Upwork Evolution

Last night, when I received an email from Upwork titled as an important update to Upwork’s pricing, I thought that finally some positive change will happen to the world’s biggest freelancers and freelance jobs marketplace.

Over the past few months, freelancers and businesses have experienced Upwork’s website and Team App not working for hours, and we’re using Upwork’s search engine, which would give results that have nothing to do with the search query. Not to mention the changes in the algorithm that calculates freelancers’ job success rate. Due to it, many independent contractors were left angry and in disbelief.

Yesterday, we at Nomadship thought Upwork is finally changing in a positive way, but we were wrong.

Upwork’s New Pricing Model for Freelancers

Currently, freelancers pay a 10% fee for all Upwork contracts, but yesterday Upwork announced that this will change starting in June.

You’ll pay:

  • 20% for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts
  • 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000

UpWork said: “The more business you do with your clients on Upwork, the more money you keep.”

Well that’s not quite right. What about freelancers who never make it to $500 per client, because they do small projects only?

There is a big portion of Upwork’s freelancers who never make it to $500 per client. Let’s look at the graphic designers and other freelancers who work on small one time projects. These freelancers will never get chance to pay less than 20% fee.

Is Upwork forcing those freelancers to start working on big projects only? Well, probably yes.

What about freelancers who are just starting their career on Upwork? How will they benefit from a new pricing program? Well, simply they won’t.

A New Processing Fee for Clients

Starting in June, clients will also pay a new 2.75% processing fee per payment.

Clients in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, and certain Eurozone countries may be eligible to pay a monthly flat fee of $25 instead of 2.75% per payment. That might be a good alternative for those that spend more than $910 a month.

Upwork’s Community Went Crazy

We can see a big increase in negative comments from Upwork’s community. Facebook and Twitter are overloaded with people complaining about new Upwork’s pricing model.

Also, a lot of them have mentioned that they will start looking for new freelancing platforms.

How will Upwork react on that comments from their big community? Will something change in the near future? We are still waiting for answer from Upwork’s CEO Stephane Kasriel.

Well, probably there will be a change. In the near future, we will probably see a portion of freelancers and clients looking for alternatives, and this could make a big impact on Upwork’s revenue.

Also, some freelancers mentioned that they will start taking their contracts from Upwork and get paid directly from the client.

In the meantime, here are some of Upwork alternatives we at Nomadship like.


For Developers



WP Hired



For Designers & Creatives




For Marketers



For Writers & Blogers

Freelance Writing Gigs

Problogger Jobs



Other Freelance Marketplaces





Working Nomads


We Work Remotely

LinkedIn ProFinder




We Work When


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more freelancing and digital nomads news.

About The Author

I like building new things, exploring the world, ideas and my mind.


  1. Thanks Matija, this list is very comprehensive!

Leave a Reply