Upwork/ oDesk Reviews – 2015

UpWork Odesk Review 2015

Product name: Upwork – Formerly oDesk jobs

Link: www.UpWork.com

Owner: Stephane Kasriel

Level of Experience Needed: None, but should know what to look for.

Price: Dependent on your task.

Overall Rank: 7.5/10


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If you have any internet or PC related jobs or tasks you have to take care of, either once or multiple times (e.g. creating several websites or applications) but find it a daunting task to do, you may have thought of outsourcing that work. If on the other hand you might be a professional in a specific task which can also be done through a PC, you may want to work from home and make a little extra cash that way. UpWork, formerly known as oDesk, is a tool for job seeking freelancers and job providing contractors. This is my personal UpWork/ oDesk review.

If you fall into one or the other above mentioned category, you might have heard of this website. If you are looking to see if there is any point in joining it for one or the other reason, please continue reading my review before you spend any money on doing so.

The difference of this review compared to others you might have come across, is that mine will be 100% honest and I’ve actually opened my account there and hired someone to complete a task for me. Therefore you have the advantage of reading my personal experience with it and can make up your own conclusion in the end.

My review also consists of research done by other peoples experience with that site, so you don’t have to solely rely on my personal and possibly biased feedback.

Who is UpWork for?

If you are a freelancer looking for jobs specific to your skills, I think UpWork is a great place to go to. You can set up your profile easily and post all your skills and write a small CV like summary of yourself. I suggest to post a fairly friendly yet professional looking picture of yourself, to add credibility and show you are a serious worker.

Now that your profile is set up, you can either wait to be hired by someone or you can actually start looking for jobs that have been posted. The great features of UpWork, let you filter not only by categories such as sales, admin support, writing etc., but also by experience level, budget, client history and many more. This is a filtersgreat advantage because no matter what level you are or what type of job you’re looking for, it gives you a giant advantage to really find your ideal job.

On the other side, if you are looking to outsource a specific job or simply have no idea how to complete a certain task, you might have given the thought of hiring someone else to do it. Again UpWork is a pretty ideal tool for that. Just like on the job posts, you can also search for freelancers that match your criteria. You can find your ideal candidate by starting off with looking in a specific genre or category such as “Design & Creative” for example. In that you will find several sub categories for instance “video production” where you can now enter and scroll through to find your freelancer. If the search is still to broad you can continue to filter by adding keywords, experience, costs etc.

Another option would be to simply post a job and all the details and specific requirements you are looking for in someone. You will find several applicants that will apply for that post. Additionally a great feature of UpWork is that they also suggest some applicants that might be suited for your post. A lot of the tasks included in succeeding at Wealthy Affiliate can be done through outsourcing too!


What Features Does UpWork Have?

  • Due to a lot of applicants on the website, you should only consider hiring freelancers with thoroughly developed profiles. These will prevent you from hiring spammy freelancers posting worthless skills that only waste your time and effort as well as money. Although UpWork makes it quite a long process to go through for an applicant, it doesn’t have the measures to prevent these worthless applicants to disappear. Either way these applicants can be avoided in the most part by simply looking for good reviews on their profile. 5 star ranks and positive feedback are always a good call.
  • On the top right you will find a notification tab, which I’m still deciding on whether or not it helpful. I’ve been getting a ton of random notifications and it seems to be more confusing than helpful when trying to notify me about applicants for my job posts. On the other hand I haven’t inspected it from a freelancers point of view, so this might be more handy to them. What also bothers me is that the notification symbol never seems to disappear, even after reading the messages.
  • One of the more positive features is the message box. You are provided with a sort of Chat/Email window, where you and your potential employer/employee can discuss about the job and get to know each other. Again I would recommend to exchange Skype contact details, as it makes your life easier and interviews can be conducted more thoroughly.
  • And finally another feature is the Report tab which records everything from money related transactions and other work completed reports you might want to review in hindsight.

Pros vs. Cons


  • Very nicely organized website
  • Good message interface
  • Safe payment system (either PayPal or Credit card)
  • Free to sign up and explore
  • Support is very responsive and open 24/7
  • Huge amount of Freelancerssecure login
  • Easy to use


  • Confusing notification button
  • Email notifications can get annoying
  • Many unwanted applicants with little to no experience
  • Fake reviews which lead to misleading applicants

Final Verdict

Overall I think UpWork is great for those of you looking for work or outsourcing your work. I personally made a bad experience because;

  1. After posting a job I got about 80% of 4.5-5 star applicants
  2. Of those supposedly amazing workers, about half of them could speak a decent level of English (when I specifically looked for a high level of English)
  3. The payment process was a bit confusing to activate my account (although I did appreciate the precaution they took for safety reasons)
  4. The work that was delivered, was so bad and way out of the agreed time to be completed by, even after describing the task over Skype and typing out a step by step procedure with a map as a guide.
  5. And the work was more than poor to say the least, we came to an arrangement that he would refund the money if I gave him a 5 star ranking.

Now ethically I felt bad to give him the ranking but on the other hand I felt robbed and therefore I decided to meet both demands in the middle, meaning I got some of the money back with a fair review of his work.

Do your research before hiring
Do your research before hiring

In case you are interested in using UpWork, I highly suggest to go through a long interview period. I can imagine a lot of workers that have created a small company where they all work together and give them good enough ratings to rank for multiple jobs. When the interviews are being conducted, they use very few words in order to cover their English skills.

Make sure you find the right person for your job or you will leave with frustrating results.

On the other hand it is such a massive platform and useful tool to connect both parties. It’s easy to use and almost any virtual job can be done for a good price. I do recommend UpWork.com to anyone, but be aware and know what you’re looking for. What I’m trying to say with my Upwork/ oDesk Review, is that you try to be as thorough as possible and take your time to write an exact manual of what you want to be done for you.

Set strict deadlines and if these aren’t met don’t feel obliged to pay the person. Try to avoid down payments.


If you have used UpWork before, please share your experience below and if you found this article helpful please let me know also 🙂

I’m always happy to receive feedback and thoughts so feel free to comment!





  1. Hi Esteban:

    I have used Odesk in the past to try and make money from some of the many skills I have such as web development, Writing articles, etc. I think I still have my profile there but I am no longer active. I did make some money, but not enough to really to live off of. I did learn that you have to be really selective on whom use choose to work for, because there are some less than honest employers out there. Thank you for this review. I learned a lot.


    • Hi Steph,

      It’s good that you made some money at least. My experience was really really annoying. But I still see great potential on the site. Like you said you just have to be really selective. I think I was too impatient and just chose the first guy that seemed fairly reasonable. He did trick me a little and I fell for his trap. Nevertheless I’m sure there are tons of great candidates on the site. Who knows if I’ll fall back on it for a job or two.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Hi Esteban,
    I am glad you gave this informative review on this
    agency. I do look for workers from time to time an knowing about poor workers means a lot to me. With all the pay ranges they have and all the skill levels, maybe a well protected contract would help to insure a better job performance for someone else.Do you know of any other testimonials of the companys work history over time?May they had a one time problem and they have it corrected. I am going to spread the word about your site with a few other clients. Thank You

    • Hi Chas,

      Well I did read a lot of positive comments about the site and mostly on the ‘warrior nation’ forum. Like I mentioned before though, I think the most important part, is to really dig through your employees and interview them as thorough as possible. Ask for examples of their work and try to get them speaking a lot (if you need a high level of english). I’m not sure where I went wrong with my employee because I asked for examples and more. He seemed to fit all my criteria, but in the end completely failed to deliver. The way I went about to find a candidate is by posting a job. Maybe it is easier to look for a candidate with certain skills and asking him if he would like to be hired for a certain job.
      I hope my answer is sufficient to you.
      Thanks for enjoying my review and I would be very grateful if you’d spread the word about my site 🙂

  3. Just started on Upwork 2 weeks ago and so far the experience has overall been very positive for me. Making roughly $500 a week for 15 hours a week isn’t bad for a side gig after all.

    Not to sound racist but I think certain.. well, regions have something set in place to automatically apply for new jobs. I was talking with a client and he said that the vast amount of proposal he had received were all copy and pasted and made within the first hours after the job was first published. If you’re looking to post a job on these types of sites be prepared to trod through a lot of crap.

    • Hey Alex,

      That’s actually pretty impressive to make that much in such short time. What exactly are you using Upwork for if you don’t mind me asking?
      I know what you mean with poor work and having to go through a lot of people before finding the right person. I mean after all I had the same issue. I interviewed several guys and thought I finally found a competent one. In the end he turned out to barely speak proper english and didn’t do half the work asked plus it took him 2 weeks for a job that should have taken him 2 – 3 days.
      But I still believe Upwork has a lot of potential if you find the right guy. You’re pretty much proof for it 🙂

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