If you have ever planned to start a Magento ECommerce store then the first question that struck you has to be “How to hire a good Magento developer”. because let’s face it you cannot hope to run a Magento store smoothly without a certified and expert Magento developer. Before we dwell further on the topic, let us first answer the question that why should you choose Magento for your ECommerce store.
Why choose Magento for your ECommerce store?
This topic can have a whole blog on itself but just to give you a brief overview, Magento is one of the leading open-source ECommerce platform. Hence, it brings along with it its fair share of complexity as well. Recent reports have revealed that over 250,000+ businesses choose Magento as their eCommerce platform. In addition, Magento has one of the best functionalities in the areas of SEO, user interface, product categories, shipments, discount coupons and I can go on for an hour! Although, once the store is developed running it is a breeze but the laying the initial foundations is where you need the services of a Certified Magento Expert.
As is evident from the graph above, Magento has had an Year-on-Year growth of almost 70% and leads in the race for most used ECommerce platforms. (The numbers don’t lie) And these numbers are very likely to see an increase in the future.
So without further ado, let’s look at the 8 things you should consider while looking for a Certified Magento Agency or developer for your online business.
8 steps to finding a good Magento Developer
We have already established that running a Magento store could be difficult without the services of a seasoned Magento expert. This is because there is going to be an ongoing need to fix stuff here and there. When this happens, you don’t want to be left hanging and send an unprofessional image to your potential customers, now do you?
Here’s a checklist to consider to find the best Magento developer that your business needs.
1. Know your exact requirements
You want to be taken seriously by the developer. What do you do? You create a detailed sheet about your requirements and the functionalities you want your Magento store to perform. You should at least have a basic level understanding of the challenges, USP and other insights on your ECommerce store. Moreover, you must have a priority list, a timetable for the completion of the project and most importantly, your budget constraints. If you have reasonable insight on the aforementioned stuff, the developer would understand that you know your thing and will actively pursue your project.
Moreover, you should also decide whether you need a developer for a one-time project or on a recurring basis. For the latter case, you need to find developers who are willing to work on small projects since most prefer to work on long-term commitments. Similarly, do you need a front-end developer to tidy up the user interface or a back-end developer to create a database. Again, SCOPE! Mention and list down every aspect before you begin and convey all your requirements thoroughly when interviewing a Magento developer for your project.
2. Magento Agency vs Magento Freelancer
This is another important consideration, whether you should hire a Magento Development Agency or rely on a Magento Freelancer. This is why ‘knowing your requirements’ precedes this step because it all depends on the scope of your project. Magento freelancers usually best for fixing or developing certain functionalities. However, if your requirement is to build a Magento store from scratch then we recommend you look for a Magento Development Agency. The reason being that under its roof, a Magento agency has developers with all the necessary skill set to execute a project from start to end. Even if you hire multiple freelancers for your project, managing them is a hassle without a project manager so that option is not recommended either.
3. Find Certified Magento Developers
The Magento Corporation gives a fantastic opportunity to developers who wish to validate their expertise on the Magento platform. There are many online courses available for certification like: Magento Certified Developer, Certified front-end Developer, Developer Plus, Moderator Kit, Magento Solution Specialist etcetera. Although, a certification is not a mandatory requirement, it does show that the Magento developer is serious about his/her field.
4. Look for a long-term relationship with the developer
Committing to a long-term relationship with your Magento developer or agency is critical for your online business. Although, once built well the Magento store will not require many amends as the processes become automated. The threat of viruses, hackers, outdated extensions and licences keep companies on their toes and require a programmer to fix or prevent these issues from coming up. Hiring a new Magento developer would mean learning the aspects of the business from scratch, whereas the agency that created your store will know it ‘like the back of their hand’. Hence, it pays to have a long-term commitment with your developer or agency.
5. Should I go for Price or Quality?
Oh, how often have we heard this question? One thing you should understand you can have the best possible thing in the cheapest possible rate. If you did, you’d be most likely dreaming. An expert Magento Developer will not do a project for cheap. A cheap developer might ruin your code and make it more expensive for you to fix it in the long-run. So, searching Google for “best cheapest Magento developer” would do you more harm than good.
Of course, that does not justify hiring the most expensive developer out there. You should again determine if your project requires an experienced developer/veteran or an average developer. Secondly, you also need to take into consideration varying rates across countries. For example: an expert Magento developer in U.S will cost you around $75-$100/hour whereas a developer with similar expertise in Pakistan will cost you as low as $30/hour. That’s how the world works and this can be a great opportunity for you to cash-in with a quality developer in a reasonable hourly rate.
6. What skills to look for in a Magento Developer?
Innovation is what will separate the ideal developer from the other Certified Magento Developers. Ask your potential developer how did he apply innovation this some of his projects which enabled clients to excel in their business. You do not need a replication tool, what you need is someone who can go beyond and see the results of the product he/she is going to create.
Since you’re going to be dealing with your developer non-stop during the course of the project, it is necessary that the developer exhibits strong communication skills during the interview. He should be able to demonstrate his understanding of your requirements and give reasonable insights on your project. If your developer can be your consultant as well, you have hit the nail on the head!
Make sure your developer has enough time on his/her hands to brief you as the project is going on. If he is too busy, then you will have a hard time tracking the progress of your project. Freelancers are often stuck with multiple projects at any given time, so commit with your developer beforehand.
7. Find developers that have profiles but aren’t actively looking
The best Magento agencies will have exceptional profiles on various freelance platforms but they might not be actively applying for jobs. Such agencies will have businesses coming to them due their network, reputation, social media page, blogs, conference participation etc. The idea is to reach out to them or send them invites for your project, so it gets their attention.
It may be possible that they are involved in some open-source hotel management project and you have a similar work for them. In such a case, they will definitely be interested in taking on your project and seeing it to the finish.
P.S Here you can also leverage Google’s algorithm to search for a suitable agency. For example if you are looking for an agency on Upwork: type in “Best Magento Agency Upwork” or simply “Magento Agency Upwork” and see what agencies Google considers the most authentic.
8. Portfolio and references of the Magento Agency
Once you’re in the last step of hiring a Magento freelancer or Magento agency, you should ask them for their portfolio of recent or old projects and any references that they can provide. Browsing their portfolio will give you a fair idea on their capabilities and skills. You can also look for ratings and reviews on their website and/or freelance profiles. One thing you can also do is visit the agencies’ website and gather information about their portfolio. This will enable you to make an informed decision. If you see some good projects there, then congratulations! You have found yourself a Magento agency to hire.
Choosing the right solution for your Magento project can be a daunting task. Whether you choose to hire a Magento agency or Magento developer, the financial investment will be considerable. Your scope of the project will play an important role in your decision here. At the end, the complexity of the project, scope, budget constraints and quality of work is going to determine whether you choose to hire an expert Magento developer or a specialized Magento agency.