Everything You Need To Know About Hiring a PHP Developer
Even though there are other programming languages available which maybe more user-friendly, but PHP is still developer’s choice for developing a new project in 2019. PHP development is more efficient, cost effective, and less error-prone. Many of the successful projects are still being developed in PHP.
Following are some of the topics we will cover in this guide.
- What makes PHP so popular?
- What costs you need to incur when hiring a PHP developer?
- The phase before hiring (Considering the tech debt and framework)
- Finding yourself a PHP developer
What Makes PHP So Popular?
The reason why PHP is still used as the mainstream language to develop new projects depends on three factors:
- Whatever, you can think of, you can develop in PHP.
- PHP boasts countless frameworks.
- Large community of PHP Developers.
These factors explain the dominance of PHP in the project development department. Hence, this is why PHP developers seem to be in high demand and in low supply.
We will try to give you basic guidelines regarding PHP, the pros and cons of hiring a PHP developer and where to hire reliable and experienced PHP developers.
Whatever, You Can Think Of, You Can Develop In PHP
PHP remains the top choice for two reasons; first, it can practically run on almost any web server running on default settings, second, there is no limit to its application; the limit is your imagination. Do you want to develop software? You can do it using PHP; you want to use PHP in server-side scripting? You can do it!
Furthermore, most mainstream frameworks and web applications run on PHP. WordPress runs on PHP, which is the backbone of almost all blogs. If you are running a WordPress blog and need to make some modifications or add new features to your website, you will need to hire PHP developers from a professional PHP Development Company to do that for you.
Development of some of the most popular websites such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, Wikipedia, and Tumblr have used PHP programming language for their back-end/server-side coding.
PHP Boasts Countless Frameworks
When no framework is used, the code is known as raw PHP. Raw PHP is non-scalable code and if the code is non-scalable, it will be difficult to maintain in the long term.
In order to counter these issues, there are numerous PHP development frameworks available . Each framework has its own sets of rules and has a defined structure. Some of the most commonly used PHP frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and many more.
Many developers, mostly un-intentionally (due to lack of experience), use the “spaghetti code” approach which makes it difficult to debug or understand the code. Utilizing reliable PHP development frameworks can help developers avoid “spaghetti code” approach, lets them solve most code problems, and they can write the code as they see fit while utilizing software programming best practices.
Further detail will be covered later in this guide so you can hire an expert PHP developer.
Large Community Of PHP Developers In The Market
PHP is being taught as one of the core subjects of web development in many institutes and universities that are producing Computer Scientists. Moreover, there is an immense number of PHP programmers and PHP development companies already existing in the market which deal in the PHP language and provide PHP development services.
These circumstances make it quite easy for a newbie to lean towards learning PHP language and start gaining experience in PHP development.
This results in a constant supply of PHP developers in the market, which is good news for employers who are looking to hire developers specializing in PHP.
A word of caution and advice, you will come across developers with varying skill and experience, including beginner level developers posing themselves as experienced PHP developers, so you will have to do your due diligence when hiring PHP developer, so you can have have peace of mind and a successful project. This applies when you’re hiring a developer for any programming language, and not just PHP.
What Costs You Need To Incur When Hiring a PHP Developer
As mentioned above, due to adequate supply of PHP developers in the job market, PHP developers are one of the most affordable developers you can find, because the language has a large following, and most developers are well versed in it.
This works to your advantage as there is more variety of developers who can be available at your disposal on an hourly, monthly or fixed price basis. You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the developer which fits your budget, and whether you would like them to work at your workplace or remotely.
For instance, you can hire a PHP developer for $20 per hour on freelance work sites. Although if you are looking for an experienced developer you can hire them from $25-$30+ per hour which is an affordable amount, all things considered.
If you are looking to hire through an agency, some web development agencies are known for allocating full-time dedicated developers, and charge $2000-$3000 on a monthly basis. If you are looking to bring quality, reliability and insight to your project, then instead of hiring freelance PHP developers, you should hire PHP developer through an agency as you get added benefits such as quality assurance engineer, project manager, business analyst, and other resources that you can utilize for the success of your project.
Choosing PHP for developing your project gives you the advantage of flexibility in a lot of aspects. Depending on how quick you want things done, your budget can be increased and decreased, it’s all about flexibility.
Consider The Framework And Tech Stack Before Hiring
Now that you’ve decided to use PHP as the language in which your project will be developed, here is what you need to know about the process to hire PHP developers and choose the PHP framework for your project.
These tips will serve as a guide in the short term as it will help you scrutinize the resumes that will start coming in once you post your project on a professional platform. Not only in the short term, but this article will also serve as a guide to the decision-making process during the tenure of your project, for example dealing with your tech stack even when you don’t have any technical expertise.
· Getting Familiar With Different Types of PHP Frameworks
As we already mentioned, there are hundreds of PHP frameworks available that you can utilize for your benefit. First, you need to take into consideration what your requirements are, where your project stands, and how much time you can allocate for the development stage.
Few developers use raw PHP to get the project up and running quickly. This is the situation when the developer does not utilizes any existing open source PHP framework. These developers aren’t much concerned about the scaliblity, security, and other future aspects of the project. It might be a good idea to use raw PHP when you are just brainstorming and just trying out different scenarios for your project.
However, if you want to run your web application for the long term, then you will definitely need to utilize a PHP framework.
Using raw PHP is option is not recommended in most of the cases.
This leads to another set of problems:
- The developer who wrote the code is usually the only person who can understand the code, so you are stuck with him.
- Your application’s scalability will be limited.
- Your application might have security issues.
A better option is to choose a popular PHP framework such as Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, CakePHP, etc. Following this approach will give you the advantage of choosing developers from a community who are experienced with the said PHP framework, and save you time as you can find PHP developers who can instantly start working on your project. If you need to bring in a new developer onboard, he can easily understand the code and pick up where things were left off.
Whatever approach you choose, either raw PHP or the development framework, you should be aware of using both approaches and how it affects your end product.
Most people having no prior technical knowledge, make the mistake of hiring a developer and then expecting the developer to deliver the whole project since they ‘paid for the whole project at the time of hiring’. Actually they are just paying for a single iteration of the project made using raw PHP code that no other developer will be available to work with.
· Deciding Which Framework To work With
You need to have an acute knowledge of different PHP frameworks so that you can decide the framework you want to utilize for your project. Furthermore, you can hire developers with relevant PHP framework experience.
If you post your project on a freelance website without any prior knowledge, your inbox will be flooded with countless messages from potential PHP developers who will make it pretty difficult for you to decide as everyone will say that their framework is the best on the market.
To avoid this scenario, you can do your own research about the framework that is best suited for your project. If you require a customized software or a custom web application developed, then you should consider Laravel Development as it is suitable when developing applications with complex backend requirements, whether large or small.
If you are looking for an information website or blogging website development, WordPress Development is a prime candidate you should consider. Drupal and Joomla Development are another good option if you’re looking for a CMS website development, as both of these open source frameworks are very powerful, and reliable.
If you are looking for E-commerce website or shopping cart development, some of the top open-source e-commerce platforms to consider are Magento, OpenCart, Prestashop, OsCommerce, WooCommerce, etc.
We created an infographic that shows Top 7 PHP Frameworks. Every PHP developer should consider the comparison between these top 7 PHP Frameworks and what makes them popular. This should allow you to focus on scalability, better performance and security for your new development project.
If you still need help, you can also hire an experienced PHP developer and get his opinion on the kind of framework that your project needs.
Tips To Hire PHP Developers
Next comes the phase of the developer screening process. You have to decide whether to hire a local in-house developer, which can sometimes be a big dent in your wallet. On the other hand, in the present digital age of the internet, you can hire dedicated remote PHP developers to work on your project. Sometimes it’s the better option. Here is why:
- Upto 50%-60% cost savings
- Required expertise
Hiring PHP developers From Abroad / Remote PHP Developers
Now that you are choosing a freelancing developer team, and given they have good communication skills, it can be quite an easy task to communicate and cooperate with them. You can accomplish this task quite easily by following the instructions that we are giving below, it’s a checklist of sorts:
- Outsource or Outstaffing?
- Decide the region where you will get the best experts
- How well do they communicate in English?
- The region you select should coincide within a convenient time zone
- Companies which have the relevant expertise in your project type should be given preference
- Scrutinize the credentials of the developers or those php development companies
- Read their customer reviews and ratings
A lot of effort and time is required in order to grow your business, not to mention the investment. Your growth may be stunted if you start building an in-house development team as it takes a toll on your wallet. Fortunately, there is an alternative that you can utilize which will let your business grow at a fast rate and at a much cheaper cost.
Hiring a development team by outstaffing is the best way to go when growing your small business. This process results in much cheaper development costs as well as increasing the input and output of your project’s growth.
Furthermore, it gives you the much-needed flexibility that is necessary for the growth phase as well as acquiring potential prospects for your team who will be the experts on the different projects that you roll out in the market.
Before we dive into the process of giving tips of what to ask a PHP developer, let us give you a statistical picture of what the salary rates of PHP programmers are for in-house and freelancers, globally. This data is taken from Payscale.com and Indeed.com:
Global Salary Rates For PHP Developers
- United States: $ 30,000 per year – junior, $ 89,598 – middle, $ 179,000 – senior.
- Australia: $ 41,000 per year – junior, $ 95,232 – middle, $ 171,000 – senior.
- Canada: $ 24,000 per year – junior, $ 78,478 – middle, $ 163,000 – senior.
- United Kingdom: $ 14,215 per year – junior, $ 48,118 – middle, $ 100,760 – senior.
- France: $ 18,958 per year – junior, $ 41,935 – middle, $ 73,601 – senior.
- Germany: $ 27,129 per year – junior, $ 51,567 – middle, $ 68,070 – senior.
- Poland: $ 8,564 per year – junior, $ 18,100 – middle, $ 36,608 – senior.
- India & Pakistan: $ 2,105 per year – junior, $ 5,048 – middle, $ 11,464 – senior.
- China: $ 8,793 per year – junior, $ 23,173 – middle, $ 31,871 – senior.
Global Freelance Rates For PHP Developers
- United States: $ 35 per hour – junior, $ 125 – senior.
- Australia: $ 25 per hour – junior, $ 150 – senior.
- Canada: $ 20 per hour – junior, $ 180 – senior.
- United Kingdom: $ 18 per hour – junior, $ 60 – senior.
- France: $ 15 per hour – junior, $ 60 – senior.
- Germany: $ 15 per hour – junior, $ 130 – senior.
- Poland: $ 15 per hour – junior, $ 75 – senior.
- India and Pakistan: $ 10 per hour – junior, $ 50 – senior.
The above data paints an appropriate picture of the salaries that developers are taking when developing a project. You can find developers, who are newbies to total veterans, from all over the world.
However, you can find the most experienced earning the largest salaries in only a few regions such as Western Europe, parts of Canada, and the coastal United States.
But that does not mean you won’t find quality in a developer who is from India, China, or Pakistan.
In fact, that would be the cheaper option if you are on a budget and want quality as well at the same time.
Western developers demand high-end salaries but that doesn’t always ensure quality. The reason is that there is a short supply of developers in these countries and developers get high-end jobs just after they graduate, which results in inflation of prices. There isn’t much difference in western developers than an PHP expert who is from China or Pakistan.
· Post Your Job Requirements On Freelance Websites
After you decide on the framework that is going to be used for your project, you may post your project requirements on a freelance website as an employer. Post clear instructions and milestones of your project.
Moreover, try to be as specific as possible in the instructions and you may add some other functionality that you think is the requirement of your project.
For example, if you want to have a subscription letter sent out to your target audience every month, you should definitely include that in the project posts since most frameworks play the role of content management systems where a lot of functions are executed.
Being more specific will help you attract the right PHP developer, as this will give the developers an idea about what to develop, what to charge, and what PHP framework to use for your project?
You need to consider the roadmap of the project with respect to its scope. Will you need to allocate more resources for future updates or will project maintenance take the top spot on the priority list?
These suggestions and tips will surely help you hire the best PHP programmer for your project.
Develop A Standardized Interviewing Procedure
Now that you are aware of the price demographics of developers, you need to develop a standardized screening procedure for hiring developers. You need to prepare a list of questions and answers which are relevant to your project
Some questions that can serve as sample questions which can be asked in an interview:
- Which function gives the number of affected entries by a query?
- What is the meaning of $_FILES?
- How does the ereg_replace() function differ from the eregi_replace() function?
- Is it possible to extend the PHP script’s execution time?
- How to change the maximum size of the files to be uploaded?
- How to access the data sent through the URL with the GET method?
- How to establish a connection with a MySQL database from a PHP script?
- How to set an infinite execution time for a PHP script?
- What type of operation is required when passing the values through a form or an URL?
- What is the most common way to start and finish a PHP code block?
Where To Look For PHP Developers
Now that you know the screening process, the global rates, and the type of PHP framework you want to utilize in your project development, you can look for developers in the following places:
- Freelancing websites: Fiverr, Upwork and other freelancing websites are the places where you can find great talent for your project. However, it can be risky to hire a freelancer as usually freelancers are incapable of doing deliverables within a defined time limitation or deadline, and the result quality is not as expected by the client. Refer to this article for pros and cons of hiring freelance developer vs php development company.
- LaraJobs: If you are looking to utilize the Laravel framework in PHP, which is one of the most used PHP frameworks. Then this is the place to you, although it’s somewhat expensive as you’ll need $300-$350 to post your project.
- CodeIgniter forum: You could look in the jobs section of this forum for a PHP developer.
- CakePHP on LinkedIn:The CakePHP group on LinkedIn is a good place to start looking for PHP developers.
- Social Media Platforms (LinkedIn and Facebook): You can search for PHP developers on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Agencies: You can also approach different agencies who provide PHP developers for hire in the region you are looking for. This is usually method that gives you peace of mind, as agencies provide full-cycle PHP development services along with other value added benefits like code reviews, quality assurance, web designers (if needed), better project management process, along with other benefits.
My Web Programmer Provides An All-in-One Solution For Hiring a PHP Developer
If you are looking to hire an experienced and reliable remote PHP developer, and want to skip the hassle of posting jobs, reviewing resumes, screening process of hiring, and managing the PHP developer on your own, then you can contact My Web Programmer. We have expert PHP developers having numerous skill set that your project requires.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a free quote for your project. This will definitely speed up the development process of your project, save time, and let you focus on to grow your business, while we take care of your software and PHP development needs.