Toptal vs Upwork vs Fiverr: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Freelance Platform for Your Business

Toptal vs Upwork Vs Fiverr

The growing popularity and competition of Toptal vs Upwork Vs Fiverr has drawn a lot of attention between business owners and freelancers in deciding which platform is best for them. And when it comes to the freelance marketplace, nothing comes close to those three.

While the three are popular, they also have their unique features and shortcomings which makes it quite hard for business owners and freelancers to choose the right platform for them.

If you are a freelancer or business owner who wants to make an extra buck and find the right person to give your job to respectively, this article is probably going to do you a lot of good.

In this article, we’ll compare the three services and explain why they’re so different from one another. We’ll also give you tips on how to choose which platform is best for your needs.

Getting to know the three freelance marketplaces we will be reviewing

Before we take a dive into exploring the core features of these platforms and how they differ from each other, let us look at the general overview of these platforms in brief.

1. Toptal

Toptal vs Upwork vs Fiverr: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Freelance Platform for Your Business 6

Toptal, a global top talent marketplace and outsourcing platform, is the world’s largest online hiring and talent management platform. They help companies hire top talent from remote locations. It was founded in 2011 by former Upwork CEO Matt Barrie and has since expanded to 70 cities across 20 countries. Toptal works with all kinds of businesses, including startups and large enterprises, in order to help them grow.

There are many different types of jobs available on Toptal, including:

  • JavaScript developers
  • Web designers/developers
  • Database administrators (DBA)
  • Mobile app developers
  • Mobile app testers and quality assurance engineers
  • UI/UX designers and developers
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2. Upwork

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Toptal vs Upwork vs Fiverr: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Freelance Platform for Your Business 7

Upwork is a platform that connects freelancers with projects. Freelancers can get paid for their work, and businesses can hire the right person to complete the project.

The company was founded in 2008 and has offices in London, Tokyo, and Manila.It works by allowing users to post jobs on its site, which are then reviewed by freelancers. The company vets each freelancer before they’re approved as a member.

Apart from connecting businesses with top-rated freelance workers, the company also provides market research on the online job market for companies, which helps them attract and retain top talent.

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3. Fiverr

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Toptal vs Upwork vs Fiverr: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Freelance Platform for Your Business 8

Fiverr is a website that allows you to hire freelancers for a wide range of services. You can work with them on things like graphic design, writing, translation, music, and other creative work.

Fiverr works on a bidding system where users submit requests and freelancers bid on how much they’re willing to charge for the job. The highest bidder gets the job and pays the agreed-upon price. Once payment is made, the freelancer completes their assignment and leaves a review rating for each client based on their experience working together.

The company offers services such as:

  • Professional design services (logos, website designs, etc.)
  • Photography services (portraits, headshots, pet photos, etc.)
  • Graphic design services (brochures, flyers, posters, etc.)
  • Video editing and animation services (video backgrounds and overlays)

Pros of Toptal (why You Should Choose Toptal)

  • Toptal is an exclusive network where freelancers are screened, and the top 3% are selected. Toptal subjects users want to freelance on the platform through a rigorous screening process, making sure that the best of the best are selected. This makes the platform a good choice for businesses and companies looking to hire freelancers
  • Toptal offers a more personalized approach by pairing businesses and companies with the right freelancers. You get to work with their team to find the best freelancers for your project
  • With Toptal, you get a refund when you don’t hire a freelancer, plus Toptal holds freelancers accountable, so you don’t fall a victim to a freelancer who will abandon your project and pocket your money.
  • Toptal gives you access to a team of professionals who can help you with your project. You don’t have to worry about finding the right people or making sure they understand what you want, Toptal will help you handle that through their AI and customer support team
  • Timezones can be a huge hurdle to the client and service provider, but Toptal gives you the option of freelancer relocation, which helps the freelancer work in accordance with the client’s timezone. This is a fit that is difficult to achieve with other platforms.
  • Another advantage of Toptal is that it comes with a free trial, including a refund if you are not satisfied with the service provided

Cons of Toptal

  • Its vetting and screening process makes it difficult for users to choose between a large scale of freelancers, unlike Upwork, which offers more options for businesses to choose from
  • Toptal is a little more expensive than Upwork or Fiverr. Because of their rigorous vetting and selection system, only top professionals get selected to handle your work. Plus their customer service and follow-up on clients’ projects make their fees a little bit expensive. But it’s worth paying for.
  • I will say that this platform is most suited for large-scale businesses because of its price and level of expertise. So, solopreneurs and small businesses may not find this platform attractive because of their budget and the size of the project.
  • Another downside is the fact that the platform offers no job security for its freelancers. In fact, none of the platforms offers job security. So don’t put your eggs in one basket as a freelancer on this platform

Pros: Why You Should Choose Upwork

  • One advantage of Upwork is the fact that it offers a wide range of freelancers to choose from. It doesn’t go through the rigorous process that Toptal subjects its freelancers to.
  • It provides exciting packages at affordable prices. Like their standard package, which gives businesses access to a big pool for hiring freelancers. Plus, the business and enterprise package offers you a smooth billing, onboarding, and contracting services process.
  • Upwork scores are high because of its variety of payment methods, which makes it possible for people to pay freelancers and remote workers with ease. Plus, users can have an in-depth look over the merit of the freelancers before hiring them
  • Another advantage is the bidding process, which allows freelancers to bid and businesses and solopreneurs to rate their service. They can agree on an affordable price, and in this way, employers can hire service providers at a lower rate than most freelancing platforms.

Cons of Upwork

  • Unlike Toptal, Upwork has no vetting process for freelancers. The problem here is that anyone can create a profile and start bidding on jobs, regardless of their skills or experience. Because of this, businesses have to do a lot of research to ensure the person they’re hiring is qualified for the job.
  • Also, the free version doesn’t come with all the useful features like email support, no-risk trial period, etc which makes it difficult for the freelancers as well as the business to fully test out the platform.
  • Customer support is also not at par with Toptal, which makes the marketplace detached from the entire hiring process.

Toptal vs Upwork: Which Is Better for You as A Business Owner or Freelancer

While both are platforms offering almost the same feature, we can’t deny the fact that there are some glaring differences between the two.

For businesses, Toptal will be a very good idea and place to invest your money because of its vetting and selection process. Plus, its customer support and refund policy make it a much more trusted platform than Upwork. However, we can’t deny the fact that the platform is not that friendly to freelancers, especially those without little or no experience. Another thing is the fact that it is more expensive than Upwork, which makes it hard for small businesses to do business there.

Overall, Toptal is a good choice if you have a large budget to spend and you want quality results. While Toptal is budget and freelancer friendly, you have to put out some extra work to get the best fit for your project.

Pros for Fiverr

  • Perhaps the most unique thing about Fiverr will be its budget-friendly pricing system. All its services start as low as $5. Also, users get to choose freelancers based on their skill set, ranging from beginners to experts. You can choose the freelancers by comparing them by looking at their ratings and gigs.
  • Another unique feature that differentiates Fiverr from other job marketplaces like Upwork and Toptal is the fact that it is not limited to some category of specialization. It has over 10,000 different projects available on its platform.
  • The platform is also easy to use and navigate. Plus, it provides excellent customer service like Toptal but differs in the sense that it is cheaper than Toptal.
  • Fraudulent activities on the end of both the sellers and buyers are significantly limited because Fiverr reports all the fraudulent activities and gives negative reviews to such employers and freelancers.

Cons of Fiverr

  • Despite the platforms’ strict policies, there is still a great possibility of being scammed by notorious people who place fake gigs and sell them at a higher price, which can be a big issue for the employer.
  • If you aren’t an expert freelancer or someone with a lot of positive reviews, it can be a little bit difficult to make constant money from the Fiverr platform. Especially when you come from certain regions like Nigeria and some other nationalities, employers are more skeptical about your profile

Toptal vs Upwork vs Fiverr: Which Is Better Is Better for You as A Business or Freelancer

The three platforms are undoubtedly the major giant when it comes to freelancing and remote work marketplace. But they have some unique characteristics that might make freelancers and business owners prefer one more than the other.


In terms of pricing, Toptal still remains the most expensive of the three platforms, but the advantage it has over the other two is the fact that you are getting value for your money. Upwork, on the other hand, is less expensive and not as security conscious as Toptal in the recruitment department. Fiverr, on the other hand, is the least expensive of the three as service starts from $5

Click here for a much more detailed pricing plan on Fiverr, Upwork, and Toptal

Recruitment Process

In terms of the recruitment process, Toptal is absolutely rigorous when it comes to its selection process, which makes it a no-go area for many freelancers. Upwork and Fiverr, on the other hand, are much more relaxed than Toptal. However, where Upwork and Fiverr lack the rigorous selection process, they make up for it by rating each individual freelancer according to their performance. So, for freelancers, Upwork will be a better platform to get started while business owners, especially large companies, might want to try out Toptal.

Based on Services

Based on services, you can see from the above evaluation that Upwork and Fiverr lead by far. For instance, on Fiverr, you can select from a broad category of services ranging from digital marketing to graphics and design with over 400 fields. While Upwork also falls in the same category. Toptal is service is limited to 3 to 5 categories, ranging from product management to design. This limits the choice of business owners.

Hiring Process

Fiverr and Upwork are more budget-friendly, and they support both small and large businesses. Toptal, on the other hand, focuses more on agencies and big companies.

Ease of use

TopTal, on the other hand, has a simpler user interface since it has limited categories. The site doesn’t require a lot of complicated navigation systems. While Upwork is a little bit complicated however it has a great user interface.


Toptal, Upwork, and Fiverr are undoubtedly some of the biggest names when it comes to online job marketplace and professionals you can hire to get the job done. The three have their unique features and the values each of them offers their customers. For example, Toptal is good for businesses with large budgets who want a top-notch project. While Upwork is good for freelancers since it has no screening process and allows different payment methods. Fiverr, on the other hand, is a great option for small businesses and solopreneurs who are short on budget with their lowest bid costing $5, unlike the Toptal initial deposit of $500.

So the best platforms will depend on your budget, what you want to achieve, and your level of expertise.

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