Toptal operates on a two-sided marketplace business model, connecting businesses with top-tier freelance talent, primarily focused on technology, design, and finance. But it might not be the perfect fit for you. If you need more talent options, have budget concerns, or their engagement models don't align with your projects, read on.
We’ve compared 9 Toptal alternatives, each offering unique strengths and advantages. Focusing on wider talent pools, flexible engagement models, scalable pricing, subscription-based options, and budget-friendly solutions.
We'll break down each platform, highlighting its key features, pricing, and ideal use cases, and finish off with a comparison table.
Why look for a Toptal alternative?
While Toptal has many advantages, like access to exceptional talent and seamless project management, it's important to be aware of its potential drawbacks:
- Premium Pricing: Toptal designers command significantly higher rates than those on broader freelance platforms. This can be a major barrier for budget-conscious projects or businesses just starting.
- Hidden Fees: While the platform has no additional fees, some designers may charge project management or communication fees on top of their hourly rates. Be sure to clarify all cost factors upfront.
- Focus on High-demand Skills: Toptal prioritizes high-demand skills like UX/UI design or web development. Finding niche design expertise, like illustration or animation, might be more challenging.
- Large project Focus: Toptal's model and pricing structure often cater to larger projects or ongoing collaborations. Smaller projects or short-term gigs might not be cost-effective on the platform.
- Potential Communication Delays: Working with designers across time zones can impact communication and real-time feedback loops, even with dedicated project managers facilitating the process.
- Less Personal Touch: Due to the curated nature of the platform, the client-designer relationship might feel less personal compared to directly selecting and collaborating with an individual freelancer.
Weighing the pros and cons against your specific needs and budget will help you determine if it's the right fit for your design projects. If you’re looking for unlimited graphic design services You might consider a subscription-based platform instead. The best platform for you depends on your priorities and resources.
Here are our top picks of Toptal competitors divided into three categories:
9 Best Toptal Alternatives
- Design Pickle
Growmodo is a comprehensive design and development subscription-based platform offering unlimited design and development requests, a dedicated project manager, and a team of experienced professionals. Ideal for businesses with frequent design and development needs who seek a seamless and cost-effective solution.
- Unlimited design and development requests
- A dedicated project manager
- Daily progress reports
- Transparent pricing
- Access to a curated team of designers and developers
- Fast Onboarding (24/47hours)
- Quick turnaround times
Here are the most popular services we offer.
- UX/UI Design: We develop user-centric websites and apps with high conversion rates. Our team specializes in user flow optimization, wireframing, and conversion-focused UI design.
- Graphic Design: Easily get stunning brand identities, brochures, social media graphics, and packaging.
- Video Editing & Motion Graphics: Bring your raw footage to life with captivating edits and engaging animations. Perfect for website intros or social media ads that grab your audience's attention.
If you’re in the middle of a website redesign project, check out our plan, and grab a free template.
- Website & Landing Page Development: We have experts in WordPress, Shopify, and Webflow that can build and customize your high-performing websites. We can also create a seamless eCommerce setup for your online store.
- Website Maintenance: Leave your website management to us. Our team will make sure your website runs smoothly and securely 24/7 with security updates, performance optimization, and content management.
Automation & Efficiency
- Zapier and Parabola Integration: You can streamline your workflow by automating repetitive tasks and connecting your favorite tools.
- Email Marketing Setup: Trust Growmodo to handle campaigns on ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, MailChimp, or Klaviyo, maximizing your reach and engagement.
- Custom Chatbot Development: You can personalize customer interactions with chatbots that capture leads, offer instant support, and enhance your efficiency.
- Title Tag & Meta Description Update: We will optimize your website's visibility by adding or updating title tags and meta descriptions.
- Image Alt Tag Update: Improve search engine rankings by adding or updating image alt tags.
- Fixing Technical SEO Issues: Enhance website performance, search visibility, and user accessibility by resolving technical SEO issues.
Growmodo's transparent pricing starts at $1795/month. This gives you unlimited design and development requests, revisions, a dedicated project manager, and daily progress reports. No hidden costs, no surprises, just predictable value. You can always scale the number of designers working on your project request if you need more hands on deck.
Design Pickle is a subscription service providing unlimited graphic design revisions with a single dedicated designer. Perfect for businesses with consistent graphic design needs who value quick turnaround times and personalized service. But it’s limited to graphic design, no website or development services, and there is potential for stylistic limitations with a single designer.
Design Pickle Features
- Unlimited graphic design
- Unlimited revisions
- Dedicated designer
- Fast turnaround times (24-48 hours)
- Fixed monthly fee
Design Pickle Services
- Social media graphics
- Flyer design
- Landing page design
- Infographics - can be custom
- Lettering & Typography
- Book design
- Ready-to-use templates
- Editable formats and source files
In addition to these features the Graphics Premium plan offers:
- Motion Graphics
- UI/UX Animation
Design Pickle Pricing
- Graphics: $499/month for basic design needs and 1-2 day turnaround.
- Graphics Pro: $995/month for designated designers, same-day turnaround, and more.
- Graphics Premium: $1,695/month for motion graphics and Canva file delivery.
Penji is a subscription-based platform offering unlimited graphic design requests with access to a diverse pool of designers and AI-powered design suggestions. Well-suited for businesses with high volume design needs who prioritize affordability and quick turnaround times. However, the platform has limited control over individual designer selection, and there is a potential for inconsistency in design quality across different projects.
- Unlimited graphic design requests
- A team of designers across different styles
- AI-powered design suggestions
- Fixed monthly fee
- 24/7 customer support
- Graphic and video design
- Ad creatives
- UX/UI design
- Presentation designs
- Motion graphics
They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Starter: $499/month for 80+ design services, unlimited graphic design projects, custom illustrations, logos, and branding.
- Marketer: $995/month for 100+ design services, unlimited projects, app designs, web designs, presentations, and animated graphics.
- Agency: $1497/month for 120+ design services, same-day turnaround, and a dedicated art director.
CloudDevs is a platform where you can find developers for affordable hourly rates, all from Latin America. Their rigorous vetting ensures quality, while their 24-hour hiring process and same-time-zone guarantee streamline collaboration.
- Match with talent within 24 hours
- Guaranteed same-time-zone talent for efficient communication
- 7-day trial
- Weekly rolling contracts with no minimum commitment
Their developers offer services in these languages and platforms:
Best for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking for cost-effective access to high-quality senior developers and designers, particularly from Latin America. Pre-seed and early-stage startups with limited budgets but requiring skilled talent for rapid growth.
Ideal for businesses needing developers or designers for specific projects or short-term engagements.
- Hourly rates vary from $45 to $70 per hour depending on the specific developer or designer.
Gun.io is a US-focused platform offering hand-picked developers and matches them through dedicated account managers. However, their exclusive pool restricts choice compared to larger competitors. Expect faster hiring (48 hours) and flexible team management, but also higher rates. If budget isn't a concern and you value an exclusive US talent pool with personalized service, Gun.io might be the fit. Otherwise, consider more cost-effective alternatives.
- Dedicated account managers match clients with developers based on specific project requirements
- Expect talent matching within 48 hours
- Hire developers for the precise monthly hours your project needs
- Add additional resources or swap out talent as required
- Receive personalized support throughout the hiring and project process
Their most popular frameworks and languages include:
The hourly rates for their developers start at $80 an hour. They offer flexible contracts:
- Monthly Retainer: Pre-book a portion of your developer's time on a recurring monthly basis.
- Accelerate Package: Purchase a single bucket of hours upfront
- Contract-to-Hire: Work with a developer until you confirm you would like to make the full-salaried hire
- Direct Hire
Turing is an online platform with a global talent pool and an advanced AI matching engine that connects you with the freelancer for your project's specific needs. While this offers incredible diversity, time zone alignment might be tricky. Turing requires upfront trust – no trials are offered. If you need a comprehensive team and trust AI-driven talent curation, Turing could be ideal.
- An advanced AI engine connects your project with the best fit from a global pool
- Access diverse talent across multiple time zones (though time zone alignment isn't a guarantee)
- AI services
- Cloud Services
- Application engineering
- Managed teams
- LLM training
- Custom GenAI development
- Custom software engineering
Best for companies with complex projects requiring diverse and highly skilled teams across various time zones and projects requiring specific expertise or a broad range of skills not readily found in a single location.
For those wanting a technology-powered solution for efficient team building and finding hidden gems.
- Expect experienced developers costing around $55+ per hour.
Upwork operates as a hub for freelancers, offering a large number of experienced designers with diverse skill sets. By posting project details, you can get proposals from qualified designers, assess profiles and reviews, and securely manage projects. While Upwork is a viable option for securing high-quality design work, it may have a higher cost than some alternatives. And you have to be prepared to manage your projects individually.
Best for businesses or individuals seeking project-based design work. It can be challenging for smaller projects to stand out due to intense competition.
- A vast pool of experienced freelancers
- Enables posting projects and receiving proposals from qualified designers
- Detailed profiles and reviews
- Secure payment system and project management tools
- Development & IT
- Al Services
- Design & Creative
- Sales & Marketing
- Admin & Customer
- Writing & T Translation
- Finance & Accounting
- Engineering &Architecture
Upwork is a free platform with no entry fees. These are the rates you can expect:
- Hourly Rates: Freelancers on Upwork set their hourly rates, ranging from $10 per hour to over $200 for top-tier professionals. The average hourly rate typically falls between $30 and $70.
- Fixed-Price Projects: Projects with fixed budgets vary widely based on complexity, duration, and designer expertise. Basic graphic design jobs start at $50-$100, while extensive projects like e-commerce website development range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
Fiverr serves as a freelance marketplace catering to diverse design needs, spanning logos, websites, illustrations, and infographics. It allows users to explore portfolios, establish their budget, and commission custom design work. The platform accommodates various pricing models such as hourly rates, fixed-price packages, and personalized quotes. However, the quality of work can vary depending on the chosen designer. You need to be sure to vet the designers and carefully communicate project details.
Ideal for businesses or individuals seeking control and flexibility in their design projects.
- A large freelance marketplace
- Direct hiring of designers for specific projects after browsing through portfolios
- Flexible pricing options, ranging from hourly rates to fixed-price packages
- A secure payment system with escrow protection for added peace of mind
- Al Illustration
- Graphic Design
- Social Media Design
- Logo Design
- Voice Overs
- Video Explainers
- Data Entry
Creating a profile and searching for designers is free.
Hourly rates set by freelancers can vary widely, starting from $5 per hour to $200+ per hour, with an average falling between $20 and $50.
Fixed-price packages cover a range of services, with basic graphic design starting at $10-$20, while more intricate projects like logo design or website development can range from $100 to $500+ or even higher.
What is the best Toptal alternative?
Choosing the right platform depends on several factors:
- Your specific needs: Focus on design, development, or broader talent? Need specific skills or expertise?
- Budget: How much are you willing to spend monthly? Do you need flexible engagement models?
- Project scope: Large ongoing projects or smaller, sporadic needs?
- Support and management: Do you need a dedicated account manager or project management support?
Here’s a quick comparison table of the platforms we reviewed.
Growmodo is your one-stop talent solution
Leave the talent hunt to us. We will connect you with the perfect team, tailored to your needs.
- Get a dedicated team in 48 hours
- Daily progress updates
- Screened professionals
- A personalized project manager
Stop chasing talent, start scaling your business. Book a call with Growmodo and unlock your growth potential.