Comparing the Top 6 Best Freelance Developer Platforms for 2023

Over the last couple of years, more people have been searching for flexible and remote work in the hopes that they can achieve their ideal work-life balance. With so many freelance developer websites, it’s hard to know which is the best fit and which might be a waste of time. This article compares the top six freelance platforms for developers and shows the pros and cons of each.

WebsiteBenefitPlatform Fees
UpworkUpwork is a large platform full of opportunities for various skill levels and backgrounds.Between $0-$500, there’s a 20% service feeBetween $500.01-$10,000, there is a 10% service fee.
FiverrClients approach freelancers rather than the other way around. Freelancers must pay 20% of total earnings
TuringFreelancers have the chance to work with some of the best companies in the USA.No platform fees or deductions Most developers charge $60-$90/hour and are paid directly by the hiring company. 
Toptal As one of the top freelancing platforms available, Toptal has lots of opportunities.Freelancers can set their hourly ratesToptal tends to charge more to customers
Arc.devAfter the vetting process, developers can expect to find work within 24 to 72 hours. Prices can range from $60 to $200+ per hour
Gun.ioFreelancers can choose between different working schedules and payment options. Fees are negotiable, with most rates starting at $100 up to $200 per hour

Top 6 Freelance Dev Platforms in 2022

As of 2022, there are dozens of freelance platforms ranging from more generalized to highly specialized platforms. Here are the top six freelance developer platforms in 2022 for those looking to break into tech or gain more experience as a programmer. 

  1. Upwork

As one of the most popular freelancer platforms, Upwork offers opportunities to work in marketing, translation, website development, and IT support. It’s not surprising to hear that world-class companies such as Microsoft, Nasdaq, and GoDaddy have scoured this website and found talented professionals to bring into their organizations. 

Upwork allows freelancers to create detailed profiles illustrating their work history, unique skill set, and knowledge. After that’s complete, Upwork’s website algorithm looks for work opportunities that match the freelancer’s profile. 

Platform Fees

Upwork’s fee structure is such that the more a freelancer earns, the fewer fees they pay. For opportunities that pay up to $500, freelancers will pay a 20% service fee from their income. For earnings between $500 to $10,000, freelancers only have to pay 10% of service fees. After that, for anything over $10,001, the service fees go down to 5%.

Advantages

  • Freelancers can enjoy access to lots of opportunities in various industries
  • Upwork clients tend to pay more for services than on other websites. 
  • Upwork clients usually are ready to start working right away, meaning freelancers can have a constant flow of work and income. 

Drawbacks

  • For newcomers to Upwork, the fees are very steep if you’re making less than $500. 
  • Upwork is among the most popular platforms, meaning there’s high competition for projects. 
  • With so much competition, freelancers might have to compete on price rather than the quality of work, making it hard to earn a living. 

  1. Fiverr

Fiverr is easily a close second on any list of popular freelancing websites. As a platform, Fiverr provides professionals with the chance to search for work and businesses the freedom to find affordably priced freelancers. 

The primary difference with Fiverr is that rather than freelancers bidding on jobs, experts list their services on an open online virtual marketplace. Companies can place an order with the freelancers once they’ve looked through some samples and links to past work. 

Platform Fees

Freelancers can join Fiverr and list their services on the platform for free. But, freelancers must pay 20% for every service or job they get paid for while using Fiverr. 

Advantages

  • Easy and quick to set up a profile and list your services on the website.
  • Rather than finding projects, customers come to you offering proposals. 
  • Fiverr allows freelancers the chance to build a reputation rapidly

Drawbacks

  • Fiverr charges 20% service fees to all freelancers, regardless of the transaction amount. 
  • Fiverr, like Upwork, is a famous platform people use worldwide, making it a highly competitive website for looking for work.  
  • Freelancers have to wait for clients to reach out to them for work, meaning they might have to work for much less if they don’t have many alternatives. 

  1. Turing

As a newcomer to the freelancing space, Turing focuses on providing long-term remote US-based jobs to programmers from across the globe. 

With either freelance or contract positions available, Turing offers software engineers of all experience levels various options for finding work. To use the Turing platform, freelancers must take a test to determine their ranking. Based on the outcome of that examination, freelance programmers will either be accepted or turned away from using the website. 

Platform Fees

Companies looking to hire off of the Turing platform enjoy a free two-week trial period to see if the developer and business are a good fit for one another. After this trial period ends, companies can begin paying the developers directly based on the rates they set, which typically range between $60 to $90 per hour, with developers owing no fees to Turing. 

Advantages

  • Developers that use Turing have the opportunity to work for some of the best tech companies within the USA.  
  • As Turing is a very niche and relatively new platform, freelancers can enjoy lower levels of competition, allowing them to work for many companies and earn more income. 
  • Developers don’t have to pay for the Turing platform before or after getting a job offer.

Drawbacks

  • Developers must have four to five working hours that overlap with US companies, which can be challenging to match up depending on where you’re based. 
  • Many employers want developers to work full-time, making it challenging to work multiple jobs simultaneously. 

  1. Toptal

Toptal is one of the more senior platforms in the premium freelance space. This website has its roots in programming but has expanded to include design, financial consulting, project management, and product management opportunities. Toptal requires freelancers to pass code reviews, portfolio reviews, and examinations with one of the most rigorous application processes

Platform Fees

Toptal allows freelancers to set their rates, with many professionals setting their rates from $80 to $200 per hour. The higher the rates the freelancer charges, the higher the fees the company will have to pay back to Toptal for using their platform. 

Advantages

  • Freelancers must pass a rigorous onboarding process, which gives companies peace of mind knowing they’re hiring highly skilled professionals. 
  • Due to being relatively less popular, many freelancers can earn more income as there’s less competition. 

Drawbacks

  • Such a rigorous onboarding process can take a long time, which might be a waste of time if the freelancer doesn’t meet the requirements.  
  • There’s a chance that companies may not want to use Toptal as they charge relatively high fees to use their platform. 

  1. Arc.dev

Initially, Arc.dev began life under the name CodementorX, as a website for mentoring new developers. Today, Arc.dev is still a mentoring platform. Still, it has also expanded into the freelance space, allowing developers to use its platform to connect with companies that need technical support. Young developers can seek help, network, and support as beginner programmers. 

With one of the strictest vetting processes, Arc.dev uses cutting-edge assessment tools to ensure every candidate meets all standards. This platform has an industry-leading reputation by focusing on finding full-time remote developers for long-term positions.  

Platform Fees

Typically, hourly rates range anywhere from $60 up to $200 or higher. Depending on the type of programming language needed, different fees can apply.

Advantages 

  • A thorough vetting process ensures companies get the best possible candidates.
  • Once professionals pass the vetting process, the hiring phase is rapid, taking between 24 to 72 hours to complete.

Drawbacks

  • Some companies might find this platform too expensive, increasing competition for freelancers as fewer firms sign up to use this website.
  • With such a rigorous vetting process, Arc.dev is known for having a small talent pool which can cause companies to look elsewhere for talent.

  1. Gun.io

Gun.io boasts over 25,000 freelance developers on its platform, earning it a reputation as an industry leader in the tech space. Gun.io allows freelancers to pair up and work with some of the most renowned tech companies in the world. Much like Toptal, Gun.io uses a model to streamline the hiring process, finding the companies the right developer for that next job. 

Platform Fees

Gun.io provides many payment options, from custom pay-as-you-go packages to monthly retainers. They even have options for companies to retain developers as a part of their teams.  

Gun.io charges the hiring companies 20% of the negotiated first-year salary for full-time positions. Typically, most freelance developers charge between $100 to $200/hour, plus Gun.io’s fees. Freelancers receive their full upfront payment with no additional costs later.  

Advantages

  • All freelance developers must pass a stringent character assessment, ensuring a proper fit between them and the company.  
  • Every developer must pass several technical assessments. For those that pass, companies can have peace of mind that they’re hiring skilled professionals. 

Drawbacks 

  • Gun.io offers very little on how their fee breakdown functions, leaving many freelancers unsure how much they will receive and how much they will have to pay. 
  • With many technical and character assessments, the Gun.io onboarding process is time-consuming and can feel relatively slow to complete.

Choose the Best Freelance Developer Platform that Works for You 

When considering which freelance websites are the best option, it’s essential to consider several factors. The platform’s reputation in the freelance space, the amount of website traffic, past reviews from seasoned freelancers, and the service fees charged are all critical aspects to examine. Once you know what each platform has to offer, you can make the choice of where you want your portfolio to reside. 

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