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How to Choose a Magento Developer

Mary Dorogokupets
5th Mar 2019
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Offering multiple features and being fully customizable Magento is still a quite complicated e-commerce solution for average store owners. It takes a lot of time and knowledge to use Magento at full capacity, so sooner or later, any merchant who wants to get maximum from the tools he uses starts searching for a professional.


The first thing one should do when hunting the right developer is asking himself the right questions.

In this article, we tried to draw a precise list of the most important things you should focus on when sourcing a Magento developer.

Table of Contents:


  1. Define your Goals
  2. Where to Hunt
  3. Freelancer VS Team
  4. Portfolio
  5. Qualification
  6. The questions you are asked
  7. Pricing
  8. Location

Summary

1. Define your Goals


It is evidently a fundamental question you must know the answer to early beforehand. Decide on your project’s size, budget plans, time resources and generally, how do you visualize yourself in a couple of years’ time. It is also worth thinking about your available extra expenses so that when they come, you will already be prepared for that.


You do not need to be a Magento advanced user to take a piece of paper and prepare a detailed plan ahead. However, it would be handy to learn the basics at least. It will do you a good service in the future when a pro-developer will take you a lot more seriously seeing you have done some research and understand the internal Magento processes on a decent level.

2. Where to Hunt


Word of mouth     

The main trigger for us to buy a product or a service is word-of-mouth recommendations. Apply this rule of thumb when you hesitate to pick a developer. Point out the things you like in somebody’s business from the same sphere. Pay attention to those who run the same business in similar conditions and the same location.

So, your own circle can be a good starting point rather than receiving tons of searching results from googling and scrolling uncountable pages at freelance markets.


Resources

Although do not skip Magento Partner Community providing merchants with trusted support from consulting companies and digital agencies and visit Certification Directory where you can find a professional who works independently.

Use the power of Facebook and LinkedIn or search for a developer with the right hashtags on Instagram: #Magento, #Magentojob and other related ones. Either you can post your job at a number of freelance markets giving a detailed task description and wait for responses.

3. Freelancer VS Team


There is no clear answer on whether to choose to deal with an agency or an individual as both these approaches have advantages and disadvantages.


Hiring a team with a dozen of certified professionals on board will evidently cost you more than working with a freelancer. In addition, professionals are always in great demand so it is not only a question of affordance. Having a team hired where every member is responsible for a specific area will let you not think about every little piece of work.


Magento is thought to be a pretty complicated CMS encompassing various e-commerce spheres. It demands diverse knowledge to be applied so it is quite difficult to imagine someone who claims to be an expert in everything.


4. Portfolio


Make sure the team you are targeted to has already worked with similar size projects and keep their portfolio updated. The red flag is if your Magento project is expected to become the first real practice for those folks but it may happen young talents are able to successfully complete the task at a lower cost. Just prepare to control thoroughly every single stage of your cooperation. Hence, there is always a portion of risk in such cases.


Ask for references. Do not be shy to ask for very specific details about their latest project, for example, if they delivered on time or whether the price for the final product differed much from the expected one. If the team you are dealing with tells a story about some sort of confidential information, think about getting back to other candidates.


There are no professionals who do their job well with good clients who will not give good recommendations.

5. Qualification


Magento certified developers are a guarantee of high-level fulfillment of your task. Magento Certificate does not only mean a developer is an experienced e-commerce professional, it tells you he is a specialist in your definite sphere.


There are six types of Magento Certificates you can ask for:


  • Certified Solution Specialist deals with general Magento issues, like website features and elements and can deeply customize them.
  • Certified Professional Front End Developer is a UI specialist who is able to create and configure Magento Themes.
  • Certified Associate Developer is beginning his Magento development career and has the expertise in UI and database modifications, admin customizations, the structure of catalog and checkout, and functionality changes.
  • Certified Professional Developer demonstrates the advanced level of development knowledge and skills.
  • Professional Developer Plus Certificate validates the deepest practical knowledge of Magento.
  • Certified Professional JavaScript Developer has established competence and experience in new Magento 2 JavaScript extensions development and customizing existing plugins.


Naturally, the more advanced qualification the developer offers, the higher the price you are going to be announced.

6. The questions you are asked


A good Magento developer is always curious about your brand’s goals, fulfillment process and workflows he is going to face. If the first thing a developer quotes on is the price of the project, but he has not inquired you about the internal process how can he estimate the final price?


If a Magento developer does not ask you the right questions beforehand sooner or later they will come to both of you naturally being a serious problem that might not let you finish the project successfully.

7. Pricing


Cost has always been a common friction point. As a business owner, you simply cannot afford to get your project halfway done just because a developer asks for extra money to complete the task literally holding you as a hostage. Using a fixed price model is the best approach.


Make sure the deal is transparent and clear enough about third-party payments. The following issues should be as clear as possible to both sides.


Who is going to pay for some sort of additional improvements or extensions if needed? What about purchasing stock content? Who is going to be a complete owner of the project when it is done? Who pays for extra expenses if the scope does not meet the expectations?

8. Location


Do not avoid working with Magento developers from the other side of the world, but make sure the time zone difference, a language barrier and a dozen hours’ flight in case you need to meet them in person will not become a crucial obstacle for your partnership.

Summary


Do not rush to say ‘no’ to some developers in order to make a shortlist of potential candidates as soon as possible. Compare their offers to pick a long-term partnership as it has a lot more benefits compared to a deal for one day.

Building an online business is far from easy, so for many reasons you should hire the right developer because you simply cannot afford to make mistakes, which may ruin your business.


Image source: magento.com

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