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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Guru - Freelance Marketplace Site Analysis and Review

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Guru - Dispute Resolution and Arbitration
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Guru - Feedback System
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Guru - Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
(Page 1 of 3)

Guru generally gets high marks from me for its website, which is professional in appearance and highly functional. Guru has the most advanced profile and portfolio features I’ve encountered in a freelancing site, and the best help system, hands down. I have no complaints with the site’s speed and security, though the lack of an auto-login capability is an ongoing irritation.

One unique aspect of Guru’s website design is that it has two versions: one for clients (which Guru calls “employers”) and another for contractors (“freelancers”). New visitors to the site begin on the client side of Guru.com, and can use the “Freelancers: Looking for work?” link at the top right to switch to the freelancer view. From there, a link saying “Employers: Looking to hire?” goes back to the employer side.

Much of the website is the same in both versions, but there are important differences, especially in the menu system. I like this split design, as it helps both clients and contractors focus on the activities that are important to them, cutting down on clutter and confusion. It is also consistent with Guru’s use of separate accounts for hirers and hirees (though any account is able to access either version).

My focus here will be on the freelancer side of the website.

Accessibility

Guru.com looks and works well on standard graphical browsers, but like many other modern websites, relies heavily on modern “gadgetry” such as Javascript and Ajax to implement both critical and optional features. Most notable is the use of these technologies when searching for projects. Going to the project search page only brings up the shell of the search engine; the actual search is done by a client-side call, and if Javascript is disabled, nothing happens. This makes it impossible to look for projects if Javascript is disabled, or when using a text-only browser such as Lynx. While I don’t have a smart phone, the same issue is likely to apply to many mobile devices.

Guru does provide an RSS feature to allow alternative access to project listings, and it’s clear that some thought went into it, because it is customizable. You are able to define your own RSS query URL that will show you only the projects in a particular category or subcat­egory, and even filter based on project bidding type or whether a project requires onsite presence. The RSS feed is better than average, showing important details such as category, skill requirements, location and budget. The project description is too short, though, being cut off after only one line of text.

Ironically, actually setting up an RSS feed also requires Javascript, but actually using the feed does not. One strange omission is the inability to easily get an RSS feed link that shows all projects, even though this is in fact possible. Guru’s RSS system forces you to select a work category, but I discovered that you can get an RSS feed that covers all categories by using the base URL with no parameters: http://www.guru.com/pro/ProjectResults.aspx


Previous Topic/Section
Guru - Dispute Resolution and Arbitration
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
23
Next Page
Guru - Feedback System
Next Topic/Section

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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011

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