A Basic Guide For Clients Looking To Hire PHP Developers

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Publish date:

October 18, 2022

Updated on:

June 13, 2024

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A Basic Guide For Clients Looking To Hire PHP Developers


PHP has been and still remains the most rational and popular choice for web development. In 2021, PHP powered 79.1% of the world’s websites and is listed as one of the top 10 most popular programming languages in the world.

While PHP is easy to pick up, building robust and effective PHP web solutions means you should hire a top PHP developer. Hiring a developer in the PHP programming language means taking advantage of software development experts that can create a variety of robust, customizable, and scalable applications. However, there are lots of PHP developers all over the world to choose from.

This can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a non-technical person yourself. In this article, you’ll find out what is included in a PHP programmer skill set and how to hire PHP developers for your web app development project.

Web code on a computer monitor citing an example of what a PHP developer works on.

What is a PHP Developer and What Do They Do?

A PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) developer is a programming language specialist who writes, tests, debugs, and maintains PHP web or app development projects. However, more than just those tasks, skilled PHP developers are also equipped with creative, analytical, and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, especially when working with a PHP web development team, a top PHP developer can easily and creatively collaborate with other backend and frontend experts on the team and share needed insight to enhance the project’s user interface and functionality.

Mainly, they are equipped with the tech skills and knowledge of the PHP programming language as well as the PHP frameworks like Codeigniter, Yii, Laravel, Zend, Symfony, Kohana, and CakePHP.

Other tech skills should include:

  • Knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • A decent understanding of JavaScript
  • Experience with SQL and MySQL databases
  • Proficiency in CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla
  • Understanding of control systems like SVN and Git
  • Knowledge of object-oriented programming or OOP (similar to Python)

With the knowledge and expertise, the recruitment of PHP developers is conducted to create web projects, and desktop applications, and do command-line scripting and server-side scripting as well. PHP developers are known to be creators of interactive and responsive software projects for Windows, Linux, macOS, RISC OS, and other operating systems.

What is PHP Used For?

PHP is often compared to JavaScript, as these 2 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 backend 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, and RISC OS. 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 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 — like creating iOS or Android mobile apps.

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

Finally, since PHP code can be written inside, outside, or near HTML, it can be paired with the latter to structure web text while at the same time, design forms startups can utilize for email marketing and shopping carts for eCommerce business needs.

Interesting Facts About PHP

Advantages Of Hiring PHP Developers

There are significant reasons why there are so many PHP developers out there. Some of the benefits include:

  • The PHP syntax is intuitive. The commands are straightforward and easily correlate with the functions they perform thus encouraging many beginner programmers to start out learning with PHP.
  • It is an open-source programming language. That means that any PHP developer can access the common PHP development tools and make any necessary adjustments to PHP libraries quickly and easily.
  • While PHP is compatible with full-featured servers like Nginx and Apache, PHP comes with a built-in server you can utilize to locally run PHP applications for a testing phase so you won’t need to configure it with the full-featured servers. Additionally, it supports several databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL since it has a built-in module for database connections. Because of this, PHP developers can work on website development with desirable speeds compared to others that take longer database connection and data fetching.
  • It boasts a tremendously large community of PHP Devs.
  • It is object-oriented. Starting with the 5.0 release, the language supports object-oriented programming (OOP), thus making PHP even more efficient.
PHP Developer sitting in front of computer monitor answering PHP Developer interview questions.

4 Technical Questions To Ask When Hiring A PHP Developer

Developers specializing in designing, testing, and implementing software utilizing the PHP programming language are known as PHP developers. Need to test a developer’s PHP skills, have a PHP interview coming up, or need a checklist of things to look out for? Some of the interview questions to ask when recruiting a PHP developer are listed below.

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

1. What is the difference between include, require, include once, and require once ()?

If a required file is not found, PHP emits a fatal error whereas for include only a warning will be emitted. include () shows a warning if it can't include the file, but the rest of the script runs - include once, require once.

2. What is a session in PHP and how is it different from a cookie? Where are sessions stored in PHP?

A session is a way to store data for every user against a unique session ID. These IDs are generally sent to the web browser via session cookies and the ID is used to retrieve session data. Cookies, on the other hand, are a means to store information in the end user's browser, mainly for the purpose of tracking the end user.

The actual data from the sessions are not stored in the browser; instead, it is stored in the user's session record on the server.

3. What is a constructor and a destructor in PHP?

Constructor is a special type of function which is called automatically whenever there is an object formation from a class. A destructor in PHP refers to a special type of function that gets called automatically whenever an object is deleted or goes out of scope.

If you want to assess their knowledge, you may subject the PHP developer to a technical test or ask for a portfolio of the projects undertaken. However, if you recruit an offshore PHP development company, you could assess this by delving into the type of training undertaken by the company.

4. What is the difference between unset () and unlink () function?

In PHP, unlink () is a function for file system handling, used to delete files. Suppose you’ve uploaded a file and want to delete this file from coding, then the unlink () function is used to delete the file. On the other hand, Unset () is a function for variable management. It makes a variable undefined.


Q1. How much do PHP developers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, freelance PHP developers make an average of $94k/year or $45/hour, compared to Glassdoor’s freelance web developer salary of $76k (or about $36/hour).

It's important to note that the salaries and freelance rates of PHP developers depend on the years of experience, hard and soft skills, location, and hiring model. The Bureau of Labor in the US reported that web developers made $78k per year in 2021.

Let’s get into the average salary for PHP developers:

  • Glassdoor: $96k/year, with a low of $55k and a high of $100k.
  • ZipRecruiter: $88k/year, with a low of $29k and a high of $139k.
  • PayScale: $66k/year, with a low of $41k and a high of $99k.
  • Indeed: $88k/year, based on job offers posted on the site.

Q2. Where can you hire PHP developers?

One great option is to hire a top PHP development company to provide high-quality services. There are numerous benefits to hiring a PHP development company — with advantages ranging from providing excellent eCommerce solutions and CMS development services across different industries and verticals to providing ongoing maintenance and management and enjoying PHP upgradations and migrations of your existing Nodejs app, Python, and .NET to PHP.

There are several other places where you can hire PHP developers. To select the best source of recruitment, you must ask yourself the following 5 questions:

  • How quickly do you need to hire a PHP developer?
  • How many developers do you need to bring onboard?
  • What level of experience do you expect?
  • Are you open to remote workers?
  • What are your budget constraints?

If you like, you can hire a good PHP developer on websites such as StackOverflow and GitHub. These websites see a lot of traffic from developers that come to share knowledge, resources, and network with like-minded individuals. This also makes these websites a perfect pool for hiring technically sound resources.

However, if your time is limited, you can post remote PHP developer jobs on portals such as:

  • Pangea.ai
  • Upwork
  • Indeed
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Monster
  • LinkedIn Jobs

Q3. How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer?

The average developer in the United States makes $86,003 a year per ZipRecruiter data. And overall salaries range from $15,500 to $136,500. However, if you outsource, freelance rates and salaries are often much lower due to economic differences.

The cost of PHP developers may vary depending on what resource you used to hire them. For example, freelance developers tend to choose their own rates. But it probably won’t stray far from the standard rate for PHP developers.


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Wuraola Ademola-Shanu

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