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How to Hire a PHP Developer in 2023: What You Need to Find a Perfect Fit

Built in 1994 exclusively for web development purposes, the PHP open-source programming language is still in high demand. Today it is used mainly for desktop applications, server-side scripting, and command-line scripting.

In this article, we are going to list the strengths of PHP as a programming language. We will also give an overview of PHP developer salaries worldwide and provide you with some helpful hints on how to find and hire the best PHP developers.

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Interesting facts about PHP

  • It is the core language of Facebook as well as the Magento e-commerce platform and WordPress web platform.
  • It belongs to the top 10 most popular technologies developers want to work with, according to StackOverflow.
  • PHP belongs to the top 8 most demanded programming languages, which also explains that 1 of 10 jobs posted requires knowledge of PHP.
  • PHP is in the top 10 most popular languages in the PYPL (Popularity of Programming Languages) rating by GitHub.

What is PHP used for?

PHP is often compared to JavaScript, as these two technologies are commonly used for back-end development. PHP is used in website development only to build the back-end, so if you need to hire developers who work with this technology, you need to look for a back-end developer or a full-stack engineer.

PHP is mainly used to build interactive and responsive websites. This programming language is among the first server-side technologies that could be embedded into HTML, making adding functionality to web pages without needing to call external files for data easier.

Software developers also use PHP to build desktop and web applications, as it is used on all leading operating systems like Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, RISC OS, and others. PHP is also similar to Python, as both are object-oriented interpreted scripting languages that run on a variety of operating systems. PHP developers usually choose Laravel when working with custom web application development.

CakePHP is a PHP framework that is widely used as a foundational structure for programmers to create web apps.

It’s not a common case, but PHP frameworks also can be used for app development to create iOS or Android mobile apps.

Also, there is another great software solution–PHP CRM, a web-based self-hosted CRM software system.

Advantages of the PHP programming language

PHP is currently used by 78.7% of all the websites in the world. But why would over 3 million companies choose this language? Here are the answers:

  • It is open source. That means that any PHP developer can access the common PHP development tools and make any necessary adjustments to PHP libraries quickly and easily.
  • It is easy to learn. The WP Engine platform representatives conducted a survey of almost 1,000 developers across the USA. The survey results showed that PHP was the fourth easiest programming language to learn, according to the surveyed developers.
  • It is object-oriented. Starting with the 5.0 release, the language supports object-oriented programming (OOP), thus making PHP even more efficient.
  • It is platform-independent. The language is supported by all devices and platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. For web development, PHP works well across multiple development stacks, including the popular LAMP stack.
  • It has a built-in web server starting from PHP 5.4. You can use this server to run your PHP applications locally during the development process for testing purposes. As a result, you no longer need to configure a full-featured web server such as Apache or Nginx.

What makes an excellent PHP programmer: Skills overview

Experienced PHP programmer possesses a broad range of technical skills and knowledge that enable them to develop robust, scalable, and high-performing web applications. These skills include proficiency in PHP syntax and its core functions, working with databases, and creating dynamic web pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Additionally, an excellent PHP developer must have experience working with popular PHP frameworks like Laravel or Symfony and know software development methodologies like Agile or Scrum.

Another essential skill for a PHP programmer is problem-solving. They should be able to analyze technical issues, identify potential solutions, and implement them promptly and effectively. They must also have strong attention to detail and the ability to write clean, organized, and maintainable code. Furthermore, a good PHP developer should be able to work collaboratively with other development team members, including designers, project managers, and other programmers.

Finally, the most promising PHP developers should be passionate about coding, enjoy solving complex technical challenges, and have a natural curiosity and desire to constantly learn and improve their skills.

How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer

Now, if you’ve decided to choose PHP technology for your project, let’s look at the process of finding and hiring PHP developers and how much it costs. We will take into account the annual rates for in-house PHP specialists and compare them to hourly rates for freelance coders. The salaries usually range due to different factors: developers’ years of experience, hard and soft skills, location, and hiring model. Down below, you can find the yearly salaries of junior and experienced PHP developers due in their countries.

Global yearly salaries of PHP developers

Junior PHP developerMiddle PHP developerSenior PHP developer
United States$81K$94K$153K
United Kingdom$51K$56K$105K

Source: Indeed, Payscale, SalaryExplorer

You may observe a significant difference between salaries in some countries. For example, it costs two times cheaper to hire senior PHP developers in India than to hire junior PHP developers in the US. Therefore, companies in the United States often prefer to hire freelance or offshore PHP developer talent, as it’s more cost-effective.

Browse 200+ PHP Developers Available for Hire

Now let’s compare the hourly freelance rates for the same countries.

Global hourly rates for freelance PHP developers

Junior PHP developerSenior PHP developer
United States$40$190
United Kingdom$22$140

Source: Upwork

Salaries of PHP Developers in Ukraine

Many software businesses and startups in Western Europe and the United States have recently shifted their focus from Asia to Eastern Europe, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine in particular. Only in Ukraine, there are more than 12,000 offshore development companies featuring about 200,000 software developers.

This number is growing because the tech universities in Ukraine release about 15,000 IT specialists every year. It means that it is easier to find PHP programmers in Ukraine than in many other countries. So why do companies choose Ukraine to outsource software development? Here are the main reasons:

  • The Global Outsourcing 100 list by IAOP includes 13 companies with development centers in Ukraine.
  • Ukraine is 3rd in the world according to the number of certified IT specialists.
  • The Outsourcing Journal considers Ukraine as the number one outsourcing destination in Eastern Europe.
  • PHP is one of the most preferred programming languages among Ukrainian software developers.

We at YouTeam give our clients access to the profiles of over 1000 top-notch full-time dedicated PHP developers from Ukraine that are employed at local pre-vetted agencies.

Here are the average Ukrainian PHP programmer rates on our platform:

ExperienceMonthly Rate, $Hourly Rate, $
Junior PHP developer$5,880$35
Middle PHP developer$8,400$50
Senior PHP developer$11,760$60

This data demonstrates how much it would cost you to hire an outsourced PHP developer from Ukraine. This option is more expensive than hiring a freelancer, as we vet the software development agencies we work with and pre-interview each candidate, so you can be sure you get a high-quality engineer per your requirements. However, it’s still more affordable than hiring an in-house developer, as you won’t have any additional expenses like office rent, tools, gadgets, health insurance coverage, etc. However, you will still get an exceptional quality of work.

Hiring in-house developers is a better choice when you hire a core development team for your project. When you need an entire development department with developers, quality assurance engineers, designers, and a project manager, you can find a reliable software development company to collaborate with. Freelancers are better for part-time tasks and additional projects. If you need to hire a couple or a team of developers to help your in-house team, then hiring offshore engineers is the best choice.

PHP developer hiring tips

No matter the hiring destination, whether you hire a front-end, back-end, or full-stack engineer, whether it’s junior or senior engineer, you should consider the same factors when interviewing and hiring a PHP developer for your development project.

Make sure that you have a standardized process of interviewing for a better evaluation of the candidates. Prepare a list of the most important questions on topics that you want to cover and draft possible answers to those questions.

Here are some sample technical questions that you can ask:

  • Which function gives the number of affected entries by a query?
  • What is the meaning of $_FILES?
  • How does the ereg_replace() function differ from the eregi_replace() function?
  • Is it possible to extend the PHP script’s execution time?
  • How to change the maximum size of the files to be uploaded?
  • How to access the data sent through the URL with the GET method?
  • How to establish a connection with a MySQL database from a PHP script?
  • How to set an infinite execution time for a PHP script?
  • What type of operation is required when passing the values through a form or an URL?
  • What is the most common way to start and finish a PHP code block?

Apart from the tech skill sets, you must test the candidate’s soft skills such as their behavior in critical situations, analytic thinking, creativity, etc.

To find PHP programmers suitable for remote work, ask them about their experience working remotely and their own ways of overcoming the challenges of remote work.

It is important to test the candidate’s soft skills. These include overall behavior, stress-resistance, analytic thinking, creativity, etc.

Because of its relative simplicity, beginners often choose PHP to start their software development careers. Therefore, you must be extremely careful if you want to hire the right PHP developers for your project. It is crucial to distinguish between those who use PHP as a springboard into their career in IT and true professionals who are passionate about what they do. And the best way to hire the right people is to get help with recruitment.

Where to find and hire PHP developers

Before you start planning your budget to pay for the recruitment services, we recommend trying YouTeam. It is a tech talent marketplace that is as easy as a freelance portal and as reliable as (or even more 😉 ) an offshore software development company. Our workflow is as follows:

  • We carefully handpick the best offshore software companies located in Eastern Europe and Latin America. To make sure our clients have access to the best PHP developers, we pre-vet each company before it can publish the profiles of its employees on our platform.
  • The clients submit their project requirements on the platform. Filling the form usually takes up to 2 minutes.
  • After the form is submitted, we start sourcing the best candidates for the project per your business needs and send the first handpicked profiles in 48 hours or less.
  • In the case of a successful interview, the client signs a contract with the software agency where the developer is employed.
  • Top PHP developers start working on the client’s project. The cooperation is entirely remote.

Our clients get:

  • A team of developers that are dedicated to their project only. Other clients cannot contact your team members while they are busy working for you.
  • Quick and easy access to the profiles of over 600 PHP experts, most of which are ready to start within a short time interval.
  • Perfect price/quality ratio.

No matter how complex your project is, we’ll do our best to simplify the process of finding and hiring the best PHP developers for your project. It usually takes less than a week for us to get you from candidates sourcing to contract signature after all the interviewing and selection processes, even if you need an entire PHP development team. When clients meet engineers who speak their language (figuratively) and have the necessary skills, they usually do not wait.

The Bottom Line

If you are going to hire PHP programmers, you can never be sure that you are making the right choice… unless you are armed with the knowledge necessary to make this choice. We hope that our article has shed some light on the global salaries of PHP developers and ways of hiring them.

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Written by
Mary Atamaniuk

Mary Atamaniuk is a digital content strategist, her areas of interest include digital marketing, tech entrepreneurship, and influencer blogging.

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