Built in 1994 exclusively for web development purposes, the PHP open-source programming language is still in high demand. Today it is used primarily for desktop applications, server-side scripting, and command-line scripting.
In this article, we list the strengths of PHP as a programming language. We will also present an overview of PHP developer salaries worldwide and provide you with some helpful hints on how to find and hire the best PHP developers.
Table of Contents
Interesting facts about PHP
- It is the core language of Facebook as well as the Magento e-commerce platform and WordPress web platform.
- It’s in the top 10 most popular technologies that developers want to work with, according to StackOverflow.
- PHP belongs to the top 8 most in-demand programming languages, which also explains why 1 in 10 jobs posted requires PHP knowledge.
- 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 mainly used to build interactive and responsive websites. This programming language is among the first server-side technologies that could be embedded into HTML. This makes 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.
Furthermore, 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 websites worldwide. But why would over 3 million companies choose this language? Here are some 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.
- 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 programmers have a broad range of technical skills and knowledge that enable them to develop scalable and high-performing web applications. These skills include:
- Proficiency in PHP syntax and its core functions;
- Experience working with popular PHP frameworks like Laravel or Symfony and content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Magento;
- Using GIT for version control and maintaining the application source code;
- Communication skills, time management, and problem-solving skills for fixing technical issues.
Finally, experienced PHP developers tend to go beyond their skills and expand their PHP knowledge. Those looking for personal development and advanced training opportunities tend to stay longer in fast-paced environments.
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 salary range varies due to various factors, including the developers’ number of years of experience, hard and soft skills, location, and hiring model. Below, you can find the yearly salaries of junior and experienced PHP developers by country.
Global yearly salaries of PHP developers
|Junior PHP developer
|Middle PHP developer
|Senior PHP developer
Source: Indeed, Payscale, SalaryExplorer
You may observe a significant difference between salaries in some countries. For example, it’s far more expensive to hire senior PHP developers in the US as compared to India. Therefore, companies in the United States often prefer to hire freelance or offshore PHP developer talent, as it’s more cost-effective.
Now let’s compare the hourly freelance rates for the same countries.
Global hourly rates for freelance PHP developers
|Junior PHP developer
|Senior PHP developer
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 — particularly Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine. However, 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 so many companies choose to outsource software development to Ukraine? 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:
|Monthly Rate, $
|Hourly Rate, $
|Junior PHP developer
|Middle PHP developer
|Senior PHP developer
This data demonstrates how much it would cost 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, equipment, 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 with which to collaborate. Freelancers are better for short, quick, or 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 often the best choice.
PHP developer hiring tips
No matter the hiring destination, whether you hire a front-end, back-end, or full-stack engineer, or whether it’s a 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 better-evaluating 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 also test the candidate’s soft skills, such as their behavior in critical situations, analytic thinking, and creativity.
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.
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. The best way to hire the right people is to get help with recruitment.
Where to find and hire PHP developers
Employers can use different models for hiring PHP developers: freelancers, in-house hiring, project outsourcing, or hiring a contractor. In this section, we’ll take a look at the highlights of each model. We also suggest a list of groups, job boards, and communities to connect directly with the most active PHP engineers.
Hiring freelancers is suitable for short-term projects, small tasks, and companies with limited budgets. However, no matter how easy it may be to hire a freelance PHP developer, they are often responsible for several jobs, and the quality of their output could be subpar or not meet a client’s specifications. Furthermore, because these developers are often juggling multiple projects, employers don’t have the same control over a freelancer as they do with a contractor or in-house employee.
Tech companies hire in-house employees to build their core team and culture. In addition, in-house staff members explore a product in detail because they are committed to developing it and growing the company.
Companies can hire in-house engineers by hosting or attending hackathons and tech conferences. They can also request an in-house engineer from a headhunter.
Finally, employers search their local market by utilizing their HR services. For example, browsing LinkedIn profiles, searching for talent in communities, or posting a PHP developer job on an online board is a good starting point.
In-house hiring: job-boards
PHP communities and groups
Tech companies use this hiring strategy when focusing on their core business aspects by assigning entire projects to outside development services managed by their CTO or product owner from the in-house team.
Outsourcing companies are much more selective, unlike freelance platforms. However, outsourcing limits communication between the company and external providers as you will not manage each member of the expanded team directly.
Hiring a contractor via staff augmentation
Staff augmentation uses full-time employed software engineers from outsourcing agencies. However, unlike assigning or handing over an entire project to an outsourcing company, employers manage remote developers and communicate with them directly.
Also, employers can avoid retirement contributions or paying for health insurance, bonuses, vacations, office rental, or workstations as they do for in-house employees. The hiring process, in this case, is faster since the developers are already employed, their skills and experience are verified, and the company doesn’t need to negotiate the benefits package.
- Companies can hire PHP contractors on YouTeam.
Why choose YouTeam to hire PHP developers
YouTeam is a tech talent marketplace that provides 50,000+ pre-vetted engineers from hundreds of development agencies across Europe and Latin America. 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 out the form typically takes about two 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 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 soon.
- Perfect price/quality ratio.
YouTeam simplifies the process of finding and hiring the best PHP developers for projects of any complexity. Typically, YouTeam takes you from candidate sourcing and interviewing to contract signing in less than a week.
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.