Two of the world’s most popular freelance services, Upwork and Fiverr, also happen to represent two shockingly different approaches to hiring freelancers. One service gives employers more control, while the other allows freelancers to express their skills. Comparing Upwork and Fiverr allows organizations to determine multiple approaches to hiring workers, which is essential for completing projects.

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Because Upwork and Fiverr are so different, it can be helpful for hiring managers to understand the features of each platform and how they differ. In this article, we’ll compare Upwork and Fiverr by analyzing their tools and approaches to freelancing, so hiring teams can more easily find professional workers.

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What is Upwork?

Upwork is a platform where freelancers can bid on jobs related to their skills. On Upwork, clients tend to have more control than freelancers. They post jobs and watch as freelancers bid and submit proposals before eventually choosing the best candidate.

Upwork touts its status as the largest freelance job platform. This means that those looking to hire freelancers have more options than on other sites. Additionally, freelancers on Upwork have to use “connects” in order to bid on jobs, and increasing these tokens takes time and costs money. This system ensures hiring managers are only reviewing freelancers who are serious about completing the job at hand.

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Upwork also allows clients to specify how long a project will take, how many freelancers they need and how much money they are looking to spend on their listing. Though Upwork is already a relatively simple platform, these features make it even easier to find and employ professionals.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a freelance platform that works a bit differently than Upwork. Namely, Fiverr gives freelancers more control than hiring managers. Though this might not seem like a benefit, it can serve to decrease the time it takes to hire a freelancer. Instead of looking through dozens of proposals, hiring managers can review the rates, reviews and skills of potential partners and place orders when they have decided upon an individual.

Fiverr also makes it easier to contact freelancers, all of whom are obligated to reply. When freelancers ignore messages, their profiles become less desirable. The same is true for orders: If a Fiverr professional cancels an order, which is in itself a complex process, their profile is penalized. So while Fiverr freelancers have more control over their profiles, services and rates, they are encouraged to complete orders in a timely and organized manner if they want to maintain a successful profile.

Fiverr includes job categories and allows freelancers to specialize in dozens of unique skills, making it easier for clients to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Upwork vs. Fiverr: Comparison table

Job postingYes (by clients)Yes (by freelancers)
Freelancer reviewsYes (less effective)Yes
Private chatYesYes
Skill showcasesYes (less effective)Yes
Cost for interactionsYesYes

The differences between Upwork and Fiverr

The differences between Upwork and Fiverr are legion. The easiest difference to discuss is price. Since Fiverr services start at $5, it is typically cheaper for hiring managers to use the platform. This does not mean the work done on Fiverr is worse or better than the work done on Upwork. Rather, it means that hiring professionals who are operating under a strict budget might find Fiverr to be a more useful service.

Additionally, while both services are free, Upwork requires freelancers to pay if they want to unlock premium, and often necessary, features. For this reason, beginner and intermediate workers are often more popular on Fiverr. Even high-paying professionals are now beginning to do work on Fiverr, especially since the platform has introduced its “verified” program for highly skilled individuals.

Both programs allow freelancers to showcase their abilities, but Fiverr also allows people to take assessments, proving they are proficient in certain areas of expertise. It lets freelancers easily switch to purchasing at the click of a button, while Upwork freelancers are not given the same feature and are arguably more focused on jobs.

Because of this, Upwork is undeniably more professional than Fiverr. The service is larger, the jobs are more substantial and the freelancers are typically more qualified. Many people make a full-time income from Upwork. This is, potentially, because Upwork does not blur the lines between buying and selling as much as Fiverr does.

Upwork pros and cons


  • The payments and the proposal system make it easy to find a dedicated professional to complete your work.
  • Upwork keeps track of job creators, which allows freelancers to see spending and profile history.
  • Verified spenders attract steady and quality work.
  • Upwork boasts a larger pool of potential freelancers.


  • Freelancers and their clients are forced to do business solely on the Upwork platform for two years; violations of this rule can lead to account termination for the freelancer.
  • Communication is often restricted to Upwork.
  • Because freelancers are forced to bid and hiring managers are forced to review candidates, jobs on Upwork can take longer to complete.

Fiverr pros and cons


  • Fiverr is quicker and cheaper than other freelance platforms.
  • It is easier to see freelance profiles and find highly rated accounts as Fiverr differentiates freelancers by level.


  • Fiverr work isn’t as specialized or high-quality as Upwork jobs.
  • Fiverr is used primarily for short-term work, which means it can be inconvenient compared to Upwork.

Upwork vs. Fiverr: Pricing comparison

Both Upwork and Fiverr are free for workers, though the price of hiring varies between the platforms. Fiverr is typically cheaper, with services starting at $5. Many beginner and intermediate sellers charge low rates as they start to grow. Additionally, Fiverr payments are often one-time fees.

Alternatively, Upwork notes the rates of freelancers, which means professionals on the platform are forced to set high prices from the start. Upwork jobs, too, are frequently billed hourly. Expect to pay more for the long-term, high-quality services of Upwork.

Which is better for your organization?

Upwork and Fiverr are both viable options, but they take different approaches to freelancing. For organizations in need of quick solutions, Fiverr’s one-time fees are the best. Fiverr is also quicker and cheaper and is beneficial for those who are on a budget.

Upwork is better for organizations looking for long-term work. The freelancers on Upwork are more qualified and can typically complete more challenging work. Organizations with complex tasks are better off with Upwork.

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