Fiverr vs Upwork: Which One is Better For You in 2023?

Mike Renaldi

With more and more people working from home or elsewhere, freelance job boards like Upwork and Fiverr have become an easy way to find work.

In this article, we’re going to dive into the pros and cons of both platforms. Whether you end up choosing Upwork or Fiverr, we’ll also show you how the Wise Business account can help you get paid and save on currency transfers.

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Upwork or Fiverr: Quick Summary

Upwork and Fiverr are both online freelance job boards.

They offer a wide variety of services, ranging from web design to copywriting to logo creation. On each platform, freelancers create profiles so that potential clients can find them and review their work.

Key differences:

  • Upwork is generally the go-to for larger projects with long-term relationships, while Fiverr is better for smaller tasks that don't require a lot of back and forth between you and the freelancer.

  • Upwork requires more setup time since you have to post your project in detail and vet applicants, whereas

  • Fiverr makes it easier to find what you need quickly, thanks to its marketplace structure.

  • On Fiverr, clients typically seek out specific services and can find them quickly without having to post a job.

  • On Upwork, clients usually have to post the job in detail and wait for freelancers to apply.

Table of Contents


Upwork or Fiverr: Comparison

Now that you know a bit more about each platform, let’s look at how they compare when it comes to the key features of a freelance job board.

How they work and how to sign up

Upwork is a bit more complicated to sign up for than Fiverr. You’ll need to complete an application and answer a few questions about your skills and experience in order to get accepted. Fiverr, on the other hand, requires only a quick signup process with no additional questions or applications required. We’ll outline the process in a little more detail here.


To sign up on Upwork, yu’ll have to create an account and then fill out your profile with all the necessary details about yourself and your skills, such as education, experience, portfolio items, and more.² ³ ⁴ ⁵

Before you get to apply for job posts at all, 60% of your profile needs to be completed. This involves adding a photo of yourself, an overview, your work history, your title (e.g., Designer, Copywriter, etc.), and at least one skill tag (e.g., Adobe Photoshop). There are other sections you can explore, including choosing your expertise level, language proficiency, setting your hourly rate, etc.

Once you’ve crafted your profile, you can start browsing the job board and looking for your first job. If you find a posting that fits, you’ll have to send in a cover letter, your proposed rate, and potentially answer any questions that the client has asked freelancers to fill out.

Each job posting will “cost” you a certain number of Connects, which is the currency that Upwork uses. Freelancer Basic accounts get 10 free Connects every month, while Freelancer Plus accounts get 80. The Freelancer Plus account also gets you extra perks like a customized profile URL, visible competitor bids, and more. You can also earn Connects in certain scenarios or buy them at $0.15 USD each.

You won’t always have to use Connects, for example, if a client invites you to bid, sends you an offer, or purchases a Project Catalog project from you.

Competitor bids are the most recent addition to Upwork, where you can boost your proposal and make it one of the top three most visible to the client. It works like an auction system, where you can bid Connects to win one of the top spots.



Fiverr is a bit different from Upwork. It’s much more of an open marketplace for freelancers than Upwork, which means you don’t have to fill out nearly as much profile information or write cover letters. You’ll be required to go through a short onboarding process and add information about your training, work experience, and skills.⁶ ⁷

All you need to do after signing up and clicking Become a Seller is create a “Gig” — basically, a service that you offer to clients. Your Gig should include the title of your service (all start with “I will…”), what it costs, the service type, search tags, and any additional information or images you might want to add.

You can also offer different packages with different prices, including a Basic, Standard, and Premium package. Each package allows you to outline what’s included, whether you include revisions, one sketch, certain file types, or something else. You’ll also be able to state the expected delivery time.

To make things more streamlined, you can also tell buyers what you need before you begin their order. You can choose from the options provided or write your own. For logo design, for example, “A short explanation of your product or service and any ideas you already have.”

Once that’s done, your Gig will appear in the Fiverr search engine, and clients can find you by searching for services related to what you offer. If someone likes your Gig, they can contact you for further details and make an order. Clients will also be able to check out your portfolio, your FAQ section, and, most importantly, your reviews.

Hiring a freelancer

When it comes to hiring a freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr both have their own strategies for finding the right person for your job. On Upwork, you’ll be able to search through profiles of skilled professionals and contact them directly or post a job listing that other freelancers can apply to. With Fiverr, you’ll need to search through gig listings created by the freelancers themselves and then contact them if you’re interested in their services.


There are a few ways to hire a freelancer on Upwork.⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰

These include:

  • Purchasing a Project Catalog project: You can buy pre-packaged services from freelancers who have already created them.
  • Posting a job: You can post an open job listing and wait for qualified freelancers to apply.
  • Searching profiles: You can search through Upwork’s profiles of skilled professionals and contact them directly if you’re interested in their services.
  • Talent Scout: For projects lasting over a month, using Talent Scout to talk to a recruiter can help you find the best in-demand talent you’re looking for.

Searching profiles and purchasing a project are quite straightforward. Posting a job, on the other hand, requires a few more steps. Upwork makes it easy, though, guiding you through each step of the job posting setup. They’ll even send you a shortlist of freelancers you can invite to apply if you’re interested, by way of data science and AI.

After some time, you can check out all the applicants and make a decision. Then, you can begin a contract with your chosen freelancer. This can be a fixed or hourly contract.

While you can continue to book a freelancer on Fiverr if you like their work, Upwork makes it easy to foster a long-term contract. After you establish an agreement with the freelancer, Upwork will provide tools to help facilitate collaboration and payment, such as time tracking, invoicing, and messaging. You can also continue to create Milestones on a fixed contract, which can be stages of a project or new projects altogether.


Fiverr is a bit more straightforward when it comes to hiring a freelancer. There are two ways of doing so, which include using the search function or posting a request.

With the search and side filters, you search through gig listings created by the freelancers themselves, message them if you’re interested in their services, and then make an offer.

The gigs on Fiverr usually include project descriptions and fixed cost breakdowns so expectations are clear and set from the start. If you find something that fits your needs and budget, you book the gig right away without having to go through any other steps. What you see is what you get!

Alternatively, you can post a request. You’ll describe what service you need, the category, when you want it, and your budget. After a while, you can review offers and get redirected to Gig pages.¹¹ ¹²

Doing freelance work

What about if you’re looking to do some freelance work? Upwork and Fiverr have both similarities and different approaches.

Perhaps the main similarity between Upwork and Fiverr is that they're both esteemed and trusted job boards. These platforms have both been around for some time now — Upwork since 2013 and Fiverr since 2010 — meaning they’ve built up a vast network of clients as well as having had the chance to fine-tune their business models over the years.

Are there any differences?

Creatives that can deliver a quick product or service, like voice-over work, an illustration, or a jingle, tend to do well on Fiverr. Meanwhile, those who are more specialized and require more of a long-term commitment to complete projects like web design work or copywriting can find success on Upwork.¹³ ¹⁴

Upwork is also the better choice for freelancers looking to expand their network and build relationships with longer-term clients. It’s easier to have conversations with potential employers through Upwork’s messaging system, so you can get an understanding of exactly what they need before sending in your proposal.

While they both have freelancer ratings, another thing to note is Upwork’s Talent Badges for freelancers. They’re awarded to demonstrate your expertise and talent and placed next to your name on your profile to be seen by clients. For instance, the Top Rated Plus badge requires the following:

Badges increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers and reward you for doing a good job.

Like Upwork, Fiverr has its own tier of ratings called Seller Levels, based on monthly performance. This includes New Seller, Level 1, Level 2, and Top Rated Seller, each with their own set of criteria. The higher your ranking, the more likely clients are to book you.

Upwork and Fiverr Reviews

Reviews certainly talk. On TrustRadius, Upwork has a 7.7 out of 10 rating, while Fiverr has a 7.3.¹⁵ ¹⁶


For Upwork, users cite the following as pros:

  • Keeps tracking, billing, and conversations in one easy-to-manage place
  • Good short-term staff replacement
  • Easy and safe payment system
  • Global talent pool
  • Ratings and reviews add credibility
  • Amazing search tool

Like anything, though, there are cons. Here’s what some had to say about Upwork:

  • Fees and costs for freelancers
  • Have to pay for Connects to apply for jobs
  • Can be difficult to distinguish quality in such a massive pool of freelancers
  • Process of hiring can take a while
  • Reviews aren’t mandatory - not enough follow-up or push to add reviews


For Fiverr, these are some of the pros:

  • Seamless communication and transaction system
  • Talent can reach an international audience
  • Cost-effective
  • Vets sellers with a star system
  • Clients can accumulate a list of their best sellers to order from again

These cons are about Fiverr:

  • Image and description limits
  • Waiting period for funds
  • 20% commission fee
  • Website can be difficult to navigate
  • Security system that can make communication between buyer and seller difficult


Getting Paid

And now we’ve come to the important part - getting paid.


Getting paid on Upwork is easy - you set up a method to withdraw your earnings and set up your tax status. You’ll get paid depending on the contract - hourly, fixed-price, or Project Catalog project. While fixed-price contracts and Project Catalog contracts release your funds after the project is approved and completed, hourly contracts work on a weekly billing cycle. There’s a 5-day security period for fixed and Project Catalog and a 10-day one for hourly. After that, you can withdraw.¹⁷ ¹⁸

There are many ways to withdraw your earnings, including direct-to-bank, wire transfer, and instant pay for US freelancers. Upwork also has a range of third-party payment vendors to withdraw USD outside the US, like Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and M-Pesa.

The upside of Upwork is that it offers an escrow system for fixed contracts, which helps keep both clients and freelancers secure. This means the money is held in trust until the job is completed to everyone’s satisfaction.



In terms of payment structure, Fiverr works on a pay-per-order basis — once you finish your work, the client will pay Fiverr, and 80% of the funds will be assigned to your account. While Fiverr doesn’t have a true escrow system like Upwork, there is a 14-day clearing period for buyer satisfaction guarantee. Certain top-rated sellers get a 7-day clearing period.

Afterward, if marked as cleared, you can withdraw with PayPal, Fiverr Revenue Card, or bank transfer if you’re in the US. You can withdraw funds in several currencies unlike Upwork - Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, USD, British Pound, Euro, and Israeli Shekel.¹⁹

But, currency conversion rates may apply if you’re not withdrawing in USD.

Amount of jobs and types of jobs

When it comes to the amount of jobs available, Upwork has an advantage over Fiverr. It tends to have a larger number of projects posted at any given time. What’s more - it offers hourly contracts, fixed-price contracts, and Project Catalog contracts. The latter is especially good for longer-term or bigger projects since you can keep track of progress in one place.

In contrast, Fiverr doesn’t have a Project Catalog, and the majority of contracts are fixed-price – so it’s not ideal for ongoing work. That said, it does have a selection of 300 job categories available for many talents and skill sets.

Upwork vs Fiverr Fees

While payment is smooth sailing on both sites, there are fees that you have to bear in mind.

Upwork Fees

On Upwork, there is a sliding fee scale for all types of contracts. For jobs up to $500 USD, the fee is 20%. If it’s between $500.01 - $10,000, the fee drops to 10%. Anything over $10,000.01 has a 5% fee. For example, if you’re working with a client and the project will earn you $700, the service fee is 20% on the first $500 and 10% on the remaining $200.²⁰ You can learn more about Upwork fees here.

Fiverr Fees

Fiverr takes a flat 20% commission on all purchases. Depending on the withdrawal method you choose and your currency, you may have to pay a fee of 1 - 3 USD. For buyers, there’s a 5.5% service fee on the purchase amount. And for purchases under 50 USD, an additional 2 USD small order fee will be applied.²¹

Upwork - Pros and Cons

Upwork’s a great platform for finding jobs and clients as it offers more options than Fiverr in terms of categories, skill sets, payment structure, etc. The downside is that while there are many opportunities available on Upwork, you will often have to compete with dozens or even hundreds of other freelancers for each job.

More job opportunities with higher payFee structure can be complicated
Good search and filtering toolsMore competition for jobs
Solid tracking, collaboration, and payment toolsCan be difficult to find quality clients

Fiverr - Pros and Cons

Fiverr offers a wide range of services and categories, but the downside is that there may be fewer opportunities than Upwork. The upside? There’s a much shorter turnaround time than Upwork, which can be beneficial if you’re looking for quick projects.

Simple fee structure – no bidding wars!Can be hectic for beginners
Easier for new freelancers to get startedCan be difficult to get repeat clients
Less extra fees than Upwork and no lengthy contracts20% commission

Upwork vs Fiverr vs Freelancer

You might’ve also heard of Freelancer – a global job marketplace made for short- and long-term projects. It’s suitable for independent contractors and freelancers.

How is Freelancer different from Upwork and Fiverr?

Freelancer does boast a few similarities to Upwork and Fiverr. We can look at it as a combination of both platforms but with a dated UX/UI. Freelancers have to bid for contracts, but there is also a project section where you can hire freelancers if you like their work.


Other Fiverr and Upwork Alternatives

Before we round off, let’s check out a few other alternatives.


FlexJobs is best known for hand-screening, which means more qualified postings and applicants.²²

Types of clientsPeople looking for remote, part-time, seasonal, temporary, or freelance positions
How to apply for jobsApplication tracking system
Cost$9.95 - $59.95
Special features
  • Vetted postings
  • 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Job search resources
  • Advanced search

Virtual Vocation

Virtual Vocation is a job search engine focused on remote jobs.²³

Types of clientsRemote and partially-remote workers
How to apply for jobsSubmit an application with a cover letter and resume to the employer listed on the site
  • Free (limited accessibility)
  • Premium monthly: $15.99
  • Premium 3-month: $39.99
  • Premium 6-month $59.99
Special features
  • Useful handbooks, guides, tools, and courses with premium access
  • Resume builder tool


Peopleperhour is a freelance community that focuses on connecting small businesses with freelancers across the globe.

Types of clientsDigital nomads, freelancers
How to apply for jobsCreate an offer that people can pay you for or reply to a project
Special features
  • Escrow protection
  • Fixed price work


Guru helps clients and freelancers connect on a freelance marketplace.²⁴ ²⁵

Types of clientsThose looking for commissioned work
How to apply for jobsSubmit bids
  • Basic: Free
  • Basic+: $11.95/month
  • Professional: $21.95/month
  • Business: $33.95/month
  • Executive: $49.95/month
Special features
  • Productivity tools
  • Internal accounting system
  • SafePay payment system

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is most similar to FlexJobs but focuses heavily on tech-related roles.

Types of clientsRemote workers (geared towards programmers)
How to apply for jobsDiffers by company - applicant tracking system, website, or email application
Special features
  • Slack community
  • WWR Learning Portal
  • Advanced search filters

Remote Ok

Remote Ok lives up to its name. The platform connects employers and freelancers but focuses on the remote lifestyle through resources and advice.

Types of clientsRemote workers (geared towards software development)
How to apply for jobsDiffers by company - applicant tracking system, website, or email application
Special features
  • Organized by category
  • Lots of traffic

Wise Business - Save on Incoming and Outgoing Payments

No matter which platform you decide to use for your freelance work, Wise Business can help you save on outgoing and incoming payments.

A recent study has shown that Wise Business can help users save 19x cheaper when sending payments compared to PayPal.

And with our local account details feature, you can get paid in 10 currencies, such as USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, and more for free after paying a one-time payment of 31 USD. You’ll see your savings adding up in no time!

Withdraw and spend in your
preferred currency with Wise >>


  1. Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say
  2. Freelancer Plus – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  3. Understanding and Using Connects – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  4. Create a Project – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  5. Boost Your Proposal – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  6. How do I create a Fiverr account?
  7. Creating a Gig
  8. Talent Scout™: Recruitment Solutions to Help Scale Your Business
  9. How To Hire Freelancers on Upwork: The Ultimate Guide
  10. Hourly vs. Fixed-Price Projects
  12. How to Post a Request for a Freelance Service | Fiverr Blog
  13. Upwork's Talent Badges
  14. Fiverr's Levels
  15. Upwork Reviews & Ratings 2023
  16. Fiverr Reviews & Ratings 2023
  17. Manage How You Get Paid – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  18. Escrow for Fixed-Price Jobs – Upwork Customer Service & Support
  19. Withdraw your earnings
  20. Freelancer Service Fees
  21. Payments Terms and Conditions
  22. Subscription Pricing | FlexJobs
  23. Learn How it Works - Virtual Vocations
  24. Guru Purchase Order Solutions - Add PO Numbers to Invoices
  25. Guru Pricing for Freelancers - The Benefits of Paid Membership

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