Whether you are a freelancer or a business owner there is one thing you need: to track down each other. Freelancers can help a business meet any missing needs like design, accounting, copywriting, or any general administrative work. And a great place to start finding someone to meet your needs is on freelancing websites and platforms.
The trouble is that the business world changes faster than some of these freelancing platforms. If you want to stay up-to-date, you need to know which freelancing websites to use. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best freelancing websites and platforms, including what they specialize in and whom they’re recommended for.
You can also read our annual freelance report – Design without borders to gain a fresh perspective on how freelancers around the world think, feel and operate.
On the spectrum of freelancing websites, Freelancer is a more formal, business-oriented brand. There won’t be any fortune tellers on here! They offer a large pool of professional-tier freelancers for a variety of business services. Because they cater to larger businesses, freelancers can find some lucrative projects here. A thing to keep in mind is projects require time tracking and logging all working hours into an app.
Freelancers be warned: you have to pay for memberships to remove limitations on bidding and applying.
- freelance business services: web design & development, graphic design, copywriting and accounting
- experienced freelancers who don’t mind working unders restrictions for big business projects
- businesses that run a tight-ship and want to ensure the job gets done timely and efficiently
Guru has a very similar model to Freelancer, in that both focus on higher-end business services. So for businesses it’s a great way to find freelancers with different skills.
For freelancers, you can still find serious gigs that pay well, but again you have to jump through hoops. The biggest complaint about Guru is the freelancer membership fees. The free plan lets you bid on 120 projects per year, but considering other paid memberships have perks like search boosts, premium quotes and sales messages, you’ll likely have to sign up just to compete.
- freelance business services: programming & development, copywriting and graphic design, but also legal, educational and administrative
- established freelancers who can afford paying membership fees for extra leads
- businesses that regularly use freelancers for day-to-day operations and need skilled professionals in a variety of fields
99designs by Vistaprint is a global creative platform that makes it easy for clients and freelance designers to work together online. Our community of professional design experts from around the world focusses on all areas of graphic design, encompassing web design, packaging design, logo design, book covers and many more.
- high-quality, custom graphic design
- freelance designers looking to build a career in graphic design
- businesses of all sizes who need custom design work, such as logos, branding, web design, product packaging and more
PeoplePerHour is not too big that you get lost in the competition, but not too small that the offers are insufficient. It’s a good place for low- and mid-level jobs: ideal for freelancers who aren’t quite beginners and ideal for businesses to find freelancers without using up all of the budget in one go.
Just keep in mind: PeoplePerHour locks in the client deposit right away, so as a freelancer you never have to worry about getting paid.
- freelance business services: programming, copywriting, graphic design and content creation
- low- and mid-level freelancers who want to grow their careers
- SMBs that need freelancers for a variety of professional services, but don’t have a budget to pay for top-tier talent
Outsourcely connects businesses with freelancers all over the world, with an emphasis on long-term relationships. This isn’t a site for a quick job, but more for freelancers and clients who want a continuous and steady working relationship.
As a freelancer to stay competitive here, you’ll have to match the prices of workers from over 180 different countries, but on the plus side you get to keep 100% of your earnings—it’s the clients who pay Outsourcely’s fees.
- long-term business services from remote workers around the world
- freelancers with competitive rates who want long-term remote work
- businesses looking for inexpensive, long-term remote contract workers
ServiceScape focuses primarily on writing, translation and editorial work. If you’re looking for a proofreader or a copywriter you can browse profiles and communicate directly with the freelancers to find the right fit for your project. The platform caters to big businesses as well as small, so top-tier freelancers can charge their rate without worrying about being undercut.
- editorial, translation and copywriting services, with a sizable graphic design community
- freelancer writer, editors and translators mostly, but high-end designers can carve a nice niche there without worry too much about competition
- SMBs interested in improving their content marketing or SEO copywriting
- international businesses expanding into a new country where they’re not native speakers
Short for “top talent,” Toptal advertises that its community only features the top 3% of professionals in fields like development, finance, product management, design, programming and project management. As you can imagine, TopTal can offer some of the highest-paying jobs from the freelancing platforms, but of course not for everyone. They have a rigorous entrance exam that consists of a live screening, professional review, and tests for language and personality.
- freelance business services: programming, graphic design, financial and administrative
- top-tier professionals confident they’re in the top 3%
- high-end companies and enterprises that prefer a freelance employment system
Truelancer leverages remote workers around the world to provide startups and SMBs with low-cost alternatives to local freelancers. They handle business services like writing, sales and marketing, SEO, design and development.
On the downside, freelancers are pushed into buying a membership for gigs over US$75, and even more expensive membership for gigs over US$375. What’s worse, even if you do pay the membership fee, you’ll still have to compete against other low-cost freelancers.
- freelance business services, in particular writing, design and programming
- international freelancers looking to break into larger markets
- small companies and startups on a conservative budget
Fiverr is a fast and cheap freelancing platform (their name refers to the standard $5 fee for gigs), but they don’t limit themselves to any specialities. There is virtually any service on Fiverr, including celebrity impersonations and fortune telling. That means it’s a great place to make a quick buck, or to get a job done quickly.
- cheap micro-gigs for both business and lifestyle tasks
- anyone with a service to provide, from jobs for accounting, design and data entry to fitness and cooking lessons
- new freelancers looking to build a portfolio fast
- businesses looking for anything from accounting and marketing to more unconventional requests, like hiring someone to comment on your blog
Upwork is one of the most well-known freelancing websites, and also one of the biggest. They work with a wide range of industries, from IT and programming to marketing, accounting and admin services, but the sheer amount of competition can make things difficult. To compensate, Upwork uses talent badges to help certain freelancers stand out—if you qualify for one or more of these, in particular a Rising Talent badge, it could make all the difference.
- virtually any freelance business service
- freelancers with the credentials to stand out in a crowd
- businesses that have tried other freelancing websites already but want more options or variety
As surprising as it may seem, WriterAccess specializes in writing work. However, high-paying clients can also browse profiles in other content creation services like videography and photography. WriterAccess has special programs to certify its freelancers in areas like content strategy and offers access to stock photography. Though as a freelancer you should be aware that they take a whopping 30% of your cut.
- writing, translation and editing
- freelancer writers who really need work; otherwise, it’s hard to justify the 30% loss
- hands-on businesses who prefer to browse through profiles on their own to find freelancers they like
YunoJuno is a rather freelancer-friendly platform, centered in the UK. They host freelancers in a variety of business fields, especially in tech and creative fields like development, marketing, copywriting and film. Rates are set by the freelancers, and instead of taking a cut YunoJuno adds a surcharge to the client’s invoice. Unfortunately they are smaller than the other freelancing websites, although they’re the largest in the UK.
- creative business services
- UK-based creative freelancers looking to break into the UK market
- UK-based businesses looking for freelancers to create original content
Join a community just for you
With more freelancers in the workforce than ever before, it’s vital to find the right freelancing website or platform to start your search. Many of the freelancing websites above have a jack-of-all-trades approach, where they offer a few listings for many different fields. But if need something specific, it’s more time-efficient to check freelancing websites and platforms that focus on one field, with more listings relevant to you.