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Best freelance websites in 2021

Best freelance websites
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best freelance websites offer the opportunity for freelancers to gain additional work and clients across a range of skills and specialties.

The best freelance websites

Whether you are freelancing full-time, looking to earn some money on the side, or are looking for a freelancer to help you do some work for you and your business, we feature the best freelance websites that you should be considering.

Of course, there are many different factors that make a website great for freelancers. They can range from the number and variety of jobs available for freelancers, the frequency that new opportunities are presented, and of course one of the most important factor - how diligent they are when it comes to paying for your services.

We've therefore put together a list of the best freelance websites out there, to help increase and improve your freelancing opportunities.

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(Image credit: Toptal)

1. Toptal

For the top 3% of freelancer hires

Reasons to buy
+Corporate hires+Rigorous screening+Lucrative awards
Reasons to avoid
-High barrier to entry

Toptal is all about helping companies find the top tier (3%) of world-class freelancers. That’s everyone from developers to designers, finance experts, project managers and product managers. Used by companies such as Motorola and Hewlett-Packard enterprise, Toptal works by hiring industry experts who match companies with freelancers to ensure that both get the right fit. 

As a freelancer, you’ll have to go through a rigorous screening process measured on factors that tests everything from your language and personality to skills. There’s also a live screening exercise and you’ll need to participate in test projects. While this means the barriers to entry are higher than other freelance websites, it offers more lucrative awards.

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(Image credit: Guru)

2. Guru

General freelancer marketplace

Reasons to buy
+Cost effective+Used by 3 million+Feedback scores+Flexible payment rates

Guru is a platform that’s designed to help companies find and hire expert freelancers from around the world. Its flexible and cost-effective platform lets people hire freelancers on anything from programming and development to writing and translation, design and arts, sales and marketing, and much more. 

Used by more than 3 million people, the website verifies freelancers and publishes their feedback scores and all time transaction data to help hiring staff identify time-tested professionals from around the world. For freelancers, Guru is more flexible than most when it comes to issuing payments, offering four options: fixed price, hourly, task-based or recurring.

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(Image credit: Upwork)

3. Upwork

Freelancer website for professionals

Reasons to buy
+For complex projects+Long-term contract options+Software and marketing focus

Used by companies such as Microsoft, Airbnb and GE, Upwork matches companies with freelancers looking to work on larger specialized and complex projects. It spans many areas - from web, mobile and software development to design and creative, sales and marketing, admin support, customer service, and more. 

After a company posts a project, freelancers can then apply to work on it, choosing between longer-term contracts or short-term ones (for working on one-off tasks). Upwork’s platform lets hirers and freelancers communicate easily through its online chat and video call system, ensuring that they’re always clear on the task at hand.

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(Image credit: Freelancer.com)

4. Freelancer.com

General all-purpose freelance website

Reasons to buy
+General platform+Corporate hires+Communicate online

Freelancer.com is a boon for small businesses who need talent and help in anything from website development and logo design to writing and marketing. Favored by companies such as Microsoft, SAP and Intel, it’s simple to use: companies looking for work sign up, post jobs that need to be completed and can then immediately receive competitive bids from freelancers within minutes. 

As a freelancer, you can then bid for the work and, if selected, complete it and be paid securely. Freelancers can upload examples of their previous work, keep hirers informed of their progress while completing tasks, and converse with hirers using a live chat function.

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(Image credit: People Per Hour)

5. People Per Hour

Freelancer website with huge range of services

Reasons to buy
+International community+Job ratings+Huge range of services

People Per Hour is used by over 1 million businesses and more than 2.5 million freelancers. The website connects businesses to an international community of freelancers whose services are constantly reviewed and rated as they complete jobs. 

It spans a wide range of categories - everything from 3D printing to asset management, German translators, ghostwriters and Facebook consultants. The website’s nifty project writing tool helps ask hiring companies what assistance they need, before using AI to match and contact the most suitable freelancers - who can respond in minutes -  for the job.

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(Image credit: Aquent)

6. Aquent

Creative and marketing freelancing website

Reasons to buy
+Auto-match clients+Project auto-tagging+Deeper insights

If you’re a freelancer who has been incorrectly matched with hiring companies in the past, Aquent could be for you. Its Aquent’s Book product matches talented creative people with those looking to hire them. The company says that other freelance portals aren’t effective because freelancers either don’t tag their digital portfolios properly, or spend too much time tagging them with the wrong terms. 

Aquent’s Book instead uses natural language processing to auto-tag portfolios with more than 24 million object and image labels using image classification and object detection. The company says that this provides deeper insight to better find matches for jobs or projects, including aspects such as talent location, rates and availability.

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(Image credit: 99designs)

7. 99designs

Specialist freelance designer website

Reasons to buy
+Designer-specific+90 categories+Collaborative opportunities

99designs is a platform that hosts freelancers who are looking to offer their design services. 99designs, which sees a new design created for its clients every two seconds, features freelance work in more than 90 categories. As such, whether you're proficient in creating logos, websites, book covers or something else, it’s likely that it will cater for your field of expertise. 

99designs also features a strong collaborate element; freelancers can either work with hirers on a 1:1 basis, or they can team up with the entire creative community to collaborate on projects and share the budget.

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(Image credit: Solidgigs)

8. Solidgigs

Freelancer website with training resources

Reasons to buy
+Weekly gig list+Courses and tools+Top opportunities

Solidgigs is one of the best freelance websites for information freelancers of the top-tier opportunities out there. It does this through two nifty tools: a Weekly Gig list, and a Courses & Tools section. Regarding the former, SolidGigs’ team of freelancers trawl through dozens of job boards weekly to alert freelancers of the best 1% of jobs available daily. 

For the latter, it has partnered with people in freelancing and solopreneurship to offer training and education on a multitude of topics - everything from pitching and sales to pricing, client acquisition.