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How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an E-Commerce Store?

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the planet. And it’s not hard to see why. 

It’s user-friendly, boasts lots of high-end features, and is constantly improving. Plus, it’s trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world.

It’s the second most popular eCommerce platform globally, commanding 18% of the market share. It only trails WooCommerce (30%) and outpaces competitors such as Wix, Big Commerce, Magento, Weebly, and Squarespace. 

It’s worth mentioning that it’s the leading eCommerce platform in the US, commanding 32% of the eCommerce market share. 

How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an E-Commerce Store? 1

So, if you’re looking to start an online store, it’s likely that Shopify will be among your platforms of choice.

But what if you need help setting up and customizing your store? That’s where professional Shopify developers come in. 

How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an eCommerce Store?

What Does a Shopify Developer Do?

A Shopify developer is a tech specialist dedicated to helping store owners set up and customize their Shopify stores. They can help with everything from integrating your store with a payment gateway to adding custom functionality or designing a new theme.

Why Hire a Shopify Developer?

While Shopify is user-friendly and easy to set up, you’re better off leaving some of the tasks to the professionals. 

Moreover, hiring a Shopify developer will save you time and money in the long run and give you peace of mind knowing you left nothing to chance.

So, Why Are Shopify Developers in Such High Demand?

Shopify works even better with small businesses. It’s easy to set up, scalable, user-friendly and affordable enough to accommodate any budget.

Recently, following the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw many businesses collapse. So, for a comeback, many resorted to taking their operations online. 

That meant looking for an eCommerce solution that would hold everything together, from launching, running, and managing a successful eCommerce business. 

For all demands, a name that struck a chord with most people was Shopify. That’s because it made the whole hassle of setting up an online store a breeze and easy to manage.

Online business owners and retailers alike started moving towards eCommerce platforms, mostly Shopify. 

As a result, the demand for Shopify development solutions increased, and so was the demand for Shopify developers. 

Top 5 advantages of hiring a Shopify developer | Pearl White Media

The Benefits of Hiring a Shopify Developer

  • Diversify Your Income Stream: We’ll all agree times have changed. Customers aren’t willing to let go of the luxury of ordering an item and having it delivered right where they are. 

You might argue that your business only caters to offline customers. But what if a segment of your customers prefers being served right at the comfort of their home or office? 

That spells an extra source of income. And who wouldn’t want that?  

  • A way of Ensuring Your Business Follows All the Best Development Practises for Ecommerce: 

You’re not just looking to set up an online store. You want the store to have the best user experience, design, and cleanest code. You want to see it optimized for SEO, speed, and conversions.

This is where a Shopify developer comes in. They will help you set up your store in the best way possible, following the latest development practices for eCommerce stores. 

  • No Need to Worry About Technical Stuff: You’re not tech-savvy and have no idea where to start. Don’t worry. A Shopify developer is all you need to get started with everything and be on the right foot. 

In fact, that’s the main reason people hire Shopify developers — to take care of the technical stuff. 

A good Shopify developer will help you set up your store, integrate it with payment gateways, add custom functionality, and design a new theme, among other things. 

In short, they will take care of everything technical for you so you can focus on what you do best — running your business.

  • Saves You Time and Money in the Long Run: This is probably the most important benefit of all. Hiring a Shopify developer will save you time and money in the long run. 

You see, if you try to do everything on your own, chances are you will make mistakes that will cost you time and money to fix.  

But if you leave it to the professionals, they will do it right the first time, saving you the trouble and money of having to fix things later on.

  • Help You Add Custom Features to Your Ecommerce Store: 

Shopify is a great platform, but it’s not perfect for everyone. That’s where custom development solutions come in. 

A good Shopify developer will help you add custom features to your eCommerce store, tailoring them to your specific needs and requirements. 

  • Ensure That Your eCommerce Store is Secure: One of the most important aspects of any eCommerce store is security. After all, you are dealing with sensitive customer information, such as credit card details and addresses. 

A good Shopify developer will help you ensure your store is secure from the ground up. They will also help you set up SSL certificates and install security patches when released.

  • They Have Unique Insights and Development Experience: Lastly, hiring a Shopify developer gives you access to their unique insights and development experience. 

A good Shopify developer will share their knowledge and help you get on the right track. 

You can then use this experience to take your business to the next level. 


Reasons you should hire a Shopify developer - Digis Mak

What an Experienced Shopify Developer Can Help You Out With

  • Increase Sales: Through CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), SEO, sales channel, tracking, analytics, etc.
  • Reach Qualified Customers: By developing targeted marketing campaigns. Through email marketing, banner ads, social media marketing, marketing and sales guidance, etc. 
  • Improve Customer Loyalty & Retention: Automate processes like shipping, packaging, customer service, follow-up emails, etc.
  • Develop brand awareness/affinity: By developing a great UX design, customizing Shopify themes, adding blog functionality, etc.
  • Branding: Logo design, brand name research & selection, brand strategy development, etc
  • Web Design: Shopify website design, development, customization of themes, etc.
  • eCommerce Platform Development: Shopify app development, Shopify theme development, plugin development, coding & customization, etc
  • Ongoing Support & Maintenance: Managing updates, backups, security, Shopify consultation, etc.

What Skills Does a Shopify Developer Have?

It takes more than just knowing how to code or knowing your way around the Shopify dashboard to be a good Shopify developer. 

A good Shopify developer should also have: 

  • Solid understanding of eCommerce concepts and best practices
  • Good knowledge of Shopify’s platform and features
  • Expertise in coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
  • Experience in creating custom themes and plugins for Shopify
  • Knowledge of web design principles
  • Experience in using Shopify’s analytics and tracking tools

So, if you’re looking to hire a Shopify developer, make sure they have the above skills. This will ensure they’re capable of taking your ecommerce store to the next level.

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Shopify Statistics You Should Know Before Setting Up Your eCommerce Store in 2022

  • There are over 1.59 million active Shopify stores.
  • Some of the major brands you know, like Pepsi, Nestle, Budweiser, Unilever, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more, use Shopify to sell their products online. Innovative brands such as Hawkers, Gymshark, Leesa and celebrities such as Kanye West also use the platform. (Shopify)
  • Most Shopify merchants use apps —  a few common ones are MailChimp, Klaviyo, Printful, Insafeed, Loox, and more. (Store Lead)
  • As of June 2019, Shopify reported that more than 100,000 merchants were using their POS system. (Shopify)
  • Customers are twice as likely to purchase your product if you upload a 3D image of it instead of a flat photo (Shopify)
  • The number of Shopify merchants has been snowballing. In 2012, they only had 42,000 merchants. In 2016, the number of merchants shot to 377,000. And in 2019, there were over 1.2 million Shopify merchants. (Shopify)
  • Shopify is available in over 175 countries and is translated into 50 languages.
  • Some of the largest Shopify stores make over $20 million per year in sales.
  • To help its customers resolve security issues, Shopify has a Security Bounty Program. They have awarded over $850,000 to researchers and ethical who have helped make Shopify more secure. 

When Do You Need to Hire a Shopify Developer?

You can hire a Shopify developer at any point in your Shopify journey. 

If you’re starting, you can hire a developer to help you choose the right Shopify theme, set up your store, customize the store, and add products. 

Suppose you’ve been running your store for a while, but you’re not seeing the results you want. In that case, a developer can help you optimize the store for conversion, develop custom applications, and integrate it with external services. 

And if you’re a large enterprise with a complex Shopify setup, you may need to hire a developer on an ongoing basis to help you manage and maintain your store. 

No matter what stage you’re at, a Shopify developer can help you reach your goals.


How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an eCommerce Store?

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Shopify Developer?

The cost of hiring a Shopify developer depends on several factors, such as their location, skillset, and experience.

Overall, be prepared to pay $50-$250/hour for a Shopify developer. 

If you’re looking to hire a developer for a one-time project, you can expect to pay $500-$5,000. 

And if you’re looking for ongoing help, you can expect to pay $2,500-$4,000/month. 

Of course, these are just rough estimates. The actual cost will depend on your specific project details. 


How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an E-Commerce Store? 2

Types of Shopify Developers

When looking to hire a Shopify developer, you’ll come across three main types of agencies that offer Shopify development services: 

  • Full-Service Agencies
  • Independent Developers
  • Shopify Experts

Let’s take a look at each type in more detail.

1) Full-Service Agencies

If you want to work with an agency that can handle everything from start to finish, we suggest you go with a full-service agency. 

Full-service agencies are companies that offer a wide range of services, such as web design, development, digital marketing, and more. 

Some agencies specialize in Shopify, while others offer Shopify as one of many services. 

When you work with a full-service agency, you can expect to pay more than you would for an independent developer. But you’ll also benefit from working with a team of experts with enough knowledge and experience to handle every aspect of your eCommerce project. 

2) Independent Developers

An independent developer is a freelancer who specializes in Shopify development. 

Independent developers are often cheaper than agencies. The problem is that they don’t offer the same range of services as agencies. 

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If you hire an independent developer, you might have to find someone else to handle the other aspects of your project.

3) Shopify Experts

Shopify Experts are developers who have been vetted by Shopify and are experts in their field. 

If you want to work with a developer who has proven experience with Shopify, we suggest you look for a Shopify Expert. 

Shopify Experts can be independent developers or agencies. The main benefit of working with a Shopify Expert is that you know they have the skills and experience to do the job.


Type of Shopify Developer Based on Specialty

When hiring a Shopify developer, you’ll want to consider their speciality.

The three main types of Shopify developers are: 

  • Front-end developer
  • Backend developer
  • Full-stack developer

Let’s take a look at each type in detail.

1) Front-end Developer

A front-end developer is responsible for the “front end” of the store, which is what the customer sees and interacts with.  

The front end includes the theme, the layout, the design, and the user experience. 

If you’re more concerned about your site’s aesthetics and user experience, you’ll want to hire a front-end developer.

Front-end Developer Skillset

  • Experience and expertise in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Liquid
  • Working knowledge of Shopify’s theme structure
  • Ability to create responsive themes that work on all devices
  • PSD to CSS execution
  • Adobe creative suite (Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator)
  • Working knowledge with a JavaScript framework, such as ReactJS, NodeJs, VueJS, JQuery, or Angular
  • MVVS JS patterns or CommonJS/AMD
  • SCSS/LESS experience
  • Special platform working experience: Hybris, WebSphere, or Demandware
  • Experience in Git, CVS, or SVN
  • Self-directed
  • Collaborative and flexible

2) Backend Developer

A backend developer is responsible for the “back end” of the store, which is the functionality and how the store works. 

The back end includes Shopify’s APIs, third-party apps, and database integration.

If you’re more concerned about your store’s functionality and want to make sure it can scale, you’ll want to hire a backend developer. 

Backend Developer Skillset

  • Experience and expertise in Shopify’s APIs and third-party apps
  • Database integration (MySQL, MongoDB, etc.)
  • Web hosting and server administration (Linux, Apache, Nginx, etc.)
  • Ability to scale Shopify stores
  • Experience working with Cloud services, such as AWS
  • Experiences working with backend programming languages and frameworks, such as PHP, Node.JS, Ruby on Rails, GraphQL, Java/JEE, or Python

A backend developer can enhance your codebase to make it more efficient. They’re also good at fixing bugs and errors.

3) Full-Stack Developer

A full-stack developer is experienced in both the front and back end of Shopify development. They have a working knowledge of HTML/CSS/JavaScript and backend programming languages. 

If you want someone who can handle both the design and functionality of your store, you’ll want to hire a full-stack developer. 

Full-Stack Developer Skillset

  • Experience and expertise in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Liquid
  • Working knowledge of Shopify’s theme structure
  • Ability to create responsive themes that work on all devices
  • PSD to CSS execution
  • Adobe creative suite (Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator) 
  • Experience and expertise in Shopify’s APIs and third-party apps
  • Database integration (MySQL, MongoDB, Firebase, etc)
  • Deep understanding of DOM
  • Experience with Shopify’s properties/objects, AJAX API, and Meta fields
  • Web hosting and server administration (Linux, Apache, Nginx, etc.)
  • Ability to scale Shopify stores
  • Experience working with Cloud services, such as AWS
  • Experience working with backend programming languages and frameworks, such as PHP, Node.JS, Ruby on Rails, GraphQL, Java/JEE, or Python.

How to Hire a Professional Shopify Developer for an eCommerce Store?

How to Hire a Shopify Developer for Your eCommerce Store

(Step-by-Step Guide, from Preparation to Interviewing to Making an Offer)

Now that you know the different types of Shopify developers and what skills they bring to the table, it’s time to start looking for one! 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to hire a Shopify developer for your eCommerce store.

Step One: Assess Your Project Requirements

The first step is to assess your project requirements. That will help you determine the type of developer you need and what skills they should have. 

To do this, answer the following questions:

  • What type of store do you want to build? 
  • Do you have any design files, such as a PSD or Sketch file? 
  • What functionality do you need? 
  • Do you need any integrations, such as a payment gateway or CRM? 
  • Do you have a budget for this project? 
  • Once you have answers to these questions, you can move on to the next step.

Step Two: Define Your Business Goals

The next step is to define your business goals. This will help you determine what type of developer you need and what skills they should have. 

To do this, answer the following questions:

  • What are your long-term business goals? 
  • Do you want to scale your business? 
  • Do you need a custom solution, or can you use an off-the-shelf solution? 

Make sure you know what type of developer you need right off the gate. This will save you time and money in the long run. 

Define your business objective and be sure to communicate it to your potential developer during the interview process.

Step Three: Write a Job Posting

Now that you know what type of developer you need and what skills they should have, it’s time to write a job posting. 

When writing your job posting, make sure to include the following:

  • A detailed description of your project 
  • The type of developer you need (front-end, backend, or full-stack) 
  • A list of required skills 
  • Your budget for the project 
  • The timeline for the project 
  • Your contact information 

Once you have a job posting, you can move on to the next step.

Step Four: Decide Your Budget

The next step is to decide your budget. This will help you determine how much you can afford to pay a developer. 

Before you sign a contract, ask the developer for a detailed breakdown of their fees. This will help you avoid any unexpected costs. 

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To get an idea of how much you should budget for your project, take a look at these Shopify developer rates: 

Hourly Rates: 

  • $25-$50/hour (If you’re on a tight budget) 
  • $50-$100/hour (If you have a medium budget) 
  • $100-$150/hour (If you have a large budget) 
  • $150+/hour (If you have an unlimited budget) 

Flat-Fee Rates: 

  • $500-$5,000 (If you’re on a tight budget) 
  • $5,000-$10,000 (If you have a medium budget) 
  • $10,000-$20,000 (If you have a large budget) 
  • $20,000+ (If you have an unlimited budget) 

Keep in mind that these are just general ranges. Rates will vary depending on the developer’s location, experience, and skillset.

Step Five: Hiring Models 

Now that you know what type of developer you need, what skills they should have, and how much you’re willing to pay, it’s time to decide on a hiring model. 

There are three main hiring models for Shopify developers: 

  • Fixed priced model 
  • Time and materials model 
  • Retainer model 

Fixed-priced Model: With this model, you and the developer will agree on a price for the entire project before work begins. It’s an excellent option if you have a clear idea of what you want and don’t anticipate any scope creep. 

Time and Materials Model: With this model, you will pay the developer for their time, plus the cost of any materials or resources used. This is a good option if you’re unsure of what you want or anticipate scope creep. 

Retainer Model: With this model, you will pay the developer a monthly fee for a set number of hours. It’s a great option if your project needs ongoing support or maintenance. 

Once you’ve decided on a hiring model, you can move on to the next step.

Step Six: Project Timeline 

The next step is to create a project timeline. This will help you keep track of your project and stay on schedule. 

To create a project timeline, answer the following questions: 

What is the scope of your project? 

What are your milestones? 

When do you need the project completed? 

Try estimating the number of hours required for each task and create a timeline. Be sure to communicate your timeline to your developer. See if they agree to it or think some of the tasks may take a longer or shorter period to complete. 

Step Seven: Choose Reporting Tools 

Now that you have a timeline, it’s time to choose reporting tools. Reporting tools will help you track your project and ensure it’s on schedule. 

There are a variety of reporting tools available, but some of the most popular include: 

  • Basecamp 
  • Asana 
  • Slack  
  • Trello

Step Eight: Set Up Payment Methods 

The next step is to set up payment methods. This will ensure that you can pay your developer and that they’re able to receive payments.  

There are a few different payment methods available, but some of the most popular include: 

  • PayPal  
  • Stripe 
  • Bank transfer 
  • Check 

Once you’ve set up your payment methods, you can move on to the next step.

Step Nine: Decide on the Kind of Shopify Developer You Need

The next step is to decide on the kind of Shopify developer you need. As discussed earlier, there are three main types of Shopify developers: 

  • Front-end developer 
  • Backend developer 
  • Full-stack developer 

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need one or more of these developers.

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12 things to look for when reviewing a contract - The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog

Things to Consider Before Signing a Contract with a Shopify Developer

Now that you’ve found the perfect Shopify developer, it’s time to sign a contract. But before you do, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Conduct an Interview: Ask if you can meet the developer and have a one-on-one interview session. Where you can’t meet them in person, schedule for a phone call or zoom meeting instead. This will give you a chance to get to know the developer and ask any questions you may have. 
  • Check Their Portfolio: Ask to see the developer’s portfolio. This will give you a good idea of their skills and experience.
  • Go through Reviews and Feedback: Take the time to read reviews and feedback from previous clients. Ask the developer for references and contact them to get their opinion. This will give you a clear picture of their profile, level of professionalism, working proficiency, and more. 
  • Understand Their Process: Make sure you understand the developer’s process. 
    • How do they work? 
    • What is their timeline? 
    • What communication tools do they use? 

This will help you set expectations and avoid misunderstandings down the road.

  • Discuss Specific Requirements of the Project: This is where you discuss your project with the developer in detail. Both parties must be on the same page regarding the scope, timeline, budget, and project expectations. 
  • Allocate a Sample Test Project: Ask the developer to complete a small test project. This will give you a good idea of their skills and abilities. 
  • Check Their Availability: Ensure the developer is available when you need them. If they’re not, look for someone else.
  • Read the Contract Thoroughly: Once you’ve found a developer, you’re happy with, it’s time to sign the contract. But before you do, make sure you’ve read it and understood everything. If there’s anything you don’t understand, ask for clarification. 
  • Check their Communication: Before awarding the project, have a quick chat with the developer on the phone or via zoom. See how they communicate and if they’re easy to get along with. You’ll be working with this person closely. You must make sure you have good communication. 
  • Get Everything in Writing: Once you’ve considered these factors, it’s time to get everything in writing. This includes the scope of work, timeline, payment schedule, and more. Having everything in writing will protect you in case you encounter any problems. 

Integrations - answer to most common problems of Shopify stores

Where to Find the Right Shopify Developer?

In this section of the post, we’ll be discussing some of the best places to find a Shopify developer for your eCommerce store.

1# Through Research Firms (Goodfirms.co, Clutch.co, Extract.co) 

  • GoodFirms is a research and reviews platform that ranks software development companies, agencies, and service providers. To be featured on GoodFirms, companies must complete a rigorous verification process. 
  • Clutch is another research and reviews platform that connects businesses with the best-fit agencies or service providers. Clutch’s analysts conduct in-depth interviews with a company’s former clients to collect feedback and verify the quality of their work. 
  • Extract. co is a platform that enables companies to find and connect with the best software development agencies. Extract only features companies verified and vetted by their team of experts.

2# Through Individual Websites: A simple Google search will reveal a long list of individual websites that offer Shopify development services. While there are many great developers out there, it’s important to do your due diligence and research each one carefully before making a decision. 

3# Through Online Freelance Portals (Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, Toptal.com): There are several online freelance portals to connect businesses with freelancers worldwide. Upwork is one of the largest and most popular platforms, with over 12 million registered freelancers. Fiverr is another popular platform, with over 3 million services available. And Toptal is a premium platform that only features the top 3% of freelancers. 

4# Through Shopify Experts: Shopify has its own platform that connects businesses with Shopify experts. These experts are vetted by Shopify and must meet a number of criteria, including having an in-depth understanding of Shopify’s platform and features, being able to solve complex problems, and more.

5# Through social media (LinkedIn, Facebook) 

Social media is another great place to find a Shopify developer. LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with professionals in your industry. And Facebook has several groups dedicated to Shopify development that you can join.  


The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Web Developer or Web Agency for Your Project - Think Tanker

Hiring Freelance Shopify Developer Vs. Hiring an Agency 

There are two main ways to hire a Shopify developer: a freelance platform or an agency. There are pros and cons to both, so it’s crucial to weigh your options carefully before deciding.

That said, we’d like to compare the two side by side:

Freelance Shopify Developer

Shopify Development Agency

Management

Depend on the skill level and the experience that the developer has. You can completely rely on the agency as they have a team of experts that will manage the project from start to finish.

Pricing

Pricing can vary depending on the developer’s experience and location. Pricing is usually a bit higher than hiring a freelance developer, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality and results.

Quality of Work

The quality of work can vary depending on the developer’s experience and skills. The quality of work is usually higher when you hire an agency, as they have a team of experts working on your project.

Communication

The communication can be a bit sporadic, as the developer may also be working on other projects. Communication is usually better when you hire an agency, as they have a dedicated team working on your project and an account manager to oversee everything.

Availability

As per their availability, they might not be able to work on your project full-time. The agency will have a team of developers working on your project. So, even if one developer is unavailable, someone else can pick up the work.

Project Complexity

If the project is complex, it might be difficult for a single person to handle everything. In such cases, it’s better to hire an agency. Agencies are better equipped to handle complex projects, as they have a team of experts, each with their own area of expertise.

 

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