A Comparison of the Best Freelance Developer Platforms for 2021

Being part of the global market and offering IT services, you are already aware of how tough it is to promote yourself and your skills. Even more challenging is being a business owner searching for someone with extra special skills to build their online presence and provide online clients with a superior user experience. The mutual ground zero for both of these parties are the freelance platforms that offer the best solutions. Freelance developers get to extensively describe their portfolio and skills while the business owners get to choose who they want to work with from the pool of talent handpicked by the platform’s specialists. To help both of you, here is my detailed comparison of the best freelance developer sites for 2021. 

What Are Freelance Platforms for Developers?

Let’s start from the beginning. The freelance platforms are online platforms where freelancers can register and create a detailed profile of their experience, skills, and fields of work in order to be found by someone who needs their services. In addition, the platforms usually offer a lot of quality content, instructional, tutorial, informational, comparative, etc. that serves to educate the freelancer further or find solutions to their work issues or clear the confusion.

The freelance developer platforms target developers who work on their own and are not necessarily looking for a permanent job. Better yet, they are looking for projects to work on – projects that challenge their skills and satisfy them financially. However, the freelance platform also offers the option of securing a long-term collaboration between the two parties. In the end, everything falls to the preferences of freelancers as they want to have that freedom when it comes to time management and choosing the company to work for. Needless to say, that is the reason they are freelancers, even though they are able to adapt to different work cultures and environments and by outsourcing web services to always deliver the promises. 

For that purpose, the freelance platforms let the freelance developers present themselves in full glory by sharing their portfolios. Based on their profiles, business owners or managers browse the platform’s directory, evaluate the candidates according to their criteria and find freelance developers who will be a good fit.

The most significant benefit of the platform for both parties is that regardless of the size of the business or how challenging the project is, the perfect match exists. And here comes the most challenging part, which is the freelance platform’s obligation: to make that match. 

Once the match is made, small businesses can find experts whose skills can be outsourced and help the business’ budgetary restraint. In contrast, mid-size and large enterprises can precisely pinpoint the experts with the unique set of skills they need for their projects. 

If you are a developer looking for job opportunities a freelance developer platform is one of your best options to get introduced to the market. While you are waiting for the job opportunity that fits your skills it is also a good idea to go over the job interview questions that are usually asked on interviews:

Front-end job interview questions 

HTML job interview questions 

CSS job interview questions 

How Do Freelance Platforms Work?

To start functioning, every freelance platform must provide a place where companies can discuss their needs for experts and find a developer unique for their project. At the same time, freelancers would create their profiles containing their whole experience and set of skills. Moreover, the freelance platforms usually make it possible for the business owners or managers to communicate directly without intervention by the platform’s specialists unless they specifically ask for help with the handpicking process. Depending on the platform’s policy, the match-making can be different – with or without an agent’s involvement, and so, some platforms let you choose, while others make that decision for you.

For that purpose, the business owners/managers should be able to browse the platform, filter the freelances according to their criteria and compare their skills and past experience to be certain about the freelancer they choose. Finally, the freelance platforms should include features on their platform, which will make it easy for the business owners/managers to evaluate the freelancers for their work after the project is finished. 

Freelance Developers Statistics

Before jumping on the comparison of the best freelance developer sites, let’s go over some of the impressive numbers and statistics about the world of freelance developers. 

freelance platforms statistics

According to Evans Data, there are around 25 million developers around the world. StackOverFlow states that circa 16 million developers use their site every month, of which 7.1% identified themselves as freelance developers. Based on this, we can assume that there are around 1.5 million freelance developers around the world. And, of course, the numbers keep on growing every day. 

Another statistic related to the IT world is about the highest concentration of developers according to countries. Namely, the USA has the highest concentrations, whereas the UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, India, and Russia are considered the leaders in the volume. Moreover, Argentina, Mexico, and the USA, China, India, and Russia, have the highest growth rate of developers. 

The most visited and widely recognized freelance coding sites that most freelance developers make profiles on are Toptal, Adeva, Upwork, and Codeable. Let’s take a close look at them. 


Toptal’s tagline is “Hire the top 3% of freelance talent,” which immediately strikes the center of the issue. They promise the companies looking for talent to get the best there is on the freelance market. When it comes to freelancers, they are offered an exclusive opportunity to be a part of the top 3% of talent that the platform considers the best. What is even more flattering about this platform is that they have collaborated with the leading companies like Airbnb, Shopify, Bridgestone, Duolingo, etc., and managed to meet their needs in the search for excerpts for their most important projects. 

Toptal dwells in software development, web development, WordPress development, design, finance, and product management. They claim to have the best of the best developers, designers, finance experts, project managers, product managers, and uniquely on their platform. Their offer to assemble managed teams of seasoned experts for the most urgent business needs of the company-client is one of the reasons it is a top choice. 

Process of Hiring Talent at Toptal

Their process of hiring is easy and straightforward. Once the company owner/manager reaches out, Toptal offers one of their industry experts to work with them to make a clear understanding of the company’s goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. Then, in a concise period, Toptal finds the most suitable talent for their project, and in as soon as 24 hours, Toptal makes the match and introduces both parties. The hiring company’s benefits don’t end here – you are offered to work with the chosen talent on a trial basis so that you are sure you have the right people working on your project. Plus, to find a developer Toptal’s team will do the vetting for you and contact you with your most suitable options. 

Being a Freelancer on Toptal

It is evidently clear how important it is for a freelancer to become one of the top 3% of talent featured on Toptal. But to get featured on this platform, be aware that Toptal does an extensive screening of all the applicants before they enter. Part of the screening process is a language and personality test as well as timed algorithm testing. Moreover, there are also technical screenings with other Toptal engineers and, finally, a test project that will prove the freelancer’s commitment. All of this is done so the platform can guarantee that the freelance developers will maintain a perfect track record while working with the client. There is also great content in the form of guides and instructions that freelance developers can use to get the job like preparing for the interview questions. 

The Verdict

While it is a very strict and rigorous screening process for the freelance developers that want to enter the pool of talent, it is safe to say that it is a straightforward and facilitated process for the companies looking to hire. All things considered, it is also important to note that Toptal, is one of the most widely recognized platforms for freelance developers, which is on my list for best freelance developer sites.


Adeva is an exclusive platform that connects the world’s best software engineers with companies searching for talent with a unique set of skills. They act as an on-demand network by identifying the best freelance engineers, pairing them with companies as freelancers, and working on projects and full-time employees. The most significant three benefits the companies get when collaborating with Adeva are fast turnout and finishing their project, reduced costs due to flexible contracts between the interested parties, and, finally, no waste of time otherwise spent on interviews onboarding, and training new hires. 

Why Hiring Companies for Freelancer Developers Love Adeva?

The testimonials on sites like Glassdoor, TrustPilot, and the like are hiring companies love Adeva because they make the process very smooth. In just a few days, the Adeva team finds a skilled expert that suits its needs and the project, enabling flawless communication between the two parties with clear and concise expectations and seals this with a fair contract for all parties involved. Adeva promises reliability, partnership, and delivers every time. Companies looking to hire can find freelance programmers with a skill set that is perfect for their projects. 

Adeva succeeds at making fans out of clients because they note a fantastic result with startups as well. They offer the help the startup organizations need to convince the investors about how achievable is their development roadmap. They do it in three simple steps, the same as Toptal’s flow:

  • understanding the client’s needs, 
  • offering them free proposals – the right tech talent the client needs for their project under one week and, finally, 
  • a trial period where the client and the developer work together to see if they are the right fit. 

Being a Freelancer on Adeva

Adeva handpicks the best tech talent there is and offers them access to remote dream jobs. They promise equal growth opportunities for every engineer out there who makes it to their pool of talent. Their approach to finding talented engineering personnel leaves hiring companies to believe in the process, and the experts picked for them. Suppose a developer wants to be a part of the Adeva community. In that case, they need to make sure they are always walking the extra mile for the client and looking at the bigger picture until satisfactory results are reached for all parties involved. 

The Verdict

The level of commitment on Adeva’s part makes it a center of talent and a huge rising star on the market, earning its place on the list of the best freelance developer sites. It challenges all of its competitors with its unique approach – excellent project management from start to finish and a pool of qualified engineers with many years of experience in the industry ready to tackle any project on their way. They charge the companies a percentage of the total project cost. 


Upwork is another freelance platform where freelance developers can present their portfolios, but it isn’t exclusive to the IT industry. Upwork is a freelance service covering many fields, including web, mobile and software development, design and creative, writing, sales & marketing, admin support, customer service, data science & analytics, and engineering & architecture. 

How Do You Hire on Upwork?

The hiring process is an easy one, and the company owner/manager can do it in steps entirely on their own. You describe the type of project and what kind of expert you need and post it. Potential candidates will apply to your post, and you will be able to compare their profiles and portfolios. Next is the interview, where you can talk face to face with the candidates and pay the selected candidate per hour or project. The payments are completed through Upwork, and Upwork keeps a fee as well. 

Applying as a Freelancer on Upwork

It is easy to enter the pool of talent on Upwork. However, you still need to have a great application and a 100% complete profile that follows the best practices as instructed. There are also cases when an application by a freelancer is declined, mainly because there are more than 10.000 registrations a day; there is also a screening process to decide which of the applicants can find job opportunities. If the Upwork team decides there aren’t any job opportunities on their marketplace according to your skills and experience, your submission won’t be accepted. 

The Verdict

Upwork is one of the most famous freelance platforms worldwide and one of the largest, too. This has its pros and cons. For example, the high amounts of bids can reduce the cost of labor. However, the same high amounts of bids can result in fixed prices that lead to a lack of quality. The secure and easy online payment system established by Upwork is an advantage, and the significant number of developers that are ready to work makes this network one of the top choices for companies that are looking to hire. Apart from the pricing fixation, the downside is the long cycle that needs to be completed from job posting to project completion. 


Codeable is a platform that is restricted to WordPress developers only. They match clients to the best WordPress experts. They offer a free estimate, no obligation to hire, and a guarantee that hiring via the platform is 100% risk-free. A great thing about Codeable is that companies looking to hire can find an expert on short notice, meaning if they have a project that needs to be finished fast, they are likely to find talent there. In such circumstances, a developer can review the job project in 3-5 hours from the time it is posted. 

How Does a WordPress Developer Join Codeable?

The process of application for WordPress developers is not as simple as just signing up to the platform. They need to undergo a strict screening process that includes coding tests, testing soft skills, and attitude to remote project management. In addition, the developers must be exact when presenting their skills to be matched to the company looking for their precise expertise. 

How Do You Hire at Codeable?

First of all, you need to find the right platform from the offered ones to post the job requirements to find a developer that will answer to your needs. Then, you wait for applicants to apply for the job. The process is facilitated by the Codeable Support (formed by experienced developers), which vets the applicants and matches the company’s right to hire. Next comes the Scope of Work, which is a translation of the project description by the developers. In this phase, the developers define the project’s goals, the technical details, along with the timeline and the phases. Once the score is defined, the company manager/owner gets an estimate from the developers – only one price. This way, the company owner/manager can focus on the developers’ profiles and choose the best fit for their project instead of focusing on the developers’ different prices. 

The Verdict 

Codeable is not for everyone. They remain strict when it comes to quality, so if company managers/owners have unrealistic expectations or their budget range is under $70 per hour, Codeable will not be the right fit for them. Otherwise, they are the only WordPress freelance developer platform of the freelance coding sites out there and have 510+ WordPress experts in their talent pool. 

Some Final Words

Looking to hire a developer is never easy, especially if you need someone who can work on the project right away. Therefore, these freelance platforms are beneficial for both parties – the developers and the companies looking to hire. The developers’ benefits are numerous: they get their own space where they show their portfolio, experience, and special skills. On the other hand, company owners/managers get to choose who they want to work with or are presented by the platform’s customer support about their most suitable options. 

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