ZipRecruiter says Shopify developers earn an average of $93,169 a year.
What does that mean for you?
Well, that’s how much you’d have to spend to get an average Shopify developer on board. And we are saying average. The best ones would definitely cost much more.
(Or much less, if you go with a smart hiring option. Keep reading to find out the most financially prudent way to hire a Shopify developer.)
Cost aspect apart, it is not an easy task to locate a reliable and knowledgeable Shopify developer.
Sure many developers can create a store. That takes about a week to learn.
The point is to find a developer who can build a successful eStore for your business. It’s the difference between knowing how to drive around the block and being a professional driver.
There is no lack of wannabes, and you need to be careful.
What Should Your Ideal Shopify Developer Look Like?
- Dependable and Advanced Software Skills
Technical knowledge is the most significant criteria for recruiting a candidate. It is also the one that laypeople least understand.
An excellent grasp of API integration and Core PHP is needed. API allows one application to communicate with another. Core PHP is a language used for creating dynamic web pages.
Other than all that, a good understanding of Liquid (language used by Shopify) and the Shopify platform is essential too.
- Enough and Varied Experience
Several years of coding experience is desirable. More experience usually translates to a better developer. The best developers come with more than 15 years long experience in HTML and CSS.
Long experience also allows them to debug quicker and write better code.
Do not understate your requirements when you set out to look for someone.
If you want an online store with all possible app integrations and three hundred product pages, then you need to be upfront about your needs to scare away the also-rans.
It is better to err on the side of caution and select the most experienced developer you can afford.
- Exceptional Communication Skills
For the project to proceed smoothly and meet all the milestones, the developer must be frank and forthcoming.
They have to understand what you require. Since you are not a developer, they’ll need to translate your requirement spoken in layman’s terms into a technical process.
On the other hand, the developer has to communicate roadblocks to you in uncomplicated words.
Ensure that your developer has proficiency in soft skills besides coding talent. A project is going to need both of you to work together in tandem.
- An Updated and Impressive Portfolio
You can grasp the quality of their work from what they have delivered in the past. An extensive portfolio is a crucial test of their ability. The testimonials of past clients also play a vital role. Do not go by canned testimonials alone but contact a few of them if possible and ask for a first-hand review.
Not only must he possess a prolonged exposure in website design but specialize in the industry you have chosen.
All e-commerce sites are not the same. A site for a travel agency is very different from an online shop selling bespoke sneakers and eye-catching accessories.
Understanding the quirks of your industry and your customers is a definite plus point.
- Ability To Support A Project After The Go-Live
After the website is operational, it needs constant care and nurturing. Few apps and plugins might need tweaking and pages slightly redesigned over time.
As your business gets off the ground, you might prefer to incorporate specialized apps such as Candy Rack (used to promote upselling).
A long-term support plan is necessary. If the developer is going to sign out completely after the project, you have a problem on your hands.
It is better to appoint someone who is going to be around even after the project is over.
When Can You Find A Shopify Developer?
You cannot expect to bump into a worthy Shopify developer on the streets randomly. You’ll have to look for them.
The following places –
- Dedicate Offshore Agencies
This is probably (well, definitely!) the simplest way to hire a Shopify developer.
Think of it this way. You need an expert for a project. But you don’t have to vet hundreds of candidates. You don’t have to negotiate their salaries individually, and you don’t have to grab a microscope to analyze their portfolio or GitHub profile. And no need to even be concerned about their integrity or interpersonal skills.
Someone else has already done that for you.
All you need to do is hire the right agency on board. And boom! You are done.
The agency will have onboard the best of the best Shopify developers, and they will work as an extended arm of your organization.
But mind you, there won’t be any extra pressure on you or your team or accommodate an entirely new department. It is like being able to hire a freelance team. You get the best of both worlds.
You don’t have to manage the ace Shopify developers who’d be working for you, nor look after their overheads.
But because you are onboarding a team (including as many or as few experts as you want), you also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone is always ready to work on issues that might crop up in your Shopify development process.
Normal judgment would suggest that a dedicated offshore agency is the best, simplest, and most cost-effective option.
The only catch here is that you’d need to find a trustworthy agency first. (Though spending time in hiring one agency with which you can build long-term ties is, of course, more efficient than looking for multiple Shopify experts.)
For those of you who have been bitten by the DIY bug and want to go on a lookout for experts on your own, we do have some other options that you can consider.
- Shopify Experts
The Shopify site has a directory of expert developers. They are competent designers who are adept with the platform and plugins.
These developers also are active contributors to the Shopify community and more likely to receive help from internal Shopify sources for technological hiccups.
You can either browse through the directory or advertise the job and review the applications.
Shopify organizes in-person meet-and-greet sessions in large cities around the world. You can find schedules of upcoming events on their site.
Not only are Shopify Events and Meetups useful for personal interaction with developers, but they also enable you to acquire a deeper insight into the platform and its capabilities.
Upwork is superb for recruiting freelance developers. There are several thousand Shopify developers who have posted their profiles on Upwork.
Note that Upwork has no internal evaluation mechanism for ranking Shopify developers. It is purely based on their reviews.
Therefore be cautious before you hand over the project to someone who lives on a different continent.
Post your project and budget. You are sure to receive a deluge of proposals. Take your time with the assessment process. Set deliverables and project milestones and discuss them with those shortlisted.
Toptal is also a freelancer platform like Upwork. The difference is that they screen the resumes more thoroughly.
On its site, Toptal reveals that they hire only 3% of those who apply to be on the platform. This makes it elite but also expensive.
There are several more platforms, such as Clutch.co, that list developers of varying competence.
Finding expert developers who can not only create a great-looking site but also help with SEO, setting up multichannel sales, and integrate payment gateways is no easy task.
When you decide to take the hiring decision on your own, it is crucial that you take your time to interview and appraise each candidate.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Shopify Developer?
There is no direct answer to that question. It all depends on how you hire Shopify developers.
To make the comparison understandable for you, let’s look at how much it would cost depending on the different options that you have.
Option 1: Hire Freelancer Shopify Developers
Most freelancers would want to work on an hourly basis. The rates vary widely across the world.
- Someone based in the US or Canada might charge $180.
- Developers in Ukraine and India for as little as $20.
The development of a basic site takes about a week at most. This means the minimum you would have to pay would be for around 40 hours of work.
But fine-tuning all aspects of it can take a couple of months.
If you are planning a custom-themed store with hundreds of product pages, you could end up spending several thousand dollars on a top-notch expert over several months.
But that’s all. You won’t have any overheads with freelancers. No PF, insurance, or provisions for sick leaves.
Just hope the freelancer you hire doesn’t run away in the middle of the project, or else you’d be forced to spend time and money on hiring someone else and getting them to take the project from where the previous one left it.
Option 2 – Hire A Web Design Agency
The other way is to approach a web design agency that specializes in setting up Shopify sites. A web design agency is professionally managed. In addition, they have separate teams for SEO, graphic design, social media management, and other aspects. Many entrepreneurs find it easier to interact with an agency instead of a freelancer working part-time.
The cost of hiring an agency would depend primarily on the type of agency you hire and the type of Shopify store you want to get developed.
- A simple store designed by a small agency would cost you between $4,000 to $8,000.
- The cost would be between $10,000 to $15,000 for a more sophisticated store (Read: with features that almost all of your competitors would have).
- If you want to get a Shopify store similar to the size of Amazon, you’d need to dish out $50,000 to $300,000. But that’s really a very specific situation, and in most cases, you’d get done with much less than that.
If you feel you just need someone to do ad-hoc work for your Shopify development store, some agencies might also be willing to work on hourly rates. The rates could be somewhere between $80 to $150 per hour. However, note that ad-hoc work would mean you won’t have someone to fall back on if someone goes wrong with your store after the initial setup.
Option 3 – Hire Full-Time Developers On Payroll
On the other hand, you might like to recruit a full-time developer as part of your staff. Though the most expensive option, it helps a lot since an e-commerce site needs constant updating and attention to work optimally.
- According to Glassdoor, the average base pay in the US is approximately $86,000 annually.
- That dips sharply to about INR 471,000 ($6300) in India.
Note: Other than the base pay, you’d have to pay the overheads and taxes too. The additional cost would depend on the type of organization that you have and the local government regulations.
Option 4 – Hire A Dedicated Offshore Team
The cost of getting Shopify development services from an offshore team depends on what agency you choose. The rates vary drastically on the scope of your project and the level of expertise, customization, and precision required by the firm.
A reliable agency that has been in the business for over a decade and has hands-on experience of working with 100+ clients, like Webential, would be suitable for most types of projects.
- If you choose to hire Shopify experts from Webential, you can either have part-time Shopify developers on board for $1,500 a month.
- For $3,000, you can get a full-time Shopify developer.
Now, if you get really, really lucky and get a competent freelance Shopify developer for the lowest possible price (i.e., $20/hour), and that expert works 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, your total monthly cost would be $3,200. ($20 x 8 hours x 5 days x 4 weeks)
With a developer from a dedicated offshore agency, you’d still be saving $200. And, of course, there won’t be any hassle that you’d ordinarily associate with freelancers.
And the cost of hiring Shopify developers via this model is obviously inexpensive compared to what you’d pay to a web development agency or a full-time developer that you hire from the open market.
Note that when working with Shopify, there might be additional overheads for high-quality images by professional photographers, content writing, SEO, etc.
Over To You…
Someone who thoroughly understands web design in general and Shopify, in particular, is ideal for your purpose.
Even with budget constraints, the developer should be able to create a site that is well optimized for SEO. The ability to provide continued support even after the project completion isn’t a bonus, but something that you should expect.
And you can onboard such an expert with absolutely no hassles involved by contacting Webential. Don’t delay your Shopify store development anymore. Start hiring right away and advance on your journey of converting leads into checkouts.