Reviews and expert opinion Upwork

Ranked 2nd from 7 Freelance Websites
4.5
2 79
Based on 83 reviews in 7 languages
Pricing
UpWork $0
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.

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

4.8
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

4.0
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

4.8
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

3.8
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

4.0

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

UpWork

$0
/ Month
  • Transaction fees: 20% for $500 and below; 10% for $500.01 to $10,000; 5% for 10,00.01 and up
  • 24/7 Support
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UpWork for Clients

$0
/ Month
  • Transaction fees: 2.75 %
  • 24/7 Support
Get Started

Upwork Pro for Clients

$0
/ Month
  • Transaction fees: $500 per hire +10% of invoice
  • 24/7 Support
Get Started

User reviews

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1
anonymus
Philippines
1
Unreasonable suspension of account

Upword is suspending accounts unreasonably. I have been a member of Upwork (formerly Odesk) since 2012. Now my account is suspended and they have said in their email that "THEY CANNOT REVEAL THE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY MY ACCOUNT WAS SUSPENDNED."ARE YOU KIDDING ME UPWORK. YOUR TEAM SAID TO EMAIL IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE SUSPENSION AND YOU SAID THAT YOU CANNOT REVEAL THE INFORMATION. IS THIS HOW YOU TREAT FREELANCERS NOW? YOU SUSPEND ACCOUNTS WITHOUT GIVING PROPER EXPLANATION?

1
Me1
USA
1
Wery unhappy:( all this project is a big skam!

- so bad and unfriendly..... - fake clients/mostly some freelancers, who earn the job but can't do and autosource it/ - fake & generated job posting/and freelancers need to paid for applying/ - not only clients, but also upwork mostly select cheapest freelancers

1
Khong Kori
Philippines
1
Unreasonable changes

Due to new changes of Upwork, even me as a long term freelancer with ups and downs winning of client are affected by the quota which is no longer free. Aside from 20% deductions which is unreasonable, they add to let contractor buy quotas without assurance of winning the proposal

1
Saltuk Toksoz
USA
1
Waste of time and efforts

Hello fellow freelancers! I must warn you before you waste your time like i did. They charge at least 20% of your income on upwork. If your hourly rate is 60$, they release 48$/hour to you. I believe this portion is unfair. There is a wild competition among freelancers on upwork. To be able to get projects, you must decrease your hourly rates. It;s just making you less and less valuable. You may find yourself at 30$/h, 20% (6$) of this goes to Upwork. 24$/h, are we doing UBER? By the way they don't find any clients for you. You must spend hours to be able to find a project and convince the client.After you work for hours, Upwork may suspend your contract with your client without asking you any single question. So you may find yourself unpaid and helpless with tired eyes looking at the screen. They don't have an online help service. They want you to send an email to them regarding this contract or payment problems. And what you get as an answer is a list of possibilities why the contract is suspended. When I told them I will cancel my account and leave if they don't pay the money I deserved. They sent me a reply explaining how to leave! :):) Thanks for showing the way out! They make money from your efforts and they even don't ask any single question to you before they dare to suspend your contracts.I feel extremely disappointed. They don't have clear guidelines showing how to use the hourly working system. And if there is anything missing, even if the job is done, even if the client has no complaints, they may suspend the contract. They are disrespectful to your efforts. My client felt bad and he tried to pay me out of upwork since he knows i deserved that money.

1
Saltuk Toksoz
USA
1
Waste of time and efforts

Hello fellow freelancers! I must warn you before you waste your time like i did. They charge at least 20% of your income on upwork. If your hourly rate is 60$, they release 48$/hour to you. I believe this portion is unfair. There is a wild competition among freelancers on upwork. To be able to get projects, you must decrease your hourly rates. It;s just making you less and less valuable. You may find yourself at 30$/h, 20% (6$) of this goes to Upwork. 24$/h, are we doing UBER? By the way they don't find any clients for you. You must spend hours to be able to find a project and convince the client.After you work for hours, Upwork may suspend your contract with your client without asking you any single question. So you may find yourself unpaid and helpless with tired eyes looking at the screen. They don't have an online help service. They want you to send an email to them regarding this contract or payment problems. And what you get as an answer is a list of possibilities why the contract is suspended. When I told them I will cancel my account and leave if they don't pay the money I deserved. They sent me a reply explaining how to leave! :):) Thanks for showing the way out! They make money from your efforts and they even don't ask any single question to you before they dare to suspend your contracts.I feel extremely disappointed. They don't have clear guidelines showing how to use the hourly working system. And if there is anything missing, even if the job is done, even if the client has no complaints, they may suspend the contract. They are disrespectful to your efforts. My client felt bad and he tried to pay me out of upwork since he knows i deserved that money.

1
Sachidanand T.
USA
1
they are permanently suspending top rated members

I was top rated designer last 2 years on UpWork and after a video call they automatically suspended my account. It's wired so share this but it is true because UpWork guys doing this, my all information is true and clear. but they do not helping me.

Bottom line on Upwork

I was asked to compare Freelancer to Upwrok. 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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