Top 12 Upwork Alternatives for Hiring Freelance Creatives

Get a list of the best Upwork alternatives for hiring freelance designers, marketers, copywriters, and more.

Upwork is a popular platform for hiring freelance creative professionals across a wide range of industries. However, if you haven’t been able to find the right freelancer on Upwork, you may be looking for other options. Consider these Upwork alternatives when you’re ready to hire freelance designers or creative professionals.

1. Dribbble’s Designer Search

Dribbble’s Designer Search database gives you direct access to a talent pool of over 10,000 ready-for-hire design professionals all around the world. This is the ideal place to find graphic designers, UX designers, UI designers, and other design professionals—whether you’re looking for full-time or freelance support.

Designers for hire

How it works:

Instantly search and review designer portfolios using filters like location, skills, hourly rate, years of experience, and more. Bookmark your favorite candidates, save frequent filtered searches, message designers directly, and use advanced filtering to find just the right designer for each project, faster.

2. Dribbble’s Freelance Job Board

Dribbble also operates the Freelance Design Project Board, which allows recruiters and business owners to post job listings and attract talented freelance designers. Each job board posting receives an average of more than 1,000 clicks per month, ensuring you hear from plenty of qualified applicants. Whether you’re looking for an on-site designer or someone to handle remote work, there’s a good chance you’ll find the right person on the Freelance Design Project Board.

freelance design job board

How it works:

When you’re ready to post a job, fill out the online form with as many details as possible, including job title, employment type, job location, company name, and company website. Before you post the job, you’ll have the opportunity to preview the listing and make edits if needed. If you’re satisfied with the listing, hit Continue to choose the Job Board Post package or the Job Search Post + Designer Search package.

3. We Work Remotely

If you’re looking to expand your remote team, We Work Remotely is an option. It has more than 4 million members with experience in design, programming, marketing, customer support, and other disciplines. If your company uses Wrk or Workable for recruiting, you can publish each job to We Work Remotely, eliminating the need to create a separate listing. Even if you don’t use Wrk or Workable, it takes just a few minutes to create a job posting on this site.

we work remotely contract jobs

How It Works

Click the Employers menu at the top of the We Work Remotely homepage. Then click Post a Job. All you have to do is provide information about the job, include a few basic details about your company, and preview the listing. If everything looks good, you can pay for your posting and publish it.

4. ilovecreatives Creative Directory

The ilovecreatives Creative Directory makes it easy for startups, small businesses, and corporations to connect with creative professionals. As one of the best Upwork alternatives, ilovecreatives allows employers to post jobs for graphic designers, illustrators, bloggers, advertising experts, and more. You can easily post on-site or remote jobs and hire someone with just the right combination of skills.

ilovecreatives directory

How It Works

ilovecreatives publishes a weekly newsletter, so the process of hiring someone is a bit different than you might expect. Instead of posting a job directly to the site, you need to purchase an ad before 1 p.m. PST on Monday to ensure it appears in the newsletter on Wednesday. If you miss the Monday deadline, your ad will appear in the next edition.


AIGA is an online marketplace operated by the Professional Association for Design. Job postings are available only to members of the organization, so the talent pool is smaller than what you’d find on many other sites. One advantage of using AIGA is that the site allows you to post internships and pro bono (volunteer) opportunities in addition to paid freelance gigs and full-time design jobs.

AIGA design job board

How It Works

The AIGA job board has a “Post a Job” button at the top of the page. Click this button to choose the type of posting you want to publish. Pro Bono and Internship listings cost less than regular job postings. The site also offers discounts to AIGA members. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to register for one. After you log in, you’ll be able to create a job post and pay the listing fees.

6. Toptal

Toptal advertises itself as an exclusive network composed of the top 3% of freelance talent. The company uses a rigorous screening process to identify freelancers with the skills and experience needed to help top corporations achieve their business goals. One of the benefits of using the platform is that it takes an average of just 0 to 3 weeks to find the right freelancer. On other platforms, it typically takes anywhere from 1 to 4 months. Toptal also offers prescreened candidates and a quality guarantee.

toptal sign up hiring

How It Works

Toptal matches freelancers with companies in specialized industries. When you click the Hire Top Talent button, you’ll be able to create an ad for one of the following roles: developer, designer, project manager, product manager, and finance expert. Once you choose a role, the site asks for more information about your company and the job. For example, you need to indicate whether you want to hire someone full-time or on an hourly basis.

7. PeoplePerHour

Like other Upwork alternatives, PeoplePerHour makes hiring freelancers easy. The site is home to high-quality freelancers in several disciplines, including writing and translation, technology and programming, design, digital marketing, and social media. Each freelance professional charges by the hour or by the project, giving you extra flexibility.

People per hour

How It Works

To post a project, you just need to fill out a form with relevant details. The more detail you provide, the easier it is to find a freelancer who meets your requirements. PeoplePerHour uses artificial intelligence to match your project with capable freelancers. When a freelancer receives a job alert, they can submit a custom proposal if they’re interested in the opportunity. Once you pick a freelancer, you pay a deposit and begin your project.

8. Guru

Guru is one of the most established Upwork competitors in the marketplace. The platform attracts designers, copywriters, virtual assistants, and other freelance professionals, giving you plenty of options when you’re ready to hire someone. Guru also offers flexible payment agreements to ensure that you’re satisfied with the quality of the work before you release a freelancer’s full fee.

How It Works

To find a freelancer, click on Find Freelancers at the top of the Guru homepage. You’ll be able to browse through profiles or use the search bar to enter terms related to your needs. When you find a profile that interests you, click the Get a Quote button to find out how much the freelancer would charge to complete your project.


If you’re searching for an alternative to Upwork, is fairly similar. You pay only when you’re satisfied with the work, eliminating frustration caused by paying for designs, content, or marketing campaigns you can’t use. 

How It Works

The first step is to click the Post a Job button and fill in the job title, duties, and required skills. Once you provide those details, you’ll have the option of posting the project or creating a design contest. If you’re not sure exactly what you need, design contests are a great way to source several options and pick the one you like best.

10. Credo

If you’re looking for websites similar to Upwork, Credo fits the bill, especially if you want to hire someone for digital marketing, SEO, web development, or content production. The main difference between Credo and other freelance platforms is that you get to connect with vetted agencies, instead of individual freelancers. This makes it easier to extend the capabilities of your existing team or bring a new product to market within a short amount of time.

How It Works

Credo finds agencies for you, eliminating the need to review hundreds of proposals on your own. When you’re ready to get started, you’ll have a 20-minute call with the Credo team to discuss your needs. They’ll find three agencies matching your requirements and give you the opportunity to schedule a 30-minute call with each one. Once you choose an agency, you can get to work right away.

11. Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the most popular Upwork alternatives due to its low starting price point. The freelancers on Fiverr complete tasks for as little as $5, reducing your outsourcing costs and freeing up funds for other activities. Like We Work Remotely, the Fiverr platform isn’t limited to design professionals, so you may have to search through more profiles to find the right freelancer, but it’s helpful to have access to programmers, copywriters, and other freelance professionals if you need them.

How It Works

The Fiverr homepage has a search bar that allows you to find freelancers of all skill levels. When you enter a search term, the platform looks through thousands of postings and then displays the ones that closely match your search. For example, if you enter “web design,” you’ll be able to connect with freelancers who design sites with WordPress, HTML, and other tools.

12. 99designs

99designs is a marketplace specifically for designers who want to connect with potential clients. Available categories include logo and identity design, clothing and merchandise, and business and advertising. When you click a category, the website shows you some of the most popular options, making it easier to determine what you need and find out how much it costs.

How It Works

If you want to hire on 99designs, you’ll need to create a simple design brief outlining your requirements. Once you do that, you can either hire a designer directly or set up a design contest for the 99designs community. When the designer finishes your project, you’ll make the final payment and receive production-ready files.

How to choose the right freelance hiring platform

If you’re looking for freelance talent, it’s important to choose a job board that meets your needs. Not all freelance platforms have the same features, so be sure to review several options before making a decision. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Specialization: Some companies operate freelance sites for a single discipline, such as design or content marketing. If you need someone with a specific skill, it makes sense to use a specialty site to find top talent. If you need several types of freelancers, a general freelance marketplace may be a better fit.
  • Payment systems: If you want to use PayPal and a platform only accepts credit cards, that’s a problem. Look for a site that accepts your preferred payment method.
  • Vetting process: Find out if the platform you’re considering has a screening process in place to verify each freelancer’s identity or make sure they have the right amount of experience.
  • Pricing: Whether you’re looking for e-commerce experts or need someone to help you with project management, pricing is always a concern. In addition to the freelancer’s hourly rate, you may need to pay a fee to create job posts or use advanced features.
  • Time tracking: If you hire a freelancer on an hourly basis, you’ll need a way to keep track of their work hours. Find out if the site expects you to do the tracking or if there are any automated tools to help.
  • Customer support: Check to make sure each platform offers plenty of support throughout the hiring process.
  • User experience: Look for a platform with a user-friendly interface. The site should be easy to navigate and have simple-to-follow instructions for posting projects and completing other tasks.
  • Project matching: Most platforms use an algorithm to make projects more visible to certain freelancers. It’s a good idea to find out how each algorithm is likely to affect the number of proposals you receive and the quality of those proposals.

What’s the average cost of paying someone on Upwork?

The average cost of paying someone on Upwork depends on many factors:

  • Project details: Freelance designers, freelance writers, and other service providers typically charge less for simple projects than they do for complicated ones. 
  • Experience level: You can expect to pay more for designers with 5+ years of experience than you would for beginners with just a few months of experience each.
  • Required skills: Web development, web design, and software development typically cost more than copywriting and other types of freelance work due to the technical nature of each job.
  • Industry: Your industry also has an impact on a freelancer’s hourly rate. For example, manufacturing, software, healthcare, and finance often require specialized knowledge. Freelancers with specialized knowledge command higher rates than generalists.
  • Competition: Depending on what type of skill set you need, there may not be many talented freelancers who fit the bill. With fewer freelancers competing for your business, you’re likely to pay more.
  • Type of work: Some freelancers offer a discount to clients who offer full-time work, rather than part-time work. If you need help on an ongoing basis, this can help you save money.

Average Hourly Rates

Now that you know how freelancers determine what to charge, here are the average rates for several types of Upwork projects.

Upwork average hourly rates

Fixed-Price Jobs

If you don’t want to pay freelancers by the hour, Upwork also offers the option of searching a project catalog for fixed-price options. Each project has a clearly defined scope and a set price, ensuring there aren’t any surprises when it’s time for invoicing. As of November 2022, here’s what you can expect to pay for certain projects.

  • Social media design: $15 to $30
  • Graphic design$20 to $1,000
  • SEO: $40 to $100
  • Logo design: $10 to $1,000
  • WordPress: $80 to $1,000

As you can see, freelancers charge a wide range of prices for fixed-price work. Make sure you review each package carefully to understand what it includes. For example, if you need someone to do WordPress design, the $80 package might include basic design work for a single-page website, while the $1,000 option might include a full website and branding package.

Find your next freelancer today

These Upwork alternatives make it easy to find freelance professionals and hire them for full-time opportunities or one-off projects. If you’re ready to hire a designer, come to Dribbble to find the world’s top creative talent.