Let’s face it, e-commerce profit significantly depends on website performance. If you want to provide your customers with the best user experience and form a positive renommee for your brand, you need people who will help you to put your plans into action.
Forming a team that is on the same page with you is both vital and challenging. Hiring a developer is not a child’s play, but hiring a reliable Magento developer is even harder. There are many complexities involved, as well as many things to consider.
As far as no one hires others judging by name and photo, questions are a must. We’ve gathered the most important questions you should ask a Magento developer you are eyeing to choose for building your e-commerce store.
Ask these 10 questions to find a perfect match!
1. Are you certified?
How can an employer be sure that a developer is skilled enough to work with Magento? Fortunately, there is a way out. Ask for the certificate! Magento offers different certification options for experienced professionals who want to validate their skills. A specialist must have cleared all exams – certified solution specialist, professional front-end developer, social learning group certification, modification kit, and Developer Plus. Dealing with uncertified developers can lead to unexpected effects.
If you are hunting for an agency/company rather than a freelance developer, another question that should arise is “Are you an official Magento partner?”. Why is this important? Magento partnership allows companies to be the first ones to know about the new functionality and features of the platform, about important updates and upcoming events. Besides, the partners get access to a plethora of additional services and tools. With this toolkit, those companies are more insightful and resourceful than others.
2. How many years have you been working with Magento?
Have you heard the expression “Practice makes the man perfect”? This applies to the hiring process. Experience is an objective indicator of skills. No matter what type of collaboration you are looking for: with a company or a freelancer – the more experience a candidate has, the more issue they can manage and the better their code quality. An experienced developer knows beforehand what challenges they may face during the process and resolve them promptly. As well, they can provide valuable contributions based on previous experience and complete the project before the deadline.
3. Do you have previous Magento projects that can be used as references?
Along with experience a developer has, it is a good practice to ask them to show you some previous projects they have been working at. The major purpose is to see the talents and capabilities of the potential partner. When evaluating the quality of the portfolio, take into consideration all aspects of e-commerce websites. As such, the developer’s previous projects should give insights on the configuration, design, customization that they can provide to your brand. Checking a portfolio allows you to get a consolidated view on the specialist’s working style, their methodology, and processes used, as well as task delivery. This will help you understand whether the company or the developer is capable of implementing projects according to your company’s needs.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of companies both in the USA and other countries that show fake testimonials and plagiarize websites made by others.
How can you ensure that the projects that candidates show you were created by them? Ask them about the contacts of previous clients! Don’t hesitate to get hold of the previous clients directly to get a clear picture of whether they are satisfied with the work of the contractor. Here are some questions you may ask:
- Did the developer/agency deliver your project on time and within the outlined budget?
- Did you like the service?
- Where there any fields they could have improved on?
- What did you find the most disappointing about the person/agency?
- Would you recommend this developer/agency?
4. How do you prefer to communicate with clients?
Effective communication is a king for a development project to run smoothly. Even with clients in the same time zone communication can be challenging.
Make sure that a person you are going to hire for your website development is open to dialogue and ready to explain to you every aspect of your site, avoiding vagueness and unclear points. Your first conversation with the candidate may give you the impression of whether you will be a match or not.
The same is for a development company. Opt for an agency that has transparent communication policies in place. This ensures a seamless development process that meets your needs and creates a website you can be proud of.
As such, there is no difference where this person/agency is physically located. With cutting-edge tools like Skype, Live Chat, Telegram, Zoom, and others that can be used as reliable communication channels, companies can hire skilled developers wherever they are.
Remember that you will have to communicate with a contractor at least several times during the development process and many times after the process is over to make changes and updates. If a person/agency can not guarantee that they will be in touch whenever you need them and are undecided about the ways of communication, we recommend looking for another option.
5. How much time will it take to deliver the e-commerce project?
A time-related issue is one of the major clients’ concerns. The Magento website development process is associated with strict timelines. And on the client side, it is important to be aware of the time of its completion. This allows clients to know beforehand what to expect and plan the store’s online presence and promotion.
From this perspective, you need to make sure that a developer you are going to hire respects deadlines. By all means, the timeline varies depending on the project complexity. For instance, the more products and categories your website has, the more customization it requires, the longer the development process will take.
The easiest way to check whether the candidate can deliver your website on time is to contact previous clients. This will give you insight on the contractor’s work ethic. As well, it is a good practice to ask a developer to make up and share a plan where all the milestones with the deadlines to them will be mentioned.
For an experienced developer, mapping out the plan won’t be a problem as they have a history of accomplished projects, systematic workflow, and work routine. If a developer tells you something like “let’s start and then it just depends” after a preliminary talk, opt for another developer.
6. How do you handle urgent situations?
What will you do if my website goes down? or my checkout is broken? or the pages show a 505 error? Indeed, post-development support is vital in ensuring that all the bugs and issues are resolved before your Magento website actually goes live.
Taking into account that Magento is a complex e-commerce platform, it makes sense to have post-development maintenance to provide your customers with a perfect user experience. In the highly-competitive world, even a slight error may be critical. A small functionality issue can make your prospect to leave your store and go to the competitors.
You might need post-development support for:
- Improving the speed of a website.
- Custom theme development.
- Poor usability.
- Integrating your solution with new services or CRM system.
- Updating the Magento version of your website.
- Adding new features and expanding functionality to meet fluctuated customer needs.
- Migrating from M1 to M2 versions.
- Integrating third-party extensions.
A Magento developer/ agency should have a concrete plan in case something goes wrong. To ensure that a problem will be solved right after identifying, we recommend hiring an agency providing 24/7 Magento support services to keep your project updated.
7. Can you help me with SEO?
Search engine optimization is one of the most crucial aspects of the post-development process. The truth is that even if you have a well-polished and highly-customized e-commerce website with lots of features and advanced functionality, all your efforts will go to waste if nobody can find it.
Magento itself packed with tools and features that will help your store ranks in organic search. This CMS gives you complete control over navigation links, creates independent page titles, allows customization of H1 tags, deletes duplicate content, cleans up code automatically, and much more.
Some Magento developers can provide you recommendations on search engine optimization of Magento websites and advise you on the most actionable marketing and SEO practices concerning your site. However, SEO and website development are two different things. So, don’t expect your freelance developer to know how to write optimized texts and how to find proper keywords. In this case, you’d better hit up a full-service agency.
8. How much will it cost?
The cost of building an e-commerce website is a threshold issue when it comes to the question about how to hire Magento developers. There are tons of factors that determine the total amount of money you will spend. One of the prior factors is your business size that determines the Magento Edition. Magento has three platform versions. Magento 2 Open Source is free. However, you will need to cover expenses for hosting, coding, and configuration. From our experience, the price for the average Magento website with standard functionality and a free theme starts from $15,000.
While the price of Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud depends on the gross sales revenue a company generates. For example, a Magento store that generates $5 million revenue will pay $80,000 for Magento Commerce Cloud Edition.
The price for Magento development services is estimated through the skills a developer possesses and the experience they hold. Keep in mind that hiring an offshore developer can be much cheaper as compared to a US specialist. For instance, the average Magento developer hourly rate is $75-$150 depending on their experience and skills. While you can hire developers from Eastern Europe with hourly rates at $15-$30.
In certain situations and with some projects, additional fees may apply. For instance, some freelance developers have a minimum number of hours per month. As such, they may charge separately anything over the agreed hours. It is a good practice to discuss additional fees before hiring a developer.
9. Will you teach how to use the system?
Once your e-commerce Magento store is developed, you need to understand how to handle it properly. It is a good practice if the developer or the agency you have chosen for building the website offers training sessions for each client. During the training, you are free to ask any questions you want. For example, how to add new products in categories or what to do if a 404 error arises. Learning from a developer will save both your money and time.
10. What if I Want to Try Out You First?
This is the most actionable way to check the skills of the candidate before you hire them. Ask the developer whether they can perform a paid test project to ensure they are the perfect match for your website.
This will help you:
- save time and money altogether
- avoid choosing the wrong candidate
- make technical recruitment efficient.
Building an e-commerce website in Magento is not the easiest task. In comparison with other CMS solutions, Magento requires in-depth knowledge and deep technical expertise. In order to make even slight enhancements, you may need the help of a developer.
The major advice here is don’t rush. Take your time researching a strong developer you can rely on, contact different agencies, and make no bones of asking for a portfolio. After all, Magento development is a long process that requires the investments of resources, money, and time both from stakeholders and practitioners.