TopTal Review

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What is TopTal?


Toptal is a freelance marketplace platform that provides remote contractors for large corporate clients. They claim to have only top talent in their network, and put all freelancers through a four to six week vetting process.

Employers can find software engineers, finance experts and designers there. There are no offices, and only virtual teams gather there. If you want Toptal to work on your project, regardless of whether it's a sole-freelancer or a team of ten, they expect you to describe as many details as possible so that they can choose the right match.

The search continues until the perfect match is found. They also suggest a no-risk trial period, which means that, if you are not satisfied with the initial results, you don’t have to pay anything. If you are dissatisfied, they are also able to restart the project and do it all over again.

They began in 2010 by only offering software developer services, but have since added designers and finance consultants to their service over the past few years. The company is fully distributed, meaning all employees and freelancers work remotely.

How is TopTal different from a typical employer/employee relationship or an agency?
  • 1

    Hiring process.

    With TopTal there are no recruiting fees or termination costs if the project gets cancelled. Also, there is no agency markup. It usually takes up to 21 days to hire a developer, compared with over two months when hiring full-time employees.

  • 2

    Different sizes of teams

    You can have a different number of specialists in your team for various stages of the project or particular tasks. Toptal is quite flexible in this matter and can gather a team of any size to make it the most suitable for the task.

  • 3

    Pre-screened candidates

    Toptal accepts only 3 out of 100 applicants who apply to be a part of their network. To do this, they use a 4-stage vetting process: Interview, assessment, screening and a test project.

  • 4

    Wide range of specialists

    There are front-end developers (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, etc.), back-end developers (Python, Django, Java, C++, PHP, Ruby, iOS, Rails, etc.), quality assurance specialists (Unit Testing, Selenium, PHPUnit, JUnit, Cucumber, etc.), designers (UI, UX, Visual, Interaction) and finance experts (FP&A, financial modeling & valuation, fundraising, market research, pricing analysis, etc.) on the team.

  • 5

    Any location in the world

    The network of Toptal freelancers has a global reach, which means that specialists from different countries can work on your project. Toptal has been working with different companies from Germany, United States, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Japan, and others. Sometimes they even relocate their freelancers if it is necessary for the project.

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TopTal Features

  • Vetted Freelancers - there are no unchecked specialists, all of them are selected and approved before they can be put onto the project.
  • Talent Relocation - you don’t need to organize any office space for the Toptal team, all you need to do is communicate your expectations.
  • Remote Work - as a general rule, teams work remotely. If, however, you would like to have a specialist work physically at your office, this is also possible.
  • Flexible Invoicing - wide range of rates.
  • IP Protection - everything your freelancers do is kept private, including your IP and all related information. The level of security is very strong.

Time to find matching freelancers - 0-3 weeks: once you submit a request with a detailed description of your needs, Toptal starts looking for the perfect match. Sometimes it’s found fast, sometimes it takes a bit longer.

No-risk trial - if you are not satisfied with the results of the work in the first stages of the project, you will not have to pay for it.

TopTal Pricing

  • Initial refundable deposit of $500
  • Ranging from $60 to $200 per hour
  • Full-time freelance help from $2,000 to $6,400 per week.

TopTal Alternatives.


TopTal supposedly offers the top 3% of the development, design and finance talent pool, but there are other sites like Toptal that might be the better choice in many cases. For example, TopTal is usually not suitable for smaller projects, and their rates are far too high for many businesses.

TopTal competitors have different offerings with varying fee structures and screening processes that range from complex to non-existent. Here is a review of some websites similar to TopTal:

  • Crew vs TopTal

    Basically, Crew is a platform that is curated to connect developers and designers. It allows users to find and hire web and mobile specialists, as well as small studios, in the areas of development and design. Toptal looks more like a marketplace where you can request specialists you need and create a team of any size to fulfill the requirements of your project. Both platforms are doing a great job and claim a very high success rate. Toptal has much more customers compared to Crew; however, there are some really loud names in the list of clients from both platforms. Toptal serves JP Morgan Chase and Pfizer, while Crew works with such “monsters” as Apple and Google.

  • TopTal vs Gigster

    Gigster is quite a young platform that was launched in 2016. Their main difference from everyone else is that they use AI in the process of matching a project with freelancers. They prefer not to match a single freelancer with the project owner, but to create a whole team with its own project manager. This seems to be a great idea, as the client has a dedicated person to communicate with and to resolve all the issues efficiently. In the meantime, Toptal provides more flexibility by assembling teams of different sizes. Being able to hire only one freelancer here sounds good to many clients.

  • Crew vs Upwork vs TopTal

    Upwork is one of the oldest websites in the marketplace that offers the services of freelancers. At first, it was called oDesk, then they merged with Elance and changed the name to Upwork. This didn’t change their concept, though; they still have a huge selection of various specialists for projects or even permanent jobs. In 2016, they added the additional service of handpicking freelancers for projects under the name Upwork Pro. Crew and Toptal look younger, but are no less acknowledged. Each platform has loyal customers, and the same is said both for companies that hire and for freelancers who are looking for jobs.

  • TopTal vs Coding Ninjas

    Coding Ninjas require less time to find a perfect match among freelancers. While Toptal might need up to three weeks, Coding Ninjas only need 24 hours for this task. This means that the project can be done much faster. In addition to that, there is live support that is able to help resolve any issues. Coding Ninjas really work hard to get the market share, so it might be easier to communicate any difficulties right away and be sure that the support team is ready to do everything possible to turn any wrong into a right. Toptal is a bit older, though the success rate of Coding Ninjas make them true competitors.

Developer Pre-screening* -
Time to Start Project 0 - 2 days 0 - 21 days 2-14 days 2-14 days 0-60 days
Projects of Any Size - - -
Project Failure Rate Low Low Very High Low Low
Live support - - -
TrustScore** 9.1 out of 10 9.7 out of 10 6.0 out of 10 8.4 out of 10 9.0 out of 10
Rates $23 - $50 / hour $60 - $200 / hour $18-200/hour $28K-$100K+ $80-$100/hour

* Multiple tests and interviews

** According to Trustpilot.com

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Four key things to consider when choosing a freelance staffing provider:


  • Pre-screened developers.

    Screening and evaluating a software engineer or developer yourself can take up to 4 weeks of intensive work. You need a provider who has tested, interviewed and worked with your candidate before so they can vouch for and guarantee quality work.

  • Matching process.

    It’s hard to choose the right person for the job - especially when you’re picking from a list of 100s of candidates. At Coding Ninjas, we offer you 1 to 3 candidates that are the best fit for your specific project.

  • Prices

    A highly qualified developer is not always the most expensive developer. Always search for the balance between price, quality and any commissions you’re paying for a big-brand freelancer network.

  • Personal 24/7 support.

    When you need help quickly or have miscommunicated with the freelancer, larger platforms often have a difficult time providing personal, customized support, and this can slow down your project. That’s why we offer live, customized support with a personal touch.

Why chose Coding Ninjas over TopTal?


  • We find the perfect match for your project in under 24 hours.

    You don’t have to waste time waiting. We put effort into providing quick and efficient services, so that work on your project start within one day. Time is one of the most precious resources you have, and we are aware of it.

  • Top developers and engineers from Eastern Europe for $23 - $50 per hour.

    Eastern Europe is well-known around the world for the highest quality of work at moderate rates. This is not unusual or new; many companies hire developers from this part of the world and stay fully satisfied with the work and rates.

  • Enjoy live support and clear project communication.

    We are always here for you, ready to help and clarify anything required. We make sure the communication between you and the chosen specialist is efficient, with everything clear and all tasks delivered on time.

  • Lower hourly rates without sacrificing quality.

    We know our specialists’ levels of competency, and we are sure that the results of their work are always high-quality. Even though you’ll pay less, it doesn’t mean that the quality will suffer. We are confident that we have reached the perfect balance.

  • No project is too big or too small.

    For us your task is important no matter how large or small it is. Even if you only need to make some edits to your website, we will make sure you receive the best service possible. We truly appreciate each and every client.

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We’ll find a perfect match for your project in under 24 hours

Customer reviews View All

  • We love Coding Ninjas!

    Coding Ninjas helped us build our team with high-level resources. Their prompt service and attention to client requirements our simply outstanding.

    Kenneth Schembri

  • Good quality/price ratio.

    There are many options when it comes to finding a dev for remote work, but very few have good quality/price ratio. Coding Ninjas do. Good for both short and long-term tasks

    Max Ivanov

  • Great team with the
    right idea

    The team at Coding Ninjas has been great to work with. They introduced us to their system, set us up with a great developer who met our exact needs, and all at a reasonable price.

    Mark Zahra