Reviews and expert opinion Upwork

Pricing
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UpWork for Clients $0
Upwork Pro for Clients $0
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. 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 hire a freelancer on Fiverr.

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

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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.

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.

Ease of use

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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.

Support

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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

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

2.4
Based on 95 reviews in 9 languages
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1
Michael A. T.
USA
1
not worth it

Defiantly not worth it!So if you use the time tracker, the freelancers can just use as much time as they want and you pay the hourly rate no matter what they do and how much they decide to use.They say they have a low activity policy but this is a lie because they do not do anything about very low activity ratings.The support does nothing as well.If you leave a review and the freelance does not like it and is top rated, they can have it removed so are they really top rated lol.

1
Jacob Archer
USA
1
Upwork Is A Complete Joke

No serious business owner should use Upwork. They suspend your account without warning or notice, they tie up funds in escrow, and they basically legally steal your money.If you want to use upwork at all, I suggest just finding talent on there, then messaging them OUTSIDE of upwork, and paying them via PayPal.Upwork tries to convince freelancers and clients that it's "safer" to go through Upwork escrow. But again, they take ridiculous fees, and PayPal works just the same where you can dispute things, etc.At the end of the day, there's just really no reason at all to give Upwork your money.

1
Peter Johns
USA
1
Upwork is Full of Fake Freelancer Profiles

Many profiles being displayed on Upwork are not genuine, do not believe anything you read is actually true of the stated profiles. These many fake profiles lead to under qualified persons obtaining contracts that they will never be able to complete correctly.These resumes posted and stated country locations by freelancers are not being checked by Upwork correctly and when you get into a dispute you are on your own big time.If you do not approve a milestone payment when a job is “completed” the freelancer can and will create a dispute against you if you deny the milestone release. All the freelancer has to say is “well I did everything the customer asked for”. No matter what the freelancer gives you regards work quality Upwork will not make a judgement on the suitability or the quality of the work regards the contract you opened.The “thoughts” you may have that the “milestone” payment process is in some way a safety net for you as a customer is just a pipe dream. Regardless of what happens in a dispute you will not get your “milestone” payment returned unless the freelancer agrees that their work was not suitable. If the freelancer just plays hard ball you can kiss any money goodbye that you have deposited to Upwork, oh but they do (luckily for them) have a resolution process to get an “independent” judgement of a dispute. This by the way will cost you nearly $300.00.Ok many of the profiles on Upwork are genuine but trying to work out what is real and what is deceptive is an impossible task. Upwork don’t appear to care about this huge problem they have at present of scammers with fake profiles operating and the fact that their very own dispute resolution process just does not work, well it seems to work well for them though.

1
Charles
USA
1
Upwork is a complete waste of time!

Created a new account and posted a job. 1 hour later, got an email stating my account was suspended without any reason! After multiple emails, they stated they need some additional information, all of which I already posted on the job. They wanted me to re-type everything to them again! What a waste of my time. Will never use this website again.

1
Martin
USA
1
I was scammed thousands on Upwork by a freelancer with Upwork's full support.

I got scammed thousands of dollars on Upwork when I spent thousands on Upwork for a freelancer who claimed he could deliver my project as described in the project description with detailed deliverables.Upwork confirmed that I was scammed, did nothing to help me dispute the charges and the freelancer is still active on Upwork scamming other clients.

2
anonymus
Argentina
2
Totally waste of time

They suspended my account two times while I was working on a project and even when I had five stars references. It doesn't matter if you have a complete and active profile. They will have an "unreason" to suspend your account. I won't go back anymore.

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.

Upwork Alternatives

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