10 MIN

How to Hire A Freelance Developer Online

Jessica Kramer

August 9, 2021

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Businesses need a website now more than ever. In some cases, they need mobile apps too. And developers have become integral in creating these. However, if you don’t have experience hiring a web developer, don’t worry. You’re not the only one dreading this. We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide before you hire a freelance developer for your business.

How to Hire a Freelance Developer

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When hiring a freelance developer, there’s a lot to unpack. It can become challenging hiring a freelance developer, and it could be time-consuming. But, with this guide, we’ll make it easy for you to find and hire a freelance developer seamlessly and quickly.

Step 1: Know what you need

Before you can proceed with hiring, you should have an idea of what you want developed. Do you need a mobile app? A website? Both?

Perhaps you have a site or an app, do you want a freelance developer to do some maintenance? Or do you want them to make some changes?

With that, you should cement your first decision in the hiring process. You have to understand that different developers work with various programming languages. Some of them specialize in one.

For apps, Java and Kotlin are the widely used and accepted programming languages. Meanwhile, when developing websites, you have a wide range of options, such as:

With these in mind, you can finally move to the next step: budget.

Step 2: Identify your budget

Let me tell you something. Web developers don’t come cheap. You need to allot a significant amount of budget for your web developer.

This all depends on your project.

According to, an hourly freelance developer rate ranges from $61 to $80.

That’s why the next decision you need to make is how long you need a freelance developer.

Step 3: Determine how long you need the freelance developer

Since app and web development are extensive, you may need a developer longer than you had anticipated. Do you want them on a contract basis or eventually want them to become a full-time developer? Once you decide this, you’re free to find freelance developers on the best freelance websites.

Step 4: Search for freelance developers on freelance sites

There are TONS of freelance developers looking for their next gig or work. It can get overwhelming when finding a freelance developer because of this. But you don’t have to scour the whole internet to hire a freelance developer. Scroll down further to know where to find the BEST freelance developers for your business.

Step 5: Interview and ask for references

The interview is the key part of the hiring process. Here’s where you can narrow down your initial choices and know which is the right fit for your business.

If you’re not sure what interview questions to ask, don’t worry. Here are the basics:

One other thing to remember when hiring a freelance developer is you should ask for their references. You can ask the reference about their previous experience with the freelance developer. And it will help you in determining if the freelance developer could be the right one for your business.

Step 6: Testing

Before hiring the RIGHT developer, you need to know if what they put in their resume or portfolio is true. That means testing. But if you’re not sure how to do it, you can sign up to offer them a test, and you’ll see if they pass it through a third-party website. In some instances, you don’t even have to go through the trouble since a team will check this for you before you get matched with a freelance developer.

10 Sites for Hiring a Freelance Developer

1. Upstack

Unlike most freelance sites, developers can apply for a job here in Upstack. Then, Upstack matches you with vetted candidates, streamlining your hiring process. They have an 8-point hiring process, ensuring only the best get matched with your business.



Pricing: $399 initial deposit

2. MoonlightWork

MoonlightWork is another option to find your new or next freelance developer. Currently, there are over 3,400+ developers on the site. Here, a developer can find work, and companies can be matched with a developer.




Hire contractors: $85/mo

Hire contractors + employees: custom pricing

3. Arc

Consider Arc as the Toptal for freelance developers. Similar to how Toptal vets its freelancers, freelance developers undergo a rigorous hiring process. In fact, only 1.1% of developers make it through.




No pricing plan available, but Arc developers charge $60 to $100/hr

4. Dice

Dice is where freelancers can find job ads, and companies can find resumes. It’s US-based and focused solely on tech and development.



Pricing (Job Posting):

Single Job Posting: $495

Two Job Postings: $400/each

Three Job Postings: $375/each

Sourcing Services: Custom


Here’s another alternative site to find and hire a freelance developer. says they have “world class technical talent, on tap.” With their technology, you can get matched with a developer. 




Freelancer (short-term): Developer’s hourly rate + 30%

Freelancer (long-term): Developer’s monthly rate + 30%

Salaried employee: 15% of first-year’s salary

6. is a platform where you can find on-demand freelance developers. Like most freelance sites, they also have a vetting process that includes background checks, CV evaluation, online and written English testing, coding test, and live interview.




Startup Plan: $45 to $80/mo

Add-A-CTO Plan: Custom

7. Gigster

Unlike most freelance sites listed here, Gigster is invite-only, so only invited freelance developers can apply here. Currently, they have 600+ developers ready to be part of your team. Like many other platforms here, they have only the top 1% of developers.



Pricing: Custom

8. Toptal

Like some freelance sites, Toptal will vet freelancers before you hire them. They pride themselves on hiring only the top 3% of freelancers. Their rigorous screening and hiring process allows them to have only the best on the platform.



Pricing: $500 initial deposit

9. Upwork

Upwork is one of the leading sites for freelancers for any project. Whether it’s programming, design, tech, or marketing, Upwork has it. You can surely find a web developer with a push of a button.




Upwork charges a 3% payment processing fee

But if you want to hire vetted freelancers and post up to 15 more jobs, you can subscribe to their Upwork Plus Plan: $49.99/mo

10. Fiverr

Fiverr is another freelance site to hire a freelance developer. It’s a place where freelance developers could post their gigs and get hired in an instant. Freelancers are called sellers on the site since they’re offering services to businesses.




Fiverr Business: $0 on the first year but $149/yr

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it best to have one developer for any web development tasks for a long time?

No. So long as you know the programming language used by your former web developer, you can hire a new one anytime.

Will web developers know how to optimize my website for SEO?

They’re not required to have extensive SEO knowledge, but they might have information about the basics. You can ask them directly in the interview.

Do developers know how to design websites or mobile apps?

Web design and web development are different. You could hire a web designer first, and your developer will code. And if you also need a web designer, you have options in this list of unlimited graphic design services.

About The Author
Jessica Kramer
Jessica is the content marketing lead at Servicelist. Prior, to writing for Servicelist she has been writing freelance for 3 years. She has experience writing in Tech and Business.