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Updated December 22, 2023

Upwork is one of the best freelance websites. With a large pool of talent, it offers companies multiple ways to evaluate and connect with the right freelance software developers to meet their project goals and grow their business in a lean way.


  • Extensive pool of vetted developers
  • Direct communication with talent
  • Search, filter, and post jobs for developers
  • Hire individuals or agencies
  • Talent available for cross-functional roles

  • Customer support is limited
  • Number of freelancers can overwhelm
  • Navigating marketplaces can be unclear

Upwork logo
Best for large talent pool

What is Upwork?

Upwork is unique in that it has so many ways to filter and search for freelance developers to fill Upwork jobs – impressive because it boasts one of the largest pools of freelance software developers and talent in other areas. It offers several marketplace options and different ways to sort through, assess, and identify the right talent for your needs.

upwork searching and filtering screenshot

Searching and filtering developers on Upwork. Source: Upwork login.

Upwork pricing is assessed as a percentage of the project cost. There is a paid Enterprise plan for those companies looking for a white glove service and fully managed solutions.

upwork weekly company report screenshot

Weekly company report. Source: Upwork login.

Upwork reviews indicate that most companies successfully use Upwork to find and hire quality freelance developers, while some gripe about sneaky hidden costs and no customer support.

How much does Upwork cost?

Upwork plans start at 3%/project cost.

Starting price:
3% per total project cost
Free trial:
Not Available
Free version:
Not Available
Upwork Pricing & Plans
Talent Marketplace Project Catalog Talent Scout Enterprise
Starting at 3% per project cost Buy pre-built project scopes starting $100 Paid hourly per professional’s rates Request pricing

What’s included in every Upwork plan? Upwork has four ways to find freelance software developers: Talent Marketplace, Project Catalog, Talent Scout, and Enterprise.

In the Talent Marketplace, you can create a job posting and choose from the talent that applies for it. You will be charged three to five percent of the project cost. Using Project Catalog, Upwork already has pre-built projects – some starting less than $100 and you hire based on developers that offer these projects. The Talent Scout level means you are assigned a recruiter who gives you a short list of talent that meets your project needs. You pay the rate set by that freelance developer.

Finally, there is an Enterprise level that gives you higher tier customer service, more thoroughly vetted top talent, fully managed solutions, and team collaboration tools.

Which features does Upwork offer?

Freelance Websites for Developers Features
Quality of freelance software developers: developers must provide samples, show Upwork reviews for freelancers, and have their identity confirmed.
Ways to search developers: Use Talent Marketplace, Project Catalog, or Talent Scout and various sorting filters to find talent.
Other talent categories: hire cross-fuctional talent to carry even more projects over the finish line.
Hiring locations: hire U.S based talent or worldwide
Communication: Upwork provides messaging communication and video interview opportunities
upwork direct messaging screenshot

Direct messaging with potential hires. Source: Upwork login.

Other notable Upwork features

  • Premium 24/7 customer support
  • Fully managed services
  • Onboarding
  • Team collaboration tools

What types of support does Upwork offer?

Data Migration
1-on-1 Live Training
Self-Guided Online Training
Knowledge Base
Email Support
Live Chat
Phone Support
upwork knowledge base screenshot

Upwork knowledge base. Source: Upwork login.

Upwork user review highlights

We analyzed 10,811 user reviews about Upwork from three third-party review websites to provide this summary.

Upwork reviews indicate that the platform works for most companies hiring freelance developers. Positive comments point to those that have been able to use Upwork to grow and scale on a lean operation thanks to hiring quality freelancers to complete their projects.

Users find it convenient to keep all communication, project tracking, and payments on one platform, and the ability to communicate with and interview potential hires is a big bonus.

upwork company hires screenshot

Upwork dashboard showing company hires. Source: Upwork login.

Those unhappy with the platform point to zero customer support, a complicated pricing structure with sneaky additional costs, and a poor level of freelancers.

  • Ease of Setup – it takes mere minutes to set up an account on Upwork, and you’re up and running from there. Users report no problems with this.
  • Ease of Use – reviewers say that Upwork is easy to use and easy to access quality freelance developers.
  • Features – Upwork stands out to reviewers in two main ways – the ability to filter potential hires and easy access and communication with said hires. One reviewer says Upwork makes it possible to find the needle in the haystack of freelance developers.
  • Quality of Support – Upwork customer service seems to be the main issue. Users report that you can’t get a hold of customer support at all, so you better hope you don’t have any problems.
  • Value for Money – reviewers find Upwork a great place to find quality freelancers that contribute to business growth and workplace efficiency, making it a valuable business tool.

Upwork Contact Information

Parent Company:
Upwork, Inc.
San Francisco, CA
Year Founded:

Upwork alternatives

Software Starting Price B2B Reviews Score
Upwork 3% / project total cost 4.5
Toptal $90 / hour 4.6
Lemon.io $45 / hour 4.5

Upwork Reviews

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