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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  vWorker (Formerly Rent A Coder) - Freelance Marketplace Site Analysis and Review

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vWorker - Project Quality
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vWorker - Project Quantity and Marketplace Size

Freelance marketplace sites seem to be fairly evenly divided into those that keep and report detailed statistics about their operations, and those that don’t. vWorker is in the latter category, so unfortunately, to write this topic, I had to fall back on third party reports such as those provided by WhichLance, and my own subjective impressions based on using the site for a couple of years.

What the evidence tells me is that vWorker is a moderately active site. It isn’t an industry leader in terms of number of projects posted and dollars billed, but then it doesn’t claim to be one, either. The company gets a respectable number of new listings each day, has a good traffic ranking and a large number of participants.

Project Quantity

As a user of vWorker, I generally had the feeling that the site got somewhere between 250 and 300 new project postings per day. According to WhichLance, the site had 38,062 projects in the fourth quarter of 2010, which works out to around 410 project per day—slightly higher than I expected, but in the right ballpark. This puts vWorker in the second tier of sites, volume-wise, with the likes of Guru; it is well behind Elance, oDesk and Freelancer.com in project volume.

It’s a bit hard to get a good handle on vWorker’s growth rate. WhichLance actually reported a roughly 5% decrease in the number of projects listed in 4Q2010; there were 39,880 in the preceding three months. This is a bit unusual given the general growth of the industry, and vWorker’s fairly high profile. It is possible that some of this is related to structural changes the site has made recently, such as its name change, but I am not really sure.

It’s worth pointing out that vWorker screens projects and eliminates junk postings and those that violate its quality guidelines before they are even posted. This will naturally tend to result in smaller project totals than sites that do not screen submissions from clients.

I should also add that the screening of projects appears to be done only during certain hours of the day. It is typical for a backlog of pending projects to build up outside of standard US Eastern Time work hours; these get processed in a batch and posted generally some time between 7:30 am and 9:30 am. When this is done, a large number of new projects appears on the site very quickly; at other times, they trickle in sporadically like on other sites. Freelancers who use vWorker regularly are advised to get in the habit of checking for new listings during the morning hours when these batches of new jobs appear.

Other Marketplace Size Metrics

Here’s how vWorker stacks up against its competition in a few other key indicators of marketplace size:

  • Project Billings: WhichLance reported $2.92 million in project billings for the fourth quarter of 2010, up only slightly from $2.9 million in 3Q2010. This makes vWorker the smallest of the big sites in terms of billings. In fact, it is even behind PeoplePerHour in dollar volume. The main reason why billings are relatively low for vWorker is that there are a lot of small, low-value projects on the site.

  • Number of Contractors: This is one of the few places where vWorker does report statistics, and as of March 2011, the company claims to have around 320,000 freelancers on its site. This is actually a large number given project billing volume.

  • Number of Clients: vWorker also provides real time figures for the number of clients in its network, which is around 150,000 as of March 2011.

  • Alexa Traffic Rank: The change in name from RentACoder to vWorker resulted in somewhat of a “discontinuity” in the company’s web presence, but it recovered quickly. vWorker’s current Alexa traffic ranking is 2,018, which is quite respectable, though obviously well behind its bigger competitors (Elance, Freelancer.com and oDesk). The traffic trend has actually been slightly downward for the last few months, though.

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