Outsourcing ASP.NET Web Development (Elance vs Freelancer.com vs Upwork)

Upwork, Elance and Freelancer.com provide on-demand access to more than 1 million technical workers – but how good are they for outsourcing  web development projects for a small web application? On which portal to do you find the best ASP.NET/Bootstrap experts in 2015? This post gives some hints.

As test project I created a specification for a prototype web application that I wanted to get done. The website allows you to upload documents and have them OCR’ed. For the user interface I decided on (Twitter) Bootstrap, for the back-end code on ASP.NET/C# - both are widely known technologies. The project offer was posted on the three major outsourcing portals.

The Visual Studio ASP.NET/Bootstrap Web App Specification

Here is the summary of the outsourced project specification:

Create small ASP.NET web application (one page only)

We are looking for a prototype website that essentially is wrapper around an OCR library. Please see the attached mockup on how the website can look like - that should make the whole project very clear.

Website mockup for a future OCR online converter.

1. Complete project as Visual Studio 2013 project, with detailed instructions on how to install on test server 2. ASP.NET C# needs to compile without warnings 3. Browser support: Required are only latest Chrome, latest Firefox and IE11 4. Server support: Only Windows Server 2012R2 required 5. To speed up testing, please provide your own server to host the project during the development.

Elance vs Freelancer.com vs Upwork in Numbers

Immediately after posting the project on all three outsourcing portals the first bids came in. Here is the result after seven days.

C# Outsourcing Elance Freelancer Upwork
Bids, total 29 25 37
Qualified Bids 13 10 17
Price Range $30-$164 $55-$315 $110-$1000
Average Price $110 $171 $212

I received qualified bids on all three portals. As I want to be objective, my definition of a “qualified bid” is a bid of someone who has completed at least one 4-5 star rated project. The justification for this criteria is that an already (at least) once successful freelancer knows what he is doing when he bids on a project and is thus qualified.


As expected, Elance, Upwork and Freelancer all  work for outsourcing web development projects. A small project like this seems ideal to give a new person a chance.

What surprised me is the huge number of bids. The number of bids is much higher than in my previous outsourcing reviews Outsourcing C# development and Outsourcing OpenCV development. My explanation: In 2015 web development is the entry point into the world of software development, and not Windows desktop development, like it was a decade ago.

Also, this third project in my outsourcing portal review series confirms the tendency that the average bid is higher on Upwork (formerly ODesk) than Elance or Freelancer.