Reviews and expert opinion Upwork

Lucas Turner
Lucas Turner
Freelance Jobs Expert

With a clunky user interface, fake freelancer profiles and an unreliable rating system, Upwork is no longer what it used to be.

The good news is that there’s a great alternative out there. On Fiverr, you can hire a freelancer for as little as $5 to complete a project for you. Read on to find out more.


Overview

UpWork-overview

Upwork Is No Longer What It Used to Be

Upwork is one of the biggest freelance websites online today, but bigger doesn’t always mean better. In fact, that is why it has been downgraded. If you need a freelancer, we recommend you head over to Fiverr – you can hire a freelancer for as little as $5.

Besides its size, Upwork offers several other advantages. Advanced search filters make it easy to find what you’re looking for. You can view freelancers’ past work history and feedback to get an idea of their professionalism, and the messaging system makes it easy to communicate with potential candidates. There’s also a convenient mobile app and desktop time tracker.

That said, Upwork might not be what it seems. In recent years, the quality of work has gone down. In many cases, the positive feedback you read on freelancers’ profiles isn’t really true – past clients leave high ratings and glowing reviews just because they’re afraid of retaliation.

I’ve even come across quite a few freelancer profiles that were fake. You hire someone for a job, thinking they’re from London or Los Angeles as stated on their profile, only to later discover they’re from a different part of the world and hardly qualified for the job at hand. This can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention a waste of time and money.

With the new pricing, Upwork is no longer suitable for you if you are not a big corporation looking to hire dozens of people. They limit you with invitations of up to 15 people, and if you want to invite more (and of course you do, as many won’t accept the invitation and you want to get a few offers for your project) you need to pay $500 a month for the expensive plan, or trick Upwork and open multiple identical projects, which is annoying. Fiverr is a much better option for starters.

Templates

UpWork-templates

Keeping Ahead of a Fast Developing Market

Upwork is not new to the scene. However, they are growing at an accelerated rate, primarily due to the variety of gigs on offer, the quality of freelancers showcased, and their user-friendliness.

One issue that every freelance site faces are spammers and whilst Upwork does an excellent job of fending them off, its popularity exposes Upwork to spam techniques that have corrupted other sites.

Despite the fact that freelancers need to really apply themselves before they gain the highest verification level on Upwork, many persistent unskilled newbies from Third World countries are flooding in on this site. Hopefully, Upwork will sort out the problem of unskilled workforce and remain a safe harbor of respect for skills, not cheap deals. Our advice is to only hire freelancers with complete verified profiles, positive feedback and at least some Upwork test badges. If you are willing to try out a novice freelancer, we advise you offer him/ her a test assignment to begin with and if you are satisfied with the quality, then go for it.

The quality of the work at Upwork is heterogeneous. However, the general stats are in favor of moderately-priced fine-quality work. This is not a site where A-list freelance pros make money on the side. But some lucky finds for your projects are possible. The demographics of Upwork’s population are rather tilted towards the different sides of the planet. The most classic schemes on Upwork are USA or UK employers hiring a European or Eastern European freelancer.Explore Upwork Templates

Features

3.0
UpWork-features

All You Could Wish for and More

The Upwork team does not limit its developing features. You can find anything, from promotional badges for your private website, to advanced time-tracking software and a Master Card issued by Upwork especially designed for foreign workers.

The hiring scheme on Upwork deviates slightly from other sites and you can hire  or interview a freelancer to discuss the project’s details. Bear it in mind that Upwork will most certainly conceal your e-mail details submitted through private massages, due to its direct contact non-disclosure policy. But a Skype account address will go unrecognized. Freelancers and employers’ performance alike is rated through a 5-star based feedback system. Only completed and paid projects can get feedback.

Registering as a freelancer, there’s quite a lot you need to do to setup a noticeable profile, like upload portfolio items, take skill tests that prove your abilities, verify your identity and add personal information. While this can take you a while, Upwork makes the entire process very easy, by sending you email reminders and notifying you of missing profile elements.

Contract can be made on a project or hourly basis. Hourly contracts require freelancers to download a time-tracking software, that allows employers to see what the freelancer is working on in real time. While somewhat controversial, it does help to build trust between the 2 sides of the deal, so you don’t have to worry about being scammed.See full list of features

Ease of use

3.0
UpWork-ease-of-use

Fresh And Polished

Upwork’s visuals are glossy, colorful and stylish. The active designers’ team has changed the site’s layout 3 or 4 times within a few months.

The navigation is perfectly intuitive, except for the “See my profile as others do”. It keeps migrating with each design makeover on UpWork. The neat private messaging box is also an advantage that UpWork has over other freelance sites. The initial registration process requires nothing but your e-mail, password and a desired username, which you can always change as an employer – however, beware of making this mistake when registering a freelancer’s profile. You must use the name that is written in your passport to register.See if Upwork is Right for You

Support

3.0
UpWork-support

They Are Really There for You

Customer support is where Upwork truly delivers – you can get help 24/7 using any one of the many contact means available. There is also an extended and well-written FAQ section where you can find answers to just about anything.

  • 24/7 Live-chat
  • Support ticket system
  • Comprehensive FAQs
  • Phone support line
  • Direct phone calls might turn out pricey

Comparison

How does Upwork match up to the competition?

Fiverr Compare 4.7 Compare
Guru Compare 4.4 Compare
Upwork Compare 3.0 Compare
SkillDosti Compare 2.5 Compare

Pricing

2.0

The Beauty of Simplicity

Unlike some other sites with undecipherable payment policies and multiple membership-based discounts, Upwork has a set rule – 20% – 5% of the freelancer’s pay is charged to the client. Additional fees are charged when freelancers withdraw funds from Upwork. Upwork funds’ withdrawal fees amount to $2.50. Freelancers are allowed to withdraw amounts no lower than $20 + the withdrawal fee).

There are no premium accounts on Upwork, given their advanced scam-proof verification procedure for making the freelancers’ profiles more attractive on the site.

The payment system is easy – you deposit money from PayPal or your credit card into your Upwork account and begin the hiring process. Upwork only provides dispute arbitration and resolution for hourly-billed projects that had been tracked through the Upwork Team application on the freelancer’s side. Upwork does not resolve disputes over fixed-price projects.

For clients using the Enterprise Upwork Plan, prices vary according to needs.

  • Payment System – Credit card or PayPal
  • Payment Protection – Upwork Team time and performance tracking software is responsible for securing your project and money.
  • Payment Disputes – Only available for hourly-billed projects tracked through UpworkTeam application

User reviews

Based on 118 reviews in 14 languages
2.2
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1.0
anonymus
Japan
May 21, 2020
I don’t think so

Use to use them quite often, but my account is suspended now . My profile is reliable with a lot of clients , great reviews (top rated freelancer) Also their charges is high(20%) Tried to use again, but my account is still suspended (no any suspicious action)

Jin
May 31, 2020

yes, right me too. very strange site and seems no credit

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1.0
Praveen
Canada
May 18, 2020
Suggestion from a former loyal Upwork user...

Suggestion from a former loyal Upwork user - DO NOT USE IT. I’d been putting up with their high service fee (20%) charges as I believed that they were a reliable platform - but I was wrong.Their customer service is TERRIBLE - rude and ignorant. If you did anything "they determined to be wrong" and that you aren't even aware of, next thing you'll find your account being suspended, and you'll receive an accusation email requesting you to write a statement like you have committed a crime.If you don't follow their "rules", they'll do whatever they want to your account - for example, delete your information, terminate your account - because you are not "behaving".Oh, forgot to mention their "conversion fee" - 12% of your 12-month earning. Don't know what they invented that for, but be careful as what you have been working hard on could be easily taken just like that. How convenient.

1.0
Abel Valdivia
USA
May 18, 2020
Account Suspended for no REASON!

They don't even deserve 1 star. After more than 5 years working with Upwork building a great profile and tons os reviews my account was suspended.Everything started when my wife which is a developer too decided to open an account for her. One day they decided to close her account and then my account.Reason? "Suspicious Activity". I called Upwork several times in the last 15 days and they don't have an answer. They just close your account and that's it. No call, no email no nothing... I'm really upset and disappointed.

avatar
5.0
CreativeValley
Egypt
May 04, 2020
Great website

For both clients and freelancers is consider the best freelancing website which you ever can try, you can find best freelancers and amazing website support, very recommended for clients even more than freelancers, you can have the best guarantee for your work quality, and freelancers do their best to make you satisfied.

avatar
2.0
Kurt
Germany
April 30, 2020
I searched, but I didn't find it

I conduct personal projects and rarely faced the problem of finding freelancers. I immediately encountered them, it was inconvenient to search for them, and after a while, I found a couple of performers, but for some reason, they did not respond to me. In General, I had to use another service.

avatar
1.0
Valerio
Italy
April 23, 2020
very bad

80% of job vacancies have this content: I am looking for a freelancer, highly qualified, expert, no beginner. Budget: $ 10. and it's not free, bidding has a price. the professional is required to pay and the way his succes score is defined is obscure.

Read more reviews

Bottom line on Upwork

I was asked to compare Freelancer to Upwork. I asked my editor to allow me to tell user to ignore both and simply use Fiverr which is much better, but he insisted on these two, so read here to find out more.

Upwork is the best freelance website available today, serving both employers and freelancers. It is totally intuitive and free and stands out among other platforms which charge extra money for every action you perform on the site. The motto of the site is: Changing the World of Work. It is a real change to look forward to and we wish all other freelancer sites adopted this steady, competent and work-alike approach. Upwork is a significant starting platform for hiring freelancers, as well as a pleasant surprise for people who have dealt with other freelance websites in the past.

Lucas Turner
Lucas Turner
Lucas is a full-stack web developer. He serves as an essential part in the creation of various startups from the proof of concept to acquiring market leader positions.

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