Pro account from $500
Upwork is an online marketplace for freelancers. It enables independent freelancers to remotely collaborate with businesses, both large and small in real-time. The service is mostly intended to connect those who have long or short-term projects to be completed with skilled freelancers from around the world. Upwork has numerous areas in which its freelancers focus – including programming, writing, admin, sales and marketing.
Upwork Fees & Plans
Each of Upwork’s plans include access to qualified freelancers, although prices will vary depending on the package you choose. The platform has a few different fees, some of which help offset the cost of processing payments.
Upwork’s freelancers set their own rates, and do so based on a number of criteria, the most important being credentials and experience.
For all payments made as a client, (which is what Upwork calls those searching for a freelancer) you will pay a 2.75 percent service fee. There are no upfront fees.
Freelancers are responsible for paying a 10 percent service fee for each contract. This is based on a sliding scale that can go up to 20 percent of the entire invoice. Clients who spend more than $910/month (and are located in the U.S., Canada, Australia or the UK) can pay a flat monthly fee of $25 instead of 2.75 percent per payment.
|Upwork||Upwork Pro||Upwork Enterprise|
|Search algorithms to find the right freelancers||✔||✔||✔|
|Built-in collaboration and payment features||✔||✔||✔|
|Freelancers pre-vetted by Upwork||✔||✔|
|Tailored onboarding and payment options||✔||✔|
|Worker classification services||✔|
One of the core advantages of Upwork is that it uses some of the most reliable and experienced freelancers on the market.
Creating A Job with Upwork
When hiring a freelancer, there are a few key things you must keep in the back of your mind. This includes if the project is ongoing or a one-time occurrence. It also includes the amount of freelancers you will need to hire, as hiring multiple simultaneously is an option.
Once you have this information, you should log on to Upwork and search directly for freelancers or post a job.
Here you can make customizations to pricing, and have three options: entry, intermediate and expert. This way, you know what to expect in terms of quality of work. You can also set the term and time commitment required for the job, for which you are given the following options:
- More than six months
- Three to six months
- One to three months
- Less than one week
In terms of time commitment, users can choose from more than thirty hours, less than thirty hours weekly and a more realistic option that says “I don’t know yet.” This allows both parties to come to an agreement once work commences and a routine is established. This lets both you and the freelancer get a better perspective on just how long it will take to fulfill the duties of the project.
Upwork also enables users to choose how qualified their freelancer should be when creating a job. See more freelancer specifications below:
|Job Success Score|
|Hours Hilled on Upwork|
After finalizing your freelancer specifications, you can hit preview to ensure no mistakes are in the post, or simply hit submit. After this, you can sit back, and wait for qualified freelancers to reach out to you or start your quest to find the perfect fit for your project.
Simple to navigate, Upwork takes a comprehensive, no-questions-asked kind of approach to its interface, as it has everything you might need located in a single place. Just take a look at the following screenshots:
Here, you can access reports like weekly summaries, budget, past transactions, timesheets, time by freelancer, time by activity, access a work diary or create a custom report. You can also manage messages, and search for freelancers based on keywords and your own set of criteria. Because of its simple design, Upwork is quite easy to navigate, in fact much more so than other online freelance platforms.
This is left up to you and the freelancer, and should be explicitly stated in the initial contract. If this is done properly, there will be no surprises for the client or for the freelancer.
Finally, your project is complete, and you need to make a payment. Upwork makes this process quite simple as well. As previously mentioned, you pay 2.75 percent of the transaction fee, and freelancers pay an additional fee up to twenty percent on the originally billed amount. This is Upwork’s service fee.
Since you can hire a freelancer on both an hourly and fixed-price basis, you should also consider that payments for hourly projects are paid on a weekly basis, and are done so automatically. You can dispute charges, but also keep in mind, if there are no disputes, the freelancer will be paid in full for his/her week’s work.
For fixed-price jobs, payment occurs once milestones are met, an agreement made between client and freelancer. This is also an automatic payment.
Upwork accepts credit, debit and PayPal, offering a wide-variety of options to ensure your freelancer is paid in a timely manner.
Upwork has a varied price structure, as its freelancers are totally in charge of their own pricing. You have the power to choose from an expansive range of prices.
If you wish to dispute a freelancer’s hours, you can do so through Upwork’s help center. You can also obtain a refund on fixed-priced contracts. You can contact freelancers directly to request a refund, too. It must however have been in the past 180 days. It is also best to reference the terms and conditions of the contract, and Upwork’s terms and conditions as well.
Upwork’s help center gives step-by-step guides on how to resolve most issues that may arise. Regarding a customer service number to get to a representative, Upwork doesn’t appear to have a customer service line, but there are multiple email addresses listed on its site.
Upwork’s blog has a ton of resources not only for freelancers in the form of useful tips and best practices, but advice on working remotely. Its blog also features similar tips for business owners as well, especially those of the startup variety.
Pros & Cons
- You pick your price
- Trusted reviews, that help you decide on a freelancer
- Real-time chat feature enabling you to chat with freelancers
- Customizable settings allow you to manage passwords, security, link additional accounts, manage teams and notification settings
- Overall transparency is high, allowing you to gain insight in the form of reliable reviews
- Sometimes the website is slow
- Processing fee of 2.75 percent
- Long wait times for support
If you want quality work done by some of the best freelancers in the industry, Upwork is for you.
Even with pricing that may be higher than other similar platforms, it is safe to say, with its simple interface, ease-of-use and overall functionality, Upwork provides a great platform with high quality results.