Freelancer platforms such as Toptal, Upwork, Fiverr, and ProBlogger share one goal: to help entrepreneurs and other professionals easily connect and hire freelancers. However, there are key differences that make one better than the other.
In this four-way comparison battle between Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger, we’ll go through each platform’s expertise, profiles, pricing, service fees, and other criteria. This way, you can ultimately hire a full-time or part-time freelancer in your company.
Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger Comparison Table
Deciding between Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger can be a daunting and confusing process, especially if you are hiring freelancers for the first time. To help you choose the best freelance platform for your needs, here is a quick comparison table you can refer to.
|Talent Pool / Categories||Writing and Translation, development and IT, Admin and Customer Support, Sales and Marketing, and more.||Developers, Product Managers, Finance Experts, Project Managers, and Designers.||Graphics and Design, Digital Marketing, Video and Animation, Programming and Tech, and more.||Writers|
|Pricing Plans||Upwork Basic is free. Upwork Plus is $49.99 per month.||Upfront $500 deposit fee. $60 per hour minimum rate for hourly projects.||Free to join. Freelancers set their own pricing for projects.||Free to join. $80 for one job post|
|Trial Period||None||Yes, two week trial period, with a money-back guarantee.||None||None|
|Best for||Long and short-term projects||Highly-skilled freelancers in a very specific specialty/industry||Short-term projects||Writing projects|
|Pros||Large freelancer database, payment protection, weekly invoices, and fixed-price and hourly projects are available. Dedicated time tracker software||Pre-screened candidates through a stringent hiring process.||Hassle-free project ordering system. Over 10,000 gigs.||Industry-specific freelancer platform|
|Cons||Expensive service fee. Vetting process is mostly done by the employer.||Upfront $500 deposit is not appealing to startups. Limited talent pool.||Freelancers overpromise delivery of ordered projects.||Only a job board.|
Toptal (short for top talent) started in 2010. The company boasts an exclusive network of freelance talent in the top 3%. How? Well, they have a stringent 5-step screening process that can take anywhere between 2 to 5 weeks to complete.
Their top clients include Bridgestone, Udemy, Shopify, Duolingo, and more.
The talent pool of Total is limited compared to other platforms, only having freelancers in industries such as design, tech, software, and finance. However, customer satisfaction is guaranteed.
As mentioned earlier, all Toptal freelancers passed the company’s 5-step screening process, which involves skill review and even live screening.
One difference between Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger is the hiring process. With Toptal, you submit your freelancer requirements to them. They will then find the perfect freelancer to match your needs. From then on, it’s a matter of integrating the paired freelancer into your team.
If you are not happy with the match, you have two options. You can restart the matching process again or simply part ways with Toptal. Both methods are at no additional cost to you.
Unlike Upwork, Fiverr, or ProBlogger, Toptal requires a $500 deposit. This will be refunded if you can’t the right Toptal freelancer. If you are happy with the paired Toptal talent, the deposit will show as a credit in your first invoice.
Also, there is no bidding system, and the freelancer sets the hourly rates. Hourly rates typically start at $60.
Trial Period and Payment Methods
Between Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger, only TopTal offers a no-risk trial period. And Toptal accepts PayPal, bank wires, ACH, and even major credit cards.
Currently, Toptal only offers via email, tickets, and phone.
Upwork started in 1999 and went through notable milestones:
- Acquisition by Elance for $1 million in 2005
- Merged with Odesk in 2013
- Rebranding to “Upwork” in 2015
Today, Upwork boasts over 12 million users, global reach, and wide talent categories spanning from writing, finance and accounting, IT, and more.
Upwork’s client list includes Microsoft and Airbnb.
As mentioned earlier, there are more than 12 million Upwork freelancers. You can browse talents through different categories, ranging from Sales & Marketing, Writing & Translation, Finance & Accounting, Development & IT, and more.
Given Upwork has a massive database of freelancers, they use a talent badge system to differentiate the experience level of the talents. These badges are:
- Rising Talent: A new Upwork freelancer with a 100% completed freelancer profile and complied with Upwork’s Terms of Service (ToS)
- Top Rated: 90% higher job success score for at least 13 weeks. Freelancer also has earned at least $1,000 in 12 months.
- Top Rated Plus: Freelancers with a Top Rated Plus badge are the top 3% of the platform. They have a 90% higher job success score for at least 13 weeks and $10,000 earnings in 12 months.
- Expert Vetted: Invitation-only vetting process wherein eligible candidates are given a pre-screening process.
There are three ways you can hire an Upwork freelancer.
- The first option is to post a job and let freelancers apply and bid.
- The second option is to invite freelancers to your job listing.
- Purchase a predefined service through a freelancer’s project catalog.
When listing a job post, you can set the project hourly or fixed-priced. With hourly projects, freelancers are required to use Upwork’s dedicated desktop tracker. You can review the logged hours and dispute any discrepancies.
On the other hand, fixed-priced projects do not require a tracker. Instead, you and the freelancer agree on a “milestone.”
Upwork offers three membership plans – Upwork Basic, Upwork Plus, and Upwork Enterprise.
Upwork Basic is free, whereas Upwork Plus costs $49.99/month. Both have a 5% service fee charge (3% if you will be paying via ACH). On the other hand, the pricing for an Upwork Enterprise plan is tailored-fit to your company’s requirements.
|Upwork Basic||Free||Post jobs for free, browse and review candidates, and access reports (work diary, transactions, and weekly summary email).|
|Upwork Plus||$49.99/month||Everything in the Basic plan plus chat and phone support, account manager, and talent specialist.|
Trial Period and Payment Methods
One of the key differences between Toptal vs Upwork is that Upwork doesn’t offer any trial period. And like most freelancer platforms, Upwork accepts Visa, Mastercard, and other major credit cards.
For hourly projects, you will be invoiced and billed every week. With a fixed-price, you will need to make a deposit which Upwork will hold in escrow and will only release payment to the freelancer if you approve the milestone.
Upwork offers support for clients and freelancers. Unfortunately, 24/7 support is given priority to those with paid subscription plans.
Another popular freelance marketplace is Fiverr. The company’s founders, Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger, launched the platform in 2010. Many employers use Fiverr because of its hassle-free, streamlined project ordering system. In fact, Fiverr has an intuitive app for android and iOS.
Just like Upwork, there are hundreds of freelancing types on Fiverr. You can find a freelancer specializing in logo design, explainer videos, audio mixes, and animation. There are also gigs for social media management, SEO, and content writing.
So, how do you determine if the freelancer is right for you? Similar to Upwork, Fiverr freelancers have levels:
- New Seller: New Fiverrfreelancer and often offers the cheapest gigs.
- Level 1: An active freelancer for at least 60 days and have completed 10 gigs.
- Level 2: Seller for at least 120 days and has completed 50 orders.
- Top-Rated Seller: Seller has earned $20,000, completed at least 100 gigs, and has been active for at least 180 days.
Tip: If you want to save time and effort in searching for the best talent, opt for Fiverr Pro, wherein the vetting process falls on Fiverr.
As mentioned earlier, Fiverr is known for its streamlined interface. You don’t even have to create an account to check the platform’s talent pool. So, how does Fiverr work?
First things first, freelancer services are called gigs, whereas sellers are referred to as sellers. Business owners or any individual who will purchase a gig is called a buyer.
Sellers join Fiverr for free, post, and set the pricing of their gigs. A gig is divided into three packages – basic, standard, and premium.
For instance, a basic 500-word article package costs $25, with six days turnover, whereas a premium 1500-word article costs $95 and has a delivery time of seven days.
On the other hand, buyers can browse through the marketplace, find the right talent, and purchase a gig package based on their needs. The last step is to wait for the seller to deliver your order.
When you place an order, the payment is upfront. Fiverr will keep it in escrow until you’ve approved the provided work.
Creating a Fiverr account is free; you will only be paying once you’ve approved the delivered project. Keep in mind that Fiverr charges a 5.5% service fee of the gig amount.
Trial Period and Payment Methods
There is no trial period when you hire on Fiverr. The good thing is you will only be paying for services you’ve ordered and approved.
In case you aren’t happy with the delivered work, Fiverr offers exceptional support. For instance, you can cancel the order and get a refund if the seller is unresponsive within 24 hours.
Darren Rowse launched ProBlogger in 2004 as a way to connect with other bloggers and for him to keep track of what he was learning about blogging. Fast forward to over 8000 published articles, ProBlogger has become one of the best places to learn about blogging.
In addition to the articles, eBooks, and courses, ProBlogger has a dedicated job board.
True to its roots, ProBlogger’s talent pool consists of ghostwriters or article writers. In the Candidate Search of ProBlogger, there is a dropdown list of job category filters. However, when we toggled one of the options, there were no search results.
There are two ways you can find a freelancer for your project – view ProBlogger’s Candidate List or post a job. Both will require you to sign up.
With the Candidate List, you can browse registered ProBlogger freelancers for free. However, if you want to get the contact details of a possible freelancer, you will need to pay $10.
The other route, which is to post a job, is more preferred by employers. As mentioned earlier, ProBlogger uses a job board, which is a bit similar to Craigslist.
After you sign up and pay the $80 fee to post a job, the next step is entering the project details. Unfortunately, the job post’s visibility is only up to 15 days. That means if you are unable to find the right talent before the expiration, you’ll need to purchase again.
Keep in mind that ProBlogger doesn’t have a stellar website, especially when you compare it with other top freelancer platforms. For instance, in Upwork, you can review a freelancer’s profile, check completed projects, and so on. In ProBlogger, freelancer profiles are kept basic – much like a resume. So, you will have to put extra effort into checking the applications.
Joining ProBlogger is free, but if you want to post a job, you will need to pay. For one job listing, it will set you back $80. If you want to increase your job listing’s visibility, get the featured listing which will cost you $160. Both listings are only visible for 15 days.
There are also membership packages, which we only recommend if you regularly hire new writers.
Trial Period and Payment Methods
ProBlogger doesn’t offer a no-risk trial period or risk-free trial. Similar to other platforms, ProBlogger accepts major credit cards.
Unlike Upwork, Toptal, and Fiverr, ProBlogger doesn’t have a dedicated client support department. Remember, ProBlogger only has a job board, so the entire process of hiring a freelancer, all the way to communicating with the freelancer, is by yourself.
Finding the Best Talent for High-Quality Work
Choosing between Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, and ProBlogger ultimately boils down to three things – your budget, the type of work you need, and how much you value quality work. Hopefully, our Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Fiverr vs. ProBlogger comparison has given you a better idea of where to find the best freelancers.