Freelancer is an online marketplace that brings freelancers and clients together. The site has made a number of upgrades in the recent past and offers new ways for clients and freelancers to rate one another. The categories include a full spectrum of industries, from writing to development, web design, data entry, science and engineering. Clients can post their jobs as available and receive proposals from freelancers on the site. The site also holds various contests to help encourage networking and marketing while giving a little back to the users. Helpful tools from category listings to ratings and personal profiles help clients make an informed decision on who they choose to work with.
Freelancer, previously Get a Freelancer, is owned by Freelancer Australia Pty Limited. The site was created in February of 2004 and has grown significantly since then. More users have come to offer their services and post their projects while the site itself has undergone some major renovations in the last year. GetAFreelancer.com changed its name to Freelancer.com in 2009. Today, the site is currently backed by Startive Capital as well as a large number of users who connect through job postings on Freelancer. While the intended goal remains the same, the tools and features available to achieve that goal have been modified since Freelancer was first launched.
There are a number of budding marketplaces currently available online that allow freelancers and their clients to find one another. Freelancer offers a few different tools and features to help in the process. Many other sites focus on allowing the client to rate the freelancer. Freelancer, on the other hand, allows both to submit a rating. This helps freelancers spot excellent or potential problem buyers to make a better decision on what jobs they take on. Both parties can benefit from a payment system that works through Freelancer with an optional Paypal payment method alternative.
Overall, Freelancer provides users with a low key atmosphere and pleasant blue and black color scheme to work in. Categories are easily sorted by type which makes narrowing down the search for a job a little easier. The site sees a lot of traffic and it can be intimidating and time consuming to wade through all of the current job listings.
New users can browse the current job listings and profiles to see what Freelancer has to offer. However, in order to post a job or bid on a job, the user must create an account. This is done by clicking the blue sign up button at the top right hand corner of the homepage. The visitor is taken to the new user sign up form, which requires a username, email address, account type (looking for work or looking to hire or both), a preferred email format, and terms of service agreement. Users are also given the option of upgrading to a gold membership before completing registration.
Users are given the option of creating a free account on Freelancer. This account type requires a 3% fee for posting a project as well as higher fees for winning and getting paid for a project. If a user opts for the gold membership, they will pay just under $20 per month and can post projects for free. Freelancers can enjoy reduced fees while both receive a gold membership icon on their profile and improved reliability on the site.
Given the vast majority of unmonitored jobs on Freelancer, a fulltime freelance professional may not find as much value in paying for a gold membership. The site does offer good jobs, but finding them among the low paying projects is extremely difficult. Buyers will also find a number of freelancers that range in skill level, which swarm all new job postings. Overall, the site is alright for those who have some free time and are looking for time filler projects (or clients who have the time to really scrutinize proposals).