Elance, Odesk and Freelancer are recognized by freelancers as the top freelancing websites and by employers as the top outsourcing websites. Although, basic purpose of all of these website is to outsource work to the freelancer but there are many differences among these sites. In order to select or prioritize your choice for freelancing you need to know what are the pros and cons of these websites. Comparison of these websites will help readers to identify what sort of freelancing services they would like to use.  In this article we have presented a comparison of these top 3 freelance websites.


ELANCE

ODESK

FREELANCER
ESTABLISHED
1998
2003
2004
NUMBER OF FREELANCERS
2 Million (Approx)
3.2 Million (Approx)
7 Million (Approx)
TOTAL JOB POSTINGS
3 Million
3.6 Million
4.4 Millions
CHARGES PER JOB
8.75%
10%
13%
TOTAL FREELANCERS EARNINGS
740 Million (Approx)
920 Million (Approx)
150 Million (Approx)
PAYMENT PROTECTION
Payment guaranteed both for hourly as well as fixed price jobs using escrow
Payment guaranteed only for hourly jobs
Payment not guaranteed.
TOOLS
Elance provides extensive tools such as private workrooms, messages and file uploading system. Tracker for hourly work and so on
Tools are limited. Work diary is used to track the work.
Limited Communication tools.
Number of Bids with free membership.
40 Bids/ Month
2 At the beginning.
Increased up to 25 after passing skill tests and ID Verification.
8 Bids/Month


Conclusion

Different people have varied preferences, therefore it cannot be concluded which site is the best for freelancing, however, in my personal view, Elance seems most suitable with payment protection, communication tools and maximum number of bids with free account.