- Colection of 65 PHP scripts for $4.29 each
Finding the right PHP developer for your software development or web development project is no easy task. Not only are PHP developers in high demand, but identifying the relevant skills and training can be confusing for those that lack a technical background.
In this article, we’ll look at what a PHP developer does and what skills and experience you should look for in candidates. We’ll conclude with some useful tips for the hiring process and provide you with the 12 best resources for hiring a PHP developer in 2021.
PHP: A Brief Overview
PHP is a widely used scripting language that organizations all over the world use to create robust, scalable, and user-friendly web applications and software. PHP was created in 1994 and was an acronym for “Personal Home Page,” although it has been renamed to “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.”
Despite having been created over 27 years ago, PHP still remains one of the most widely used scripting languages. In fact, experts estimate that as of April 2021, “PHP is used by 79.2% of all websites whose server-side programming language we know.” One of the reasons why PHP is so widely used is that it’s easily embedded into HTML making it easy to manage.
PHP’s use cases, however, transcend web development and applications. The scripting language is utilized for many programming tasks outside of web contexts. For example, standalone graphical applications and robotics control.
In addition to its broad applications, PHP is a great choice for those that are new to programming. The programming language is easy to pick up, supports popular servers, and is compatible with major operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.
What is a PHP Developer?
A PHP developer creates various programs, applications, and websites using the PHP programming language. Given the global developer shortage and the broad range of tasks that PHP developers handle, their services are in high demand. Some examples of tasks that PHP developers routinely perform include:
- Writing and editing PHP code on the backend of websites and applications. This involves integrating PHP code with existing HTML code.
- Creating, testing, implementing, and maintaining websites and web-based applications.
- Testing, troubleshooting, and maintaining software and databases to ensure continued functionality.
- Coordinating with front-end developers and project managers to ensure that deliverables are completed according to schedule.
- Integrating third-party solutions through application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable the access of data between servers and applications.
To perform these tasks PHP developers require a broad range of knowledge and skills. The following are some of the skills you should look for when screening candidates:
- PHP frameworks, such as CakePHP (an open-source framework), and PHPUnit (a unit testing framework).
- Web servers such as Apache and NGINX.
- Database technologies such as MySQL and Oracle.
- Content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress and Joomla.
- Server operating systems such as Windows and Linux.
- Good “soft skills” such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Still, the process for hiring a PHP developer is more complex than simply asking about these skills. Let’s take a closer look at what else you need to consider when reviewing your candidates.
How to Hire a PHP Developer
For those that have never recruited or hired a PHP developer, the process can seem overwhelming. To help you find the best talent for your project, we’ll provide some valuable resources below, but first, let’s take a look at some useful tips for the hiring process.
Identifying Your Needs
Before you can screen prospective candidates, you need to understand the needs of the project and what led you to want to hire a PHP developer in the first place. Consider the following factors:
- Project needs. What are your objectives and goals? Is it a software development or web development project? Ensure candidates have relevant experience and training.
- Technology needs. What libraries and frameworks do you currently use in your technology stack? You want a professional that has experience working with these.
- Processes. If you utilize any technologies such as project management tools or version control systems, you will want a developer that can fit seamlessly into your existing workflows.
- References. Many of the resources that we mention below allow you to view feedback and testimonials or they include a thorough vetting process. If you elect to hire a PHP developer through another platform, be sure to ask for references.
Writing an Effective PHP Job Posting
Once you understand what you’re looking for you can incorporate these points into your job description. Writing a clear job posting will help prospective PHP developers to determine if they possess the relevant skills and experience or assess whether the project is a good fit. In addition to attracting the right candidates, this will save you time during the screening process.
An effective job posting for PHP developers should include:
- Job description. Include a brief description of the position including a summary of the job responsibilities.
- Responsibilities. Include a concise list of the tasks that the candidate will be required to perform.
- Skills and Qualifications. Include a complete list of all relevant skills and qualifications.
- Budget or Compensation. Some of the resources below will require you to list the budget for your project. Setting a budget also helps to screen out candidates that are not a good fit.
The Interview Process
Once you narrow down your pool of applicants, conducting interviews will allow you to assess whether the developer possesses the desired hard and soft skills. Here are some tips for conducting the interview:
- Assess technical capabilities. Ask specific questions to assess technical skills. For example, “How do you encrypt data with PHP?”
- Assess existing knowledge base. Ensure that the developer is up to date on the latest technologies and development practices. For example, both PHP and HTML have experienced multiple iterations.
- Ask about past projects. The best indicator of project success is a proven track record of completing similar projects. Ask about past projects that involved similar scopes.
- Assess soft skills. In addition to technical capabilities and experience, you want to work with PHP developers that have good communication skills, are responsible, and are enjoyable to work with.
The 12 Best Resources for Hiring a PHP Developer
There is no shortage of websites, job boards, and platforms for hiring PHP developers. Yet they vary greatly in quality and reputation. The following are the 12 best resources for hiring PHP developers in 2021.
PHPJabbers is a powerful DIY PHP development resource. The platform offers a huge virtual library of high-standard commercial PHP scripts, software solutions with industry-specific applications, as well as a whole bunch of free web tools and other webmaster resources. You can simply download the PHP script that you need, such as a payment portal or scheduling system, and install it on your website. This can save you a significant amount of time and money.
However, PHPJabbers is more than just a DIY resource. They offer PHP script customization services, PHP services, and industry-leading technical assistance.
Upwork is the world’s largest freelancer marketplace. The platform features over 12 million registered freelancers. This includes many talented PHP developers. You can simply post a job and wait for the proposals to come in. Or you can invite specific PHP developers for your web development project. From there, you simply conduct an interview and submit an offer with the agreed-upon terms.
Fiverr is also a massive freelancer platform. There are some significant differences, however, from Upwork. Fiverr strives to provide a streamlined user experience where you can shop for and purchase specific predefined projects. While Fiverr’s model is convenient, it’s typically better suited for short-term and limited-scope engagements.
Freelancer is another platform that makes it easy to connect with and hire PHP developer freelancers. The platform’s functionality is similar to Upwork’s. You can post a job and will receive proposals from interested candidates. Freelancer might be a perfect fit if you’re interested in finding offshore PHP development services at more affordable prices.
Toptal describes its platform as a “marketplace for top PHP developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, and consultants.” Toptal has a more guided hiring process than Upwork and Fiverr. A director of engineering will contact you to determine the scope of your project and needs. From there, you will be introduced to a PHP developer candidate. This process takes less than 24 hours. You will work with the PHP developer on a trial basis and will only pay if you’re satisfied that he or she is the right fit.
Hired uses a proprietary algorithm to match employers with PHP developers and professionals that provide software development services. A PHP developer can create a profile on the platform. That profile will be promoted to employers that are deemed a good fit. You will see these matches on your dashboard and can easily schedule an interview with the candidate.
#7. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow has one of the largest communities of PHP developers. The platform is often used by PHP developers as a resource for training and professional development. However, if you’re looking for PHP programming, PHP development, or web development services, Stack Overflow features a job board that can help you find an experienced PHP developer.
GUN.IO is similar to Toptal in that it aims to connect employers with the top tier of development talent. The platform also differentiates itself from standard freelancer platforms. In addition to short-term and long-term freelancer projects, employers can hire a salaried PHP developer at a discounted rate of up to 15% for the first year of the engagement.
X-Team is a good option if you’re looking to augment your existing IT team. The company is essentially a staff augmentation service provider that eliminates the need for you to recruit, interview, and onboard a PHP developer. X-Team will provide you with as many PHP developers as you need while offering dedicated support services to ensure that your project runs smoothly.
LinkedIn is the most trusted social media network in the U.S. and features over 700 million members. The platform is not just for professional networking. Countless job seekers turn to LinkedIn to find both short and long-term work. Given the volume of candidates, there’s no shortage of experienced PHP developers.
But unlike some of the other platforms mentioned above, LinkedIn does not provide a streamlined hiring process. This means that you’ll need to handle all aspects of the recruiting and hiring process.
Indeed is a massive employment search engine platform that’s available in well over 50 countries. It’s the largest job website in the world with more than 250 million monthly users and some 10 new job listings added every second. The platform offers some useful features that can help you screen and hire the best PHP developer for your project. If you’re looking to staff a long-term or larger project, Indeed offers an option for creating a hiring campaign that allows you to build an entire team.
Arc is another platform that aims to provide employers with only the most experienced PHP developers, claiming that “Only the top 1.1% pass our Silicon Valley-caliber interview process.” Their interview process includes a manual screening to assess relevant training and experience, a coding challenge, a one-on-one video interview, and a technical skills evaluation. This vetting process eliminates the need for you to vet each PHP developer, saving you both time and money.
Hiring a PHP developer is no easy task. They are in high demand and their skills and experience vary greatly. Follow the tips provided in this article and utilize the resources to hire the best PHP developer for your next project.