Best Freelance Websites to Consider | Top 10 Freelance Websites | Coding Ninjas
Coding Ninjas
September 2019
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Best Freelance Websites to Consider | Top 10 Freelance Websites

Andrey ZagorodniyAndrey Zagorodniy

Top 10 Best Freelance Websites: your handy cheat sheet

As a company owner, chances are you’ve at least once considered outsourcing for business tasks. This is often a viable solution because of its cost-effectiveness, versatility, and direct communication between you and the contractor.

If you Google up a list of freelance websites, the number of platforms you find will be astonishing. How do you know where to hire? Can a contractor do the job well? To avoid wasting your time and money, you only want to hire on the best freelance websites. 

To help you choose from the wide variety of services, we’ve prepared a list of top 10 freelance websites that accommodate qualified, experienced contractors. 

Coding Ninjas review

coding ninjas logo png

Overall score – 4.8

stars rating 4.8 out of 5

Coding Ninjas is a reliable resource for hiring highly skilled web and software developers. A balanced price and quality solution.

Reviews – 5

Coding Ninjas has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Trustpilot (98% positive reviews) and G2 Crowd (100% positive reviews). The latter named the platform “High Performer Summer 2019.” The majority of the reviews come from customers commending fast and efficient service, and the professionalism of developers.   

coding ninjas trustpilot reviews
coding ninjas g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 5

Coding Ninjas rely on a multi-stage vetting process when hiring new contractors. The company’s staff interview every freelancer to check their hard and soft skills, so you’ll end up hiring a competent developer. Coding Ninjas live support team ensures your projects are delivered on time and according to your requirements. All contractors speak good English, so you won’t have problems communicating with them.     

Prices – 4

Coding Ninjas only accept  Eastern European freelancers on their network. Many believe this to be an advantage: devs from this region (particularly, from Ukraine) are known to be highly skilled and work for reasonable hourly rates. On Coding Ninjas, they fluctuate within the $20-45 range. This is way more affordable than on Toptal or Gun.io. But, if you are really short on budget, you can still find platforms with cheaper services.       

Security – 5

Security is one of Coding Ninjas’ priorities. You can (and are encouraged to) sign an NDA with a freelancer you hire from Coding Ninjas. All the communication and project data transfers between you and the contractor are direct, so none of the info you exchange with them is stored on Coding Ninjas servers. The company also sees its thorough pre-screening procedures as an additional guarantee of your safety,   

Customer Service – 5

Coding Ninjas will find you a perfectly suitable expert within the minimal time limit possible. Usually, the time between you place an order and a freelancer starts working on it takes up to 24 hours, which is faster than on some of the best freelance websites such as Toptal. The support team monitors and coordinates your work with them, to ensure you have the best possible customer experience. You can address whatever questions you have to the company managers, and expect a fast solution. 

Gigster review

gigster logo png

Overall score – 3.8

stars rating 3.8 out of 5

What is Gigster? A service that assembles teams of freelancers to build software products for you, based on your requirements. A good viable idea with some flaws in realization.  

Reviews – 3

Gigster reviews are surprisingly polar and few. At the time of writing, the company only has a 5-star review on G2 Crowd and a 1-star review on Trustpilot.  

Gigster review on G2 Crowd is cheerful and claims the website to be “the best platform for freelance developers,” but on Trustpilot, we’ve found a call to “stay away from this company.” 

On Quora, you can find reviews mentioning poor project management and incompetent developers – but, once again, mixed with cheerful positive comments. 

We’d say Gigster reviews are confusing.

gigster trustpilot reviews
gigster g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 5

The platform claims to have a meticulous screening process filtering out 99% of the applying contractors. When you put in your requirements and get quoted, the platform assembles a team whose expertise matches your demands. 

Usually, the team comprises 5 and more members, including product manager, project manager, designers, software engineers, and so on. Sounds great: a team of Gigster’s top 1% talents, and a project manager to discuss all project-related matters with! 

But, in practice, Gigster relies on AI algorithms when assembling the teams, and sometimes fails to match you with the best possible candidates for the job.

Perhaps in the future, AI will become advanced enough to guarantee you the perfect match. But, so far, contractors on top freelance websites are mostly handpicked for a job by staff members.  

Prices – 3

Project costs depend on the size and complexity of a software piece you want Gigster teams to build. Gigster pricing starts with $150,000, so if you are a big company with an appropriate budget it won’t scare you away, probably. Given that app development costs can break a $1M mark, Gigster might not be the best option for smaller companies and startups.

gigster prices

Security – 5

Gigster uses strict NDAs for its team members and cooperates with your CISO to make sure its work matches your security requirements. This puts Gigster’s safety policies among the most reliable, even compared to other best freelance websites on this list.     

Customer Service – 3

There were reports regarding miscommunication and project managers abandoning orders midterm (you can check this Quora thread for details). Customers suggest you might be satisfied with Gigster’s services if you are a non-tech person ordering a relatively simple project. Otherwise, your experience with the platform might turn out to be frustrating.  

Freelancer review

freelancer logo png

Overall score – 3.4

stars rating 3.4 out of 5

Any list of top freelance websites would not be complete without this platform. Freelancer.com is among the best websites for freelancers where you can find experts of all possible profiles. It can just take some time and effort to find your perfect contractor. 

Reviews – 4

Naturally, Freelancer reviews are numerous. On Trustpilot alone, there are hundreds of positive Freelancer reviews: people mostly commend the platform’s excellent customer service. To us, this looks a bit suspicious, though, because many such reviews are 5-stars, contain no specific details, and were published recently by users with just one or two reviews. 

On the other hand, negative Freelancer reviews often mention scammers or unscrupulous workers and provide details of the customers’ negative experiences.  If you are planning to use Freelancer.com, check out our article on how to detect freelance scammers – just to be on the safe side.  

freelancer trustpilot reviews
freelancer g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 4

The platform has many excellent pros working on it. The main problem is that Freelancer.com relies on bidding. For you, it means that along with some great pros there will be a bunch of unskilled beginners or even scammers applying for your job posting. Which makes hiring a contractor on the platform a bit of a guessing game. 

Prices – 4

The platform uses a system of fees that depend on whether you hire a freelancer for a fixed price or an hourly rate. For fixed-price projects, you will have to additionally pay 3% of the sum or $3, whichever is greater. For hourly-rate projects, each time you pay your contractor, the platform levies 3% of that sum. As for the rest, Freelancer is a bidding platform, so the prices vary greatly.

Security – 3

The platform utilizes the system of ID verification and allows you to set up secure milestone payments. It also has a time tracker to ensure you pay only for the actual work hours of the contractor you hired. Alas, all this does not repel hundreds of irresponsible wannabe freelancers, profile hijackers, scammers, and other suspicious folks. 

Customer Service – 2

Customers often rant about the platform’s user interface that impedes communication with freelancers, and about accounts being blocked for no obvious reasons. Also, it looks like support team members are not always available because sometimes disputes and refund requests remain unattained for a long time. On the other hand, when support does jump in, your issue will probably be resolved… someday. 

PeoplePerHour review

peopleperhour logo png

Overall score – 3.4

stars rating 3.4 out of 5

A medium-sized platform to hire virtual assistants for non-urgent, smaller tasks such as data entry, or quick fixes and minor edits. However, if you are searching for developers, you’d better look elsewhere.

Reviews – 4

PeoplePerHour reviews are mixed. Mostly, customers get excited about how well a hired contractor performed, or how simple it was to use the services. On the other hand, many PeoplePerHour reviews mention the inability to get help from the support team or complain about high fees. 

peopleperhour trustpilot reviews
peopleperhour g2 crowd reviews

Talent –  4

PeoplePerHour is one of the best freelancer websites, employing many qualified experts, or sellers, as they are called here. Despite the occasional reports mentioning missed deadlines and poor quality of work, mostly, the contractors working on the platform are competent.   

Prices – 2

The platform’s advertised hourlies – small jobs for fixed prices – turn out to be not so affordable, after all. All because of the numerous PeoplePerHour fees and additional transactions the service imposes you with. 

For example, there is a bunch of commissions for using different payment methods: £0.6 + 10% of the sum. How about a £26 NDA fee (good thing it’s optional)? There is a £50 fee to mark your project as “featured” (otherwise, it’ll quickly vanish in a number of jobs posted by other clients). And if you are in a hurry, prepare to pay an extra £10 for urgency. 

Security – 4

You know your payments are safely processed if a platform utilizes Escrow – and PeoplePerHour does so. There is also Work Stream – a record of all your communications with a hired freelancer, which is your only source of evidence to back up your claims to the support team. Unfortunately, there is still a standard risk of running into a scammer or being ghosted. 

Customer Service – 3

PeoplePerHour’s customer service does not live up to the level of other top freelance websites. One of the most popular reasons for customer complaints is that the company’s helpdesk seems to be little of use. Some users point out it can take forever for the support team to provide assistance or to process a refund. Generally, people tend to have better experiences with PeoplePerHour competitors. 

99Designs review

99designs logo png

Overall score – 4.2

stars rating 4.2 out of 5

99Designs rightfully occupies its place in this list of the top 10 freelance websites. A nice platform, able to deliver a solution when you need a logo, web design, or corporate identity for your startup. 

Reviews – 4

99Designs reviews on Trustpilot and G2 Crowd are mostly positive. Customers agree that the platform can deliver decent results for reasonable prices, although you should not expect anything extraordinary.

99designs trustpilot reviews
99designs g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 5

Being one of the best freelance websites when you need a solution in graphic or web design, the platform works on a contest basis. This allows you to easily gather and review the submissions of multiple designers based on your job requirements. The majority of designers on the platform are responsive, so more often than not, you will be able to discuss your project with the designer in detail. 

Alas, along with qualified specialists, 99Designs accommodates many beginners and wannabe designers. For you, it means that in each contest you post there will be some good entries created by qualified pros, and a bunch of generic (and sometimes plagiarised) submissions. Wading through all the submissions can be quite time-consuming. 99Designs competitors suffer from this problem as well, so this is not unique to the platform.

To avoid that, you can keep entries closed from other designers, so that they could not see each other’s submissions.  

Prices – 4

99Designs pricing comes in several packages, differing mostly in the number of entries your contest can gather, and features. The cheapest pricing plan will cost you $299  and includes copyright ownership, moneyback guarantee, and up to 30 submissions. The most expensive pricing plan costs $1,299. Along with the basic features, it grants you with prioritized support and a dedicated manager for organizing the work process. The package allows only 60 submissions, but all of them come from the platform’s top-level designers.  

Security – 4

As on other best freelancer websites, there is a thorough ID verification procedure for each applying designer, so you can be sure you work with real people, not scammers. Unfortunately, this does not always save you from freelancers who ghost you

Customer Service – 4

A friendly and helpful support team will see you through the majority of your problems with the platform and/or with the contractors applying to your contests. 99Designs website is somewhat bulky in terms of user interface, and has unintuitive navigation (how ironic is that for a service housing hundreds of web designers?)   

Upwork review

upwork logo jpg

Overall score – 3.6

stars rating 3.6 out of 5

One of the best websites for freelance work with high competition among the contractors. It can take a while before you find a skilled pro who is matching your requirements. 

Reviews – 3

Surprisingly, if you take a quick glance at the company’s page on Trustpilot, it will be difficult for you to find positive Upwork reviews. Negative Upwork reviews are not just typical, “Meh, I didn’t like it” comments, but detailed rants with some very specific details. Mostly, they come from freelancers complaining about the company’s policies and slow payment processing. But, we’ve also seen customers rant about high fees and poor customer service a lot.

We’ve also seen a huge number of negative Upwork reviews having been flagged by the company as if it tried to fight reviews instead of improving its services.

G2 Crowd reviews look better, in general, but mention the same problems. 

upwork trustpilot reviews
upwork g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 4

Being one of the best freelancer websites, Upwork employs a huge number of experts in a wide range of fields. But, just as on Freelancer.com, your chances of hiring a skilled pro are as high as running into a complete beginner. To avoid that, you can (and should) review the applying freelancers’ portfolios and testimonials, but imagine how much time it will occupy. Respectively, job success rates and the quality of delivered work depend on a contractor, too.  

So, considering this, is Upwork legit? Yes, although finding a qualified expert on Upwork can be a matter of luck, patience, or both. 

Prices – 5

Upwork pricing for customers is one of the major reasons why we decided to include it to our list of the best freelance platforms. Signing up and hiring freelancers is free – you only pay what you and the contractor agreed upon. Obviously, prices depend on the contractor’s skill, area of expertise, and other factors. In general, prices on Upwork do not hit the ceiling. E.g., you can find software developers whose hourly rates start from $30 per hour.

Also, you have the option to purchase one of the pricing plans for additional benefits such as dedicated account managers to help you hire qualified freelancers, project management tools, and so on. Prices start with $49,99 per month and look rather affordable.

Upwork fees for clients are minimal. There is only a 3% payment processing fee, and that’s it.

Security – 3

Upwork utilizes Escrow, so you can expect your payments to be protected. On the other hand, even though the platform utilizes ID verification, Upwork competitors often have better security measures. It just does not protect you from scammers: your chances of running into one of them are considerable. 

Customer Service – 3

Upwork is known for its reluctant customer support. Clients reported having had problems with even contacting it, not to mention receiving assistance. Accounts being blocked for no obvious reason and ignored requests to the support team are just some of the most common issues with Upwork’s customer service.   

Gun.io review

gun.io logo png

Overall score – 4.6

stars rating 4.6 out of 5

Even among other best freelance websites, Gun.io is an outstanding one. A great but expensive platform for hiring freelance software engineers. 

Reviews – 5

Customers mostly commend on how fast the platform finds freelancers matching their requirements, and on the skills of the hired contractors. This Gun.io review sums it up perfectly, “With zero effort on our part, Gun.io took our requirements and created a pipeline of freelancers, interviewed them and sent us the top candidate. After a 30-minute tech screen, we were off and running – and we’ve learned a lot from the contractor. There’s absolutely no way we would have found a contractor at the skill level we were looking for without spending many days of work.”

As for the complaints, we didn’t manage to find a single negative Gun.io review. To us, it looks like Gun.io is one of the best freelance job websites on the list, so far. Famous companies such as Cisco, NBC or Tesla are among Gun.io clients, which adds credibility to the platform.

gun.io trustpilot reviews
gun.io g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 5

Gun.io has a thorough vetting process testing on both the technical and communication skills of the freelancers they hire. We’d dare say their screening algorithms are better than on some of the other top rated freelance websites. 90% of Gun.io talents are based in the United States, which eliminates one of the major inconveniences in working with remote contractors: different time zones. Gun.io also claims to assign freelancers to projects considering their cultural backgrounds. This is totally one of our favorite top 10 freelance websites. 

Prices – 3

Gun.io talents are not cheap. Hourly rates start from $75 and can reach up to $150 per hour. Prices depend on the contractor’s experience and skill set. You can also choose the package of hours that you want to work with a freelancer: the more hours in package mean higher cost savings in the long run.  

Security – 5

You can transfer payment for services directly to your contractor’s bank account, using your credit card. The platform uses Stripe Connect API to handle all the transfers. Gun.io prioritizes the security of its customers’ data, so all of the sensitive information you share with or through the platform is thoroughly protected.

Customer Service – 5

The platform does a great job addressing the customers’ needs, troubleshooting, and searching for suitable talents. It takes Gun.io up to 48 hours to find a freelancer for your needs, which is faster than some top freelancer websites are capable of. 

Toptal review

toptal logo png

Overall score – 4.4

stars rating 4.4 out of 5

What is Toptal for customers? In the first place, this is one of the top freelancer websites to look for software engineers, designers, and financial experts. Secondly, a bit slow and inconsistent customer service.

Reviews – 5

The absolute majority of Toptal reviews on Trustpilot are positive. The thing customers like the most about Toptal is the overall skill of freelancers working on the platform: almost everyone mentions high professionalism, clear communication, and solid results. Negative Toptal reviews seem to be left by the freelancers who failed to pass Toptal’s screening procedures.

On G2 Crowd, Toptal users report occasional miscommunication and complain about the platform’s expensiveness.  

toptal trustpilot reviews
toptal g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 5

Talent is the reason why we believe Toptal to be one of the best freelance websites. Toptal boasts of hiring only the best freelancers. Out of all the applicants, only 3% manage to pass the screening process and get hired. Vetting procedures work similarly to Coding Ninjas and are aimed at filtering out unscrupulous or unprofessional contractors.        

What we really liked is that if you absolutely need your freelancer to be physically present on-site, Toptal can arrange that. As we understood, there were few instances of physical relocation of contractors so far, but this is a great option.

Prices – 3

Toptal hourly rates are two times more expensive than on Coding Ninjas. Fixed price jobs may be expensive as well. E.g., part-time devs on Toptal cost around $1000–$1600 per week. Full-time developers are available for prices within the range of $2000–$3200 per week. 

Contractors in other areas can cost even more. Hiring a full-time designer will cost you anywhere between $2400–$5200 per week and financial experts will empty your pocket for $4000–$6400 per week.   

This makes Toptal definitely great for bigger enterprises, but if you are running a startup or a small company, you might have problems with their prices. 

Security – 5

When you hire someone on Toptal, you will have to make an initial $500 deposit. The platform has a no-risk trial period, so if you are not satisfied with the work for some reason, you will be refunded in full. If everything is fine, this money will be used to pay the freelancer. 

Everything produced by the platform’s freelancers is Toptal’s intellectual property, which is passed to you under the client agreement. It is also possible to request a direct transfer of the intellectual property rights from the contractor – Toptal will assist you in this case as well. 

Customer Service – 3

Toptal is a huge company, so sometimes your requests may be processed not as fast as you’d like. There were situations when Toptal support members acted defensively against negative feedback from users. Also, there have been freelancer complaints about Toptal recruiters being unprofessional and rejecting them for no reason. Otherwise, Toptal managers will see you through your problems with the platform.  

Fiverr review

fiverr logo png

Overall score – 3.4

stars rating 3.4 out of 5

What is Fiverr? It’s a huge marketplace specializing in creative and digital services, able to deliver decent solutions if you need a quick project draft, or want to hire someone for a simple routine job. 

Reviews – 3

Lots of negative Fiverr reviews mention poor customer support. Also, some reports mention user accounts being suspended or blocked for no obvious reason. Positive Fiverr reviews mostly come from customers satisfied with the skills of the freelancers they hired.  

fiverr trustpilot reviews
fiverr g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 4

There are many experienced and skilled freelancers on Fiverr, but you will have to search for them by trial and error. We’d recommend trying a freelancer out with smaller tasks before hiring them for more serious projects. 

Prices – 5

Fiverr is a bidding platform, so the prices for contractors’ services vary a lot. As a customer, you will have to pay a $1 processing fee for jobs that cost up to $20. Everything higher than that is subject to a 5% commission from the overall sum.  

Security – 3

As on many other sites like Fiverr, you can review freelancer profiles and feedback about their work. But, it can be not enough to protect yourself from scammers. Sometimes the problem can be not in the contractors, but in the platform itself. For example, this Trustpilot user reports his credit card having been billed multiple times, without the support team doing anything to help them out. There also seems to be no escrow system on Fiverr.

Customer Service – 2

It looks like user experiences are unsatisfactory. Both customers and sellers complain about the Fiverr’s unresponsive support team: it seems like it’s difficult to get help other than, “Please be patient” (if any at all). The platform is reluctant to provide refunds as well. For some, this is a viable reason to start looking for Fiverr alternative.

On the other hand, Fiverr tends to take on the customers’ side in the contractor–client disputes.    

Codeable review

codeable logo png

Overall score – 4

stars rating 4 out of 5

Codeable is a trusted platform to look for pre-screened developers, but the results it delivers can be inconsistent.

Reviews – 4

Codeable reviews usually praise the quality of the services its freelancers provide, and the prompt response from the support team (by the way, Codeable responds to almost every review on Trustpilot as well). Negative reviews mention missed deadlines and errors in code. 

codeable trustpilot reviews
codeable g2 crowd reviews

Talent – 4

Codeable has a 5-step screening process, including a 45-days trial period for new freelancers. In theory, it means that any contractor you hire is a pro. But, considering the negative reviews, it looks like not all of the contractors manage to keep up to the platform’s standards once getting hired. 

Prices – 3

Codeable pricing is quite expensive: the hourly rates its developers work for start at $60. The only extra fee Codeable charges clients with is the 17,5% on top of the project estimate provided to you by a freelancer. 

Security – 5

Codeable uses the services of the two payment processors: SafeCharge and PayPal. Your payments are also protected by the escrow policies, which we think is a must for all top freelance websites. 

Customer Service – 4

The support team is friendly and quick to respond, but based on multiple user reviews it looks like it is not always able to solve your problems as a customer. 

What is the best freelance platform?

Table of results 

Now, the most exciting part of the article: let’s rate the best freelance websites! The table below contains the final results based on the overall scores each platform gained.  

best freelance platforms rating

Verdict

Among the top 10 freelance websites specializing in web and software development, there are three leaders whose services you should consider using in the first place. 

Coding Ninjas is probably one of the best freelance websites to hire contractors from in terms of value for money. A quickly developing platform for pre-screened developers, it mostly works with pros from Eastern Europe. For you, it means high quality of the work done and reasonable prices.  

Gun.io is an expensive but reliable resource housing some of the best software engineers. It enjoys the trust of such companies as Cisco, NBC, or Tesla, and will not let you down. If you can afford its services, of course.

Toptal is a to-go place whenever you need a freelancer. Being a huge company, it has a larger pool of talents than Coding Ninjas, and a wider range of skill sets available for hire. But, being a slow and pricey service, it might not be the option you seek when in need of a quick and affordable solution to your problem. 

How we composed our list of the best freelance websites 

Criteria

To select the top 10 freelance websites, we used a set of easily comprehensible criteria. 

Reviews

The best indicator of quality is the experience of other people. To gather them, we browsed for the reviews on Trustpilot or G2 Crowd, as well as on forums and in blog posts.   

Talent

In this section, we analyze the average performance of freelancers working on a platform, clarity of communication, compliance of the performed work with your requirements, etc.  

Prices

Here we analyze the average hourly and fixed rates of the contractors you hire on top freelance websites. Also, we look at the fees and commissions, and other additional costs.

Security

How safe is it to hire freelancers on this particular platform for you? What are your chances of being ghosted? How are your payments processed? Here we’ll try to answer that. 

Customer Service

This criterion is about troubleshooting, support team’s competence, and overall user experience.

Scores

To keep things simple, we used an old but trustworthy 5 bar gauge: 

Awful – Bad – Average – Good – Excellent. 

The overall grade of each of the platforms is the arithmetic average of the points it scored in each criterion. 

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