The End of Elance

It’s the end of Elance as we know it.  If you haven’t heard by now, although they continue to operate as two separate sites, the Odesk and Elance companies have merged together.  Odesk has recently changed its name to Upwork, and they continue plans to phase out Elance.

In a blog post that came out yesterday, it states that Elance will be operating (in a limited capacity) through 2015, but will be completely phased out by 2016.  They are encouraging all clients and freelancers to “migrate” their accounts over to Upwork.  While it appears that the lower Elance rates will be honored, it is hard to say how long that will last before all agreements are at the higher 10% Upwork rate.
[For a more in depth discussion on Freelance Site Rates, click HERE]
Although Elance and Upwork (previously called Odesk) stress that there is limited interruption during these changes, I have personally experienced some major delays and in messages, as well as some issues with the time tracker software.  I would encourage clients and freelancers share alternate email contact information to ensure that communications are not delayed, thus potentially having a negative effect on deadlines, etc.
While freelance sites are useful, it is important to consider the fees involved.  Personally, I prefer to work with clients directly.  The process of working together directly (rather than through a freelance site) offers a higher level of communication and a more streamlined process from start to finish.
What are your thoughts on the fate of Elance and the new Upwork?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you.

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