, legal consulting, writing, design and many other categories.

Create a Job Description

Upwork has a broad range of jobs that you can request from freelancing agencies in design, technology and writing. Here is how you can make a request.

The Job Dashboard

From the “My Jobs” section in your profile, you can find every job that you have created, which includes pending and completed ones. You can also create a new job here.

ob Title and Description

Upwork will prompt you for these fields, which you should fill in accordingly. A title is what attracts a freelancer, so make it engaging. Understand the goal of this job is important so that you can formulate a title accordingly.

Upwork will ask you to select a job category. You should be able to choose the appropriate one based on the type of job you are requesting.

Provide the skills that you will need and what the freelancer can expect to do when hired. This includes milestones, deliverables and receiving the finished product, such as a publication on a blog or releasing a software application.

Job Visibility

By indicating the skills that you will need, you can decide what freelancers can see your job posting. You can specify qualifications, such as skill sets and reputation, or location requirements.

Job Budget

You can decide whether you need to create a job that pays by the hour or has a fixed rate. If you choose an hourly job, then the freelancer is responsible for keeping track of their working hours, which you can set a maximum.

Overview and Submission

Review all the information that you have written about your particular job. If all the constraints are proofread and correct, then you can submit your job request to the pool of freelancers.

Review and Categorize Applicants

Upon submitting a job description, freelancers will be able to see it. Additionally, Upwork will provide you with a list of qualified applicants who have the appropriate skills that you need. You can view the profiles of the applicants and decide who you want to hire. The profiles include portfolios, success rate and ratings that other customers have given them.

The freelancers who are able to see your job can bid on the project. Review all bids that you receive and accept the one that you think is most qualified. Some bids may be lower than others but may come with a risk of lower quality, so inspect all qualifications and work histories carefuly.

If you are interested in hiring a particular freelancer, you can contact them and ask them questions regarding the job and future jobs. Question them about their work process and how soon they can complete your job. Once answered, you can hire the applicant.

Upwork Pricing & Fees

Freelancers have their own bidding rates that you can review before hiring them. In most cases, Upwork charges a 3% fee for processing a payment in addition to the project cost.

With an hourly job, Upwork uses the Work Diary system to track the hours that the freelancer works. It takes six screenshots per hour and counts the number of keystrokes to ensure that the freelancer is working. This way you can verify the hours that Upwork bills you and pay accordingly.

In the case of a fixed job cost, you and the freelancer can work around established milestones. Milestones indicate goals that you intend to reach, and you can set an amount for the contractor to earn at that time. When you receive work after a milestone is reached, you can review it and pay after approving it.

Upwork Payment Methods and Escrow

Upwork approves the following payment methods:

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • PayPal

In an hourly project, the Work Diary tracks the freelancer, and Upwork bills you hourly with your preferred payment method. In a fixed cost project, if you approve the work that the freelancer submits, then you are responsible for paying. Under both types of jobs, the contractor is held liable for completing the job with integrity.

If you want to monitor the progress, you can send and receive both files and messages from the contractor. In this way, you can verify the work that the contractor is doing and know what Upwork is billing you for.

How to Outsource on Freelancer.com

Freelancer launched in 2009 and has accumulated over 21 million users worldwide. In the years 2015 and 2016, it earned the Best Employment Website award. The marketplace offers services in programming, writing, data entry, graphic design, engineering, administration, science, mathematics, marketing, business and other industries.

Create a Job Request

You can post almost any kind of job request in any industry. Freelancer will likely have a qualified expert in that field.

When you post a project, you provide the details about the project. This includes the size, budget, skills and established milestones that the hired contractor must meet. Afterwards, you can publish the job so that contractors can view it.

If you do not want to wait for contractors to view your project, you can view certified profiles with the skill sets that you need. You can contact them and hire them based upon response time and thinking processes.

In addition to job requests, you can post contests that specify project requirements. The contest has a set prize reward for the freelancer that impresses you most with their work. It has a deadline that all competing freelancers must meet, and you choose the winner at the end after receiving all finished products.

Hiring a Contractor

When you post a job for the public to view, contractors can bid on the project with a quote so to attract your attention. Many of the certified bidders may charge higher rates, which can be either fixed or hourly.

You can review the bids and the reputations of the contractors and decide who is worthy. You can chat with them and ask questions. You can compare each contractor’s proposal and select the one that matches your needs best. When you have chosen the appropriate freelancer for the job, you award the job to them so that they can start working on it if they accept.

Freelancer Pricing & Fees

Freelancer does not charge you for registering and posting job descriptions. It does charge you when you award a project to a contractor and the contractor accepts. This fee varies with the type of project awarded.

For an hourly project, you pay an extra fee of 3% of the freelancer’s proposed hourly rate with each payment.

For a fixed project, you pay either a fee of $3 or 3% when a freelancer accepts a project that you awarded them. The fee that you pay depends on which amount is greater. For instance, if a freelancer’s price is $200, 3% of that is $6, so you would be charged $6 rather than $3.

With both types of projects, you can cancel the request from your profile within seven days after a contractor has accepted your job. In this case, Freelancer will issue you a full refund.

In the case of a contest, you must have funds available at the time that you post the contest. You pay when you post, and with Freelancer’s money Back Guarantee, you can get a refund on the contest within 30 days after the contest closes if you do not choose a submitted entry that fits your needs. You can reward multiple winners, but you must pay accordingly.

Freelancer Payment Methods and Escrow

Freelancer accepts a variety of payment methods, but these are the most common:

  • Credit or debit card
  • Wire transfer
  • PayPal
  • Skrill

When you assign milestones to your projects, you pay if the hired contractor provides quality work for you according to Freelancer’s Milestone Payment System. You decide when you pay based on your satisfaction with the completion of a goal or the completion of the entire project.

If you want to keep track of a freelancer’s progress, you can use Freelancer’s Desktop App to connect with the contractor. You can share information, ask questions about progress and monitor both project completion and payments.

Fiverr vs Upwork

When choosing between Fiverr and Upwork as your outsourcing service, these are the main differences to consider:

  • With Fiverr, you find freelancers and give them jobs as you see fit. Through Upwork, you create a job post and have freelancers bid on the project. Afterwards, you hire them to do the work.
  • Fiverr charges you when you hire a freelancer. Upwork charges you when you are satisfied with a freelancer’s work either at a milestone or the project’s completion.

Fiverr vs Freelancer

When you compare Fiverr vs Freelancer, there are distinct differences between the two services:

  • Fiverr lets you look up profiles and make requests based on the packages. Freelancer lets you make requests and post these publicly for freelancers to bid on.
  • Fiver requires to pay before receiving any work. Freelancer lets you pay after milestones are met.

Freelancer vs Upwork

Here are the main distinctions that you can find when comparing Freelancer vs Upwork:

  • Freelancer allows you to host contests and award the job to a single freelancer. Upwork does not have this feature available.
  • Freelancer tends to have lower service fees than Upwork.
  • Upwork tends to provide products with a higher quality than Freelancer.


Choosing an outsourcing platform can be simple regardless of the needs that you have. With Fiverr, you can request work from a particular freelancer, usually for a one-time gig. Through Upwork and Freelancer, you can post job requests for qualified freelancers to see and bid on, and you assign the job accordingly. You can set milestones with these platforms and pay when you are satisfied. These are for longer projects, but come at a greater cost. In either case, outsourcing can improve your company’s productivity and reduce expenses if done properly, with appropriate employment strategies.

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