Since I couldn’t find an objective comparison between freelancing sites, I decided to create one myself. The following reviews of freelancing sites are based on my personal experiences. Every freelance website will tell you they are the number one destination with the most qualified freelancers. But you should take that with a grain of salt. If you're looking for talent, here's an unbiased review of your best options.
|Freelance Job Site||My Rating||Ease of Use||Freelancing Specialties||Notes|
|Super Easy||IT Project Managers|
|Toptal has the most rigorous screening process out of any freelance website (they claim to be more selective than Harvard and the Navy Seals). If you need the best talent on your team, Toptal is the only option. They do the recruiting process for you and pair you with candidates with no fee. You will pay a higher hourly rate than most other platforms, but you will absolutely get the best quality. They pride themselves on providing the top 3% of all freelancers. Read More...|
|Super Easy||Web & Graphic Design|
|Get 15% off your first month with coupon code: GEOFF15 (enter at checkout)
Penji isn't a traditional freelance website, but I include them here because they are a much easier alternative if you need regular graphic design help. You get a dedicated web designer at a good price. Their pricing model is unlimited graphic design for a flat monthly fee ($369/month) with no contract. The nice thing is... Read More...
|Super Easy||Virtual Assistants|
|OnlineJobs.ph is the largest job board for virtual assistants in the Philippines. Filipino VA's are known to be hardworking, well-qualified, and proficient English speakers. The best part is the extremely low cost. You can get a VA for as low as $350/month. Read this salary guide for typical rates. Or read more
about hiring a virtual assistant.
|99designs lets you set your own price for a design contest where multiple graphic designers compete for your project. It's hard to get a bad result with their money back guarantee. 99designs has a very simple and intuitive job posting process that helps you present your vision to designers. Visions can be very subjective and their process helps get you a much better result than a graphic design job posting on a typical freelance website.
Here's my more detailed review of 99designs and a couple of my readers' tips for picking a logo and running a contest on 99designs. Read More...
Upwork(formerly Elance & Odesk)
|Elance and Odesk have combined into the new powerhouse called Upwork, boasting the largest freelance marketplace. Because of their size, it's easy to find a wide variety of people. I've found Upwork has an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to track candidates and work. They also have a work guarantee and escrow service that ensures you only pay for work completed on fixed price jobs. Read More...|
|Super Easy||Any crazy service you can imagine||It's quick to hire a freelancer on Fiverr for a $5 mini-task (called a gig) and the site is super-addictive. You'll find some truly ridiculous gigs and some gigs that are worth much more than $5. Fiverr is great for very small, simple jobs like article writing or keyword research. Head in with low expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised. Read More...|
Freelancer.com(formerly vWorker & Rent-a-Coder)
|Needs improvement||IT/Programming||Freelancer.com has acquired vWorker and the result is a significantly stronger base of freelancers. Their user interface has improved significantly and it is now much easier to post projects than it was previously on either site. Read More...|
The big difference between freelancing sites is usability
You'll find qualified freelancers (and duds) on every site and some people have profiles on multiple sites. That’s why I focus on freelance websites that are easy to use. To get a feel for which site works best for you, test drive freelancers from several sites by creating a freelancer test assignment.