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As an experienced Software Developer in the United Kingdom, I am looking for a mature Freelance or Contracting website that caters mostly for United Kingdom based companies and remote-based IT workers (including software developers). I have looked at People Per Hour (which seems to have a UK base) - but the user base seems relatively small and the projects of poor quality. So I'm hoping to find other oDesk / Elance style sites, but with a UK focus (hopefully with better quality and more available projects than People Per Hour).

I have a specific need to work from home (not a choice or something that I just feel like doing) - thus the need to be remote-based (with occasional visits to the client if needed). I have tried sites like oDesk before, but I've been stung there before by companies who lied to me regarding the nature of how they run their business and what they really wanted me to do - something that would probably have been easier to detect if I'd had the opportunity to meet them face-to-face when needed. I thus want to target clients who are based in the UK and are happy to use remote based IT workers.

(I know about remote freelancing sites like oDesk, Elance, Freelancer.com, Guru etc. None of those sites seem to match the criteria I've established above.)

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    What is wrong with odesk/elance by-country filters? – Peter MV Jun 5 '14 at 5:11
  • I am looking for an oDesk / Elance type site that is primarily focused on the UK market. Some advantages for such a site would be a. all or most of the jobs are UK based so that you can actually get to meet your client face-to-face if needed b. not having to try to complete with ridiculously low bids e.g. $5 USD per hour from software developers living in developing countries with weak currencies c. Have a large database of primarily UK based freelance jobs to choose from (where although local to the UK, working remotely is OK for the majority of the time) etc. etc. – codebrew.dev Jun 10 '14 at 20:40
  • The best scenario for such a site would be that all clients and freelancers would need to be UK based. – codebrew.dev Jun 10 '14 at 20:45
  • You can then go to elance and find jobs filtered by Country. You can filter by UK and you will get a list of UK clients who posted the job there. I am not sure if such exists on odesk – Peter MV Jun 11 '14 at 6:26
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Whilst impossible to state that 'no that site does not exist', I can say that no such site exists that has significant market share and thus would not suffer from the same problem as the PeoplePerHour UK site.

Essentially your question is centred around two issues; needing higher quality (ideally UK) clients, and differentiating yourself from $5 per hour competition.

Some solutions for working remotely with clients and ensuring higher quality projects:

  • Use higher quality sites like pickcrew.com or authenticjobs.com (with the freelancer or contract filter), these sites require clients to pay to list, which ensures a higher quality of client than some others and will eliminate much of the $5 competition
  • For non-UK clients use Skype, or Google Hangouts to get that 'face-to-face' meeting, whilst it's not a perfect substitute it at least gives you some indication. I've had projects started with both face-to-face and Skype meetings go south — neither of them is a silver bullet.
  • Local creative meetups, networking events, or user groups might be a good place to find local agencies or companies looking for freelancers, hopefully projects with them will then lead to word-of-mouth referrals for more local (and thus UK) clients.

In terms for avoiding $5 per hour competition:

  • Either avoid those sites or work hard to clearly differentiate yourself and why the client should be willing to pay 20–30x more for your services. Focus on your speciality, so instead of a '.NET programmer', market yourself as a '.NET API integration specialist with 10 years of industry experience' (bad example but you get the point), convince the client that you're an expert worth paying for.
  • I hinted at this above, but try looking for sites with a listing fee, clients willing to pay to list their projects are likely to be less price sensitive than those on other sites.

I hope this answer isn't too far off topic and answers some of the underlying points in your question, even if I'm not able to provide a conclusive site recommendation.

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    Hi Chris, I must say that this is one of the better written answers on the site: you try to solve the user's problems, without specifically saying "Site A is the ONLY site you need" and not giving an explanation. For a recommendation-style question, I think this should be the template answer. Good job! – Canadian Luke REINSTATE MONICA Aug 6 '14 at 16:11

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