Upwork vs Fiverr: You’re confused, right?

The freelance industry is booming…and companies are looking for versatile talent more than ever.

You have heard or read about it, that 80% of the global employees could be freelancers by 2030…and 30 million people are already long-term freelancers.

But you’re still in a dilemma. Upwork vs Fiverr: Which is the best freelance platform for you?

Should you try Upwork, a platform that connects clients with freelancers, and offer your specialist skills?

Or should you choose Fiverr that lets freelancers display their profiles/Gigs so clients can choose who to hire?

The confusion probably stems from the fact that the two freelance websites charge a commission of 20% on every earning. Again, Upwork charges a processing fee of 2.75%.

You’re now wondering whether to choose Upwork where you have to bid for jobs using Connects (Upwork charges $0.15 oneach Connect) or Fiverr where your success is determined by how you set up your Gigs on the platform.

You’re on the right page.

In this in-depth Upwork vs Fiverr comparison guide, we’ll talk about the two popular freelance websites.

We will demonstrably compare them to allow you to make an informed decision.

So, if you’re looking to start your freelance career, this guide will help you to decide the best platform for you.

There are a ton of freelance platforms out there, so it’s easier for a beginner to make the wrong choice but you’re lucky to have landed on this blog post.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Upwork vs Fiverr: Main Differences

Upwork and Fiverr albeit being the most popular work from home freelancing websites globally differ in way one or another.

Here are the main differences between the two platforms:


  • According to the reviews of essay writing service, close to 35 million people visit Upwork every month.

  • The platform has more than 17 million registered users (freelancers and clients combined).

  • Upwork accepts freelancers with skills that are in high demand.

  • To get more jobs on Upwork, your profile needs to be verified by their admin.

  • Freelancers compete by submitting proposals on jobs posted by clients.

  • You have to buy Connects for you to submit proposals- each Connect costs you $0.15 and some jobs may even require more than 6 connects.

  • Upwork is slightly more expensive than Fiverr.

  • Most freelancers have expert skills or are accredited in their fields and may charge either hourly or fixed rates.


  • Fiverr gets close to 36 million visitors each month.

  • This platform has 7 million+ registered users.

  • Fiverr fees are slightly lower than Upwork.

  • The freelance website is dominated by web developers, video creators, photographers, etc.

  • Freelancers on Fiverr can offer as many services as possible.

  • Buyers look for sellers with the best Gigs.

  • You can post a Gig for free but you will pay a one-time fee of 20% on every earnings you make.

Upwork vs Fiverr: Getting Started on Each Platform

Here is a complete guide to start using Upwork and Fiverr Platform:

Upwork Overview

Upwork Overview

Upwork was born in 2014 after Elance and oDesk were merged.

Since then, Upwork has grown to be the best and largest freelance writing website globally.

The platform accepts thousands of skilled freelancers who are vetted for different skills such as SEO, blogging, programming and coding, content writing, virtual assistant, etc.

The good thing about Upwork is that the platform lets you build your profile then connects you with potential employers worldwide.

One of the reports of Best Dissertation shows that Upwork gets more than 3 million job posts every year.

This makes it a go-to platform for everyone who wants to start their freelance career.

How to Set Up an Account on Upwork as a Freelancer

To start working remotely through Upwork, you need to apply to be accepted on the platform.

We’re going to talk about the sign-up process briefly because it involves various things that need a separate blog post.

First things first, before you create an account on Upwork, you need to find out whether your skills are in high demand.

As stated above, Upwork accepts freelancers with the highest in-demand skills.

Most popular skills such as content writing, customer service, and graphic design are over-saturated on the platform, and in fact, currently, Upwork is rejecting new freelancers with skills in these areas.

Nevertheless, even if your profile is rejected, the platform still allows you to refine your skills and submit it for approval. So don’t give up too easily.

To join Upwork, you will need to fill out your profile completely then submit it for approval so you can start to bid on jobs.

Once your profile is approved, you will be awarded 20 free Connects.

You need to place bids on jobs carefully though because once the Connects are depleted, you will have to pay 15 per Connect to continue submitting proposals for jobs posted on the platform.

Upwork may also suspend your account if you have applied several times without landing a job, so you need to be careful when submitting proposals there.

You can also set filters so that Upwork algorithms can display jobs you’re interested in.

The platform lets you search for projects and clients can invite you to submit proposals on their posted jobs as well.

Upwork Use-Friendliness

Upwork is easy to use. Clients can post their requirements on the job post and attach the instructions or engage with you through direct chats and text on the platform.

For hourly payments, you will need to track the hours you’ve spent working on your given project based on your agreed rate with your client then send timesheets for your client to release the payment.

Fixed payments are released according to escrow instructions.

The good thing is that you’re free to choose between fixed and hourly payments. A good rule of thumb is to choose fixed payments when you’re just getting started freelancing.

Who is Upwork Best Suited for?

When it comes to Upwork vs Fiverr, both freelancing platforms are versatile. Nevertheless, Upwork advanced algorithms are slightly different from those of Fiverr.

Usually, when you create your freelance account on Upwork, you have to place bids on jobs posted by clients unlike on Fiverr where freelancers create Gigs for clients to choose who to engage with their services.

Of course, Upwork allows clients to invite freelancers to bid for their posted jobs.

It’s not easy to get invitations for jobs if you’re just getting started but once you work with multiple clients, you may start getting invitations.

That said, if you’re one of the following professionals, then Upwork is the best work-from-home website for you.

1. Writers

Upwork is a goldmine for all types of writers. If you can write an interesting marketing copy or eBook, informative and entertaining articles or you’re a book author, you can make big money freelancing on Upwork.

Once you have gained specialist research writing skills you can start to bid on jobs you can handle and start making money online.

2. Virtual Assistants

There are clients on Upwork looking for people to manage their social media and other accounts.

You can become a virtual assistant and sell your managerial skills via this platform.

3. Developers

Upwork also provides opportunities to Mobile and App Developers who work on an hourly basis thanks to the Upwork feature that tracks every hour worked so that clients pay freelancers each hour worked.

4. Digital Marketing Experts

Digital marketing is approximated to be a $380 billion industry. That means that the demand for digital marketing professionals is high.

If you can help companies take their digital marketing efforts to the next level then Upwork offers you a great avenue to do exactly that.

Why Should You Join Upwork?

Upwork tends to be a goldmine for freelancers looking for well-paying gigs.

Some freelancers are making money full-time via Upwork.

Due to the reputation Upwork commands, companies are flocking on it looking for great talents so you can expect to earn good money if you offer high-quality services.

That said, here are the pros of Upwork:

1. Free to Join

Creating a freelance account on Upwork is free. You will start by filling out your freelancer profile then submit it for approval.

It’s good to check whether your skills are in demand as the platform rejects accounts with over-saturated skills.

Once your profile is approved, you get 60 Connects to start applying for jobs.

Once the free Connects are depleted, you will be required to buy more to continue bidding on posted jobs.

So you need to be sure that you will get hired for the job before you submit your proposals else you will end up wasting your Connects applying for jobs that you aren’t getting hired for.

2. An hour worked is an hour paid for

No second, minute or hour goes unpaid as long as you have delivered quality work according to your client’s specifications.

Clients will pay you for hours you have worked on their projects thanks to their work diary functionality that lets you bill your clients as per the hours you have spent working on their projects.

3. You apply for Jobs you’re interested in

Unlike on Fiverr where freelancers place gigs for clients to decide who to hire, Upwork lets you apply for posted jobs as they are posted.

This way, you can read the job requirements carefully to see whether you’re the best fit before placing your bid on it.

4. You can build long-standing relationships with clients

If clients are satisfied with your services, they may choose to hire you for their long-term projects.

Currently, some freelancers aren’t biding for jobs anymore as they get tons of projects from repeat clients.

5. Communication is Simplified

Clients can send you job requirements in attached files and you can send the completed task via the messaging functionality.

The good thing is that all files are scrutinized for safety so you don’t have to worry that someone will send you malicious files.

6. Escrow Protection

All your payments are escrow protected.

Here is how it works: The client hires you for the job, she or he then places the amount agreed for the project on escrow.

Once you submit the completed job and the client is satisfied, they release the payment.

And even if the client doesn’t release the payment, Upwork does that automatically after seven days unless there is a dispute between the two of you (you and the client).

There is no room for conmen and scammers on Upwork.

7. Upwork on-the-go

Upwork’s mobile app lets you stay in touch with your clients while on the go.

Clients can assign you jobs and you can accept and work on them even when you are on the fly.

8. You get to know who you’re working with before you even apply for the Job

Freelancers can leave feedback about their experience with their clients and vice versa.

That means that if a client’s work ethics are wanting, you can tell that by checking on the reviews left by other freelancers who have worked with them.

This helps freelancers to avoid problematic and unprofessional clients.

Why You Shouldn’t Join Upwork

Even with all the good sides of Upwork, the platform isn’t without its downsides.

Here are some of the cons of Upwork:

1. It’s not easy to get jobs with a new account

…but it is possible.

Upwork has thousands of freelancers yet jobs are few.

That means that there is a fierce competition when it comes to applying for jobs…and this leaves new freelancers disadvantaged because clients go for already established profiles.

Well, of course, it’s possible to land well-paying gigs with a new Upwork account but you have to put in a lot of effort in crafting proposals that stand out.

2. Upwork may suspend your account at anytime

If you go against Upwork terms and conditions, your account risks getting suspended without prior notice.

Besides, if you stay for a long time without getting hired, the platform switches your profile visibility to private so clients can’t see you on a search until you land a gig again.

With that let’s take a look at how Fiverr works so we can get the difference between the two platforms.

Fiverr Overview

Fiverr Overview

Fiverr was established in 2010 as a network through which clients could hire freelancers to do their projects for only $5- yes, there are still freelancers there earning this amount as you read this in-depth Upwork vs Fiverr guide.

Well, of course, the platform has been upgraded that today, freelancers can set their prices.

Fiverr lets you offer a range of services from design to development.

Currently, Fiverr gets close to 35 million visitors every month.

But the question is: Is Fiverr as good as Upwork?

Keep reading our Upwork vs Fiverr guide, to find out more about that.

How Does Fiverr Work?

Before we get in-depth on how Fiverr works, it’s important to familiarize yourself with a few terms you’re going to encounter as you become a Fiverr member.

Seller– On Upwork, we use the terms “freelancer” while on Fiverr, an individual who offers services via the platform is called a seller.

Buyer– A buyer on Fiverr is much like a client on Upwork.

Order– When a buyer is satisfied with your services he places an order to buy your services.

Gig– A Gig is simply the services you offer on Fiverr. Usually, freelancers will place gigs on their platform with the words “I will….. for $10”.

Unlike Upwork, freelancers (sellers) don’t apply for jobs but place gigs on their profiles.

Clients will then peruse through thousands of profiles looking for services offered by different freelancers then choose one that meets their criteria.

How to Create an Account on Fiverr

Getting started on Fiverr is also free and easy. Before you place gigs on your profile, you will need to answer a few questions to create your profile.

Clients will hire you based on the info posted on your profile so you need to do this section carefully.

You can fill out as many gigs as you want on Fiverr.

An overview of the sign up process on Fiverr:

  • Start by creating your seller profile by filling out all the important info required. Your profile is your online resume on the platform so make sure it looks professional.
  • Create your first Gig. This is the service you want to offer to interested buyers.
  • You may also add an introductory video of yourself to attract buyers- this is optional.
  • Add more Gigs to give your clients more choices.
  • Keep maximizing your income once you land a Gig.

Fiverr User-Friendliness

Fiverr is also easy to use. Once the buyer is satisfied with their order, they will release the payment.

Unlike Upwork, Fiverr doesn’t have hourly rates but you get 24/7 customer support.

Who is Fiverr Best Suited for?

Fiverr is a freelance platform that lets you place Gigs on your profile so clients can hire you instead of applying to be hired.

A Gig is simply a highlight of your services.

It’s recommended to create Gigs that stand out from the crowd if you want to get more Orders on Fiverr.

You also need to make sure your Gigs can be seen when buyers are perusing through different profiles.

1. Writers

You can provide any type of writing on Fiverr and set your own prices based on the quality of your services.

You set prices based on word limits and deadlines of the project.

To allow clients to know what type of services you offer, you set questions.

2. Designers and Illustrators

Fiverr lets sellers give questionnaires to clients that lets sellers know exactly what type of design a buyer wants.

In case, a client wants a logo, the designer asks the client some questions in the form of a question such as the name or symbol to be included, the color of the logo, etc.

Upwork, on the other hand, lets clients post jobs with detailed instructions or attach the instructions alongside the job post.

Why Should You Join Fiverr?

Fiverr is easy to join and free. As long as you have got something to offer to clients in terms of design, development, and or writing, you can join the platform and start offering your Gigs.

That said, here are the pros of Fiverr:

1. You don’t apply for Jobs

Unlike on Upwork where clients post jobs for freelancers to submit proposals, Fiverr lets freelancers create attractive Gigs for buyers to place Orders.

Yes, you don’t apply to be given a Gig. Buyers approach you to deliver your Gigs.

2. You decide how much to be paid

Fiverr lets you set your own prices based on your services. This gives you full control over how much to charge on your Gigs.

3. It’s free to join and use

Fiverr is also free to use as Upwork. Once you sign up for an account on the platform, you can start setting up Gigs right away.

4. Fiverr Pro

Although only experts are eligible to join the Fiverr Pro, it’s one of the Fiverr’s incredible features that let you create a long-standing relationship with buyers and earn good money.

Why You Shouldn’t Join Fiverr

Fiverr isn’t without its downsides though.

Here are a few cons of the platform:

1. Commission

Fiverr takes a 20% commission on every service you offer to clients regardless of how long you have worked with the client or how much you have earned from the same client.

Upwork charges the same commission but has a way of making sure freelancers can enjoy their hard work.

For instance, Upwork charges a 20% commission for first payment of $500 then 10% for payment between $500 –$10,000 and 5% commission for payment above $10k. This applies if you work with the same client.

2. Buyers contact you

This is perhaps the biggest downside of Fiverr in this Upwork vs Fiverr guide.

Perhaps you’re wondering how this is a disadvantage but here is how it is.

See, on Fiverr, freelancers set their Gigs so that clients can approach them with their needs.

Now, the reason why this is good and bad at the same time is that if your Gigs aren’t attractive, you may never get any client approaching you for your services.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply for jobs on Fiverr as it is on Upwork.

Upwork vs Fiverr: Final Word

Deciding which is better between Upwork and Fiverr boils down to what services you want from the freelancers on the platform.

For instance, if you’re looking to start your freelance career in graphics design and software development projects then Fiverr would be the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a long-term relationship with clients and work on larger projects, then Upwork would be a good bet.

As you have seen above both platforms have their own pros and cons. But we hope our detailed Upwork vs Fiverr guide will help you choose the best freelance website for you.

Tiffany Harper is a freelance writer, who works as a subject matter expert with bestessays.com.au, a professional writer service provider based in Australia. She also is interested in the innovation and technology areas, worked as a consultant with the dissertation service UK blog and social media. When she is not working, Tiffany likes meeting with friends and participating in community work.

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