Fiverr vs Upworks: freelance sites

Fiverr and Upworks are two of the more popular freelancing sites. I’ve worked on both of these sites, so I’ll give you my personal opinion on the differences between both of them in this post.


Upworks may currently be the top online freelance sites in the world. Elance and Odesk, two popular freelance sites, came together to form Upworks.

To get started on this site, you register, set up your profile and do a few tests. After you have done this then you find a suitable job in your area of expertise. You can then send a proposal to the job that you’re interested in.

In a future post, we’ll delve deeper into getting jobs in this site.


This freelance site is not as popular as Upworks, but it’s definitely in the top ten when it comes to freelancing sites.

The idea with Fiverr is to offer services for $5. You can actually do quite well on Fiverr, so don’t be mislead by the $5.

To get started on Fiverr, you register, set up your profile and pick the area of work that you’re interested in. Like other freelancing sites, the idea is to start small and work your way up after you have some experience on the site.

If someone is looking for a bookkeeper, they’ll see “I will do your bookkeeping for $5”. There are ways to set it up to make maximum income but we’ll look further into this site in another article.

Here are several ways both platforms differ.

1) Upworks is more suited to freelancing on the side

If you’re not freelancing full-time, then I believe Upworks is a more suitable freelance site than Fiverr. Upworks is more flexible when it comes to when the job is done. If I get a job right now, it is easier for me to negotiate when the job is done than on Fiverr.

I can set my time on Upworks, where the client can see the amount of hours that I’m available for. I can also choose jobs that will fit my availability.

On Fiverr, especially if you’re popular, you can set the number of clients that can queue for the job. However, as far as they’re concerned, you are always available unless you’ve set your gig to Vacation. From the job is started, there is a timer does a count down, based on a set time (which you have on your gig).

If you have several clients in your queue, it can be quite difficult to juggle this with a full-time job. If you fail to deliver the job before the clock counts down, you will be penalized. The buyer has the option to cancel the gig after that. It will also reflect badly on your rating. In the online freelancing world, rating is everything.

2) You pick the job on Upworks.

On Upworks, you send a proposal to the job you’re interested in. If there are ten jobs you’re interested in, you can send ten proposals to each and every one of these jobs.

If you see a job that doesn’t fit your requirements, you don’t have to send a proposal to that job. Upworks gives information such as if the client has good reviews, how much the client has spent to date

Although, in the end, the client is the one who does the selection, you do have some option in the process.

3) The Client selects you on Fiverr

On Fiverr, you’re given little knowledge about the client. On this freelance site you’re basically a sitting duck. If they like your gig, they will discuss it with you beforehand to see if you’re a suitable fit. Some clients, especially returning clients will just join the queue without warning though. Once they’ve bought the gig, the countdown starts. Things can get hairy after that. You will have to give yourself enough room to handle many clients.

You are protected on Fiverr, by the fact that they have to buy the gig before work starts. Although Upworks has several ways to protect the freelancer, there’s not much to stop a client from disappearing into the wind without paying, if he so desires.

I hope I’ve been able to help you make a selection. You can also juggle both of these freelance sites if time allows. I may be biased towards Upworks because I’ve had more luck with them. However, most people I know are currently working on Fiverr. In later posts, I’ll go more into detail on each one as well as other platforms.