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Best Web developer: Toptal vs. Upwork vs. Upstack.

Jessica Kramer

September 27, 2021

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There’s a higher need to find a legitimate and quality web developer. Since websites are so much more valuable for any business, a skilled and experienced web developer is an asset. But there could still be challenges in finding the best web developer, considering the many sites that allow them to list. Among them are Toptal, Upwork, and Upstack. But which is the best option? Find out more here in our extensive review of Toptal vs Upwork vs Upstack.

What is Toptal?

Toptal is one of the best sites to find and hire professional and quality freelancers. It’s one of the most renowned because the site only lists 3% of freelancers globally. It’s all because of their rigorous 5-step hiring process. 

Their hiring process starts with the language test, allowing only English-proficient freelancers to pass. Then, applicants undergo a skill review, screening, and project testing. The last step in their hiring process is maintaining excellent work performance and ethics on the platform.

What is Upwork?

Upwork is one freelance website where you can find all kinds of freelancers. It’s one of the best places to find affordable freelancers. The freelance website can become a starting point when finding the best freelance web developer. It’s easy to navigate different profiles here even without an account, and you’ll have an idea of their hourly rates.

What is Upstack?

Upstack is another freelance site, but on Upstack, you can find and hire web developers exclusively. Here, you get matched with a freelance web developer or hire one by browsing developers on their site. As for the vetting process, it’s similar to Toptal, but Upstack has a seven-step process to ensure only the best are part of their network.

Toptal vs Upwork vs Upstack: Pricing

Toptal

With the guarantee that only 3% of freelancers worldwide are accepted on the platform, you can expect higher rates. The minimum hourly rate for a web developer on Toptal is $60, but it can be as high as $210/hr. If it’s your first time hiring on the site, prices could be steeper than you could imagine. Aside from paying the freelancer, of course, you have to pay a $500 fee. However, that deposit can be refunded IF you decide not to hire a freelance web developer.

Upwork

On the other hand, Upwork has much more affordable freelance rates. You can find and hire a freelance web developer for as low as $10/hr. But in case you don’t have the time to browse through different freelancer profiles, you can use Upwork’s Talent Scout for FREE. 

Upstack

According to Upstack, their freelancer rates are lower than Toptal. Their vetted web developers charge around $50 to $80/hr. Aside from that, there’s an initial $399 deposit, which will be deducted from your first invoice.


Winner: Upwork could be the best choice when it comes to finding and hiring affordable web developers.

Toptal vs Upwork vs Upstack: Features

Toptal

Upwork

Upstack


Winner: It’s a close fight between Upstack and Toptal, but Toptal takes the cake considering its relocation feature.

Toptal vs Upwork vs Upstack: Hiring Period

Toptal

Toptal can introduce you to freelancers within 24 hours, and 90% of clients would usually pick their first choice. However, it can take as long as three weeks to hire a freelance web developer, considering there’s a trial period.

Upwork

With Upwork, it can take a while for you to hire a web developer there. This is especially true when you’re browsing their profiles instead of using their Talent Scout feature. After all, you would need to create a shortlist of candidates before they move forward to the interview and testing process before you finally say yes.

Upstack

Based on Upstack’s experience, you can hire talent within 1 to 3 days. But you can’t guarantee if they’re the right fit for you, so you have to evaluate if they’re suitable for the company. In that case, you’ll have a 14-day trial to see if they’re the best web developer.


Winner: Both Toptal and Upstack are neck and neck when it comes to hiring. Toptal does have the advantage of the 24-hour match.

Toptal vs Upwork vs Upstack: Talent

Toptal

As mentioned previously, only the Top 3% of talent are available for hire on Toptal. Most web developers have worked with top brands such as Oracle and Microsoft. On Toptal, there’s a variety of web developers to find and hire.

Upwork

When it comes to Upwork, talent is a hit and miss. Why is it a hit? For one, there’s a variety of talent available to hire on Upwork. No matter what programming language, you can be sure there are talents you can interview and hire immediately. On the other hand, it can be a miss because you can’t be sure of the talent you’re hiring. Since there’s no vetting process compared to Toptal and Upstack, you might have difficulty finding the best talent on the site.

Upstack

Like Toptal, Upstack ensures that only vetted developers get a chance to be listed on their site. This allows them to have opportunities to find work with different clients. Plus, similar to Toptal, they have a matching feature allowing them to select the ideal web developer for any company. Whether you need a full-time or part-time web developer, Upstack has web developers ready for your project.


Winner: It’s a tie between Toptal and Upstack. After all, they have vetted freelance web developers. Upwork doesn’t guarantee that. However, in terms of talent base, Upstack has an advantage considering they ensure only the Top 1% get in their network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where else can I find web developers?

Toptal, Upwork, and Upstack are some platforms to hire web developers. And it doesn’t hurt to look around elsewhere. Some suggestions include:

Should I hire different web developers?

Well, this all depends on what you need. Some web developers will have more than one specialization, while others are experts in only one programming language.


About The Author
Jessica Kramer
Editor
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.