How to Hire Best Shopify Developers (2021 Update)
One of the advantages of using top-notch e-commerce platforms like Shopify is the ability to add a variety of supplementary tools for tasks of varying complexity. This could be anything from image optimization to 3D configuration and augmented reality.
Some of these tools may be developed in-house/part of the platform’s offering depending on your chosen plan while others may be developed by 3rd party entities. Unfortunately, these solutions don’t always take into account every possible approach to doing business.
The result may be a small issue like compatibility while in other cases, the available tools are totally unable to perform the task at hand. This is where Shopify developers come into play.
What does a Shopify developer do?
Shopify developers can provide a variety of software-based solutions be it a few lines of code for additional functionality, or full-on applications for specific tasks.
Not only can they deal with fundamentals like template coding, but they can also handle custom modules development and integration with 3rd party software.
If you run an e-commerce store and you’re actively trying to grow, you might find yourself having to make intricate adjustments to your user experience, marketing, checkout, etc. that require a developer’s expertise. Let’s go through some steps to take when hiring Shopify developers:
Establish The Specification
The first step in this process is to determine what exactly it is you’re trying to get help for. It could be editing theme code, enabling 3D and AR shopping experiences, integrating discount and loyalty program apps with other tools, etc.
Make sure you research a little bit more about the issue you’re having or whatever is involved in building the solution you need. Find out what is needed to create a solution (programming languages, hardware, etc.). Get more clarity on how long it takes to complete such a project.
Learn about the deliverables, any other programmers you may need to involve in supporting roles like testing, and the rates they usually charge. It is not enough to be able to say “I want a developer who can do ABC”. This only applies to much simpler projects.
Sometimes different developers arrive at the same result using slightly distinct methods. You need to make sure that you can be a little more specific about the required developer capabilities so that you end up with a solution that fits perfectly into the larger picture.
One of the advantages of using an e-commerce platform like Shopify is that they have created centralized locations for things like Shopify apps.
They also have something similar for experts dealing in numerous aspects of Shopify stores such as store setup, marketing and sales, development and troubleshooting, visual content and branding, content writing, and expert guidance.
There are two ways to go about using such a marketplace. The first is to post a job where you describe what you need and get proposals from experts recommended by the platform.
The second is to explore various services and directly request quotes from experts under those categories.
A major benefit of this method is that you can manually refine your search results using filters such as price range, country/region, languages, and industry expertise. You can also view the number of jobs completed, the star rating, and other more detailed reviews/testimonials.
This helps you get closer to picking a developer that will deliver.
Step Outside The Fold
Another option when hiring e-commerce developers is to look outside the Shopify fold. This can be very helpful in situations where you have a very elaborate e-commerce arrangement.
The more you rely on APIs, cloud technology, and multiple channels like voice command, wearables, IoT devices, etc., the more likely you are to need someone with a skill set that goes far beyond basic Shopify development tasks.
You will also find more flexibility in regard to aspects like price, location, delivery schedules, etc.
If you aren’t very sure about how every part of your eCommerce operation is going to run, you might want to consider someone who can work in a manner that is different from the standard procedures or contracts that are common in the industry.
Remember that these platforms also have stringent vetting processes in place to maintain the quality of their pool and have plenty of social proof from rating sites and previous customers to back up their services.
Some of these sites include hiremotely.com, which has a 4/5 Trustscore. This site focuses on developers but there are many other general freelance sites where you can find Shopify developers. However, these may require a little more work to land on the right one for you.
They include Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, Toptal, etc. While looking through candidates on these platforms, it is also important to know whether you want to deal with an individual or an agency.
With agencies, you might end up paying a little since they probably have greater overhead from all the other things that come with being a middleman.
But for large companies with a lot of bureaucracy surrounding payments processes, they might be a better option in terms of professionalism and legitimacy. They may also do a better job at filling any gaps in the work with minimal back and forth.
On the other hand, a lone developer on a marketplace or freelance platform is more likely to bring more creativity and flexibility where needed, with a final product that feels like less of an off-the-shelf template.
Ask The Right Questions
Once you’ve zeroed in one a few candidates, it is crucial to ask the kind of questions so as to ensure that you find the right fit.
Failure to do this properly could end with you having to re-assign the entire project to another developer, or have numerous revisions that distort your roadmap.
You can categorize these questions into two sets; “Can they do the job?” and “Can they work the way I need them to?”.
This is because while someone may be able to do the job you want, they might have certain stipulations due to overbooking, irredeemable payments from previous employers, and other conditions regarding revisions from the employer, etc., that make them unsuitable for you.
Start by finding out whether they can do the job. This primarily includes skill-based questions like:
- What tools they use (for programming, project management, etc.)
- Who they’ve worked for before (especially someone they did a similar job for)
- How much experience they have with Shopify development
- How conversant they are with device compatibility
- What do you know about SEO
To determine whether a developer is the right fit, you can ask questions that speak to the nature of your work and the current state of your store. Some examples may look a bit like this:
- How good are your communication skills?
- Can you easily collaborate with a team?
- How will you make my store more unique?
- What are your payment terms?
- How soon can I get a sample of the work?
Other Pointers To Look Out For
Professionalism – A good freelance software developer should have their own website and custom domain name plus email address. They should also have their other information like contacts and portfolio well-organized, compact, and tailored to whatever medium they use.
Neat outlines, appealing graphics, etc.
Effectiveness – You can find out how effective a developer is by visiting the sites listed in their portfolio and testing them. Look at them as a customer and ask yourself whether they look the way you’d want yours to, and have features that behave the exact way you want yours to.
This is one of the best ways to work around fake reviews and ratings.
Continuity – It is extremely vital to select a developer who will not just deliver the product and leave. You should choose someone who will offer technical support after delivery.
These solutions don’t always hit the ground running, and even when they do, new changes in other related areas can affect them.
For the more integral business elements like payments and promotions, you want to make sure that there’s minimal downtime or other errors. This is where round-the-clock support can come in handy.
Another key consideration is budgeting. Just because the internet says you can get a job X done for an amount Y, doesn’t mean you should set aside just Y for the project.
Sometimes, you’ll find that you can’t pay a certain developer in a particular currency, or you need extra hands to polish the work delivered.
In other cases, you might get a complete solution from the developer, but it may not have the ultimate desired effect. Some developers also leave for other opportunities further down the road.
Your budget must anticipate all sorts of miscellaneous costs and setbacks meaning that you should probably have a cap somewhere above what your research initially told you.
Shopify integration developers can take your store from one that works well for a few people, to one that is loved by the masses. Always make sure you pick one who is not only capable of doing the job but can remain consistent over time.