I think the main strength of the upwork is your payment protection.
I have worked on many freelancer website like guru, elance, freelancer and upwork. All the website is good , but when it comes for payment, most of them are escrow based payment.
Now what is escrow payment , in escrow the payment is placed in a safe place , from where neither freelancer nor client can take the money.
Once the job is finished then client approves the payment and then the freelancer website approves and give the payment.
In case of good client it is seamless, but on these website nor every client is good, some are middle person , who have already taken the project and then allocates the project to a freelancer.
once the job is done, they say that they don’t like the work and don’t approve it.
Now what a freelancer can do?
- dispute : but again in dispute , the freelancer have to give all the fact about the project, and all the screenshot that he has done. Even if he has done everything , still if the client denies it. The freelancer is not paid.
- The other websites hourly work is also not safe. Every one does the work to get paid.
- For upwork it is very safe, as the hours are checked based upon work.
- If the work done is for the project the freelancer is paid.
- Even though the fees for upwork is 20% , in comparison to guru 8%, but still in terms of payment i feel upwork is better.