Hiring Offshore PHP Developers: A Startup’s Go-To Guide

A Startup’s Go-To Guide for Hiring Offshore PHP Developers

Almost every website and web-based software uses PHP, which is the technical shorthand for “Hypertext Preprocessor” (impress your friends with that at your next cocktail party!)  In fact, a recent online survey platform puts the adoption rate at 77.6%

For those visual learners out there, check out this market map.  Even though the design looks like it’s from an Atari computer circa 1982, it helps illustrate the dominance of PHP.

PHT market position

Image source: w3techs.com

This isn’t surprising; PHP is like that kid everybody loves. It is a flexible, general-purpose, developer-friendly programming language that seamlessly integrates with major databases and frameworks.

And since you are probably considering deploying it for your next web-based software project, you are likely having a few headaches finding the right offshore PHP developers.

Well, look on the bright side: you aren’t alone.

Finding the perfect developer is not a lazy stroll in the park, but that’s why TurnKey is here.  We’ve got your back when you it comes to hiring amazing PHP developers.

Keep reading to discover all the key things you need to know about hiring great PHP talent. We highlight the qualities of a good PHP developer, some of the best regions to hire from, what level of developer you need, and how much they earn.

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How do you hire an offshore PHP developer?

There are many ways to hire an offshore PHP developer (or development team).  This includes using freelance platforms, job sites, engaging recruitment agencies, outsourcing agencies, or offshoring agencies.   And of course, you can always call us!  (We love shameless plugs…)

You should also ensure that your ideal PHP developer has sufficient technical expertise, a deep portfolio of work to point to, strong communication skills, interpersonal skills, and flexibility (since software development is rarely a linear process).

How do you know if your company or startup needs a PHP developer?

Short answer: if you are trying to build a user-friendly, interactive platform, then yes you need it.

Longer answer: as mentioned earlier, PHP is a programming language used to build interactive and dynamic web platforms, including applications, eCommerce platforms, games, social media sites, and more. It is a versatile language that suits a wide range of web development projects. Although PHP is most commonly used for developing server-side components, it is also very useful for optimizing and creating fluid front-end functions too.

Here are a few examples to make sure we are all on the same page:

  • Facebook uses PHP to power the fluidity and the fusion of various interactive elements that make the platform fun and engaging.
  • WordPress uses PHP to provide users with a huge degree of flexibility.
  • Slack uses PHP to make it easy to seamlessly communicate and collaborate.

And the list goes on and on…

But to deploy PHP, you must engage a developer that is well versed in its application. And as a startup or high growth business looking at cutting costs while maintaining quality standards, engaging offshore PHP developers is a smart move. Offshore developers come with extensive experience and lower costs.

Ready to hire the best PHP developers without the hassle? Skip the trial and error

What level of developer expertise do you need (intern, junior, intermediate, or senior)?

What level of developer expertise do you need (intern, junior, intermediate, or senior)?

Everyone wants a developer that can accurately translate their concepts into reality. Therefore, it is essential that you decide whether your company needs a PHP developer at the entry-level, intermediate, or senior level to meet your business and development needs.

Identifying the right candidate from the onset will save you time and resources. For instance, hiring an entry-level developer for lower wages when you require a senior-level PHP developer would actually be more expensive over time since the entry-level developer will take much longer with each programming task.  Moreover, the appropriate developer will still need to be hired again, and the money and work spent on the initial hire may be wasted if the work needs to be redone or heavily refactored.

By contrast, if you engage a senior-level PHP developer when a mid-level PHP developer has the adequate competence to complete the task, you will spend more on wages.  Thus, knowing which level to hire is a balancing act and is usually situation-dependent.

Here is a breakdown of what you should expect from a PHP developer according to expertise levels:

Required skills for an ideal junior PHP developer

  • Excellent communication skills. 
  • A keen eye for detail. 
  • Basic understanding of PHP and its framework 
  • Ability to write code in PHP and run tests. 
  • Quick learner and great team player.
  • Knowledge of front-end components.
  • Problem-solving skills and good time-management abilities.

Required skills for an ideal mid-level PHP developer

  • Ability to write robust, good-quality PHP code relatively quickly.
  • Updating databases and software as often as required.
  • Ability to troubleshoot and run various required tests. 
  • Excellent time management ability, great team player, and good communication skills. 
  • Two to five years of experience writing PHP codes. 
  • Proven experience with Kanban process, MySQL, PostgreSQL, modifying code, and building unit tests.
  • Knowledge of at least two other programming languages ​​and frameworks, including CSS, Jquery, HTML, etc.

Required skills for an ideal senior-level PHP developer

  • Five plus years of experience in PHP development. 
  • Excellent team player and experience in project management. 
  • Continuous learning and knowledge of recent technology. 
  • Experience in js frameworks, Laravel, and WordPress. Expertise with database management platforms like MySQL and frameworks like LAMP.
What are the key factors to consider before engaging an offshore PHP developer?

What are the key factors to consider before engaging an offshore PHP developer?

Finding a suitable offshore PHP developer is important for the success of your project. In all our travels throughout the software development world, we’ve found these factors to be the most critical to finding a high quality PHP programmer

1. Experience

You should never underestimate the importance of relevant experience when hiring an offshore PHP developer because great delivery comes from deep experience. Although knowledge and certifications are also important, practical experience should be a major criteria that you look out for. An experienced developer saves time and makes much fewer mistakes.

2. Technical knowledge

Ensure that your PHP developer is familiar with other relevant frameworks. This is because even if your project is going to be based in PHP, you most likely will need to include other languages and tools as well.  The broader the base of technical experience, the higher the quality of the work.

3. Portfolio of Prior Work

A portfolio is like demanding to see a catalog while out shopping. Of course, nobody reasonably engages in blind shopping, you’d want to see pictures and samples. In this case, the portfolio is a testament to a PHP developer’s claims and expertise. Portfolios and case studies give you a deeper level of insight into their capabilities than just interviewing alone.

4. Communication skills

Communication is key in any collaboration since it determines the project’s speed, ease, and overall success. While technical skills are important, soft skills like communication are a must-have for any offshore PHP developer you want to hire.

5. Interpersonal skills

Beyond communication, you should also assess an offshore developer on interpersonal skills such as listening abilities, collaborative skills, work ethics, and dedication.  Most modern software development processes are based around teams – not individuals – so it’s imperative you find a developer that can work exceptionally well with others.

6. Flexibility

An offshore PHP developer must be flexible enough to collaborate with people in different time zones, work cultures, and processes. This promotes efficient delivery and teamwork, and ensures a high quality product.

Still worried about how to hire high performing PHP developers? We’ve got you covered.

Where can you hire PHP developers?

Great PHP developers are not unicorns that live in a magical universe; you just need to look in the right places to find them. Here are a few places to check:

1. Freelance platforms

There are lots of freelance platforms on the web, and many of them have ready-to-hire developers. Some of these platforms are specific to programmers and software engineers. You first need to sign up to these platforms, and then check the PHP developers’ profiles before scheduling an interview.

Examples of freelance platforms to find PHP developers include Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr and more.

2. Job websites

Job boards are another great resource for finding PHP developers, except that you may spend the entire project timeline trying to find the perfect developer. On job websites, however, you can post your ads with a detailed description of what you need or you can find PHP developers based on their profiles. Some popular job websites include Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and more.

3. Recruiting agencies

Recruitment agencies help you find the right candidate for a particular role. Do not mistake it for offshoring which is also a kind of recruitment. A typical recruitment agency is responsible for finding an employee that resides full time on your payroll.

Companies typically use recruitment agencies because it reduces the workload of finding the right candidate. They don’t need to go through several hundred CVs–the recruitment agency does all that. They only need to interview a few suitable candidates and pick the best one.

The problem is that these firms are typically expensive, often charging a commission of up to 30% of the candidate’s base salary in the first year.  That’s a lot of dough!

4. Outsourcing agency

Outsourcing is the act of engaging an independent service provider for short term tasks. Think of it as a quick fix to get the job done; you delegate your web development task to the outsourcing agency for a fee; they get it done and send it back, along with an invoice.  End of story.

Quick fixes like this are not always advisable because there is hardly any continuity. Also, you do not have sufficient control over how the outsourcing agency performs the task.

5. Offshoring

Offshoring is a more long-term fix with a better collaborative relationship. For example, if you need a PHP developer to work on a project in the long-term, and you want them to collaborate with your team, you should reach out to an offshoring agency. The offshoring agency reviews your needs and “rents” you their developers.

Check out this post to learn more about how offshoring generally works.

In this scenario, you have better control; however, control is still limited because the developers aren’t emotionally connected to your product, and their allegiance is to the offshoring agency–not to you..

But hold on, have you ever heard of Yourshoring? It’s a more efficient model from TurnKey for hiring amazing offshore developers without any of the typical pain points of using offshore firms. Check it out:

6. Yourshoring from TurnKey!

Yourshoring is a blend of the best parts of outsourcing, offshoring, and recruitment to give you a more efficient offshoring hybrid. With this model, the development team you get is exclusively assembled around your specific needs.

Yourshoring gives you an offshore team with the mentality and attitude of full-time in-house developers. With Yourshore, you call the shots because it is your team dedicated to your vision and your plans.

Where can you hire offshore PHP developers?

Where can you hire offshore PHP developers?

According to recent statistics, there are over 6 million PHP developers located across various countries in the world. But when it comes to hiring a suitable offshore developer, you need to take into account the cost of hiring and their expertise level. The goal is to hire a skilled PHP developer at an affordable rate, which is the whole reason to look offshore!

Current rates at Payscale puts the average PHP developer salary at $24.57 per hour or $65,430 per year.  That said, experienced PHP developers can earn as much as $97,000 a year. These rates, however, differ according to cities or regions.

In Western Europe, the average salary for a PHP developer is $63,835 per year; the rates in Estern Europe are closer to $25,000 – $30,000 per year.

Latin America rates are a bit lower, with an average of $20,000 – $50,000 per year. In the United States, the average salary for PHP developers is between $85,000 – 10,000 per year.

When hiring offshore PHP developers, higher pay doesn’t always mean better expertise. For instance, Ukraine is a top-ranked choice for hiring offshore developers. It is also famed for having some of the most skilled developers, yet its salary rates for PHP development are one of the most affordable.

But you don't need to worry about crisscrossing the globe looking for the best – and most affordable – PHP developer. This is what we are made to do here at TurnKey.

How to hire offshore PHP developers with Turnkey – and why we’re better than all the rest!

We were once SaaS-based entrepreneurs in your shoes, looking for responsive offshoring agencies that put our needs before theirs.  But it was like searching for a river in a desert. Trust me–we had more bitter experiences than you can imagine. 

So when we couldn’t take the disappointments anymore, we went to the drawing table and came up with a novel solution unique to the offshoring industry. We call it Yourshoring!

What is Yourshoring and why is it the ideal solution for you?

You don’t want an offshore development team that is only after a paycheck; you want a dedicated team that shares in your vision and follows your lead. 

Or said more directly, you want developers that integrate perfectly with YOUR team, are dedicated to YOUR plans, are embedded in YOUR culture and follow YOUR rules.  That’s what Yourshore delivers.

In simple terms, we custom recruit developers specifically tailored to your needs and each is 100% dedicated to you.  And if there’s ever a problem, you call your U.S.-based account manager and we’ll take care of the issue straight away.  

To summarize, Yourshoring is everything you always wished you had in an offshore software development partner.

Final Thoughts…

Hiring great offshore PHP developers is a process, but don’t let that scare you, especially since you can always call the offshoring Yourshoring experts over here at TurnKey. We carefully handpick developers that work exclusively for you and deliver amazing results.

Finding great developers requires a company that can interpret your needs. That’s our specialty.


What is the hallmark of a great PHP developer?

A top quality PHP developer is well versed in the PHP programming language, has deep experience building diverse web-based products, and has knowledge of other related frameworks like MySQL, java, HTML, and more.. A great PHP developer must also possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Are PHP developers in high demand?

According to recent statistics, PHP is used in about 77.6% of all websites. That makes it one of the most widely deployed programming languages. As a result, PHP developers are in high demand–and likely will be for the foreseeable future (especially with the emergence of Web3).

How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer?

The salary of a PHP developer varies according to country, city, and skill level. However, according to Payscale, the average salary for a PHP developer is $65,430 per year or $24.57 per hour. The average salary for different countries is between 5,000 and 08,528.

December 22, 2022

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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