Two of the most popular freelancing platforms are Fiverr and Freelancer.com, and they both provide a unique opportunity to get your first freelancing clients.
But as a beginner, which one is best?
In this guide, I’ll go through everything you need to know about Fiverr and Freelancer. So you’ll be able to choose the right platform to start your freelancing career! I’ll also discuss which is best in each case from a buyer’s point of view.
Note: You don’t just need to choose one or the other—you can set up accounts on both and see which one is best for you!
Fiverr vs Freelancer Summary
|How It Works
|Buyers browse sellers’ gigs
|Buyers post jobs that freelancers bid on
|20% fee for sellers, 5.5% fee for buyers
|10% for sellers, 3% for buyers
|Free for buyers and sellers
|Free and paid options for both
|Varies a lot, often depending on seller level
|It can vary, but generally fairly high
|Ideal starting point for beginners
|Great for beginners, but also more experienced freelancers
What Is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a marketplace of many different services provided by freelancers, spanning over 500 categories. Freelancers can join the platform and create up to seven gigs (this increases as they progress through seller levels).
They use these gigs to sell any skill or service that they have to offer while clients can easily find anyone to fulfil any specific task with ease—and often without having to pay too much as well.
Fiverr allows you to control how much money you want to make depending on the services (and quality of those services) that you offer. Plus, the website rewards your good work by providing you with increased traffic to your gigs, which then leads to more orders and more money!
Is Fiverr Good For Freelancers?
Fiverr is good for freelancers, especially beginners looking to gain some experience and build up their portfolio. You might not be able to charge your dream rates on Fiverr, but it’s a good starting point for those looking to become a freelancer.
You can learn how I used Fiverr to replace the income from my part-time job in this 60+ page ebook
What Is Freelancer?
Freelancer.com works like a big job listing website for freelancers from all kinds of fields of expertise. If you are a client, you simply have to post your job offer on the website, give it a title, provide any information and documentation you need, and wait for the offers to come in.
As a freelancer, you create an account, search for jobs that interest you, and bid on them. You then let the clients know why you’re the right person for the job, and hopefully you get it! I’ll talk more about the bidding process below.
Is Freelancer.com Good For Freelancers?
Freelancer.com is good for freelancers. It’s easy to set up an account, and the platform charges fairly low fees for both buyers and sellers. It’s a good website for freelancers that prefer to bid on projects rather than create their own gigs.
These two websites might have the same goal, which is to make it easier for freelancers and clients to get together and work on projects. But they operate in different ways. Let’s take a look at their differences to help you decide which one is best for you in the case of Fiverr vs Freelancer.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Fees
Let’s start with one of the most common questions about these platforms: how much they charge freelancers and clients. Fiverr and Freelancer charge fees on all payments freelancers receive, and on all payments clients make, but their approaches are very different.
Fiverr’s method for buyers is pretty easy to follow. They charge 5.5% on all orders, and an additional ‘small order fee’ of $2.50 on orders under $75 (this changed from $2 on orders under $50 in June 2023).
Freelancer is a bit more complicated than that, unfortunately. The website applies fees to clients and freelancers in the following ways:
- For clients with fixed priced projects, Freelancer (the platform) takes 3% or $3 (depending on which is greater)
- For clients paying hourly rates, Freelancer takes 3% of every milestone you create (more on these below)
- Freelancers that receive a fixed price are charged 10% or $5 as soon as they accept the project (whichever is greater)
- For every milestone they hit, freelancers are charged a 10% fee when working on hourly projects
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Pricing Systems
In this part, I’ll compare how freelancers on the platform actually charge for their services.
Tip: If you’re starting out as a freelancer and are unsure how much to charge, you should check out your competition before making a decision. Always know your worth and charge accordingly for the quality and effort you provide.
The client pays for the service upfront, but you only receive the payment after they mark the work as complete and Fiverr collects its fee. You can use a milestone system for larger projects too (anything above $100).
On Freelancer, it’s the clients that decide how much they’re willing to pay for a job. While browsing the website for job listings, on each post you’ll see the price ranges that clients choose. They can choose fixed prices or hourly rates. If you’re interested in the job, while bidding, you have to tell the client how much you expect to earn (respecting the price limits imposed by the client).
There are two payment methods on Freelancer: milestone payments and direct transfers. The website recommends always using milestone payments (clients set up milestones and freelancers get paid every time they reach one) because this method is eligible for the dispute resolution service. Plus, an invoice automatically generates for each milestone that freelancers can use for tax purposes.
A direct transfer allows the client to pay the freelancer directly, but this method isn’t eligible for the dispute resolution service, meaning that the website won’t be able to help settle a dispute nor protect the interests of both parties if there’s a problem.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Account Upgrades
Fiverr is completely free for buyers and freelancers. The website offers the chance for sellers to upgrade their gigs to Fiverr Pro gigs, also for free. However, to become eligible for a Pro gig, Fiverr’s Pro team personally evaluates your submission to verify your skills, experience, reviews, past gigs, your connections to previous buyers, among various other things.
Fiverr Pro takes you to a more curated section of the website that only features the best freelancers on the platform. This means bigger brands and companies are watching and that they’re willing to pay a lot more for your services. This takes time and effort, so don’t expect to become a Pro seller as soon as you create your account!
Tip: You can learn more about that aspect of the platform in our guide to Fiverr Pro for businesses.
Signing up for Freelancer is also completely free, but the website offers paid memberships that come with some benefits like more bids per month, more skills slots, faster withdrawals, and access to higher-value projects. The membership plans are the following:
- Basic: $4.99 per month or $54 annually
- Plus: Free 30-day trial, monthly subscription is $8.95
- Professional: $49 per month or $478.80 annually
- Premier: $99 per month or $958.80 annually
Whether it’s worth paying for these plans as a buyer or seller will depend on how much success you have with a free account. The main benefit as a freelancer is that you get more bids, which may be worth trying after you have used the free account for some time. You can see full lists of benefits for each account level on Freelancer’s membership page.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Ease Of Use
On Fiverr, after creating an account, all you need to do is to post a gig offering your chosen skill or service. Freelancers define the prices for each gig, which usually have three different packages to choose from: Basic, Standard, and Premium. The Basic plan is your cheapest option, while the other two generally offer more to the client for a higher price.
As a client, searching for the right person for the job is fairly easy. You can search using keywords or by choosing from the pre-existing categories and sub-categories until you find what you’re looking for.
Freelancer is also pretty straightforward to use. You simply create your account, choose your skill set and the website automatically shows you available jobs that require those skills. Once you find a job you’re interested in, you have to come up with a price and place a bid on it.
From a client’s standpoint, Freelancer’s way of operating can save you a lot of time and effort when searching for the right person to work for you. All you need to do is create an account, post on the job board, and let the freelancers come to you. Then, you just choose which one is best for the job, and the project starts.
Obviously this can still take time, but it’s a more passive system from a client’s perspective.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Quality Of Work (For Outsourcing)
On Fiverr, aside from Fiverr Pro members, anyone can sell their skills without any in-depth verification process from the website. There are no skill tests or certification requirements for most services (there are optional ones), so you’re likely to find quite a variety of expertise levels.
Fortunately, Fiverr sorts things out for you, using its levelling system. It essentially serves as a way of ranking freelancers for the quality and quantity of work they do on the platform. However, just because a freelancer is of a low level doesn’t mean they won’t provide quality work—we all have to start somewhere!
Freelancer also features a mixture of freelancers that range from amateurs to niche professionals. One thing the site offers to separate their best workers is called the Preferred Freelancer Program.
Top-ranking freelancers in their listed skill categories must pass a test to be accepted into this program. As a client, when browsing through applications, choosing Preferred Freelancers is your best bet at getting the best-quality work possible.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Setting Up An Account
It’s easy to create a profile on Fiverr, and it’s free too. Once you put in all your personal information it’s the gigs you need to invest yourself in.
You need to come up with a title, catchy description, prices, and any extra fees for each one. If your gigs aren’t of high quality, you won’t see much traction. So, while setting up an account is easy, setting up an account for success takes a bit more effort!
It’s even easier to set up an account on Freelancer. All you need to do is provide some personal information (you can even skip that part if you choose to sign up with Facebook), specify your location, upload a profile picture, choose your skills, and you’re good to go.
Most things are free on Freelancer, like signing up, posting jobs, bidding, and reviewing applications. However, your monthly bids are limited and you may need to buy more if you want to apply for more jobs.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Which Is Safer?
Both Fiverr and Freelancer are safe websites to use. Both sites recommend that you use their internal systems to communicate with clients and receive payments, for them to be able to protect the interests of both parties at all times.
Of course, all freelancing websites are susceptible to scams, but they are usually easy to detect. If you’re a client, never accept to pay in advance, and beware of copyrighted material (we have a separate article all about copyright on Fiverr). As a freelancer, never accept when clients offer you jobs off-site. Finally, whether you’re a client or a customer, never share your passwords, usernames or IDs.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: Which Is Better For Beginners?
Both of these websites have the same goal, but the way they operate is completely different. Fiverr is a faster-paced website, best suited for handling many small jobs at one time. It caters best to the freelancer, allowing them to choose and control every single aspect of the gigs they post and the skills they offer.
Freelancer is more guided towards the buyers in the sense that the jobs you post are the main focus. Clients post their job offers, with their prices and conditions, and then just have to wait, review all the applicants, and choose the one they deem most suited for the job.
Freelancers, on the other hand, have to search for jobs that interest them and then they have to compete for them by bidding and trying to convince the clients that they’re the obvious choice for the job.
So, as a freelancer, you get to choose which approach you like the most. But you can always test both freelance marketplaces at the same time!
Raquel is a freelance writer with a knack for technology and a passion for science. She draws on her own years of freelance writing experience to craft articles for Freelance Ready on topics including freelancing on Fiverr and the popular blogging platform Medium.com. Learn more about Raquel here.
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