Mar 20, 2024

How to build a website like is a global online marketplace that connects freelancers with businesses seeking professional services. Discover how to create your own marketplace, inspired by, with this guide.

Introduction: Why build a website like has achieved remarkable success as an online marketplace by effectively connecting freelancers with clients across the globe, thereby democratizing access to job opportunities and talent. Its success can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, the platform offers a vast array of job categories, from web design and programming to writing and marketing, catering to a wide range of skills and industries. This diversity attracts a large and varied user base, ensuring that clients can find freelancers for virtually any task, and freelancers can find projects that match their skills and interests. Secondly, has implemented robust mechanisms for ensuring project quality and accountability, such as an escrow payment system, a user rating system, and dispute resolution services. These features build trust among users and encourage repeat business. Additionally, the platform's user-friendly interface and tools for project management streamline the process of hiring and collaboration, enhancing the overall user experience. By effectively addressing the needs of both freelancers and clients, has established itself as a leading online marketplace for freelance work.

How does a website like work?

For buyers, offers a platform to post projects and receive bids from freelancers worldwide. They can review profiles, portfolios, and ratings to select the most suitable candidate. The site facilitates secure payment and communication, ensuring project requirements are met efficiently and effectively, all within a competitive pricing environment.

For sellers, offers a platform to showcase their skills and services to a global audience. They can bid on projects that match their expertise, negotiate terms, and receive payment through the site's secure system. This marketplace enables sellers to build a portfolio, gain reviews, and grow their freelance business.

What is's business model? operates as an online marketplace that connects freelancers with clients looking to hire professionals for various projects. Its business model is centered around providing a platform where individuals and businesses can post jobs or projects, and freelancers from around the world can bid to work on these projects. earns revenue through several streams, including project posting fees, project commission fees, membership subscription fees, and additional service fees for optional features such as enhanced project visibility or faster withdrawals. This model allows for a wide range of projects, from web development and graphic design to writing and data entry, catering to a diverse set of skills and industries. By facilitating a secure and structured environment for both job posting and project delivery, leverages the gig economy to provide flexible work opportunities for freelancers while offering businesses access to a global talent pool. generates revenue through a multifaceted business model primarily centered around transaction fees and membership subscriptions. When a freelancer successfully bids on and is awarded a project, charges a project fee, which is a percentage of the total payment made by the employer to the freelancer. This fee varies depending on the type of project and the membership level of the participating users. Additionally, the platform offers various membership plans to both freelancers and employers, providing them with benefits such as increased bids per month, reduced project fees, and enhanced visibility in the marketplace. These subscriptions are a steady source of income for The platform also earns money through optional services like featured projects, which increase project visibility to attract more bids, and skills tests, which freelancers can take to prove their expertise in specific areas. Through these streams, capitalizes on the vast marketplace of freelance talent and employers looking to hire, making it a lucrative hub for the gig economy.

Key features of

The primary function of a marketplace like is to connect clients with skilled freelancers efficiently to complete their projects. This involves several key components:

  1. Project Posting and Bidding System: A core functionality is the ability for clients to post projects or job descriptions, including details about the skills required, project deadlines, and budget. Freelancers can then browse these listings and place bids or proposals, indicating their interest in the project, their qualifications, and their price.

  2. Search and Matching Algorithms: Effective search and matching algorithms are crucial. These help clients find freelancers with the specific skills and experience they need and help freelancers find projects that match their expertise and interests. This involves filtering options, keyword searches, and possibly automated matching based on profiles and past job performance.

  3. Communication Tools: The platform must facilitate easy and secure communication between clients and freelancers. This includes messaging systems, possibly video conferencing tools, and file-sharing capabilities, allowing for clear project specifications, updates, and feedback.

  4. Payment and Escrow Services: Secure payment processing is essential to protect both parties. Many platforms use an escrow system, where the client pays upfront, and the money is held by the platform until the project is completed satisfactorily. This provides security for the freelancer that they will be paid and assurance for the client that the work will be done.

  5. Feedback and Rating System: After project completion, clients and freelancers should be able to rate each other and provide feedback. This system helps build trust within the community, as users can select partners based on their reputation, past performance, and feedback from other users.

  6. Dispute Resolution Services: The platform should offer mechanisms to resolve disputes between clients and freelancers, ensuring fair treatment and maintaining trust in the platform.

  7. User Profiles and Portfolios: Freelancers should be able to create detailed profiles and portfolios showcasing their skills, experience, and past work. This helps clients in making informed hiring decisions.

In summary, the most important functionality of a marketplace like is to provide a reliable, secure, and efficient environment that facilitates the connection between clients and freelancers, ensuring that projects can be completed successfully to the satisfaction of both parties.

Building a platform like from scratch involves significant investment in web development, design, security, and infrastructure. The cost can vary widely based on the project's scope, features, and the development team's location. A basic version with core functionalities such as project posting, bidding, messaging, and payment processing could start from $50,000 to $100,000. However, for a fully-featured, scalable platform with advanced functionalities like, costs could easily range between $200,000 and $500,000 or more. This estimate includes design, development, testing, and initial marketing but excludes ongoing maintenance and marketing costs post-launch.

How to create a successful alternative to

Identify gaps and pain points in the current model through user feedback and market research.

Develop a unique value proposition that addresses these gaps and sets your platform apart.

Create a user-friendly website and mobile app with an intuitive interface and seamless navigation.

Implement advanced matching algorithms to connect freelancers with relevant projects efficiently.

Offer competitive pricing and payment structures for both freelancers and clients, ensuring transparency and fairness.

Introduce a robust verification system for freelancers to enhance trust and reliability.

Provide exceptional customer support to assist users with any issues or queries promptly.

Incorporate a comprehensive feedback and rating system to maintain high-quality services and accountability.

Offer educational resources and tools for skill development to help freelancers grow and succeed.

Implement strong security measures to protect user data and financial transactions.

Engage in targeted marketing campaigns to attract freelancers and clients from various industries.

Foster a community through forums, webinars, and social media to encourage networking and collaboration.

Continuously gather user feedback and iterate on the platform to meet evolving needs and preferences.

Explore partnerships with educational institutions and professional organizations to expand your user base.

Ensure the platform is inclusive and accessible to a diverse range of freelancers and clients globally.

Successful competitors

  1. Upwork: Upwork is one of the largest competitors to, offering a wide range of categories for freelancers and clients alike. Unlike, Upwork provides a more robust vetting process for freelancers, ensuring a higher quality of work for clients. Additionally, Upwork's user interface and project management tools are often considered more user-friendly and advanced compared to those on

  2. Fiverr: Fiverr stands out from by focusing on the gig economy, where services are offered as packages or "gigs" rather than bidding on projects. This model simplifies the process for both freelancers and clients, making it easier to understand what is being offered and at what price. However, Fiverr tends to cater more to creative and digital services, whereas offers a broader range of categories including more traditional and technical job types.

  3. Toptal: Toptal markets itself as a platform for hiring the top 3% of freelance talent, which is a stark contrast to's more inclusive approach. Toptal's rigorous screening process ensures that only highly skilled professionals are available to clients, making it a go-to for companies looking for top-tier talent. While offers access to a larger pool of candidates, Toptal focuses on quality over quantity, which can be a significant advantage for businesses with specific, high-level project needs.

  4. Guru: Guru provides a similar marketplace model to but places a stronger emphasis on work history and feedback, making it easier for clients to hire based on proven track records. Guru's fee structure can also be more favorable to freelancers, as it allows for lower commission rates based on the freelancer's membership level. While has a more extensive user base, Guru's focus on building long-term relationships between freelancers and employers sets it apart.

  5. PeoplePerHour: PeoplePerHour offers a unique feature called "hourlies," which allows freelancers to sell specific services at set prices, in addition to the traditional project bidding system found on This hybrid model provides flexibility and immediacy, catering to clients who need tasks completed quickly. Although PeoplePerHour has a smaller user base than, its user interface and project posting process are highly intuitive, making it an attractive alternative for both freelancers and clients.

Options to develop a website similar to

Creating a online marketplace from the ground up is a significant, costly endeavor. However, nowadays, there are numerous methods to construct a marketplace that don't necessitate a large budget.

The choice you should make depends on:

  • The functionalities you believe your marketplace requires
  • Your technical abilities (or abilities present in your team)
  • Your financial plan
  • The time you have available.

The various methods to create a marketplace include:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins
  • Constructing atop open-source software
  • Employing a mix of no-code instruments
  • Utilizing a specialized no-code marketplace SaaS solution
  • Developing atop an API-based marketplace SaaS solution

Besides your limitations in terms of abilities and financial plan, you should also consider the pace of learning. Launching your platform swiftly means you begin to understand your audience rapidly. These insights assist you in crafting the type of platform that users prefer over any other existing solution.

Sharetribe’s marketplace software is designed with this iterative learning cycle in mind.

Initially, we assist you in launching a platform akin to in one day without any programming. The construction phase is complimentary forever, and all the essential functionality is pre-configured.

After you’ve launched, you discover what sorts of extra features and functionality your platform needs to cater to your audience. You might wish to alter the design and workflow entirely, incorporate numerous third-party services, or develop a mobile application. With Sharetribe, you can effortlessly custom-code all these modifications and much more, either on your own or with assistance from our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we’ve been crafting marketplaces for over a decade. Our knowledge and proficiency are at your service through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of how you decide to construct your platform.

Best of fortune with your venture!

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