PPH vs Upwork vs Freelancer : Where should you join?

I’m in a freelancing industry for last four years (as of July 2016) and had the opportunity to work at all major leading marketplaces such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork, Freelancer and Guru as a freelancer and client.

If you are thinking about taking freelancing as a career OR if you are planning to hire someone to contribute to your business – this article will give you a comprehensive idea about the leading marketplaces, For both employer and contractor.

As we know, comparison among the various marketplace becomes an obvious choice for the concerning parties as they are dealing with more and more contractors nowadays. Many freelancing sites are available now in the market. Buyers and sellers are increasing gradually. Hundreds of thousand job are getting posted in the freelancing websites every day. You just have to find out the best working site for you. Let’s follow the lead:

Before going for an ultimate comparison I want to share my personal opinion regarding three leading marketplaces namely PPH vs. Upwork vs. Freelancer.

PeoplePerHour: I’m working in PPH for one year. What I love about PPH are their quality leads. We know, it is a growing marketplace and the employers, media, recruiters are willing to provide high charges because they always want quality results. I found two unique benefits from PPH which is its ‘Hourly’ schedule and their pitfall of making contact online option. And another big plus point is their payment for all contacts will be held in Escrow.

Upwork: If you are looking for something big, this is Upwork for you. As we know this company is a merger of oDesk and Elane that’s why that two popular marketplaces from the past are now just bulking from the Upwork’s shelter. But strategically Upwork is not as same standard as oDesk or Elance. Every day without cause they have system outages. They block the access and messaging for the clients and freelancers. Recently they made an imaginary decision about service charge. In there, bill charge below $500 has to pay 20% for their service charge and for the employers it is 2.75% for each transaction. There is a saying in the industry that, ‘the bigger the company get, the further from the reality it gets. That is what happening with the Upwork right now. I started my freelancing career with Upwork. But now I just log in there for my old clients.

Freelancer: Freelancer.com is one of the rising freelancing websites nowadays. This is not like Upwork that just born big. They started with a small competition and now possessing a big market in the industry. I’ve experience working in a Freelancer for almost 8 months. And it seems that they are running toward the right direction.

Technically, this three top marketplace have big differences in several aspects. Their operational process, execution, public relation, HR, R&D, services all these things are different from each other. I’ve just sorted it down with several criteria. Look at the table below, it is providing necessary information that you need to know to decide which media you should choose for your freelancing activities.

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Other Outsourcing Services

99Designs: (Approximately 500K contractors.)

All the experienced designers are working together in the 99Designs. If you want to work in graphic designing platform then nothing can be better placed than 99Designs. But the main difficulty is for those hard working designers who submitted template and thought their hard work will draw some value. For the designers, competition is high in there. They pay $659 for logo design and 40% fee taken as a commission from the contractor. Means 60% is to be left for the freelancers.

CrowdSPRING (Approximately 250K contractors.)

CrowdSPRING provides the cheapest price at least for the logos. As for now, they have creative superior talent and actually pay heed to the clients. It’s a user-friendly site for the new users. Profile making is easy and the content criteria and the bidding process is relatively easy. CrowdSPRING is charged as a listing free if the price includes a $174 fee. And contractors and employers set the price for their own services or jobs. They take $819 for web design and $399 for the logo design.

Hiretheworld (Approximately 5K contractors.)

It’s some kind of crowdsourced design marketplace. For my graphic design project, I used this for quite sometimes. I recruited some of the designers for the book cover project and the logo designing. You will be perplexed after watching their graphic ideas. Even the charged price for design is less than the market leader 99designs. The price includes a $40 fee that Hiretheworld counts as a free listing.

Elance (Approximately 3million contractors.)

Freelancers show mixed respond working in Elance. But it is still a good platform for the freelancers to work on. Entry fee is zero. No charges. Some of the good characteristics are that, for the employers, they will let you submit the exact job requirement. Most importantly, you can hire the candidates by interviewing them. Also, they have a conflict resolution process. It solves the problems if you hire someone inElance community. Their employer’s commission is 8.75% and the contractors earning is 91.25% which is a pretty good percentage.

GURU (Approximately 1million contractors.)

GURU declared themselves as a number one market virtual marketplace online. Though it is yet to be tested, GURU is running just very good. Their freelancers or GURU’s are well trained and they believe in quality. My brother is working in GURU for seven years. It gave him a good perception regarding freelancing. It has a process called GURU Recommend which is designed to make hiring process fast and easy. Their pricing system is through historic average. They charge 11.95% as a commission from the employer and 9% as a commission from the contractors.

Freelance Direct (Approximately 250K contractors.)

The actual design is for the enterprise, individual and small business users. Their services are software development, software development, networking and information technology, design, multimedia and customer service for sales and marketing. Their pricing system is bit different. They do not use fixed payment method but use the historic average. But their service charge is more than the regular marketplaces. They take 25% as a commission from the freelancers.

Task Rabbit for Business (Approximately 20K contractors.)

It’s a best task based freelancing company out there. It is more a local company for the virtual tasks. Actually, it is not only a site for the virtual task, it is a place where people do what’s need to be done. It can be moving help, deliveries, handyman service, house cleaning and local pick-up service. Same as other outsourcing sites, they bid on the job but this Boston-based site work more in a locality. For business, Task Rabbit charge 20% as a commission from the contractor. Means contractors’ earnings will remain to be 80%

TaskArmy (Approximately 5K contractors.)

It is also a task oriented freelancing marketplace. Their operations are more like Fiverr. Their freelances post the work they want to do with the price they offered for you and by category, you can range it through highest to lowest. You cannot post the job that you want them to do for you, instead, you have to find the post with the task offering your demand. They do this intentionally to stop bidding the price that employers try to manipulate. TaskArmy charges 20% as a commission from the contractors. 80% is left for them.

Amazon Mechanical Turk (Approximately 1million contractors.)

Nothing can be a perfect platform for the small and repetitive tasks that can’t be done automatically otherwise. Their task is known as Human Intelligence Task (HIT). Hundreds of thousand HIT are being posted every day and it’s not only for virtual service but you can recruit an army willing to do your any kind of work for dollars. And interestingly, HIT’s ranging is started from $0.01. Amazon takes 10% fee from each HIT transaction. And still, this charge is below most of the marketplaces.


Not a Soft Decision:

Ultimately you have to take a good decision for your gateway. As per I can see, Upwork becomes the new freelancer’s doorway, yes, most of the newcomers start their freelancing career in Upwork (previously oDesk and Elance). But after dancing there for some time, they shift elsewhere. As you can see, the list of online marketplace sites that have been given is not all that you need. When you are in the industry, you must observe and explore the new opportunities.
But PeoplePerHour is the best thing going on in the market right now. Most importantly, working here is just free. And free means totally free, no condition. And clients post thousands of job every day. The best thing is their hourly basis work schedule. It gives freelancers good chance for earning money in the field where they are good at.

PPH came up with a cool and sound concept. They have a potential for the good clients, and freelancers, as they are getting free membership and payment system is based on the client’s satisfaction it will not bring any harm for giving it a try. You just have to be careful with whom you are dealing with.

Most of the expert freelancers maintain a portfolio of work. Do not just attempt in a single site. Try to diversify your range in severing marketplaces. That is why finding out the best one for work is a crucial one to go on for execution.


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