The best freelance websites connect freelancers looking to boost workloads and career opportunities with organizations that need their experience and expertise.
If you’re freelancing, these sites are the perfect way to promote your work, including portfolio links, rates, and reviews. If you’re a client looking for a particular set of skills, from copywriting and coding to digital art and design, with the platforms built to handle file sharing and payments. Some freelancing websites are centered around specific industries and trades, while other platforms are broader in scope. Like the best job sites and the best recruiting platforms, these websites open up a lot of opportunities across a wide range of fields for both freelancers and clients who need experienced hands for the latest project.
To help you find the right platform, the right opportunities, and the right people, we’ve tested the best freelance websites. As part of our review process, we’ve explored each site’s job categories, payment times and protections, user verifications, and associated fees.
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The best freelance websites of 2023
ZipRecruiter is one of the easiest job boards to use, which makes it ideal if you’re just starting your journey in the world of work, or if you’re not particularly confident with using computers. The easy approach sits alongside a sizable job database.
This site works like a job search engine, so it’s instantly familiar. It doesn’t throw loads of options at you either: put in your keyword, location and the distance you’re willing to travel, and you’ll quickly see a list of relevant positions.
The results are easy to parse: you’ll see the job title, the employer and its location alongside the first line of the job description, and if you click on a likely lead you can open its full description. Some companies use ZipRecruiter’s Quick Apply feature so you can send your application with a couple of clicks, while other adverts will take you to a third-party site where you’ll be able to apply instead.
ZipRecruiter has an extensive profile section where you can easily display your work and education history, a biography and a photograph, and you can upload your resume and list your social networks - and all of this is used during your applications. You can also add skills and professional certifications. ZipRecruiter has an app, too, so your job hunt doesn’t have to stop.
This site is straightforward, but it isn’t the most comprehensive job tool. You can’t apply filters to your searches like you can on other sites, and job listings don’t have much detail. Because ZipRecruiter scrapes listings from elsewhere, be aware of redundant and spam listings. You won’t find skills assessments, resume reviews, or articles on this site either.
ZipRecruiter is easy to use - especially if companies use Quick Apply - and has a large job database and good profiling. However, the lack of filtering means it’s only suitable if you know what you’re looking for or if you’re happy to sift through loads of listings, and the lack of features means we wouldn’t rely solely on this site.
Read our full ZipRecruiter review
Toptal doesn't have the most extensive database of jobs or users, but that's the point: this site only lists world-class freelancers. That's why companies like Microsoft, Bridgestone, and Salesforce rely on Toptal to find top talent.
Toptal uses a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the best candidates are available, with language and personality reviews, skills tests, live screening, and test projects all used to find world-class talent. The firm says that only 3% of its freelance applicants end up listed, and Toptal also uses industry experts to hand-pick freelancers for each project.
That's a high barrier to entry, but it means that freelancers can pick up lucrative projects and that companies will find high-quality workers. Also, consider that Toptal only works with developers, designers, finance experts, and product and project managers.
The focused job titles and high barrier to entry mean that there will be lots of situations where Toptal just isn't suitable. But if you're a world-class freelancer or if you need to find that world-class talent, this is the place to start.
Guru isn't just one of the best freelance websites out there. It's also one of the largest freelance marketplaces on the web, with more than two million freelancers and 800,000 employers listed, and that means you'll be able to find experts in a variety of fields. Guru covers programming and development, design, writing, sales, marketing, and management, and you'll also be able to find freelancers who work in the legal, engineering and education fields.
The site's colossal database has freelancer verification – so you can be sure you're hiring a legitimate person. Secure payments and low fees mean that the process is reliable and trustworthy for both freelancers and employers.
Freelancers also have feedback ratings on the site, so you can see how well people perform before you reach out. It's possible to hire people based on a fixed price contract, an hourly rate, a task-based rate, or a recurring fee, so there's loads of flexibility for everyone involved, and you can manage projects from the site's built-in dashboard.
Guru is free to join as a freelancer or an employer, but the site takes a fee from both sides on every paid invoice. The site's paid memberships are also worthwhile: if you're a freelancer, you can receive more bids, pay lower fees, boost your ranking, and send highlighted quotes, and paid employer accounts mean you get lower fees, unlimited job postings, and access to top freelancers.
Upwork is one of the most prominent freelance marketplaces on the web, and there's plenty of reasons to use this vast site. It lists freelancers in every conceivable job and every big industry and focuses on marketing and software development.
Upwork verifies and reviews freelancers, so you can be sure you're hiring someone legitimate. You can even check a freelancer's work samples before you make an offer. Freelancers can also take advantage of articles and resources to help them find work and grow their careers.
Once a company has posted a project, freelancers can apply for the position, allowing employers to find the best fit for the job. There's a wide variety of short- and long-term contracts on Upwork, and it's easy for freelancers and employers to chat thanks to text and video messaging.
Upwork's Talent Scout feature matches projects to top-quality freelancers, and freelancers can join the site for free. As usual, though, Upwork does take fees from each job, but if you work on larger projects, the rate is lower. Upwork's sheer size means freelancers and employers shouldn't ignore it.
Freelancer.com is one of the most straightforward freelance marketplaces online, so it's no wonder that it's trusted by companies like Amazon, IBM, and Google. It's also one of the largest freelance sites, too – the company claims that it has a global pool of fifty million users who have expertise in more than 1800 different skills.
If you're an employer, you can browse people's portfolios and quickly post a listing, and Freelancer.com says that 80% of its jobs receive a bid from a freelancer within sixty seconds. The size of this site means that it's suitable for all kinds of large and small projects, and you can use the site's recruitment and project management experts if you need a little guidance.
This site also has modules for generating ideas and learning about different subjects, which supplies a great all-round experience.
Employers can post any size of project with any kind of payment method on the site, and you only pay when you're satisfied with the work. The site's live chat and dedicated app make it easy to manage your project, and freelancers can use the app to stay in touch with managers and get alerts about relevant job postings.
Freelancer.com's massive database of users, straightforward job posting, and mobile app mean that this is an impressive and versatile option for both freelancers and employers.
Read our full Freelancer.com review
More than three million people and one million businesses use this site across every key category, from SEO and web development to content writing, voiceovers, and marketing. If you need a person for a job – no matter how obscure – you'll find them on People Per Hour.
Employers can post any small or large projects on this site, and freelancer ratings and reviews mean you can pick people who are more likely to produce good work.
Freelancers can apply for certification, which will make them more trustworthy in the eyes of employers, and you can spend time building an eye-catching profile to make you stand out. Similarly, freelancers can also post adverts to attract employers. The site uses a bespoke AI system to match freelancers with potential projects based on their experience and abilities.
Freelancers and employers can combine using this site's Project Streams, which allows easy communication, asset sharing, and project management. You can raise invoices from here, too, and secure payments are made quickly and easily. And, happily, People Per Hour's fees are among the lowest in the industry, so this site is a good-value choice.
Lots of freelance marketplaces concentrate on having a huge database of freelancers and jobs in every industry, but that's not the case with Aquent. Instead, this site prioritizes creativity and diversity, and it uses machine learning to match projects with expert recruiters – and it's those recruiters who find the right talent.
Aquent says that its machine learning, language processing, and image analysis procedures provide better insight and better results when matching projects with freelancers. Aquent also promises to provide freelancers with great projects and fair rates of pay.
This site isn't just a freelance marketplace, either. The firm offers loads of online courses and modules to help existing staff improve their abilities, and Aquent also has in-house teams that can handle creative and techy tasks – it's like being able to hire a whole department at once.
Aquent is not the cheapest site, and it doesn't have the biggest database. Also bear in mind that it focuses on several key areas, like content, creative tasks, marketing, and tech. But this site places a firm focus on creativity, diversity, and equality, and it's a vital service if you'd like your business to follow suit – or if you're a freelancer who appreciates that kind of working environment.
As the name suggests, 99designs concentrates on design. If you need logos, branding, book covers or websites, this is the place to look, and this is a site you should use if you're a freelancer in any of those creative fields.
Employers can use two different methods to find talent on 99designs. You can use the traditional freelance marketing method to list a project and invite bids from freelancers, or you can pay 99designs to find you the perfect designer – ideal if you've got a firm idea of what you need.
Freelance creatives can join for free, compete in contests to bid for work, and designers are reviewed to check for their legitimacy when they join the site. There are over ninety distinctive design categories on the site, too, so you'll be able to find work no matter the field.
As usual, 99designs charges fees when you complete a job, and there are extra fees when designers start working with new clients, so this is not necessarily the cheapest site. But if you're a creative or need to find a creative and want to ensure quality work in a collaborative and encouraging environment, 99designs is worth the cost.
There are an incredible number of freelance opportunities around, but that can be daunting and confusing. Happily, Solidgigs takes the hassle out of hunting by manually checking more than 100 freelance marketplaces to find the best opportunities.
Solidgigs aims to find the best 1% of freelance opportunities, and the site curates a list of top jobs and sends them to your inbox – so you can quickly see and bid for the best contracts.
If you're a freelancer who wants to get access to Solidgigs' hand-picked list of opportunities, though, then you'll have to pay a nominal fee. That makes it one of the only freelance sites that has an upfront cost to freelancers, but many people will find that excellent value in the face of other sites that don't hand-pick their listings.
Solidgigs is made by the people behind Millo.co, which has articles, courses, podcasts, and tools for freelancers, so there are plenty of educational opportunities here as well.
FlexJobs is a freelancer site designed for people who want to find remote and flexible working opportunities. So while it's not a pure freelance website, it's packed to the gills with freelance positions – so it's a great option if you're an employer or a self-employed person.
Listings on this site are hand-screened for legitimacy, so you'll always find something trustworthy and relevant on FlexJobs, and jobs are listed in virtually every industry – this isn't like other sites that concentrate on techy jobs or creative opportunities. Companies receive verification too, so freelancers can be confident when people make contact.
Beyond job listings, FlexJobs offers articles, events, and career coaching sessions. You do have to pay to get the most out of this site, though – but it gives you more information, discounts on loads of products and the ability to apply for positions right there on the site.
FlexJobs doesn't focus purely on freelance roles, but its concentration on flexible working means that it has loads of them listed. Combine this with its hand-screening and verification, and you've got a trustworthy site that's well worth the money.
Read our full FlexJobs review
There aren't many bigger freelance websites than Fiverr. It's been around since 2010 and claims to be used by more than three million employers, including big companies like Netflix and Facebook.
Fiverr's sheer size means that employers can find every kind of freelancer on the site, and if you're a freelancer you'll be able to find opportunities no matter what kind of work you do. Whether you're after a long project, a small job, or anything in between, you'll be able to find it here, and at all sorts of budgets. Free listings also mean there are plenty of low-cost opportunities here too.
It's free to join the site and free to list opportunities on Fiverr, and everyone can benefit from protected payments and 24/7 support. Businesses can also pay to enjoy an upgraded package that offers verified freelancers, hand-picked talent matching, and a dashboard to manage your projects.
Fiverr has plenty going for it, not least its size, but its low barrier to entry means that you may have to sift through many unsuitable projects or freelancers before you find the right fit. Free listings also mean that Fiverr's eventual transaction fees are a little higher than many other sites.
Behance is one of the best websites around for creative freelancers, which is no surprise when you consider that it's owned by Adobe.
This impressive job site functions like a social network, so it's perfect for finding your next gig as well as making all-important creative connections. When you sign up you can pick your specialisms from a broad range of topics like graphic design, photography, UI design or advertising, and it's easy to build your portfolio and create mood boards – perfect for showing off your work and your style.
A custom feed of creators dominates the site, and you can search projects by their field, colors, and even the tools used. So, if you're upfront about showing off your work on your profile and in the main feed, you'll be easier to find when people are on the hunt for a new freelancer.
You're not restricted to portfolios and mood boards, either. You can create case studies, advertise work-in-progress posts that expire in 24 hours, and even live-stream your work.
If you want to find work, you can search for jobs in hundreds of fields and disciplines. You can see each job's salaries alongside remote-working options and the rest of the job description, and you can apply right on Behance.
Behance is a top choice for any creative freelancer – there are hundreds of disciplines represented on the site, and thousands of jobs. It's free to use with basic features, but be aware that it's a competitive marketplace – no surprise when you consider the popularity of this Adobe-owned site.
If you need a capable and reliable creative freelancer, investigate Dribbble. It’s one of the best sites around for self-employed designers and artists, and it’s been used by companies like Starbucks, Facebook and Amazon.
The site has a database of more than one million worldwide creatives, and more than 60,000 businesses rely on Dribbble to find top talent.
There are two main ways to hire on Dribbble. You can pay for access to Dribbble’s job board, where you can post job listings and projects. You can include your full job description, list what kind of designer you need, and hire full-time, part-time, freelance and contract-based staff. Dribbble boasts that its listings receive an average of 1,500 clicks per month, so you’ll probably get lots of eyes on your openings.
The other monthly option enables companies to access Dribbble’s complete database of creative professionals. Take this route and you can search the entire designer database using powerful filtering, and you’ll also get unlimited messaging and the option to bookmark designers. Companies can also pay to access both features.
It’s always tempting to turn to a skilled freelancer if you have specialist programming needs, and Codeable is the best choice if you need to hire a Wordpress expert to sort out your websites and CMS systems.
The site’s freelancers are all vetted before using the site, so you can be sure you’re hiring someone capable, and it’s very easy to start hiring. Companies can post any Wordpress project on the site, from quick fixes to more complex projects, and the programmers on the site can handle everything from plugin and database work to complete migrations and site development.
Most of the site’s projects receive quotes within 24 hours, and in most cases you’ll be connected to a handful of experts who can easily handle your project’s demands. Once Codable has helped you make those connections, companies can use a shared workspace to chat to the candidates about the details of the project. It’s a smart method to ensure efficient, quick communication.
An algorithm creates one price from all the programmers interested in your project – so you’re not stuck with a race to the bottom that compromises quality – and a secure payment system keeps your money safe. And that’s it. You’ll be able to hire a great Wordpress expert in record time.
Pricing varies between projects here, and you should expect hourly rates that vary. Codeable makes money with a 17.5% service charge, and companies benefit from a 28-day bug-fixing warranty and a fair refund policy.
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Best freelance websites: FAQs
How to choose the best freelance website for you
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When selecting the best freelance website, you'll want to look out for many things.
For starters, you'll want to check what categories the platform offers and whether there are relevant opportunities for you. Then, you'll want to assess the pricing and service fees. Is there a monthly subscription or does the platform tax you whenever you're paid? As part of that, check whether the platform features built-in invoicing software to make sure you get properly paid.
You'll definitely want to consider whether the platform has payment protection and a verification process to ensure you'll be dealing with authentic clients and freelancers.
Lastly, look out for the website's interface, ease of use, and customer support.
What is a freelance website?
A freelance website is a platform where freelancers find work opportunities and clients seek out talent.
Not all websites have the same structure, so freelancers and clients will find that the application and hiring process differs significantly from one platform to another.
How we test the best freelance websites
To test the best freelance websites, we looked at numerous aspects. We first checked what categories of work the platform offers and if it was predominantly suited to a specific category, like design.
Then, we looked at how popular the freelance website was and whether it had a solid payment protection system in place. We evaluated whether the platform verified its users thoroughly and what kind of pricing structure it followed.
Focused or extra features are always explored. Some of the very best freelance websites offer online courses to help you further your career, while others offer project management tools for organizing teams and tasks. We assess how well these additional features improve both the site and assist its users.
We also considered the platform's interface and the quality of the customer support, among other things.
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