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Comparing The 7 Best Freelance Platforms

In this list of freelancing marketplaces, we show you the best and most popular platforms. That way, you can find the right platform for you.

Dunja Reiber
Dunja Reiber

Mar 15, 2023

What is the best freelance platform for me? Comparing them on your own can be confusing, so we'll give you an overview of the biggest and most well-known marketplaces. Among other things, you'll find out how you can find projects, what additional functions are available and which platforms ask for fees.

Finding jobs on freelance platforms

Especially if you are just starting out as a freelancer, you are probably wondering how you can best find jobs. One possible way to do this is through freelance platforms. There, you usually create a profile and are contacted by potential clients. Or you can search for interesting projects yourself and apply for them. Many platforms also offer additional services, such as payment processing through the marketplace.

There are many freelance platforms with different focuses. With our comparison, we want to help you find the best platform for you. After all, memberships on many different marketplaces at the same time is confusing and inconvenient.

Click here for our checklist for your start as a freelancer.

In our comparison, we focus on freelance platforms that cover all areas of services. In addition, there are many specialized marketplaces, some of which we will introduce at the end.

1. Upwork

Upwork is one of the largest freelance platforms and is based in the USA. The exact number of members is not known, but it is believed to be in the low double-digit millions. Upwork was founded in 2015 through the merger of two existing platforms. The freelancers on the marketplace come from all over the world. One focus is on the US, but there are also many providers from India, Pakistan or the Philippines. For European and US freelancers, this can mean that services are available at significantly lower prices.

On Upwork, it is possible to browse and apply for posted projects as a freelancer. Alternatively, clients can contact freelancers. Payment is made via the platform. There are fees for freelancers ranging from 5 to 20 percent of the order volume.

  • Region: international
  • Size: unknown
  • Fees: 5-20 %
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of placement: application or client request
  • Special feature: very large platform


With more than 65 million users (freelancers and clients combined), claims to be the largest platform. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in Australia. Many users live in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which for European and US freelancers usually means competition with low prices. In addition to the international platform, there are many localized versions.

Freelancers apply for posted projects and make an offer, one of which the client accepts. They pay a fee of 10-20 %, which can be reduced under certain circumstances. There are also fees for additional features, such as highlighting their own bid. Payment is made through the platform as a payout of accumulated credit.

  • Region: international
  • Size: 65 million users
  • Fees: 0-20%
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of mediation: application
  • Special feature: largest platform

3. Fiverr

The freelancer platform Fiverr was founded in Israel in 2010. The name derives from the original concept that services would be offered for five dollars. There is no official membership figure, but estimates put the value in the low single-digit millions. Similar to Upwork, freelancers come from all over the world, with a focus on the US, UK, India and Pakistan. This means that prices can be quite low on average compared to European platforms.

On Fiverr, freelancers create gigs with a fixed price, for example a logo design or an article. These can be booked by the clients. Extra services such as particularly fast delivery can also be created and priced. Alternatively, individual offers are also possible. Payment is made via Fiverr as a payout of accumulated credit. The platform charges a 20 % commission.

  • Region: international
  • Size: unknown
  • Fees: 20%
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of mediation: client request
  • Special feature: freelancers create fixed services


The freelancer platform was founded as early as 1998 under a different name and is located in the US. It claims to have 3 million users all over the world, of which 2 million are freelancers.

Freelancers can browse job listings and submit quotes to the clients. It is possible to add team members to a so-called WorkRoom to collaborate on a project. Invoices can be created there too. The payment is managed through the platform. A percentage of every invoice is collected as a fee by, which is 5-9 %, depending on the membership type. The Basic membership is free, and there are four paid memberships with premium features at $11.95 to $49.95 per month.

  • Region: international
  • Size: 2 million
  • Fees: 5-9 %, paid memberships $11.95 - $49.95
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of mediation: application
  • Special feature: possible to add team members

5. Malt

The Malt platform was founded in France in 2013 and is now active in several European countries. Freelancers create a profile and companies can search the profiles and contact people they are interested in. There are no project postings to which freelancers can apply. Active client acquisition is therefore not possible.

Payments are made through Malt and there is an integrated professional liability insurance for jobs processed through the platform. Malt is commission-free for freelancers.

  • Region: several European countries
  • Size: 490,000 freelancers
  • Fees: -
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of mediation: client request
  • Special feature: integrated professional liability insurance

6. 9am

The relatively new freelancer platform 9am was launched in 2022 and has around 3,000 freelancers from all over Europe on board. It offers much more than just the placement of projects. In addition, project requests through other channels can be collected and managed centrally in 9am. There are also legally secure contracts, free tax advice, a strong community and payment via 9am.

The profiles are created by professional editors on the basis of an existing profile to relieve freelancers of work and achieve the best possible result. Freelancers can use them to apply for advertised projects or be contacted by potential clients. 9am is a German freelancer platform and free of charge for freelancers.

  • Region: Europe
  • Size: 3,000 freelancers
  • Fees: -
  • Payment: outside the platform
  • Type of mediation: application or client request
  • Special feature: profile creation by professional team, numerous other features

7. PeoplePerHour

The freelancing marketplace PeoplePerHour was founded in 2007 in the UK, and claims to have 1.4 million members globally. All freelancer profiles are vetted by the moderation team before they are accepted. With this, the platform wants to ensure profile quality.

Freelancers can search for projects and send proposals to apply. There’s a free number of monthly proposals, to send more users have to buy credit. Alternatively, freelancers can create a custom service package with a fixed price. Payments are made through the platform. PeoplePerHour takes a cut of the invoices, which depends on the lifetime billing per buyer. For small projects, it’s at 20%, but in most cases it will be at 7.5%, and for larger projects at 3.5%.

  • Region: international
  • Size: 31.4 million members
  • Fees: 3.5-20% 
  • Payment: via the platform
  • Type of mediation: application or client request
  • Special feature: profiles are vetted before they get accepted

Here’s an overview of the seven freelance platforms art a glance:

  Region Size Fees Payment Type of placement
Upwork international ? 5-20 % via platform application / client request international 65 million 0-20% via platform application 
Fiverr international ? 20% via platform client request international 2 million 5-9 %, plus maybe membership via platform application 
Malt var. European countries 490,000 - via platform client request
9am Europe 3,000 - outside platform application / client request
PeoplePerHour international 1.4 million  3.5-20% via platform application / client request


Specialized freelancer platforms

In addition to the marketplaces mentioned above, there are numerous specialized platforms that focus on IT experts or designers, for example. It may make sense for you to offer your services on these platforms because you may find more relevant projects there. The list is long, and at this point we would like to introduce you to only a few selected providers:

By the way: For IT freelancers, our community CodeControl is interesting. The curated freelancer marketplace brings together top talents with exciting projects and offers individual matching and support.

Being successful on freelance platforms

Depending on the platform, you offer specific services or create a profile with your hourly or daily rate. The basis for this is that you know exactly what you want to offer and how high your fee should be. Before registering on a platform, take the time to determine this for yourself. You can find out how to calculate your hourly or daily rate in our article.

It is also important to have an attractive profile that sets you apart from the competition and convinces potential clients. It's worth the investment because you're likely to receive more requests. We provide tips on how to create a profile in our article.

Dunja Reiber

Dunja Reiber is a writer and content marketer specializing in Future of Work topics. She has worked in a content marketing agency and a software start-up before becoming a full-time freelancer.

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