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Fiverr is an online marketplace for digital services, where you can hire a freelancer to do just about anything – including design a website. When it first launched in 2010, buyers were able to purchase “Gigs” for $5 (hence its name).
Nowadays, while it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get a web page designed for $5, you can still get a better deal than in other online marketplaces. For a professional-looking, single-page design (e.g. landing page or homepage), you should expect to pay around $250+.
While hiring designers to work on Gigs is a pretty straightforward process, there are a few things you need to be aware of when choosing a designer, and before you commit to purchasing their services.
We’ve been using Fiverr for a few years now on several different projects, and recently started testing them out for web design. Here’s everything we’ve learned about getting the most out of a Fiverr web design project.
|Web & app design:||Yes|
|Logo & branding:||Yes|
|Art & illustrations:||Yes|
|Web builder services:||Yes|
- Affordable prices – unlike other design marketplaces that generally offer standard packages, designers on Fiverr (“Sellers”) set their own pricing, meaning you can shop around and find a designer that suits your budget
- Wide range of services available – other than designers, you’ll also find developers, writers, voiceover artists, data analysts, virtual assistants, animators, musicians, and more
- Seller transparency – the seller profiles are detailed. “Pro” sellers who have been vetted by Fiverr also have badges displayed in their profile
- Refund policy – you have up to 14 days after a project’s completion to request a refund, in case you’re unhappy with the work delivered
- Usability could be improved – Although we’re long-time users of Fiverr, we still find it a little difficult to navigate their platform. With all the services available, it can feel cluttered and overwhelming
- Design features need polishing – Unlike platforms like 99designs and crowdspring, Fiverr isn’t specifically built for design services, and a few of their design features (such as collaboration/commenting) are still a little rough around the edges
- Varying levels of quality – while you can find outrageously cheap design services on Fiverr, you generally get what you pay for. Non-Pro sellers are not vetted by Fiverr so if you use them, you’re often taking a leap of faith as you can’t always rely on their ratings
While you do need to invest some time combing through profiles and portfolios to find skilled designers, we’ve found that the quality of talent of Fiverr’s Pro designers tends to be pretty high.
Although they might offer attractive pricing, we’d advise you to be wary of sellers who have few reviews, low ratings, or portfolios that might look a little generic, as not all the sellers on Fiverr are verified.
Israeli-born Fiverr was launched in 2010. The original concept was a platform to bring buyers and sellers of digital services together, with “Gigs” available for as little as $5.
Since then, they’ve received multiple rounds of funding, weathered several controversies, and have grown to revenues of $189.5 million in the last year alone.
Services are available for over 500 categories, across 8 verticals: graphic design, writing & translation, digital marketing, programming, data, video & animation, music & audio, and business operations.
Website design is a relatively new category, but one that’s gaining in popularity – there are over 14,000 services available in this category alone! In addition, you can also contract services in related categories such as app design, UX design and landing page design.
Standard pricing doesn’t exist in Fiverr, and that’s one of the things that makes it so attractive. Instead, sellers can offer various Gigs (e.g. “I will design a landing page for you”, “I will create desktop + mobile designs for your homepage”), and provide up to 3 different pricing packages for each of these (e.g. “1 page for $300”, “5 pages for $500”).
This means that you’ll be able to find a designer to suit any budget – although low-priced gigs also tend to translate to lower-quality work.
Note that most designers want you to get in touch with them before you purchase one of their packages (if this is the case, it will say so in the description of their Gig page). This is to make sure that both parties are happy with the scope before the project starts. If they deem your requirements to be outside of the scope of their packages, they might provide a custom quote with slightly different pricing. You can then either accept, reject or re-negotiate this pricing.
Some sellers also offer the option to purchase add-on services (e.g. for additional revisions, or to fast-track delivery).
It’s possible to ask the seller to cancel an order once underway, and also to request a refund within 14 days of project completion if you’re not happy with the final product.
You can also leave the seller a tip, although this is optional.
If you’ll have multiple team members using Fiverr, you can opt to open a Fiverr Business account. This provides a few extra benefits, including:
- A dedicated “business success manager” to help you get set up
- A curated list of freelancers and professionals
- Project management and team collaboration tools
- Budget approval tracking and business-specific payment methods
- Up to 50 users
Fiverr Business is free for the first year, and charged at $149/year thereafter. Any purchased Gigs are charged in addition to this.
|Ease of use||Signing up to Fiverr as a buyer is hassle-free, and you can start purchasing Gigs straight away.
The platform is mostly self-explanatory, although with the huge number of services available, it can feel a little cluttered when you first start searching for Gigs. At times it can feel like there are too many menus and options. And it’s not immediately clear what the difference between the main menu options (List, Project, and Orders) are. Plus, it’s not always easy to locate past orders.
However, the process of hiring a designer to start on a Gig is pretty simple – more on that below.
|Briefing process||Unlike design-specific platforms like 99designs and crowdspring, Fiverr doesn’t take you through a structured briefing process. While sellers can include a few fields for you to fill in to share your requirements, the onus is really on you to make sure you fully communicate what you need/expect. We’d recommend putting together your own detailed briefing document that can be shared with the designer prior to starting on the project.|
|Services offered||Everything!||Design services are just the tip of the iceberg, as Fiverr lets you hire freelancers to work on just about any digital (and even non-digital) job. Apart from web & app design, other available design categories include logo & brand identity, art & illustration, gaming, print design, and more.
There are also web development services (some designers even offer this).
|Transparency||Very good. Seller profiles include information about past projects, reviews and ratings, portfolios, and information about location and average response time. A “Pro” badge will be displayed if they have been vetted by Fiverr, and you can also see if they’re a Level 1, Level 2, or Top Rated Seller. You can also see if they have verified social media accounts (although you won’t be able to see them), helping to add an extra layer of trust.|
|Communication channels||Can get a little confusing as there are two separate channels to message through. One is a general ‘Inbox’ where you have messages with all sellers centralized. This is where you communicate with a seller before a project starts. Once a project starts, the conversation gets moved to the Order page. However, you can still communicate via the original thread in your Inbox, and sellers often do this, meaning conversations jump back and forth between the two channels. It would be easier to manage if there was just a single communication channel.
Email alerts are automatically enabled, so you’ll be notified when the seller sends you a message.
|Level of talent||It varies, but “Pro” sellers with high ratings are usually a safe bet (although they also tend to charge higher rates).
While sellers can reach Level 1, 2 or Top Rated status, these are based on numerous factors (e.g. number of projects worked on, response times, average ratings), rather than being a true reflection of their level of experience/talent. For example, we’ve worked with highly-rated Level 2 sellers who ended up delivering subpar work – so it pays to do your research and study seller profiles and portfolios closely before hiring one.
|Turnaround time||Dependent on the seller||When searching for a Gig, you can use ‘Delivery time’ as a filter, depending on how fast you need the project delivered.
When you purchase a seller’s package/custom order, the seller will outline the expected duration of the project, as well as the number of revisions they’ll commit to. Missed deadlines get marked as ‘Late’ orders, and orders can be cancelled if a further 24 hours pass. In our experience though, this has never happened.
Online tickets, help center, live chat (for Fiverr Business)
|The Help Center is comprehensive, with detailed articles on a wide array of topics. If you need to get in touch with Fiverr, you can submit a support ticket – they’ll respond by the next day. Live chat is available too, but only for Fiverr Business customers.|
|Refund policy||If you’re unhappy with a delivered project, you’ll have 14 days to request a refund. By default, refunds get returned as credits to your Fiverr account, which may not be ideal. You can however request to have the money refunded to the card or Paypal account used.|
|Overall rating||We’re big fans of Fiverr for projects where professionals aren’t always easy to find (e.g. video voiceovers). It’s encouraging to see that their web design services are also generally good, although it takes a bit of work to separate the wheat from the chaff.|
As we’ve mentioned, once you’ve signed up for a Fiverr account, the process of hiring a web designer is fairly straightforward:
- Browse through the web design projects available. You can apply filters to show only Pro sellers (recommended), but also filter based on budget, delivery time, services needed and seller levels or location
- Select the designer(s) you’d like to work with
- Contact them directly and share your project requirements/brief, and
- Wait for them to provide you with a quote
Once you’ve agreed on this, they’ll send a custom order for you to accept – and the project can get underway.
Alternatively, you can choose to purchase a pre-existing design package offered by a designer. However, it’s always advisable to get in touch with them first, to make sure you don’t run into any problems with scope/pricing later down the road.
A few real-life examples of why this is important:
- We had a project where we needed to redesign an existing homepage from scratch (the very website you are looking at, actually) – new logo, color scheme, look and feel etc. One designer we contacted didn’t include this in their web design package – logo and branding services were a separate package that normally cost $350. After negotiating with the designer, we were able to come up with a custom order that reduced this extra work down to $150.
- Another designer actually doubled the price of a custom order, saying they needed to charge extra for 1 round of revisions – despite stating that 1 round was included in the original package. Needless to say, we didn’t end up working with them!
My general feeling is that you can find good designers on Fiverr, although you’ll have a better chance of doing this if you have a bit of extra budget to burn. The Pro designers we’ve worked on have been excellent at interpreting briefs, and coming up with creative concepts. They’ve also been good at suggesting changes to briefs based on best practice or the latest trends, and importantly, at sticking to deadlines.
But there are also some pretty average designers on Fiverr – ones whose portfolio designs all seem to be a copy and paste of each other, and who put very little effort into following briefs and communicating with buyers. Their pricing might be more attractive than others’, but is it worth it if you need to spend more time requesting changes – or if the end result is barely usable?
In our experience, it definitely pays to study seller profiles in detail – the same as you would if you were researching online reviews before buying a product – to make sure you avoid these kinds of designers.
The communication channels are mostly good, although, as I mentioned earlier, conversation threads can get lost if they switch back and forth between the Inbox and the Order page (which is way too easy to do).
Fiverr also recently introduced a collaboration feature, allowing buyers to annotate comments to submitted designs so that changes can be made. It mostly works well; however, one big flaw is that it’s not possible to zoom into an image while you’re annotating it – meaning you have to have a zoomed-in version of the image open in another tab/tool. Fingers crossed they fix this soon!
If you’re after web design on a relatively tight budget, Fiverr is a good option to explore. You get a decent pool of designers to choose from, and the right tools to make sure your project runs smoothly from start to end.
Our tips for getting the most out of a Fiverr web design project are:
- Have a clear brief, and plenty of visual examples for the kind of design you want
- Spend the time to closely review seller profiles and portfolios – and stay away from low-rated sellers, or ones who have worked on few projects, even if the pricing looks good
- Make sure that you and the designer are on the same page with regards to scope, before ordering a project
- Be proactive in communicating with the seller and asking for updates
- Make sure to closely review submitted designs and provide feedback all at once, as revision rounds are limited
How does it compare to other services like 99designs, crowdspring or even Toptal? While you obviously get a wider selection of designs with these services, they are also more expensive (starting at around $600) – plus, you have to invest more time in working with multiple designers. So, if you’re pressed for time (and budget), we’d say that Fiverr is the better option to go for.
29 Nov 2021 – Minor update
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