The Ultimate Guide to Hiring PHP Developers in 2024

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Want to know how to hire the best PHP developer for a project? Choosing the right programming language for your next project is an important decision that not only affects your software but how your business grows in the long-term.

There are a myriad of programming languages that you can work with to scale your business, but every language comes with pros and cons.

For example, PHP is a programming language that you can use to make a variety of applications.  

So you might be wondering what is there to love about PHP. And if it really is that good, you also might be wondering how to hire a PHP developer. Don’t worry, you’ll learn just below.

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The Main Skills of a PHP Developer

PHP developer skills consist of the basic skill set of the average web developer in addition to the skill necessary for writing clear, maintainable PHP code.

The average back-end web developer should be able to analyze website requirements, troubleshoot code, implement database solutions, and add in back-end features to enhance performance.

PHP developers need the same basic skills but with a much narrower focus. For example, PHP developers should have some knowledge of how to work with PHP web frameworks like Laravel or CodeIgniter

They should also have practice with object-oriented programming (OOP) in PHP. Though PHP originally could only support procedural programming after its fifth stable release it now supports OOP as well.

PHP developers who stand by the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY), which makes code easier to modify and debug, should know how to use PHP towards this objective via building classes and objects.

Where To Find PHP Developers

You can’t hire PHP developers if you don’t know where to find them.

After you feel you have a careful understanding of how to hire a PHP developer and what skills to look for, you can peruse the following resources to find a team of developers.

Freelance Marketplaces

You might already be familiar with some common freelance marketplaces, the most popular being Upwork and Fiverr. In such marketplaces, it’s up to the developer to advertise themselves and their skills.

And once you search through these marketplaces you can zero in on the developer that fits your expectations.

By definition, freelancers don’t have to commit to only your project. You’ll pay them an hourly rate or flat fee for the entirety of their workload. But when they’re not working with you they’re quite literally free to work anywhere else.

You also don’t have the right to oblige freelance PHP developers to abide by a certain schedule or mode of operating. Their only obligation is to complete the project whichever way feels most comfortable to them.

Outsourcing Agencies

Outsourcing agencies usually exist outside the country. Asia and South America are especially popular locations for outsourcing IT needs.

With these agencies, you can give the chosen agency the specifications of your project and then you pay them to see it through.

The good thing about outsourcing agencies is that you don’t have to worry about doing your own hiring or any of the resources you otherwise might need for software developmentYour only duty is to supplement a reasonable budget as well as being clear about exactly what you expect from the final product.

If you want to avoid the communication challenges that might arise from employing an agency with a distant time zone, you might consider using a near-shore agency.

As an illustration, South American outsourcing has the benefit of low prices with high-quality software developers.

Job Networks

Indeed and ZipRecruiter are the most well-known job networks. On job networks, it is your responsibility to write a well-structured and coherent job description entailing not only that you need a web developer, but what your mission is for your business and the specific roles the developer will play.

You can expect that many developers will apply to the position as it will be publicly available. Most developers searching through these networks expect full-time gigs with benefits and a sensible salary.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a PHP Developer?

The cost of PHP developers may vary depending on what resource you used to hire them.

For instance, freelance developers tend to choose their own rates. But it probably won’t stray far from the standard rate for PHP developers.

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.

Bar chart featuring national range of PHP developer salaries.
However, if you outsource, salaries are often much lower due to economic differences. Comparatively, in Brazil, a software developer makes an average salary of R$85,751 which is the equivalent of 26,852 US dollars.

What Is PHP?

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that has a complimentary design for web development.

The TIOBE – or The Importance of Being Earnest – index lists PHP as one of the top ten programming languages, and it’s maintained that position for at least the last decade.

PHP is a recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor. This means that you can embed PHP right into the HTML of a website. 

Scripting languages like PHP are by definition interpreted. Interpreted languages use an interpreter to run programs line by line. Compiled languages in contrast are translated to machine code at runtime.

While compiled languages tend to be faster, interpreted languages often have more features. PHP is interpreted into HTML on the server-side.

To elaborate, a PHP web page is accessed, the code is parsed by the server and typically converted (PHP) to HTML. The lack of mutable code makes PHP particularly secure.

PHP files have the extension ‘.php’. These files can contain text, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and naturally, PHP code.

While PHP might seem cut and dry here, part of learning how to hire a PHP developer is learning how software experts adapt certain languages to complement your business needs.

Advantages of PHP

There’s a reason why some of the biggest companies today are using PHP. And before you learn how to hire a PHP developer, it’s best to know what exactly PHP can do for you.

Here are some advantages of PHP:

 A list of advantages of PHP including ease of learning and use, portability, open-source, database connectivity, and flexibility.

Easy to Learn and Use

Most developers agree that PHP is easy to learn and simple to use.

The syntax is intuitive and commands correlate directly with the functions they perform. This advantage enables developers to reduce time in development.

It also encourages more developers to learn PHP in the first place.

Learn more: Side-by-side comparison between PHP and Node.js


PHP is highly portable.

The language is compatible with most platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. Similarly, PHP is compatible with most popular servers like Apache and IIS.


Like many programming languages on the rise, PHP is free and open-source.

In other words, PHP – which has been around since 1994 – has a large and supportive community to keep PHP running smoothly. PHP’s notable collection of powerful libraries should attest to this.

Database Connectivity

Database connectivity is one big advantage of PHP. The language supports a wide range of databases such as MySQL, Apache, and PostgreSQL. 

PHP has a built-in module for connecting to databases. This could be the blame for PHP’s desirable speeds as other applications tend to take longer to connect to databases and fetch data.


Many features contribute to PHP’s overall flexibility.

Its portability and cross-compatibility, for one, allow PHP to be accessible across many software environments. What’s more, the core of PHP’s design gives web developers more control.

PHP is written between tags so developers don’t have to worry too much about where exactly they’re writing their code. And PHP developers can add or mix HTML tags as they wish, paving the way for extremely dynamic content.

When Is the Use of PHP Recommended?

Learning how to hire a PHP developer starts with learning why you should hire a PHP developer.

The primary use of PHP is to generate dynamic web page content. Of course, the specifics are a bit more interesting than that.

Besides web development, PHP can be used to build client-side graphical user interface (GUI) applications. Examples of GUI applications would be Microsoft programs or internet browsers where users can interact with desktop software through icons.

PHP is also used for command-line scripting granting developers interactive access to the webserver.

Setting aside these straightforward cases, there are many reasons why you might decide to use PHP for your website over other scripting languages. And this can be glimpsed through some of the advantages above.

But the first and foremost reason is that PHP has a strong, almost friendly relationship with HTML. As mentioned, PHP and HTML are interchangeable within the page. You can put PHP code near to, inside, or outside of HTML.

HTML manages how the structure of your web text will look and plays a core part in every web development task. Although JavaScript and CSS are HTML’s eternal teammates, having PHP is a bit of a secret weapon.

PHP permits developers to interact with visitors in a way HTML alone would not be capable of. From designing email forms to shopping carts, PHP can do it all – or at least most.

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a PHP Developer?

PHP developers take on the role of a back-end web developer. Web technologies involving JavaScript, HTML, and CSS typically handle the front-end development of any website or web application.

PHP, on the other hand, is responsible for server-side web application logic. With PHP, developers should build back-end components, connect the application to web services, and support the front-end by efficiently integrating their work into the application.

This integration requires that PHP still have some familiarity with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. PHP developers must work closely with HTML especially.

And either way, understanding how UIs are built is crucial to understanding how PHP developers will work with front-end developers to create a fully functional website.

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If your sights are set on developing a dynamic website to boost your business, PHP might be the programming language for you. It’s easy to use, highly portable, fast, and if your sights are set higher than a website, you can build a GUI application too!

There are many places where you can look for a PHP developer to help you with your next software project including outsourcing agencies, job networks, and freelance markets.

Trio is one outsourcing agency that promises to work closely with you to make sure all your needs are met.

We specialize in Engineering Team Allocation (ETA) where developers integrate seamlessly into your business without interrupting your day-to-day.

Interested? Stop searching and start developing.

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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