Upwork Review: Why Upwork is a Legit Platform?

2 years ago   •   10 min read

By Zekeriya Mulbay
Table of contents

Freelancers are confused while they are working on Upwork. They wonder if they can earn a decent living on Upwork. Does Upwork pay its freelancers on time? Or, their talent and skill set are not valued by their clients on this freelancing platform?

And the answer to all these questions is NO! Well, maybe YES to paying freelancers on time.

In this Upwork review, we'll tell you whether Upwork is safe for freelance workers or not. So that you can decide whether to work on it or not.

Upwork is one of the decent freelancing sites to work.

But, is Upwork worth it? Is Upwork any good? Do freelancers thrive on this booming freelancing platform?

We'll cover all your queries in this Upwork Review. So that you can be more comfortable working on your favourite projects on Upwork.

Without further ado, let's dive deeper into a review of Upwork!

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a freelance marketplace with more than millions of people working on it. Upwork reported that 60% of their freelancers had quit their 9-5 jobs and made more money than their past job.

It had various changes in its name. Back in the day, there were two companies, Elance (1998), and oDesk (2003), which later merged.

Upwork was formerly known as Elance-oDesk.  It was rebranded as Upwork in 2015, and currently, Upwork Global Inc. is its full name.

No doubt, Upwork is an appealing website for freelancers from all around the globe. Freelancers who earn $28/per hour on Upwork are making more bucks than the 70% of workers in the US.

A discrimination-free and professional working environment encourage people to start freelancing on Upwork.

The rising talents on this platform earned more than $2.5 billion. They earned in more than 10,000 categories, which included- writing, programming, graphic design, finance and accounting, and mobile app development.

Moreover, Upwork generated over $480-$490 million in 2021, which is more than that of 2020 ($373.6 million).

Any beginner to an expert can start making a boatload of money on Upwork. The clients and users seem satisfied with the service, as Upwork rates 4.37 out of 5 on Sitejabber.

Web Design, WordPress, Web Programming, CSS, JavaScript, Shopify, API, Graphic design, HTML, and PHP are top in-demand tech skills on Upwork.

You can know more in detail about Upwork by reading our Ultimate Guide to Upwork,

Upwork Pros and Cons

You can get good projects and clients on Upwork  Upwork charges 20% as commission, which is too much for a beginner freelancer
Instant Payment system, you don't have to wait weeks  Getting hired on Upwork is a hard nut to crack. There is much competition in every niche
24/7 Customer care service  Most of the clients have a tight budget
Fewer chances of getting scammed  Upwork favours clients more, in case of disputes
It is much more flexible; you can work from anywhere  Lengthy hiring process

How does Upwork work for Freelancers and Clients?

Upwork has different rules and policies for both freelancers and clients. Both can interact with each in a more straightforward way, that is, through Upwork chat.

Moreover, it has a much easier and more convenient User Interface.

Client post a job according to a project, and freelancers apply if they find it suitable. The client interviews and hire them.

Client and freelancer communicate, share files, and discuss the project through Upwork Chat. There are no restrictions on sharing links. You can share your portfolio, your website, and any file type through Chat.

Good reviews and 5-star ratings are crucial for both client and the freelancer.

It’s important to know more about the Upwork website before you start working on it.

How Upwork works for clients:

Upwork offers two plans for clients. These are- Basic Plan and Enterprise Plan.

If you signed up for a basic plan, here's how you can start.

  • Sign up on Upwork through your email (Google, Apple).
  • Write a comprehensive job post and attach some files about your project.
  • Set up the hourly and fixed pricing.
  • Publish your job. Freelancers will submit their proposals. You can interview them and provide details about the project.
  • If you think the interviewed candidate is good enough, you can make a contract, and get your first job done.

But, for the Enterprise plan, the clients have access to the hand-vetted talents. Through this plan, they don't have to interview a dozen of freelancers. Although, they can post jobs like in a basic plan.

How Upwork works for Freelancers:

You may have wondered, does Upwork really work? Yes, it does. And working on Upwork is easy.

Though, it’s a bit of a learning curve at the start. As you cannot just sign up and start sending job proposals right away.

You must provide the following details first.

  • Account personal information name, password, etc.
  • The desired skillset and the category you will help clients. Also your expertise level.
  • The educational background.
  • Past employment history.
  • Set up your hourly rate. As a recommendation, go with $10 per hour being a beginner.

The best thing about Upwork is that the payments are made through the Escrow system (in advance). The client releases the amount after reviewing the work.

Is Upwork Legit?

Upwork is one of the most preferable platforms worldwide. The reason is that it provides a legit and safer working environment to both, freelancers and clients.

Furthermore, Upwork has approximately 18 million freelancers working.

Cutting-edge security and data protection, besides, make it a high-rated marketplace.

Upwork has AICPA Trust Service criteria and PCI DSS certifications. Both make it a more reliable and trustworthy platform.

Thus, on Upwork, freelancers don't have to worry about their safety or their payments. So, Upwork is worth it.

Upwork offers two kinds of projects for smooth working- Fixed-priced projects, and Hourly rate projects.

How Fixed Priced project works?

Once the client starts a contract, the payment is in Escrow. After submitting the work, the client approves it. The amount is then transferred into your Upwork account.

How Hourly Rate project works?

The client can track the working of a freelancer through a Work Diary. Work diary shows periodical snapshots of freelancer’s screen(s). It helps in verifying if s/he's working or not.

The freelancers record their daily hours on the Upwork Desktop app.

The freelancer must meet the hourly protection criteria or won't get paid. The client gets a refund if the freelancer fails to meet the hourly rate requirements.

Besides, if any client goes against the policies, you can report to the Upwork management team.

Real Users Upwork Reviews

Importance of Upwork reviews

"First Impression is the last impression," you may have heard this quite often.

As a freelancer, Upwork reviews can be helpful or could cost you lost opportunities. The reviews on your profile say a lot about your work condition.

Moreover, one bad review can be fatal for a career on Upwork. So, it's better to overcome your client's expectations and deliver satisfactory work.

You can get good reviews on your profile by following the tips below.

  • Always communicate with your client and clear doubts from both sides.
  • Deliver the work before the deadline.
  • Ask relevant questions about the project.

Before you start working on any platform, it’s important that you go through it’s reviews. Upwork reviews for freelancers are available on Reddit, Glassdoor, Indeed, G2, etc.

Let’s check out reviews of Upwork freelancers on different websites.

Best Real User Reviews

“My experience with Upwork was great so far. The platform is suitable and well-tuned for Freelancers of all levels. The only thing I would suggest is to improve their Project Catalog algorithms so that new freelancers can get a chance to find works via this feature.”
Saidin Saclain
“Upwork is my ‘go to’ when it comes to promoting my voiceover and audio production services to the global community… ease of operation and the back of house support at Upwork is second to none… I’m a very happy freelancer and I highly recommend Upwork whether you’re a freelancer or a potential new client of mine! Many Thanks :)”
Stephen Mc - stevemcmedia
“I was skeptical about Upwork in the beginning, thinking it was dodgy and full of scams. However, I have had great experience finding jobs that pay well, are consistent, remote, flexible, and allow me to do the things I am passionate about. I am a journalist, formerly worked for a newspaper. Now I help people produce podcasts, write articles, and edit videos. I love it!”
→  Chloe LeValley
“I’m on Upwork as a virtual assistant and I enjoy the work. I have a really specific skill set though (I can write, do social media, and email marketing) and I can use the software needed for my skill set so that’s my niche. Don’t worry about the people that do the work for lower pay, people are more than willing to pay higher for a native English speaker! I make about $800/month part time on Upwork”
"High quality of work, Best place for freelancers to showcase their talents"
Hayden Brown

Worst Real User Reviews

“It's really tough starting out as a freelancer because there's so many people on Upwork. Also, Upwork is very greedy and demands several spread out fees to even apply for jobs.”
Current Upwork Employee (Freelancer).
“The main issue I have with Upwork is the generally low level of pay/quality for most freelance projects. I've freelanced for years and rarely come across such low-ball offers for talent. Also not a fan of using bank accounts to verify U.S. location.”
Nick K
“I didn't have much luck. The payments are mostly too low to be worth your time. The place is overcrowded with indians or other eastern people who have fake reviews on their profiles and do jobs for ~3$. Anyway you should try it. You might have luck.”

How to get jobs on Upwork?

Upwork has different criteria for freelancers and clients. Your profile won't sprout up just by signing up and completing the profile overview.

It takes much time, effort, dedication, perseverance to land your first job on Upwork.

We'll give some vital tips to help you get your first job on Upwork. Through these, you may set a milestone in the freelancing world.

So now, let's hear them one by one.

  • Profile: Maintain your profile according to your skillset. Write about how you can resolve clients' problems and how your expertise will help. You can also set up a customized profile in your category, where you can showcase your past work.
  • Communication: Once a client approaches you, communicate in a professional manner.
  • Portfolio: You must have your portfolio, which should include your best work.
  • Apply according to your expertise: Search and apply for jobs that suit your expertise. Don't bite more than you can chew.
  • Don't waste "connects": As a beginner, give preference to the "Entry level" jobs, instead of Expert or Intermediate level jobs.
  • Don't bid high: Try to bid as low as possible, or at average market rates. Most of the clients on Upwork don't have much budget.
  • Requirements and Descriptions: Read the conditions and job description for which you want to apply.
  • Check before applying: Avoid applying on jobs where the client is interviewing many candidates, or if she has hired someone else.
  • Less than 50 proposals: Filter those jobs which have less than 50 proposals. It will increase your chances of landing a job.
  • Improve your English: Most of the clients on Upwork are native English speakers, so it's better to improve your English skills.

Read our article, How to Get Jobs on Upwork, to figure out the best methods.

Upwork Terminology


It is like a currency of Upwork. To submit a proposal to a job post, a freelancer must have connects available (at least two). It costs two connects on small jobs (between $49 or less), four connects on medium jobs ($50 to $599), and six connects on larger jobs ($600 plus).

Moreover, you can buy ten "connects" for USD 1.5. On every interview, you get ten free connects from Upwork.

Commission Fee

  • From $0 to $500 earnings from a single client, there is a 20% charge.
  • From $500.01 to $10,000 earnings from the same client, there is a 10% charge.
  • From $10,001 plus earnings from this same client, there is a 5% charge.

Albeit Upwork does refund connects to freelancers if the client closes the job without hiring any candidate.

Cover letter

It is a crucial part of your job proposal. It should not be a tedious speech about your skills, but a brief paragraph on how you could help the client.

In the cover letter, mention how you would work on the project, and how your relevant experience will help achieve the desired outcome.

Make sure to attach some relevant samples at the end of the cover letter.


JSS is the Job Success Score for freelancers. It is based upon the client's satisfaction, feedback, relationship, and outcomes.

Alternatives of Upwork


Fiverr is the top rival of Upwork. Most of the freelancers work on Fiverr before stepping into Upwork. It is different from Upwork. Here freelancers open their Gigs and start selling. But Upwork is more lucrative than Fiverr.


If we compare the easiness in finding jobs, Upwork takes the bow. There are more quality jobs on Upwork, unlike Freelancer.com. Although, both platforms are suitable for freelancers.


PeoplePerHour isn't an old side hustle for freelancers, unlike Upwork. We can blatantly say that both platforms are suitable. However, Upwork has better customer care support, unlike PeoplePerHour.

Apart from these top 3 contenders, you can also earn from other sites. Check our article Best Freelance Job Sites to Get Clients


Summing up, Upwork has become the bread and butter for most freelancers around the globe. It is a trustable and legit site.

Upwork reviews can help you decide if it is worth it. Read through reviews of Upwork freelancers and you’ll know the value it adds to the freelancing world.

You can be one of the successful freelancers if you hustle hard. And Upwork can change the trajectory of your career and your life.

We hope our review of Upwork has helped you a bit. Consider Signing Up today for more blogs like this. We'll help you upgrade your Upwork game, one blog at a time!

Questions to Answer

Is Upwork a legit site?

Upwork has AICPA certification, ensuring that this site is safe to work. Moreover, they have excellent customer care service. Upwork monitors every process, so there can be a lack of exploitation of policies.

How to register on Upwork as a freelancer?

  • Go to Upwork.com.
  • Tap the Sign-up option.
  • After that, Upwork will direct to the next page, where it says, "Join as a client or freelancer."
  • Select Freelancer, after that Upwork, will ask you to provide the necessary details.

Is there any fee on Upwork?

Freelancers don't have to pay a penny to start hunting for jobs. But, there are charges when you earn by doing jobs (as mentioned above).

Clients also pay 3% on every payment they release.

There are three programs for clients- Basic, Plus and Enterprise.

The basic is free to use. Plus program is $49.99 per month. It has muckamuck customer care and dedicated management.

The pricing for the Enterprise program is negotiable. It is a plan availed by large companies to build huge, talented teams, to work on complex projects.

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