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How Difficult Is It To Hire A Good Magento Developer?

Since it’s release back on March 31st 2008, Magento has risen to become the leading eCommerce platform all over the world. Not only that, it means more and more businesses now feel the need to hire their own Magento developer to help update new sites or support their already existing one.

Now, although there are a large number of Magento agencies and developers available for hire, it appears to be somewhat tough to track down the right partner who has the wealth of expertise and experience in the development of Magento, as well as offering an acceptable price along with it.

Assuming that you’re going to hire a Magento developer for your project, how would you approach it? Would you just head straight over to Google and be able to find a reliable one among the thousands of results?

Most firms will opt for that way more often than not. We’re not saying that it’s a bad method, but if you don’t have a specific list of criteria for choosing your desired developers, then too many choices may get in the way and ultimately create a little confusion.

In order to make things a little less complicated, here are 10 fundamental criteria for hiring a high-quality Magento developer!

1. Clarify Your Needs & Requirements Of Magento Developers For Hire 

First and foremost, you have to truly know what you’re after before you consider hiring any developer. in order to do this, we suggest you first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need the developer to help you sort a major bug or handle an ongoing series of issues?
  • Do you want to hire a developer for developing a custom function, build a website from scratch, migrate to Magento 2 or continues with a project which is yet unfinished?
  • Will you need constant support or require a developer for only urgent situations?
  • What time period do you need the developer for in order to complete the project?
  • Do you prefer working with a freelance developer or with an agency?
  • How much are you willing to spend on this service?

Depending on what your answers are the questions above, you should be able to work out what type of developer to start looking for.

For example, if you need to get help to solve any major but not urgent bugs on your site, you can opt to work with a freelance developer. On the contrary, if your site has more critical issues which need to be solved as soon as possible, we would highly suggest finding a professional support service.

If your website has some critical issues which need to be solved as soon as possible, it would make the most sense to seek out a professional support service.

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Also, if you are in need of constant support to ensure high performance for your site, working with Magento experts from well-known agencies is certainly recommended.

Looking at the size of your project, you can decide if you need to hire a dedicated developer or possibly an entire team – the reason being large projects such as developing brand new Magento sites from scratch will generally include too much work for a sole programmer and you should then consider hiring a team. This will guarantee your project quality and optimise the total time for a while process of development.

Another important factor which helps determine which road to go down is your overall budget. If money is not an issue for you then you have free reign to choose any developer or eCommerce agency to work with. However, more times than not and you have a strict budget to stick to, then you may have to do a little more research on various development companies.

Talk to a few, do your homework and work out which is going to be the best deal but still deliver you a high-quality piece of work.

2. Check The Expertise & Experience Of The Developer

After you’ve specifically defined your expectations, it’s only then you can start the ‘googling’ process and apply your suggested criteria from the previous section to find the right Magento developer for your business. In general, it seems that expertise and experience is often the most fundamental thing to consider when you want to hire a Magneto programmer.

You should only really be considering working with developers who possess more than at least 2 years of experience of Magento. With such a varied array of advanced capabilities and mass customisation, Magento has created a real challenge to its users in the past, and especially with beginners.

You should only really be considering working with developers who possess more than at least 2 years of experience of Magento.

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So, how can you check a developers experience of Magento?

First things first, ask them directly about how long they’ve used and got along with Magento, how many Magento projects they’ve been involved with and the toughest issues they have had to face and overcome when it comes to working with the platform.

Secondly, ask them for some advice on the project you’re trying to complete. A Magneto eCommerce specialist will be able to give you proper and professional advice based on their experience. For example, when you want to develop a more complex function, an experienced developer should be able to help you analyse which parts of the function are Magento default and which parts need extra customisation, and then give you an optimal solution.

3. Examine The Portfolio Of The Developer

Now, you can’t just take the developers word for it as they are going to want to impress you, meaning more often than most, their words may be slightly exaggerated. So, don’t just listen to what they say, actually see what they can do too!

Take a look at their previous work projects, examine the Magento websites they have developed in the past and evaluate whether they can meet your requirements. Since most of the Magento development projects nowadays apply ready-made themes and templates, you don’t need to check out the design of the site too much, instead, put more of a focus on the sites functionality. An example would be assessing the speed, navigation, responsiveness and checkout process of all the sites in their portfolio.

4. Finding Real Testimonials & Feedback

The next steps we would suggest you do is asking for real feedback from previous clients that the developer has worked with. Sometimes a nice portfolio won’t tell you the whole story. For example, although the final website design is perfect, the programmers may have failed to deliver on time or was just a general pain to work with.

We suggest asking the developer for the contacts of previous customers. This is quite often where you can gauge how well a project actually went. If they give you contact details without any sort of hesitation, then it probably went rather well. However, if they act a bit sheepish or don’t give them to you, then there is a reason you don’t want to contact previous clients which could raise alarm bells!

If you do manage to get hold of their previous clients, here are some questions you can potentially ask:

  • Why did you select that developer/company?
  • What did they find the most impressive/disappointing about the service?
  • Did the developer deliver the project on time and within budget? And were there any hidden extra costs?
  • Where there any areas they could have improved on?
  • Would you recommend the developer/company?

It’s crucial you get the most out of this conversation as you’ll be investing a sizeable amount of money on your project, so obviously, you want to get it right.

5. Ask For Post-Development Support & Maintenance

The Support and maintenance after delivering a service can be crucial when it comes to hiring a developer to complete Magento eCommerce sites.

Even after the initial testing process, you won’t have found all the bugs in your development site as some of these will occur after the site actually goes live. In this case, it’s much better to work with your initial developers to figure out the causes and help resolve the problems rather than having to find another programmer.

Here at Media Lounge, when we build a site without own expert Magento developers, we then offer free support hours in order to help our clients tackle any post-live issues they may come across.

6. Figure Out Your Development Process Before Hiring A Developer 

As you might know, the development processes and methodologies applied to a Magento project will then decide whether it is successful or not. There are lots of things that make a good Magento development process but there are some primary points you need to assess.

To start with, Magento eCommerce specialists should provide you with an intelligent plan of development. On the plan, it should clearly indicate exactly what they will do to your site. Also, there needs to be concrete completion time for each task and sub-task.

Most developers will duplicate your new site on their own development servers and will only move the completed store to your server when you are fully satisfied with the end result. The thing here is you have to ask them whether they will give you access to their server. If not, it’s then going to be difficult for you to follow and control the development progress and give accurate timely comments for further improvements.

Another thing to make sure is that dedicated testers are also part of the process. This is so the developers can check all functions are working correctly before delivering the site to you. Also, be clear about how you can then report any issues you notice during this staging period.

7. Evaluate The Developer’s Communication Skills 

Many employers tend to overlook the communication side of things when it comes to hiring a developer but it still does matter, especially in case of outsourcing a Magento development project where face-to-face meetings seem almost impossible.

If you’re going offshore for your Magento development, then you’ll need to carefully figure out all potential methods to communicate. For starters, check whether they can use audio and video conferencing chat tools such as Skype or Slack.

Moreover, the language barrier can be tough even though English has become more popular to learn than ever before. Just make sure that you’ve chosen a developer that has a certain level of English fluency – just for your sake!

8. Find The Balance Between Your Budget And The Developer’s Offer 

Here in the UK, you should be able to easily find a Magento developer in just a few short clicks. Nevertheless, in order to have your Magento website implemented by an agency, you’ll need to be ready to make an investment, with most denying any project that doesn’t have the required budget. If you can’t afford to hire out a local company, outsourcing your Magento project may be a slightly better alternative.

Owing to the cheaper labour costs, the Magento web development companies in places such as India, Vietnam, Thailand or Singapore can offer you some pretty competitive development costs. A lot of people will doubt the expertise of developers from Asian countries since they offer very low Magento prices. However, the huge gap in pricing is pretty much down to the sizeable difference in labour costs so it really is down to your budget on which country you wish to hire your developer from.

9. Define The Developer Specialisation 

A common example here is although you’ll want to build a Magento website, you might end up just looking for general “website design and development company”. Consequently, you’ll find multiple firms offering website development but they won’t necessarily be specialised in Magento.

A big eCommerce development company which specialises in Shopify should still be able to help you build your Magento store, but they still won’t be able to do a better job than a true Magento specialist.

A big eCommerce development company which specialises in Shopify should still be able to help you build your Magento store but they still won’t do a better job than a true Magento specialist.

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Therefore, besides the reputation of a website development agency, you should also have a full understanding of their preferred platform.

10. Ask For Magento Certifications 

Magento provides several kinds of certifications for its skilled developers and partners including:

  • Magento Certified Solution Specialist
  • Magento Certified Professional Developer
  • Magento Front-end Developer
  • Magento Certified Developer
  • Developer Plus

If a developer or development company can provide you with their Magento certificates, it would be a huge plus and give you the reassurances of their skills.

However, you shouldn’t need to be heavily dependent on this as in some cases if you meet a certified Magento developer with a lot of certifications to hand, don’t just rush into signing a contract with them immediately – the reason being is that those certifications can sometimes be obtained by cheating!

Furthermore, if you have a limited budget and choose to work with Magento outsourcing companies, most of them can’t offer certifications even when they have five or even six years experience with Magento. Why? For those programmers, both the fees and time for joining Magento certified exams are considerable. Also, they would have built plenty of amazing websites to show off to you, which is way more valuable than a piece of paper.

Conclusion 

So in conclusion, it’s never easy to find a Magneto developer that is able to meet all your requirements as well as suiting your budget. But if you follow the suggestions as above, it should definitely take less effort to find a great solution provider for your project in order to get your brand new Magento site underway.

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