Despite the fact that Magento is an open source content management system, it is considered to be one of the more complex eCommerce environments available today.
When compared with alternatives like OpenCart and Shopify, Magento is far more capable in terms of SEO, user capabilities, modifications and customizations, product types, automation of orders and shipments, upsell, coupons, gift codes, and what the list is simply endless.
But with possibilities comes complexity, which makes Magento more suitable for developers and very difficult to set up and operate independently.
Although using Magento on a regular basis may be generally straightforward, kickstarting the initial structure and development of a Magento eCommerce business, regardless of its size, is probably best done by a Magento expert.
That being said, finding a good Magento developer isn’t always easy, and this is where we come in. In this article we are going to take a close look at what it means to hire a Magento developer, and overview some focal points to bear in mind when searching for your ideal Magento developer.
Before We Continue: Hiring a Magento Expert
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7 Things You Should Consider When Hiring a Magento Developer
Know What You Need
Before you start contacting developers and asking for quotes, you should take the time to build a detailed plan where all your needs and desires are written down on paper. You don’t need to become a Magento expert, however, getting informed of the basics would be really helpful in understanding the focal points, difficulties and sweet spots of your online store.
Read our beginners guide to Magento to become familiar with the basics to assist you with your plan and everything that follows it along the process.
You should also have a pretty clear understanding of your priorities, time tables, and of course, your budget. Professional developers will take you far more seriously if they see you’ve done your research well.
Staying up to date and involved all along the development process is a key to success.
Gather Potential Magento Partners
As with anything, the best way to find a developer that suits you is to ask for recommendations from a colleague you trust, preferably someone from your industry.
If you don’t have colleagues to assist you, try asking third party service providers, such as your hosting agency or your accountants. If you don’t have colleagues to refer you, try exploring your connections on Linkedin, which is a great platform for finding professionals in any field, even if you’re not closely related.
At the least, you can check out groups like “Magento Developers” group and “Magento Universe” or one of many other linkedin groups, simply by typing the word “Magento” in the Linkedin search bar.
Look for Certified Magento Developers
The Magento Corporation operates online training courses to certify developers using the Magento platform who wish to validate their real-world skills.
Magento Certification Exams are geared toward professionals who want to differentiate themselves from the competition with Magento credential, and that alone already says something about how serious they are about their work.
There are several types of certification that differ according to the type of expertise within the Magento platform.
For example, a Magento Solution Specialist is someone who can efficiently align business objectives with Magento functionality and optimize the use of native features, out of a deep understanding of business in general and eCommerce specifically.
Other types of certifications include Magento certified developer, certified front end developer, Developer plus, moderator kit and a social learning group certification.
No-One Can do Everything- Find an Agency
If you’re wondering why there are so many different certifications for Magento, it is because Magento has encompasses many aspects of eCommerce, such as business logic, PHP programming, design and implementation, dropshipping, content marketing, usability, and much much more.
If someone claims to be an expert in all of those things, be extra suspicious and ask many questions before hiring. No one can be an expert in everything, so it’s either they are bluffing, or their standards just aren’t that high.
The best way to properly address all aspects of establishing and managing a Magento enterprise is by hiring a team- A Magento development company, where each member has their own specialty.
Such companies vary in size, price, availability and quality, so be sure to get your quote from several different agencies before making your decision.
Ask To See Customer Sites
Customer reviews are important, but they can be deceiving. Many customers do not know how to differentiate between a medium quality site and a truly remarkable one.
For that particular reason, you often see excellent reviews, written by people who simply liked their developer on the personal level, or really negative reviews from people who have a great website but are never truly satisfied with what they have.
The best way to judge is by asking to see the portfolio yourself. Pay special attention to things like internal links, user flows, accessibility of information and ease of use.
Find Yourself a Long Term relationship
Many people mistake online stores in particular and websites in general to be a static structure that works on its own. It’s true that if built properly, sale processes should become automated in a way that doesn’t require much on the programmer’s front. Still, you should refer to your online store as a living entity that can become ill with viruses, attacked by hostile hackers, or simply not function very well at times.
There are also regular updates and license renewals for themes and extensions, or you just have new ideas and features to add in the future.
Take into consideration that hiring a new developer will always require a learning curve, so at the bottom line, you want your programmer to remain available for problem solving in the long run.
Look for Big Names
If you have a big budget for your project, you can look for influencers in the field which are well informed and have established a reputation within the industry. These would be well respected people who attend and perhaps even speak at international conferences or people who post regularly about relevant topics on either a blog or on social media, such as those mentioned on this list of Magento influencers.
Finding a Magento developer is only the beginning of your journey towards a successful web store, but it is a crucial step that is going to affect your business for years to come.
Whether you choose to work with a freelancer, an agency, a young student or a senior expert, make sure you’re working with someone you can trust, who cares for your needs and who will remain at your side whenever you need them.