There's no denying that freelancers take up a good portion of the market. There are millions of freelancers floating around the global labor market. The US alone is expected to see 86.5 million workers in the freelance space by 2027.
That might be good for companies, but it's increasingly competitive to land a legitimate job as a freelancer.
However, there are a couple of ways to increase your visibility and raise your chances of finding high-paying work, and one of these is to research the kinds of freelance websites that would be right for you and the industry you serve.
We've researched and compiled some of the best freelance websites for web developers. Whether you're a web developer new to the market or a veteran simply looking for better platforms to grow on, you've come to the right place.
One of the key selling points of Toptal is that they are notoriously strict when selecting which freelancers would make up their talent pool – so much so that typically, only 3% of the applicants per month make it through.
With a rigorous 5-step screening process for all freelancers, companies can be sure that the freelancers they find on Toptal are the absolute best of the best. With well-known clients such as Bridgestone, Microsoft, and Google Cloud, Toptal has a massive market for freelance web developers and plenty of projects that demand their expertise.
How Is It to Work with Toptal as Web Developer?
Taking their services to the next level, Toptal also personally works with every client to match suitable talents to their needs, giving the platform its “premium” title.
However, there are a few aspects that freelancers would need to look out for before joining Toptal. Due to its branding as a “top talent” marketplace, Toptal would not be ideal for beginners or even intermediate developers.
Another factor to consider would be the amount of time you can afford to spend on projects, as many of the jobs on Toptal would need you to commit for a longer period.
Other freelance sectors and industries on Toptal include web and mobile applications, cybersecurity, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), data analytics, edge computing, and more.
Known as one of the biggest pools of freelance talents available to employers, Upwork is the perfect place to advertise your skills to a vast audience with various project types, durations, and budgets.
To get started on Upwork, freelancers must first create a profile listing all of their services and any relevant experience they might have. It's essential to make your profile as professional as possible because potential employers will make hiring choices based (at least partially) on your profile.
Why is Upwork Good for Freelance Web Developers?
There are a few ways an employer would be able to hire you on Upwork. One of the most popular ways is through a bidding-type system. This means that employers will place a job notice with relevant details, such as the budget and job description, and freelancers can choose whether or not to bid for the project.
In their bids, freelancers can freely state how much they would like to earn for their services and how long it would take to complete the assigned tasks.
It's essential to note that, due to its large volume of freelancers, especially in the web development sectors, freelancers might be more competitive and need to resort to pricing their services at a lower rate than usual.
True to its name, Fiverr had initially built a reputation by offering tons of quirky short-term or one-off freelance services at only $5.
However, that does not mean that $5 projects are the only jobs it offers. While undoubtedly, it still has affordable “fiver” options, freelancers on Fiverr can choose the rates at which they would price their services and set different prices for different levels of complexity for tasks.
Why is Fiverr Good for Freelance Developers?
Employers would then be able to select from a more extensive selection of skillsets and expertise that would best suit their needs.
Some of the most popular professional services it offers include website development, logo design, SEO management, data entry, digital marketing, and more. There are also many niche services on Fiverr that you might not be able to find elsewhere.
However, larger-scale projects on Fiverr are rare, so if that's the kind of project you would like to work on, it's best to find clients on other sites. Freelancers should also note that a review system is in place, meaning newcomers to the service might have difficulty competing with more prominent brands and companies for business.
Having gotten its start from a developer-only platform, it's not difficult to see why Guru is still an effective way for freelance developers to find well-paying jobs, even though Guru has now branched out into many different fields.
Why do Freelance Web Developers Choose Guru?
One of the reasons many freelancers choose to use Guru comes down to their SafePay feature, which withholds the job fees from employers as the employee completes their work. This ensures that both parties would be safe from potential scams and that satisfactory work is delivered promptly.
It's also worth noting that Guru boasts of having the lowest charges among all other freelance sites. However, to enjoy these low costs and additional benefits, freelancers would have to pay to be a part of the site's tiered membership.
Executive tier members would only pay a 5% job fee for every project, while a 9% job fee applies to free members. For those unsure if this could be what they're looking for, it's always good to test the waters as a free member first, then upgrade to other tiers.
Lastly, Workana was established in 2012, which is pretty recent compared to other platforms on the list. However, they've since built up a sizable market for themselves, with over 600,000 companies and brands opting to hire freelance developers on their websites.
Why is Workana for Freelance Web Developers?
However, the costs of working on Workana might be a little difficult to understand, as the commission percentages tend to change over time, depending on how often the freelancer works with a particular client.
Simply put, projects priced below $300 would see the freelancer paying 20% of their earnings to Workana. Projects in the $301 to $3,000 range are subject to a 10% commission. Anything above that is 5%.
If your projects tend to be more long-term, Workana might work out well for you, but otherwise, for smaller jobs or beginner freelancers, it might be best to start on other websites.
Similar to Upwork, PeoplePerHour is a freelance website where developers get to list their services at their desired price points. Additionally, freelancers can also find work through bidding on proposals and by joining talent contests – the latter being, arguably, one of the features for which PeoplePerHour is known.
The talent contests are essentially job postings where freelancers can compete with one another by posting about their projects and hourly rates. Employers could then compare different potential freelancers and select the competition winners.
Indeed is a general job board used by all, regardless of job type or sector. However, even though the platform isn't built solely for freelancers, Indeed is still a top-rated site for employers to look for applicants.
The demand for freelance developers on Indeed has been increasing thanks to recent changes in working norms.
Freelancers can choose to use the filters on the site to ensure that the jobs they're looking for will fit their searches. Some of the filter functions include job type, whether the job will be remote, the required experience level, and more, making your search just that bit easier.
How to Choose the Best Job Site for Your Needs
Finding a job site suitable for your needs doesn't mean using only one place. There are many different kinds of job sites, and it's probably best if you use multiple ones throughout your job search process.
However, knowing what kind of site will be most helpful during each stage of your job search will help ensure that you're using them as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips on choosing the best for yourself;
Know What Kind of Job You Want
Not all job sites are created equal, and they may not be the best fit for every type of job seeker. If you're looking for a full-time position, you might want to avoid Craigslist and other classified sites.
If you're looking to get back into the workforce after taking some time off, then an online platform like Monster might be better suited for your needs than LinkedIn. For example, if you want to work from home or remotely, these two platforms will probably not be the best fit for you.
Consider How Active You Want Your Job Search To Be
If you're looking to find a new job quickly, choosing a site that gives you lots of opportunities to apply at once makes sense. However, a more passive site like LinkedIn might make more sense if you want more control over what jobs pop up in front of your eyes each day (and don't mind waiting).
See What Type of Companies Recruit There
Some job boards may be more attractive if you're hoping for an internship or entry-level position with a well-known company — or if you have limited experience in your field and want an opportunity to learn new skills quickly. If so, look for companies with similar values to your employer's goals.
For many companies, especially in a post-pandemic world, freelancers are quickly becoming an unavoidable cornerstone in web development, as evident with hundreds of thousands of projects across all platforms. Regardless of your skill level, experience, or portfolio, you're bound to find work that fits your needs.
However, freelancers must be careful when applying for jobs online, as there will always be scam job posts and thieves attempting to prey on others. To avoid such job posts, beware of blank employer profiles and ask in-depth questions regarding your project.