Fiverr vs. Upwork: Which Platform Is Better for Freelancers and Employers?

Freelancing has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more people looking to work from home or be their own bosses. 

With this trend, platforms like Fiverr and Upwork have emerged, offering a place for freelancers to showcase their skills and find work, and for employers to find qualified professionals to hire. 

However, choosing the right platform can be a challenge for both parties. 

In this article, we will compare Fiverr and Upwork to help you decide which platform is better suited for your needs.

Related Reading: How to Hire and Train the Best Virtual Assistants from the Philippines

Fiverr vs. Upwork: Which Is Better?

A lot of factors play into choosing the better platform. There’s no prohibition in using both, but if you want to concentrate your efforts on just one site, here are the most important things to consider.

Features Fiverr Upwork
Job Variety Wide range of small tasks and one-time projects Diverse short-term and long-term projects
Accessibility Easy to join and start selling Thorough vetting process ensures quality
Pricing Model Fixed-price gigs Both fixed-price and hourly projects available
Turnaround Time Quick delivery for small tasks Varies depending on project scope
Global Reach Large international marketplace Large international marketplace
Earning Potential Lower average earnings due to smaller projects Higher average earnings with larger projects
Competition High competition among sellers High competition among freelancers
Commission Flat 20% commission rate 5% to 20% commission rate based on billings
Reputation Building Less emphasis on long-term relationships Focus on building relationships with clients
Payment Security Strict cancellation policies Escrow system and hourly protection for payments

What Is Fiverr? | Price varies | Online marketplace for freelance services.

Fiverr was launched in 2010 by Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger, two Israeli entrepreneurs.

Fiverr is a platform where businesses can connect with freelancers who offer different services from marketing, graphic design, programming, etc. 

On Fiverr, businesses are referred to as buyers while the freelancers are called sellers. To help buyers narrow down their search and make the most of their budget, sellers will also create Gig packages that offer different price ranges depending on the different services a buyer will avail. 

From a seller’s standpoint, there are no fees to be paid to use its features. The only time sellers will pay Fiverr is when they complete a project (20% of the earnings). Meanwhile, buyers pay a minimum of 5.5% of each transaction.

Pros and Cons of Using Fiverr


  • Sellers are rated with a star system
  • Clients can catalog their best sellers for easy reordering
  • Competitive pricing


    • Fixed processing fees
    • Limitation to descriptions and images
    • Freelancers can only contact past and current clients

What Is Upwork? | Price varies | Online marketplace for freelance services.

Upwork was founded in 2013 through the merger of two major freelance marketplaces, Elance and oDesk. It is a free platform that helps businesses grow by finding top-level freelancers from any industry. 

Once you sign up and create a profile, you’re free to submit a job posting on the platform. Upwork will only require you to pay a 3% processing fee which is done only after a job has been completed. 

For freelancers, the commission Upwork makes is around 5% to 20%, depending on the overall lifetime value of the freelancer's work with a single client.

upwork home page
Upwork is one of the largest online staffing platforms in the world, with over 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. The platform offers a wide range of services, including web development, graphic design, and virtual assistance.

Pros and Cons of Using Upwork


  • Easy-to-manage billing and communication
  • Safe and user friendly payment systems
  • Perfect for short-term staff replacement
  • Credibility of freelancers due to rating and review system


  • Processing fees on every completed project
  • Hiring process may take some time
  • Harded to determine quality of freelancer
  • Currently only available for Shopify

Fee Structure for Employers and Contractors

Fiverr operates on a simple fee structure. Employers pay a processing fee of 5% or $1 (whichever is greater) on each transaction, while freelancers pay a 20% commission on their earnings. 

This fixed percentage remains constant regardless of the contractor's experience or the size of the project.

On the other hand, Upwork uses a sliding scale for contractors' fees, based on the lifetime billings with a specific client. 

The fees are 20% for the first $500, 10% for billings between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5% for billings above $10,000. Employers pay a 3% processing fee on each transaction.

Comparison of Pricing Models for Fiverr and Upwork

Fiverr's pricing model is more straightforward, as both employers and contractors pay a fixed percentage on each transaction. This makes it easier to anticipate costs and calculate potential earnings.

Upwork's sliding scale can be more beneficial for contractors who establish long-term relationships with their clients, as the fees decrease over time. 

However, this model can be more complex for freelancers to navigate and may be more expensive for new contractors.

Platform Pros Cons
Fiverr Simple, fixed fees for both employers and contractors; easier to calculate costs and earnings Contractors always pay a 20% fee, which can be higher than what they would pay on Upwork for long-term clients
Upwork Sliding scale allows experienced contractors to earn more with lower fees; incentivizes long-term relationships between clients and contractors More complex fee structure; higher initial fees for new contractors

Comparison of Dispute Resolution Processes on Fiverr and Upwork

Fiverr's dispute resolution process includes initiating a conversation with the seller through the Resolution Center to resolve the issue. If the parties cannot reach a solution, the case is escalated to Fiverr's Customer Support team for further review and mediation. 

Fiverr's support team typically responds within 24 to 48 hours, but the entire process may take several days or weeks.

Upwork's dispute resolution process is more comprehensive. It begins with an informal negotiation between the freelancer and the client. If an agreement cannot be reached, the issue can be escalated to Upwork's formal dispute process, which involves providing evidence and documentation for review. 

Upwork's dispute resolution team then makes a decision, typically within 5-10 business days. If the parties are still unsatisfied, they may proceed to arbitration under the American Arbitration Association, at their own expense.

Types of Jobs Available on Fiverr and Upwork

Fiverr and Upwork offer a vast range of job opportunities in various categories, including:

  • Writing and translation
  • Web development and programming
  • Graphic design and multimedia
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Business and administrative services
  • Customer support and virtual assistance
  • Mobile app development
  • Video and animation

While both platforms offer a diverse range of job categories, Fiverr tends to focus more on smaller, one-time projects or gigs, whereas Upwork caters to both short-term and long-term projects.

Fiverr is ideal for businesses looking for quick, affordable services, while Upwork is better suited for more comprehensive and ongoing collaborations.

Do You Need to Pay to Become an Independent Contractor?

Signing up as an independent contractor on Fiverr is free, while Upwork offers both a free basic membership and paid membership plans for freelancers. The paid plans offer additional benefits such as more job bids per month and faster response times from customer support.

Platform Free Membership Paid Membership Benefits of Paid Membership
Fiverr Yes No N/A
Upwork Yes Yes More job bids, faster customer support response

Both Fiverr and Upwork take a percentage of the earnings made by freelancers. Fiverr charges a 20% commission on each transaction, while Upwork's fees vary between 5% and 20%, depending on the lifetime billings with a specific client.

Lifetime Billings with a Client Upwork Fee
$0 – $500 20%
$500.01 – $10,000 10%
$10,000.01 and above 5%

Do Fiverr and Upwork Employees Produce Quality Work?

When it comes to hiring freelance employees from platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, it's natural to question the quality of the work they produce. However, our case study found that the answer is not so straightforward. In that experiment, we hired a contractor from each of the platforms and compared their work quality.

While we did find some contractors who produced high-quality work, we also encountered those who did not meet our expectations. In some cases, we had to go through several rounds of revisions to get the work up to par. 

comparison of fiverr and upwork

It's worth noting that ghosting can be an issue on both sides of the employer-employee relationship. We've heard stories from both freelancers and employers about individuals who disappear mid-project, leaving the other party in a tough spot. 

While we don't have exact numbers on how common this is, it's important to be aware of the potential risks when hiring freelancers from these platforms.

Overall, our case study suggests that while there are certainly talented freelancers on Fiverr and Upwork, there are also those who may not meet your expectations. It's important to carefully vet potential contractors, communicate clearly throughout the project, and be prepared to make revisions if necessary. 

By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of finding a freelancer who will produce high-quality work and deliver it on time.

How Easy Is It to Find Clients on Fiverr and Upwork?

Fiverr's structure encourages contractors to create “Gigs,” or services offered at a fixed price, which clients can browse and purchase. 

This system can make it easier for new freelancers to get started and gain visibility.

Upwork requires contractors to submit proposals for posted jobs, which may be more time-consuming and competitive. 

However, this process can lead to more tailored matches between clients and contractors.

How to Sign Up as an Employer on Fiverr and Upwork

By following the simple steps provided, you can easily create an account and start exploring the vast job opportunities available on each platform. 

Fiverr :

To sign up as an employer on Fiverr, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit and click on “Join” in the top right corner.

fiverr sign up

2. Fill in your email address and choose a username and password.

fiverr sign up

3. Confirm your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.

fiverr sign up

4. Once confirmed, you can now create a buyer account and start posting jobs or purchasing services.
fiverr sign up


  1. Click on the “Post a Request” button to start creating your job posting.

fiverr sign up

  1. Fill out the details of your job posting, including the title, description, budget, and deadline. You can choose to reveal the exact amount you're offering or give a range – this is up to you.

fiverr sign up


To sign up as an employer on Upwork, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and click on “Sign Up” in the top right corner.

upwork sign up

2. Choose the “I'm looking to hire” option.

upwork sign up

3. Fill in your email address and create a password.

upwork sign up

  1. Confirm your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.

upwork sign up

  1. Complete the sign-up process by providing the necessary information.

upwork sign up

  1. Click on the “Post a Job” button on the dashboard.

upwork sign up

  1. Fill in the job details, including the job title, description, and any required skills or qualifications. Set a budget for the job, which can be a fixed price or an hourly rate.

upwork sign up

How Do You Hire from Fiverr and Upwork?

On Fiverr, employers can search for and purchase Gigs directly or create custom requests for specific projects. This approach can be faster and more straightforward.

Upwork allows employers to post jobs and review proposals from interested contractors. This method can be more time-consuming but can lead to better matches for the project requirements.

Fiverr contractors create Gigs to showcase their services, making it easy for clients to find and purchase their offerings. This approach requires less active job hunting but may limit project variety.

Upwork contractors need to search for relevant job postings and submit tailored proposals. While this process can be more time-consuming, it allows for more personalized connections and project variety.

How to File Complaints Against Independent Contractors

Independent contractors may also have concerns about reporting employers and receiving timely payment. However, if you need to file a complaint against an independent contractor, the process is similar on both Fiverr and Upwork. 

On Fiverr, you can report a seller by navigating to the order page, selecting “Resolution Center,” and following the prompts. 

resolution center

Similarly, on Upwork, you can report a freelancer by visiting the contract's “Workroom,” clicking “Report a Problem,” and completing the form.

complaint against independent contractors

As for payment, the terms are typically agreed upon in advance and vary from contract to contract. 

However, many platforms offer payment protection and dispute resolution services to ensure that independent contractors receive payment on time and in full.

How to Sign Up as an Independent Contractor on Fiverr and Upwork

Becoming an independent contractor on Fiverr and Upwork is an exciting opportunity for freelancers looking to showcase their skills and connect with potential clients. 

In this section, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to sign up as an independent contractor on both platforms, so you can start your freelancing journey with ease.


To sign up as an  independent contractor  on Fiverr, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and click on “Join” in the top right corner.

fiverr sign up

2. Fill in your email address and choose a username and password.

fiverr sign up

3. Confirm your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.

4. Once confirmed, create a seller account and set up your first gig.


To sign up as an independent contractor on Upwork, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and click on “Sign Up” in the top right corner.
  2. Choose the “I'm a freelancer” option.

upwork sign up

3. Fill in your email address and create a password.

4. Complete the sign-up process by providing the necessary information, and then you can start bidding on projects.

sign up

Top Alternatives to Fiverr and Upwork

Competition is normal in just about any line of business. If you’re looking to hire a freelancer beyond Fiverr or Upwork, here are other alternatives

    • Flexjobs
    • Freelancer
    • Servicescape
    • Hubstaff Talent
    • Toptal
    • Solid Gigs
    • Guru
    • Peopleperhour
    • Truelancer
    • Youteam

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Fiverr and Upwork?

Fiverr leans over to smaller business owners as clients while Upwork tends to garner startup founders and established businesses. This means that Fiverr sellers’ jobs are mostly specific projects, such as writing articles. On the other hand, Upwork freelancers tend to get bigger and long term projects.

When should I choose Fiverr or Upwork?

 For freelancers who are looking for multiple short-term projects such as blog writing, Fiverr is the more favorable platform for you. However, if you are looking for a long-term project where there is a need for constant communication with the client, Upwork is the perfect platform for you. Having bigger and long-term projects would also mean that it would be difficult for you to maintain multiple projects at once.

What are the payment processes for each platform?

For Upwork, freelancers would need to set up their chosen payment method and will be paid depending on the contract. Upwork freelancers would be paid either hourly, by project catalog, or by fixed-price.

For Fiverr, the payment structure will be a pay-per-order basis. Therefore, once freelancers are done with their project, clients will be sending their payment to Fiverr. Then Fiverr will be assigning 80% of the payment to your account.


The gig economy is projected to continue growing, and platforms like Fiverr and Upwork will remain important facilitators of freelance work. As user needs and preferences evolve, both platforms will likely adapt their dispute resolution processes and features to better serve their customers. 

Ultimately, the choice between Fiverr and Upwork will depend on individual requirements, project scope, and personal preferences.


Denise Bautista

With a background in journalism, Denise has honed her skills in crafting compelling narratives across various niches, including technology, lifestyle, health, and travel. When she's not crafting compelling content for clients, Denise can be found exploring new destinations or diving into the latest bestseller.

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