Upwork vs Fiverr: Which one is better?

Upwork vs Fiverr: Which one is better?

Upwork Or Fiverr

Upwork and Fiverr are two of the most popular platforms for freelancers. Both offer services for hiring and working, but each one has a different approach. Upwork is more used for mid-term and long-term jobs whereas Fiverr works better for one-time jobs. Keep reading to know what are the differences between the two, and which ones suit you better.

Platforms Overview

Upwork was created in 2015 when two online platforms Elance and oDesk were merged. It is a global job platform that allows searching for jobs and freelancers. Upwork is one of the biggest freelancing platforms with nearly 150 thousand active users spending and earning money through the platform. The way Upwork works is very simple: Clients and freelancers create their accounts. Clients use their accounts for posting jobs/projects and contacting freelancers who can work on them. The freelancers create a profile related to their skills and background. They can search for job posts by clients by spending connects which are monthly credits for bidding on projects. Upwork launched a project catalog service in 2021 that allows freelancers to offer services for a fixed price, and the clients to search for those in form of a catalog.

Fiverr was launched in 2010 as a marketplace platform where users offered their services in the form of digital goods. The platform allowed graphic designers, developers, translators, and writers. Nowadays Fiverr is one of the most popular platforms for selling and buying freelance services that don’t require long-term contracts. The digital services are sold in form of gigs which are one-time services that the freelancers offer. The way Fiverr operates is the following: Freelancers create a profile where they set the gigs/services they want to offer and the price for each. Clients create a buyer account that allows them to search for the specific services/gigs they need. Upwork also offers accounts for businesses that allow more than 1 person to use the account, so each department contact and hire different freelancers.

Main Features

Search and posting tools

Upwork interface makes searching for jobs and freelancers easy. It allows clients to search for the best freelancer available for the job they need to be completed. Clients can explain in detail the job requirements through job postings, and also they are able to search for the best freelancers based on their qualifications.  For Freelancers, it allows them to search for specific jobs/projects and narrow the results. The filters they can apply are clients’ budget, the duration of the project, the location, and the level of experience required.

Messaging app

Upwork has a real-time messaging app that allows connecting freelancers and clients when they have a running contract. The messaging app allows audio calls, video calls, screen sharing, and schedule zoom meetings.



Upwork tries that freelancers’ information is as accurate as possible through verification. This makes the platform securer and avoids scammers contacting clients. Clients are more confident that the freelancers they’re contacting can deliver the work they’re paying for.


Desktop and mobile app

Upwork also has a desktop app that allows freelancers to track their working hours and manage their contract memos (records of tasks they’ve done). The mobile app allows messaging and looking for projects and freelancers.

Multicategory searching

You can perform searches for services that fall into different categories. This will make your searches easier since you’ll be able to find the top gigs for each category. You also can narrow the results based on the seller rating and qualifications (seller level). As a freelancer, you can categorize your gigs so clients are more likely to find them. You can add more than 1 category for your gigs.

✓ Contact seller before buying

Another cool feature of Fiverr is that it allows contacting the seller before buying. If the clients have any doubt about the gig they’re planning to buy they can contact the client beforehand. They also can explain details about the work that needs to be done. This is also good for freelancers since they can let the clients know if the service they offer will fullfill their expectations

✓ Custom offers

If what the client is looking for doesn’t fit with the seller’s gigs, They can agree on a custom project with a custom price. This way the freelancers will receive a fair payment for their work, and the clients will get exactly what they want.


When an order is placed, both sellers and buyers can be in touch through a real-time messaging app until the order is finished. The messaging app allows uploading attachments if they need to. 

Quality of Jobs

Regarding quality, both Upwork and Fiverr try to provide the best job quality for clients. Upwork has some mechanisms that ensure that clients and freelancers agree on deliveries before starting a contract. They often remark that the project briefing must be as clear as possible, and if they schedule deliveries (milestones), the freelancer must meet those on time. If troubles surge during a contract, disputes are a way for Upwork to mediate them. Also, the desktop tracking tool allows the clients to see freelancers’ progress


Fiverr on the other hand also has some functions that try to bring the best quality for their clients. They allow reviewing the freelancers after they deliver the order. If the quality was not good, reviewing is a way to warn other clients that the job was bad quality. Contrary, if the quality was very good freelancers can scale up their profile and increase their seller level which ranks them higher.


Upwork has a support staff that is continuously helping both freelancers and clients solve their doubts and issues. They are active in their community forum where both users and staff can post their doubts and opinions about the service. They also have a chat available 7/24/365 to answer questions. In general terms, Upwork support is good quality, although sometimes you need to wait some hours for a response.

Fiverr also provide support through email and a chat for business accounts that helps them solve their doubts. They have a knowledge base for frequently searched topics. From our experience, Fiverr support is slower than Upwork, but they always get to solve your issues.


Upwork Fees

Upwork has two types of fees: Freelancers fees and Clients fees. The first one applies to freelancers and they must take those fees into account when setting up their billing rates:

– Upwork charges 20% for the first $500 billed on the project. 

– Then it charges 10% from $500.1 to $10,000 billed. 

– The lower fee is 5% when the billing exceeds  $10,000.01.

The second fee applies to clients when they make payments. This is called a processing fee and equals the 3% for each payment made. For example, if the client pays $1000, Upwork will charge $30 for that transaction. This fee doesn’t apply to clients with an enterprise account.

Fiverr Fees

Similar to Work, Fiverr also offers fees for both buyers and sellers. As of 2022, Fiver charges clients 5.5% for each purchase they make. Also, if the purchase is under $50, Fiverr charges an additional fee of $2.

For freelancers, Fiverr charges a 20% commission for each payment received. This means the freelancer’s earnings equal 80% of the gig that was sold.

Which one is better?

Both Freelancer and Fiverr are two great platforms for getting quality jobs and for earning money for freelancers. However, the focus for each one is different. If you want to get a one-time service done fast, Fiverr is more optimized for those jobs. However, you have to be careful in choosing rightly the seller so you will receive exactly what you need. It’s highly recommended that you contact the seller before placing an order so you can know if the gig is right for you. If you are a freelancer, Fiverr is a great platform to offer your services in form of packages. You can set a price for them and wait for clients to buy. However is a bit difficult to get your first orders. 

Upwork on the other hand is better to find freelancers that will work more closely with clients in mid and long-term contacts. This is great if the clients need more requirements for their jobs as they’ll be able to interview freelancers first and know if they can fulfill them entirely and how. Freelancers, on the other hand, can work on more complex projects that require more time but are more profitable than smaller projects.

Although choosing a winner is very hard since the focus of both platforms is different, we choose Upwork as the winner since their platform is better optimized for both freelancers and clients. As a freelancer, you can get both small and complex projects that are profitable. And as a client, you can post more detailed project briefs and get a qualified freelancer that will get it done. Upwork also launched recently the project catalog service, which offers very similar functionality to Fiverr’s gigs.

Become an expert Upwork Freelancer

In DigitalME we are committed to freelancers’ journey because we know the hard work it implies, especially at the beginning. For that reason, our founder Ross Jenkins provides his expertise and experience through the Upwork mentoring program. As a freelancer himself (one of the best ranked on the platform) he knows of all the hurdles freelancers need to overcome, and what their ambitions are.  By joining in, you’ll learn some secrets and tricks to become an expert freelancer, and how to run an agency through the platform. If you are interested click on the button and fill in the form so Ross can schedule a personal call with you.