After a thorough analysis of the E-commerce software market you’ve decided to make your fortune with the Magento 2 platform. Not only have you decided this because of it’s ease of use, but also because when compared to all other solutions, it meets your online store feature requirements the most. But a long feature list brings complexity – even after successful installation of the Magento 2 OpenSource edition.
At some point you might need a qualified developer, or even a developer team to get things done and running smoothly. For instance, it’s not a trivial task to build the initial structure, tailor the Magento 2 to your needs, and then launch and support your online store.
As with any expert in their field, hiring a good Magento 2 developer needs time and effort. So, to help you out with this, we’ve put together the 6 most important questions to ask yourself before deciding on the ideal Magento 2 developer.
- What kind of project do you want to make on Magento 2?
It’s a good idea to start off with a project brief if you need a developer for more than a couple of tasks to complete. A Magento expert will be able to work on your project far more effectively if you create a detailed plan of your desires and needs. Examples include budget limitations, time frame for the work to be done, and overall priorities, all in one nicely organized document.
If it’s your first online project, perhaps you’ll want to include some of the following:
- Name of your store/brand
- Description of its products/services
- Target market
- Examples of sites that you like
- Preferred colors
- Desired start date
To get some basics on Magento – check out our article “What to Consider When Planning a Magento Store“. It will be really helpful to understand the focal points and “must haves” of your online store.
If you’re not new to ecommerce and know the specifics, create an approximate technical assignment with more details on the desired functionality, and attach some site prototypes and layouts of design that you like.
Clear vision of what you want to accomplish and your involvement throughout the development stages are the key to the success of online store development. It will also help to avoid unnecessary adjustments due to requirements misunderstanding, or lack of your control\attention in the development process.
- What competencies does your developer need to have?
Make a list of competencies your potential developer or a team needs to present, including hard skills and soft skills. By hard skills, we mean years of experience with the Magento 2 platform, technologies stack, portfolio with examples of Magento 2 sites, and Magento certification.
Always ask if developers have Magento 1, or Magento 2 certification. For Magento 1 there are four types of certifications which include: Magento developer, front-end developer, developer plus, and solution specialist. As for Magento 2, certification has just started so there aren’t so many certified Magento 2 developers on the market yet. But we are sure it will change soon.
Soft skills are rather subjective – you should talk the same language with a developer, hear and understand each other, feel comfortable to work together, and be able to trust him.
- Do you need a freelancer, or an agency?
After the requirements brief is done, it’s time to estimate the scope of work and decide how many people will be needed to implement all the desired features, and within which period of time. For example, if you need to add a ready-made module to your existing site, one skilled freelancer will be enough, if we talk about site’s development from scratch, you’ll most likely need a team of developers.
Magento agencies vary in amount of developers, pricing, quality of service and availability. We recommend reading reviews, asking for recommendations, and comparing technical assignments and estimates from several different agencies. If the price of the implementation is very low, it might not always be a good thing. It’s possible that the provider has either misunderstood some of the features you need to be implemented, or doesn’t have enough expertise in the field as your specific project may require. Not that this process should make a big hole in your wallet but, good service solutions take time, and quite often that time does come at a price.
Moreover, Magento development agencies have other qualified staff like project managers, business analysts, QA engineers, etc who can support you not only at the development stage but also undertake other aspects of your project.
While interviewing a potential candidate or a development team, you should be extra suspicious if they claim to be a jack-of-all-trades and can work with any ecommerce platform. This is a good time to ask additional qualifying questions, require examples of created sites, and detailed descriptions of previous projects. If it’s only a couple of small jobs, continue searching for another developer with more experience with Magento.
- What to look for in their portfolio?
A portfolio with links to live Magento 2 projects should be the best calling card for that developer. If you’re unsure of what to look for on website examples, assess them from the customer’s point of view. Is it clear what kind of online store it is from the home page? Are all the menu and product options accessible from the main menu? Is site navigation clear? Is it easy to place an order from the site? Is the design attractive and eye-catching? Does the site open fast and smoothly on a mobile device? These questions are enough to create a solid first impression as to the site’s quality.
- Do I need a developer for a one-time job, or for ongoing projects?
The common mistake online store owners make is thinking of their sites as static, automated entities, developed once and till the end of time. Your webstore is a living entity changing synchronously with the digital world. It needs regular installation and updating of security patches and core features, licenses, and extension renewals; all things that become outdated at some point. It’s better to keep in touch with your site developer as in the future, they might help you to address all those issues.
If you are working with freelancers make sure they are available at agreed working hours, as freelancers tend to work on several projects at the same time which can influence their work availability.
- Where to look?
One of the most reliable channels of all times is a jungle telegraph – ask the colleagues you trust for recommendations in person, or on LinkedIn. Look for big names and industry influencers who regularly take to the floor at international Magento conferences, take part in Contribution days, even check out some of the latest news posts/ personal findings on their Magento blog. You might also check out the official Magento Partners page, sorting partners by country, or just Google it to look for reviews and portfolios.
With these questions and ideas in mind, you’re well equipped to hire the best Magento developer around and add them to your dream team. Whether you’ve chosen a freelancer, or an agency, a junior, or a senior specialist, be certain to work with people who have keen interest in their job, are the right blend of professional and personal, innovative, and willing to treat your project with as much dedication as if it were their own.