How to Hire PHP Developers?

23 February 2024
PHP remains one of the most popular server-side programming languages in web development, powering over 75% of all websites including Facebook, Wikipedia and WordPress. With its ease of use, vibrant open-source community and extensive libraries, PHP allows developers to quickly build dynamic, database-driven web applications.

As a result, finding qualified PHP developers is crucial for companies and startups aiming to create robust web and mobile apps. But knowing how to properly assess PHP coding skills can be challenging. This article provides a step-by-step guide to sourcing, vetting and hiring expert PHP developers for your projects.


In today’s digital landscape, having a strong online presence is essential for companies to engage customers, drive revenue and keep pace with competitors. As a popular server-side scripting language powering over 75% of all websites, PHP plays a key role creating the web apps, ecommerce sites and content management systems critical for business success.

Yet finding PHP developers with the ideal blend of technical prowess and communication abilities remains a challenge for many organizations. This comprehensive guide outlines practical steps to identify, assess and hire qualified PHP programmers to meet your development needs. Whether seeking to build web apps from scratch or scale existing WordPress sites, implementing an effective hiring process ensures you assemble high-performing, collaborative teams.

Follow our research-backed methodology below for sourcing prime PHP talent ready to deliver robust, secure web solutions solving your most pressing business problems. With the right developers in place, you’ll be poised to achieve your organizational goals and vision.

Defining Your PHP Development Needs

The first step is clearly defining your specific requirements for a PHP role. Important considerations include:
  • Type of app. Will the developer be building web apps, APIs, WordPress sites etc? Complex systems may need senior PHP devs.
  • Technical skills. Determine must-have expertise like PHP frameworks (Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter), Content Management Systems (Drupal, WordPress) databases (MySQL, MongoDB), front-end (HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Ajax) etc.
  • Process methodology. Do you need someone versed in agile methodologies like test/behavior driven development (TDD/BDD)?
  • Soft skills. Assess communication, collaboration, documentation and other soft skills required.
Well-defined requires help source candidates matching your exact development needs.

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Where to Find PHP Developers?

There are several approaches to sourcing skilled PHP programmers:
  • Freelance websites like Upwork and Toptal give access to PHP developers from around the world. You can view profiles, reviews, work samples and directly chat with candidates.
  • PHP/web dev communities like SitePoint Forums are great for finding recognised community experts passionate about the language. Experienced developers often frequent such platforms.
  • Internal referrals from colleagues and other contacts remain a top channel for finding strong candidates.
  • PHP conferences and meetups offer networking with seasoned local PHP devs interested in new projects.
  • Dedicated offshore development providers have extensive experience staffing PHP teams under various engagement models (full-time, part-time, fixed-bid projects).
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5 Steps to Vet and Hire PHP Developers

Once you've sourced a qualified pool of candidates, here is a 5-step process to vet and hire the best.

Prescreen Resumes

Start by screening all resumes and portfolios against your predefined criteria, weeding out unqualified applicants. Prioritise candidates with relevant industry experience using PHP in similar apps.

Take Online Coding Tests

Next, use structured coding tests to accurately assess PHP proficiencies on syntax, data structures, frameworks like Laravel and ability to solve complex programming challenges. Online platforms like HackerRank offer helpful PHP assessments.
PHP developers

Conduct Technical Interviews

Schedule 30-60 minute technical interviews asking targeted questions on problem-solving approaches, security best practices, code optimisation techniques and testing methodologies. Assess communciation clarity as well.

Run Trial Periods

Before longer-term hiring, bring candidates on 2-4 week trial periods on real projects. This lets you evaluate capabilities, team collaboration and overall culture fit. Define clear deliverables to judge performance.

Make Offers and Onboard

Finally, present deserving candidates their dream job offer! Then onboard smoothly by outlining culture, introducing peers and managers, choosing mentors and helping set early quarterly objectives.

By systematically evaluating PHP mastery, communication skills and hands-on project execution, this process surfaces the strongest technical leaders for your development team.
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Key Takeaways

Hiring talented PHP web developers is foundational to building innovative applications cost-effectively. Defining precise roles, sourcing excellent candidates, confirming skills through assessments and trialing short projects lets you assemble high-performing development teams. Follow these best practices and you’ll be poised to plan, design and deliver successful PHP-based solutions powering your digital capabilities.
PHP Developers


Hiring skilled PHP developers lays the foundation for organizations seeking to build innovative, reliable web and mobile applications central to engaging customers in the digital world. By clearly defining your criteria, leveraging online resources and PHP communities to source candidates, systematically vetting for technical and soft skills through assessments and trial periods, you can create an optimal development team to bring your product vision to life.

Prioritizing communication abilities and cultural alignment will further allow you to onboard PHP developers positioned for long-term success. Invest time upfront finding the right technical leaders, and your teams will be equipped to plan, architect and deliver the sophisticated solutions your business requires to thrive in an increasingly online marketplace for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question:
    What PHP skills are most important for web development?
    Core language fluency, MySQL and security best practices are key. Also assess expertise in MVC frameworks like Laravel and Symfony which enable scalable, high-performing apps.
  • Question:
    Should we prioritize PHP certifications when hiring?
    Not necessarily. While credentials like Zend Certified Engineer demonstrate commitment, evaluating hands-on coding competence through tests and trial periods matters more.
  • Question:
    Is PHP a dying language? Should we consider alternatives like Node.js?
    PHP is still widely used and actively updated by developers globally. Unless your apps require heavy real-time capabilities, it remains a robust server-side option.
  • Question:
    How many PHP developers do we need?
    This depends on your project scope, budget and timeline. Clearly define responsibilities before determining if you need 1-2 developers or larger teams.
  • Question:
    Should we in-source or outsource our PHP development?
    Both models work if you follow solid hiring processes. In-house supports direct oversight but can limit scalability. Outsourced and offshore teams offer time/cost savings but may have communication gaps. Hybrid approaches balance tradeoffs.
  • Question:
    What red flags should we look out for?
    Mainly - lack of grasp of latest PHP 7/8+ features, security lapses like SQL injection risks, over-reliance on outdated methods like procedural code instead of OOP, and inability to clearly explain technical approaches.
  • Question:
    What frameworks are best for developers to know?
    Have awareness of popular options like Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgnitor and CakePHP. Tailor assessments and interviews to your tech stack requirements.
Sergio Art is the entrepreneurial mind behind the Offshore Development Center (ODC), which he launched in 2010 to support U.S. businesses in their digital transformation efforts through access to skilled software engineers.

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