Choosing the right programmers for any project can be tricky, especially when you want to hire PHP developer. This is due to scripting language differences, a rapidly evolving ecosystem, and a competitive job market.
But there’s even more.
PHP is a popular programming language used by nearly 80 percent of all websites in 2023. So, there’s a high demand for PHP developers, making it difficult to hire the best talents.
If you eventually find experienced programmers, they may not be a local or nearshore software development team. This means there could be siloed communications due to time zone differences and a lack of visibility over the development process.
Add these potential bottlenecks, and you’ll see why hiring PHP developers is a problem for most businesses.
That’s why we’ve written this step-by-step guide on how to hire PHP developers, especially in 2023.
Table of contents
- What is PHP?
- Benefits of PHP
- Why Should You Hire a PHP Developer?
- Roles of a PHP Developer
- What Does a PHP Developer Do?
- Technical Skills Required for a PHP Programmer
- Soft Skills Required for a PHP Programmer
- PHP Developer Resume Example
- Technical questions to evaluate a PHP programmer
- How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer?
- Why is ClickIT the best ally to hire a PHP developer
What is PHP?
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source scripting programming language widely used for web development and other online applications.
The programming language was originally designed to create personal web pages and HTML code, which explains why it was initially called Personal Home Page tools.
PHP is primarily a server-side programming language but can also be used for command-line scripting and desktop applications.
Since it’s managed on the server, PHP isn’t visible to the user. Rather, it is used to create and modify files on the server, for database management, cookies, and information encryption, among others.
Benefits of PHP
PHP offers many benefits – and that’s why it’s a huge favorite for websites and web apps. Here are some of the reasons why PHP is a widely used programming language for web development:
PHP is a versatile programming language that can be used for a wide range of projects. It is viable for simple, static websites and complex web applications.
2. Easy to Learn
Perhaps one of the most significant reasons PHP is popular is how easy it is to learn. It has simple and easy-to-read syntax and is a popular choice for beginners and even experienced developers for web development.
PHP is a highly-scalable programming language. You can rest assured that when your small website grows, PHP can accommodate its complexities. It can also be used for a complex application from the onset.
Another benefit of PHP is that it is an open-source programming language, meaning it is free to use and distribute.
5. Supports Numerous Data Types
PHP supports various data types like strings, integers, float, objects, null, and arrays.
Handling several data types is crucial in any programming language. It allows developers to work with different kinds of data, meaning they can perform various operations on them.
6. Compatible With Various Web Servers and Operating Systems
PHP is compatible with various web servers like Apache, Microsoft IIS, and Nginx and operating systems like Windows, Linux, macOS, Unix, Solaris, and FreeBSD. It also supports multiple databases, including Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
7. Supports Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
Since PHP supports object-oriented programming, developers can use classes and objects to organize their code to become more efficient and reusable. This can also make the code more reliable, improve security, and make it easier to maintain.
8. Multiple Frameworks and Libraries
PHP supports multiple frameworks and libraries like Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and Symfony, among others. These frameworks provide numerous features and functionalities that streamline the development process and help developers create high-quality applications.
9. Speed and Flexibility
PHP is a fast and flexible programming language. It can handle large amounts of data and traffic without slowing down, while its flexibility means it can be used for eCommerce websites, social networking sites, and various other applications.
10. Large and Active Community
Most open-source programming languages generally have a community of contributors; PHP is no different.
PHP programmers actively contribute to the development of the language. This explains why many popular PHP frameworks today, like Laravel, CodeIgniter, and Symfony, help developers build web applications faster and more efficiently.
The active community of contributors also means the PHP language and ecosystem are rapidly evolving, with new libraries, tools, and frameworks being released constantly.
While this has its advantages, developers may find it challenging to keep up with the latest trends. Consequently, you might also find it difficult to hire PHP developers with the most updated skills and knowledge!
Why Should You Hire a PHP Developer?
PHP’s many benefits make it an ideal programming language for beginners and experienced developers.
As an open-source language, PHP is a cost-effective option when building a project. Remember, there are also several PHP frameworks and libraries, with many of them under open licenses. This means you can hire PHP developer to create high-quality websites and applications without breaking the bank.
In addition, a PHP developer can build a range of applications, such as eCommerce websites, content management systems, or even web apps. So, you can hire a PHP programmer to create custom solutions that meet your specific business needs.
Another reason to hire a PHP developer is how fast PHP can be developed. It is an interpreted language, meaning code is interpreted at runtime rather than compiled. This ensures code changes can be made quickly and easily without the need to recompile the code.
Many built-in functionalities make PHP a fast and flexible programming language for your project. For example, there are functions for file uploads and working with numerous databases, which will save time when building your project. This can significantly cut the development time and speed up the time to market (TTM).
Scaling websites and web apps built with PHP is easy. For this reason, you can always accommodate increased traffic and data on your website as you grow with a PHP programmer.
Roles of a PHP Developer
PHP can be used to build anything from small websites to enterprise web applications, so there’s usually a need for developers with a wide range of skills and specializations for various aspects of the project.
Here are some potential roles that a PHP developer you hire might take on:
1. Web Developer
This is possibly the most likely role you’ll be looking to hire PHP developers to fill. In this role, the PHP developer will be responsible for creating and maintaining a website or web app using PHP and other related technologies, frameworks, or libraries.
Since PHP is a server-side programming language, the web developer will primarily develop back-end components and connect the application with other web services, like third-party applications.
– CMS Developer
Due to PHP’s versatility, many web developers often specialize in one area, such as developing content management systems (CMS). This means you can hire PHP developer specifically for this role to build and configure custom CMS that meets your specific requirements.
A CMS developer’s responsibilities typically include developing CMS like WordPress or Drupal using PHP. They will be required to design the database schema and build the back-end functionality.
In addition, they may also be required to implement the front-end user interface, create custom plugins and themes, and ensure the CMS is routinely optimized for performance and security.
– Back-end Developer
We mentioned earlier how PHP programmers can work with front-end technologies. However, a PHP web developer may also fully focus on back-end development only.
In this role, the developer may specialize solely in back-end development. They will be in charge of building and maintaining the website’s server side and web applications.
As such, the PHP back-end developer will work with databases, APIs, and any other technologies that help develop robust and scalable applications.
– Full-stack Developer
Lastly, there are full-stack web developers who are responsible for the front-end and back-end development.
They are typically responsible for building a comprehensive and complete web application from scratch to the end.
In the role of a tester, developers may test websites and web applications to ensure they’re free from bugs and errors before being launched. A PHP tester aims to verify that your web development project meets quality standards and customer requirements.
The PHP tester typically uses automated testing frameworks like PHPUnit and tools like Selenium. They may also use manual testing methods like functional testing and usability testing.
3. Web Maintenance
Another role that a PHP developer could take on is maintaining existing web applications and websites. For example, they may be tasked to update code, improve features, fix bugs, perform security maintenance, and ensure the website performs optimally.
Depending on your project, you could hire multiple PHP developers to fill in different roles. This can sometimes be expensive and time-consuming.
Hiring different people from various places to fill roles for one project also causes communication problems, slowing down the software development lifecycle.
This is why hiring an experienced software development company that exclusively provides a ready group of PHP developers for your project is essential.
ClickIT provides a dedicated team for your custom software development and DevOps needs. Our highly-skilled developers can also join your staff in any of the PHP developer roles above to strengthen an already-existing team focused on scaling your business.
What Does a PHP Developer Do?
A PHP developer’s tasks will depend on the organization, business needs, and the project’s requirements.
However, the responsibilities of a PHP developer typically include the following:
Developing and maintaining PHP-based web applications
A PHP developer’s primary responsibility is designing, developing, and maintaining websites and web applications using the PHP programming language. They collaborate with other developers within a team to design and implement a web application that meets business and customer needs.
Integrating front-end elements into web applications:
PHP developers also work closely with front-end designers and developers to ensure the front-end elements of the web application are integrated into the back-end PHP code.
Writing clean, efficient, and well-documented code
Like any developer, a PHP programmer is also required to write high-quality, reusable, and maintainable code. The code must be well-documented and easy to understand by all stakeholders.
Troubleshooting and debugging issues with web applications
Part of a PHP developer’s task is to correct, identify, and fix bugs and any other issues with the web application. This also includes troubleshooting issues related to the database or server.
PHP supports various databases, so developers will be expected to be proficient in working with databases. This includes maintaining databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB to ensure they’re optimized for the custom web app.
Conducting testing and quality assurance on web applications
Developers must be able to perform automated and manual testing on PHP-based web applications to ensure they meet security and quality standards.
This includes unit testing, system testing, integration testing, regression testing, and security testing against threats like SQL injection and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS).
Providing technical support to end-users
PHP developers also communicate with the end-users to offer technical support for issues they may encounter while using the web application.
Participating in code reviews
In cases where other developers wrote the web app’s code, a PHP developer reviews the code to ensure it meets the business’s needs and quality standards.
Documenting code, workflows, and procedures
PHP developers document the code and workflows used in the web development process. The documentation must also cover procedures for maintaining and troubleshooting the application.
Documenting code, workflows, and procedures can facilitate collaboration, help new developers get up to speed faster, and ease future code maintenance.
Provide technical guidance for business decisions
A PHP developer may also provide technical input to help C-level executives make informed decisions about the web application. This includes when to scale, the features to add or remove, and security considerations.
As mentioned earlier, these tasks will depend on the project and business needs. For example, not all PHP developers will be required to have front-end coding skills. A separate developer could handle the front-end development.
In some cases, PHP developers don’t offer technical support directly to the end-user. Instead, they work with other team members to create infographics or tutorials.
Technical Skills Required for a PHP Programmer
Before looking for a PHP developer for hire, it’s important to understand the skills you should be searching for.
Although the specific skillset you’ll prioritize should depend on your project, any PHP developer worth their salt should have the following technical skills:
Good Knowledge of Databases
As a server-side language, PHP involves working with databases. It’s only necessary that a PHP developer can work with the most popular and widely-used database management systems, such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle.
The PHP developer for hire must also be skilled in Structured Query Language (SQL) and be able to write complex queries.
Having a knowledge of distributed databases like Apache Hadoop and Google Bigtable could also be beneficial, especially when working on projects that require complex data architectures.
Expertise in code versioning tools
A PHP programmer must demonstrate proficiency with version control and familiarity with code versioning tools like Git, CVS, SVN, or Mercurial.
This helps your team keep track of code changes, especially when multiple developers work on the source code and maintain multiple versions of the same codebase. So, if anything goes wrong, you can revert to previous versions that work.
Knowledge of PHP frameworks
PHP frameworks help developers save time by providing standard functionalities rather than writing code from scratch. This can make the developer more productive and efficient while speeding up the development process.
It’ll also help them build more secure web apps because of the data validation and sanitization already in PHP frameworks like Laravel, Yii, and Symfony.
That’s why ensuring that, when hiring PHP developer, they are competent in using PHP frameworks is essential.
HTML and CSS knowledge
Since PHP is often used for back-end web development, a working knowledge of HTML and CSS for PHP developers is beneficial. These are two core technologies for building web pages, and PHP is generally used to generate dynamic HTML and CSS code. Moreover, PHP developers may need to take on full-stack web development roles, especially in simple projects.
Although PHP is a server-side programming language, developers still need to connect back-end components with front-end elements.
Testing and debugging
Testing and debugging are critical skills for any programmer – and a PHP developer isn’t an exception. Before launching the product, it’s important to ensure it is error-free and that the functionalities work as expected. The product must also meet user requirements and quality standards.
This makes it vital for a PHP developer to be skilled in testing and debugging, which helps identify and fix bugs or other issues.
Being skilled in performance optimization helps PHP developers verify how fast and efficient their code runs.
You may want to look out for specific techniques like database and code optimization, load balancing, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), and caching.
Understanding of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
PHP supports object-oriented programming, so a developer needs to understand OOP principles like classes, inheritance, objects, and encapsulation. This ensures the developer can write easily maintainable code that’s also extensible.
Experience with Content Management Systems (CMS)
Most websites today are built using content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
It’s important for PHP developers to be familiar with CMS platforms, as they frequently use PHP as the primary programming language for developing plugins, themes, and modules.
CMS platforms also provide a streamlined development for your web development project, with which you can build quickly and efficiently.
Hiring a PHP developer with a broad range of skills will help you build complete and functional apps that meet user requirements.
But it doesn’t stop at technical skills. A web development project takes time, creativity, and a lot of people are usually involved. Technical skills won’t always cut it.
That’s why you should also look at soft skills for the potential PHP programmer.
Soft Skills Required for a PHP Programmer
Many recruiters check the technical abilities of the PHP developer for hire. While that helps, it’s equally important to look at how they stand out in the non-technical areas.
Soft skills reveal how easy someone is to work with, if they’ll be committed to the project, and whether they can perform detail-oriented work.
Here are the top soft skills you should be looking for if you want to hire PHP developers:
A PHP developer must demonstrate a good level of communication skills. How clearly can they articulate technical concepts and ideas to other team members, stakeholders, or even clients?
Can they communicate issues or challenges they face during the development process easily? Lastly, can you communicate your ideas easily with them, and they understand?
Answers to these questions will reveal the communication level of PHP developers you may want to hire.
Chances are that the development team will encounter bottlenecks during the development process. How likely can the PHP programmer analyze situations and recommend solutions?
It’s important for a developer to be able to think critically and solve potential problems.
You should look at what they’ve done in the past and the problems they have solved.
Regardless of the size and scope of your project, leadership in PHP developers is invaluable. PHP developers who can provide direction, guidance, and support to other team members will ensure the project stays on track.
Strong leadership skills in a PHP developer will also help create a positive work environment that enhances creativity, productivity, and innovation in other developers.
Meeting deadlines is critical to any software development lifecycle. You must be able to ship out the product or new features at the proposed times in the project roadmap.
Ensure you check how they prioritize tasks and meet project milestones, especially in sprints. This will give you an idea of how likely they are to manage their time and work efficiently.
The software development process involves working with different people. It’s rarely a solitary task.
So, a PHP developer must demonstrate excellent collaboration and teamwork abilities. They must be willing and able to work with other developers, designers, and stakeholders while contributing positively to the team’s success.
While technical skills are crucial, soft skills are equally important. The above soft skills will help you identify the PHP developers who genuinely make a difference in the work environment and can foster innovation.
PHP Developer Resume Example
Technical questions to evaluate a PHP programmer
In most cases, you can know the technical prowess of a PHP programmer by asking a few questions.
1. What are some of the differences between PHP 5 and PHP 7?
As an open-source language with an active community, PHP is an actively developed programming language with frequent updates. This question evaluates how up-to-date a candidate is in the language’s development and their proficiency in using both versions. They should be able to highlight and explain these differences.
PHP 7 introduced significant changes and improvements over PHP 5. Some of them are improved performance while using less storage, better error handling due to exceptions, scalar type hints, and there are new operators and functions.
2. How do you handle errors and exceptions in PHP?
Handling errors and exceptions in PHP is essential to developing a complete and reliable application. Using try-catch is the primary way of handling exceptions in PHP.
The developer must also be familiar with error reporting and handling functions in PHP, such as
Plus, they should be able to differentiate between recoverable and non-recoverable exceptions. Lastly, they should be able to use error-handling frameworks like Whoops and Errbit, which simplify error-handling and logging for PHP applications.
3. What are some of the most popular PHP frameworks, and which one do you prefer to work with?
You should always look to hire a developer who is competent and familiar with PHP frameworks, such as Laravel, Symfony, Yii, and CodeIgniter. This question will help you evaluate their ability. Ensure they explain the features and benefits of the framework they mention and why they chose their preferred framework.
4. How do you ensure the security of a PHP application?
PHP faces security threats like SQL injection, cross-site scripting attacks, and cross-site request forgery. Asking this question evaluates how a PHP developer can prevent these security threats from affecting your application.
Some PHP security best practices include using the latest PHP version, securing your web server, and validating user input before it is processed.
Ensure the developer understands PHP’s built-in security functions, such as input validation and sanitization, output encoding, data encryption and decryption, and password hashing.
5. Review their portfolio
Lastly, you should review a candidate’s portfolio to see examples of their past work. It allows you to assess their experience, skills, and code quality.
Reviewing their portfolio will also reveal the complexities of their previous projects, their ability to work with different technologies and tools, and how these elements can be useful in your project.
How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer?
The cost of hiring a PHP developer varies depending on the location, project complexity, experience, skillset, etc.
According to Indeed, here are the hourly rates for hiring PHP developers in different countries:
- United States: $42.96
- Mexico: $14.37
- United Kingdom: £25.40
- Canada: c$35.23
- Australia: AUD 64.77
- India: INR 167
It’s important to understand these are only estimates, and the rates vary based on your project requirements and the developer’s experience. Some developers may also charge a fixed rate for your project rather than hourly rates.
Why is ClickIT the best ally to hire a PHP developer
ClickIT is a reliable software partner with a team of skilled and experienced PHP programmers. Regardless of your project size and type, we can work with your specific requirements to build custom solutions that meet your business and customer needs.
Due to the tedious process of recruiting a developer, many companies typically outsource to offshore talents. Unfortunately, this can lead to many problems regarding communication, time zone differences, and a lack of control over the development process.
As a nearshore software development company, ClickIT offers decades of experience and best-in-class developers. We can provide a dedicated team that is solely focused on your project, is in the same time zone as you, and will work with your requirements.
ClickIT also provides staff augmentation services whether you’re looking to hire a PHP programmer, tester, back-end developer, full-stack, etc. Schedule an exploratory call with us now, and we’ll be happy to discuss your project to offer the best solution.
PHP is an excellent programming language for creating dynamic web pages that are easily scalable. It is versatile and can be used for small, simple websites or complex web applications.
The steps above will help you understand how to hire PHP developer and the skills to keep an eye on. Remember to look out for soft skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership just as much as technical skills are required.
The cost of hiring a PHP developer varies depending on your location, project, and developer skillset. This can be between $40 to $150 in the USA, $14 to $25 in Mexico, and £25 to £40 in the United Kingdom
-Understand your project requirements.
-Look out for technical skills like database management, code versioning, and knowledge of PHP frameworks. Knowledge of front-end technologies is an advantage.
-Consider soft skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership.
-Check the developer’s portfolio for their experience level.
-Prioritize the location of the PHP developer to improve communication and project visibility.
There are many places to recruit a PHP developer, including freelance websites and social networking sites like LinkedIn.
ClickIT is a reliable software partner company with experienced PHP developers for your needs. Regardless of the project size and complexity, ClickIT’s team of programmers can help you meet your business needs.