If you haven't already validated the market, then it would be best to start with something simple and the option with the cheapest costs.
If you see that there is in fact a need for your service, you can always start developing your own version whilst the template version is running.
If you the costs of the templates are close to the costs of the 'made from scratch' (MFC) version (which would sound strange), then you need to take into account the following:
1. MFC version usually takes longer
2. MFC version usually has additional 'surprise' costs.
3. Template version has limited ability to make changes.
If you decide to go for the MFC version, make sure that:
a. you have a development contract with the developers
b. you chose developers that you can trust (have recommendations).
c. Don't ever pay the entire amount upfront. Always pay only after each milestone has been done, and leave at least 25% of the payment for at least 2 months after they have signed over the project (in case you discover bugs).
d. Make sure that after every stage they send you the code.
I've successfully helped over 350 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david
Various software solutions are not a problem but a market
I would love to help you create a market
and find people who will support the product
marketing and distribution are the biggest problem you can buy a domain and launch a product but if you don't have people who will sell something you are in trouble, the idea itself doesn't make money.
If you need help with your project and you don't see the market, feel free to contact me, I've worked with 3 big startups that are quite similar to yours.
Buying a clone of existing website adds nothing to it. If you really want to start something new then make sure it is new. I would go with custom solution from ground up with different features. Otherwise just buying a clone of a website is just going to be a marketing nightmare when it comes to market your product once it's launched.
Clones don't look professional to your customers and may not allow you to try and test different features. If you're not a web developer, creating a website from scratch can be challenging but you can select a website builder online (for a minimal charge) to swiftly help you build your own website (with no coding).
The first and foremost question is why do you want to start a freelance marketplace?
What need can you solve which Fiverr, Upwork or Guru aren't solving?
What differentiates you from any of those platforms?
Without any of those answers, you could end up wasting your money buying the clone, however little it might be.
If you have a specific niche in mind or a specific requirement you want to fulfil, will the clone do the job to test your hypothesis? The purpose of the clone can be as a basic MVP to test your hypothesis, and once validated and the learnings gained from the test, you can then go the next step, add some customization into your custom product.
You should always try to find software on the market that will suit your need before writing your own.
Ready-made software (open source or commercial) has quite a few pros included:
Writing your own software is a long term commitment and if you are not in the software business or you are not planning to be in the software business in most cases you would not be able to deliver and maintain good quality software.
That said there are lots of cases that you will need some sort of integration or customization that would not be achievable by using a proprietary solution.
There are many fiverr clones and Wordpress themes available online, you shall evaluate all before making a purchase.
I've successfully helped over 150 entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. Please send me more information before scheduling a call - so I can give you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/ripul.chhabra