What is PHP?
PHP is a general-purpose scripting language typically used to create websites and web applications. Although a number of developers dislike PHP and believe it to be dead, trends suggest otherwise. According to W3Techs, as of April 2021, 78.9% of all websites whose server-side programming is known by the site use PHP.
PHP has often been described as a server-side language. This means that PHP code is not executed on the visitor’s browser. Instead, it’s executed on the server that is embedded into the HTML, which is when it’s sent to the user.
PHP can be used to:
- Send and receive cookies
- Create page content
- Output PDF files and images
- Encrypt data
- Output HTML
If your developers want to minimize the time spent on repetitive coding, they should look into getting a PHP framework. A PHP framework is a platform that lets you create PHP applications. They give developers access to libraries for common functions so that they don’t have to spend as much time coding from scratch.
Besides boosting efficiency and effectiveness, PHP frameworks encourage developers to follow coding best practices. For instance, they can sort code according to function, which can boost productivity and make it easier for your developers to go back and fix any issues that crop up. PHP frameworks can also help your developers create more secure apps. This is because well-constructed frameworks have built-in defenses and data sanitization. These can dramatically cut the chances of falling victim to security threats such as SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, and cross-site request forgery.
Most Popular PHP Frameworks
Now that you know why PHP frameworks are important for developers, let’s take a look at the most popular PHP frameworks in 2021.
Symphony is a flexible, fast, and expandable PHP framework for developers. Whatever your developer’s needs are, Symfony will adapt. It’s essentially a three-in-one framework consisting of:
- Full Stack (the complete version), for developers who want to create complex applications with many functionalities
- Brick by brick, for developers who want to build a framework according to the functionalities they need
- Microframework, for developers who want to create a specific functionality in a project
As one of the top PHP frameworks, Symfony offers a wide pool of reusable PHP components for your developers to use. They can choose from any of the 50 stand-alone components to create their own application.
Joining the Symfony community also makes your developers part of a group of over 600,000 developers from more than 120 countries. By contributing to the Symfony community and networking with its other developers, your developers can build upon existing frameworks to strengthen their own.
Formerly known as the Zend Project, the Laminas Project is an enterprise-ready PHP framework that lets your developers build APIs and applications in minutes.
With powerful components for any PHP application, such as event dispatchers, input validation, pagination, and dependency injection, the Laminas Project is perfect for developers working on complicated projects. Like with Symfony, developers can pick and choose the components they need for their projects.
CakePHP is another well-known PHP framework. It stands out for being easy to set up and use — your developers won’t have to rely on YAML or XML files to set up the framework. All they have to do is set up their database, and they’re ready to build and bake.
As with Symfony and the Laminas Project, developers can use existing code in the framework’s library to create applications and APIs. They can also use CakePHP to generate and scaffold code to speed up the prototype-building process.
CakePHP also has:
- An in-built ORM
- Security features, such as encryption, CSRE protection, password hashing, and more
- Components and Helpers, which boost productivity and decrease stress by simplifying development
- CakeFest conferences, where developers can talk to other developers about the framework and learn from one another
Which Companies Use PHP?
Although some companies have stopped using PHP and shifted to other languages like Python and Java, many big-name organizations still use PHP. These include WordPress, Wikipedia, Etsy, Slack, Facebook, and more.
Let’s take a look at why WordPress and Slack have chosen to use PHP.
WordPress is one of the biggest proponents of PHP. It has most of its core files in PHP. Even its themes and plugins consist of a bunch of PHP files. WordPress also uses the language for hooks, classes, and functions that developers can customize as needed.
According to Slack’s Chief Architect, Keith Adams, “Slack uses PHP for most of its server-side application logic.” They specifically chose to use PHP because of the environment that’s associated with it, which is characterized by:
- High production rate
- Safe concurrency — execution of multiple commands or sequences at the same time
- Reduced cost of bugs
Why Should You Hire PHP developers?
You should hire PHP developers because PHP is one of the most powerful programming languages. With PHP, you’ll be able to:
- Do a variety of tasks. PHP is incredibly versatile, and its uses range from displaying photos and PDFs on your website to encrypting passwords.
- Reach your project goals quickly. PHP is incredibly fast and smooth to use. So much so, actually, that developers often create prototypes in PHP first because of how easy it is to use.
- Scale up your web app or website easily.
Another reason to hire PHP developers has to do with the logistics of hiring. In other words, it’s now easier than ever to hire the right PHP developer for your project. Due to the proliferation of online degrees, boot camps, certifications, and self-teaching, there are many experienced PHP developers looking for positions on the web.
What Does a PHP Developer Do?
The role of a PHP developer
Since PHP is so flexible, PHP developers can be responsible for many tasks. This includes:
- Developing websites, applications, and programs
- Writing, testing, fixing, and maintaining a website or application’s code
- Debugging and troubleshooting for security problems and other code issues
- Working with other developers to develop and refine software solutions
Hard skills of a PHP developer
Your ideal PHP hire should also:
- Be comfortable with databases such as MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.
- Be up to date about PHP design patterns.
- Be compliant with PHP best practices to avoid making costly and time-consuming mistakes.
- Be comfortable with tools that can simplify the coding process, such as Composer and PHPUnit.
Soft skills of a PHP developer
In addition to considering hard skills, you also need to consider whether a potential hire has the soft skills needed to succeed. These include:
- Good communication skills. This is needed to work with the development team, HR, and other people in your company.
- The ability to empathize with team members. This is an important skill that will help everyone to find quicker solutions to problems.
- Quick problem-solving skills. An ideal candidate should be motivated to take on complex problems and come up with unique approaches to projects.
- Patience. Coding can take a lot of time, particularly when you’re using a new framework or getting used to new project protocol. Developers need a lot of patience to stay at the top of their coding game.
- Accountability. Developers should take responsibility for their mistakes so that others can learn from them. This will also help promote a culture of transparency in your company and encourage other employees to do the same in the future.
Average PHP Developer Salaries and Rates
When determining what kind of salary or rate you should give your potential PHP hire, you first need to realize that there are many different factors that can influence how much a developer is paid. These factors include but aren’t limited to:
- How much relevant education they’ve had
- How much relevant work experience they have
- What country they’re from
- What state they’re from
- What special skills the developer has — do they have a skill that very few others have?
- The difficulty of the job you’re tasking them with
For this reason, this section is split up into three different subsections: one for PHP developer rates — if you’re looking to hire a freelancer, let’s say — one for average PHP developer salaries by state, and one for PHP developer salaries in the USA.
PHP developer rates — PHP freelance developer salaries
If you’re looking to hire freelancers, you'll probably be paying them by the hour. According to ZipRecruiter, freelance PHP developers are paid around $43 per hour, which amounts to $89,182 per year.
Average PHP developer salaries by state
According to ZipRecruiter, the average PHP developer salary varies greatly from state to state.
In North Carolina, for instance, the average PHP developer only earns $67,578 per year, which amounts to $32.49 per hour. In Massachusetts, however, the average PHP developer can expect to earn an average of $92,422 per year or $44.43 per hour.
PHP developer salaries in the USA
According to Glassdoor, PHP developers typically make $79,000 per year in the USA. ZipRecruiter, on the other hand, estimates that freelance PHP developers make around $89,182 per year.
Both of these are nationwide averages, so take these numbers with a grain of salt, particularly since Glassdoor didn’t state whether their figure was for freelance or in-house PHP developers. Recall that PHP developer salaries vary greatly depending on a host of factors.
What You Should Know to Hire PHP Developers
Now that you know what a PHP developer does, what skills they have, and how much they earn, let’s talk about what you need to know before you hire a PHP developer.
First of all, you need to know what you’re looking for. Don’t just hire the first PHP developer who has the right credentials. Look a bit deeper. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking to hire a freelance PHP developer or an in-house developer?
- What makes more sense given your current budget and goals?
- Do you need to hire an in-house developer?
Oftentimes, we assume that we should have someone in-house. But is it really necessary, particularly if they’re going to be doing everything in front of a computer? This is an important point to consider since hiring an in-house developer costs more — insurance, workspace, training, and benefits need to be factored in.
If you’re a startup or a small company, you may want to look into hiring a remote developer, particularly if you are looking to hire quickly. If you value in-person collaboration, you may consider getting someone locally. However, if you want to save costs and get a more diverse, international team, consider hiring Latin American developers through Revelo.
The largest tech recruitment platform in Latin America, Revelo will take responsibility for all of the difficult parts of the hiring process. This includes HR papers, immigration concerns, and even benefits. Altogether, this allows you to focus on integrating your freelancer into your company’s work culture and workflow.
Where to Find PHP Developers
There are many ways to find the perfect PHP developer for your organization or project. Here are the top places for hiring a PHP developer.
Online PHP communities
There are many online communities where developers go to discuss questions or concerns they have regarding PHP. Some examples are:
Now, to hire PHP talent from these boards, you should:
- Read, subscribe, and go through the threads on these boards.
- Pay attention to users with high reputation points who provide thorough explanations and solutions to problems.
- Make a list of the usernames that stick out to you.
- Go through each user’s post history to see if they’re the right fit.
- After confirming they’re the right fit, send them a private message to ask them if they’re interested in working for you.
- Now that you have their name and contact information, you can look them up on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media to evaluate their soft skills and online presence. If something doesn’t match up, ask them about it.
You can also subscribe to newsletters like PHPWeekly to hire PHP developers. Here’s how to do it:
- Subscribe to the newsletter.
- Look through the newsletter to see what kind of posts it has.
- Think about how you can contribute.
- If the newsletter features job advertisements, pitch one to the curators. If not, advertise your company in a less direct manner. Consider writing an article on Medium about the latest trends in the PHP community with a blurb about your company’s achievements and unfilled positions at the end.
- Pitch your idea to the newsletters’ curators.
- Wait for the curators to get back to you. If they accept your pitch, wait for it to be posted. If they don’t accept your pitch, try again.
PHP meetups and conferences
Another way to attract quality talent is to attend PHP meetups and conferences. Consider having your employees attend, either with you or in your place. If you have the funds, you could also set up your own.
There are many lists of upcoming conferences, such as PHP.net’s list. Scour these lists for upcoming meetups you or your employees can attend, and think about how you can make an impression on the attendees.
Usually, conference and meetup attendees are passionate about a specific PHP topic, such as design patterns. Knowing this, you should send employees who are also interested in these topics. Don’t send people who don’t know the topic in question, such as someone from human resources — you need to send employees with actual expertise and interest to attract the talent you need.
Remote job boards
Finally, you can look through remote job boards to hire a PHP developer. These include:
Unlike general job search boards like LinkedIn and Indeed, these boards are specifically for freelancers. This means you’ll be able to locate and narrow down the best person for the job much quicker.
PHP Sample Job Description
Here’s a typical PHP developer job description:
Senior PHP Developer
Revelo is looking for a Senior PHP Developer for their online recruitment platform. This is a freelance remote position for developers located in the following time zones: Pacific Standard Time, Mountain Standard Time, and Eastern Standard Time.
The Senior PHP Developer will work as a remote member of our in-house team. They will be responsible for:
- Maintaining and developing code for our platform, APIs, and apps
- Coding prototypes and infrastructures that enable deployment, innovation, and functionality of features we want to roll out by 20XX
- Working with an international team and meet with us every week on Zoom, Slack, and other platforms
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related subject is required
- 6+ years in PHP, preferably PHP7+
- Experience with caching techniques and tools
- Experience with code versioning tools like GIT
- Thorough understanding and experience with SQL databases and design
- Comfortable using ORMs to access data
- Strong sense of leadership, drive, and curiosity about the tech world
- Able to work independently and meet deadlines as needed
- Pays meticulous attention to detail
- Ability to document all features and code for maintainability and transparency
Do you have what it takes? If you do, click “Apply.” We offer the following:
- Flexible working hours — as long as you meet our weekly requirements, which is around 35-40 hours per week, you’re good to go
- Training programs
- Free tickets to PHP conferences and meetups
- Competitive salary with bonuses
- A great remote working experience that feels like you’re working in-house
PHP Interview Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a couple of candidates, it’s time to interview them to see if they’re the right fit for your position. Here are some questions you can ask to see if they know their stuff and can add value to your projects:
- What are the significant advantages of PHP 7 over PHP 5?
- Explain the difference between Memcache and Memcached.
- What is $_SESSION in PHP?
- What's the difference between the strstr() and substr() functions?
- Do you think PHP is a “dead language” as some have suggested? Why or why not?
- Name some popular PHP frameworks. Which ones have you used before?
- Have you worked remotely before? How did you find the remote work experience?
- How would you query data from a SQL database using PHP?
- What's the purpose of the $_REQUEST variable?
- How do you read a file in PHP?
- Name the different types of errors in PHP.
- What’s the link between cookies and PHP?
Hire Remote PHP Developers with Revelo
Hiring the right people for the job can be difficult, even if you advertise on online PHP communities, PHP newsletters, and remote job boards. It also isn’t guaranteed that you’ll reel in good fits for your company at PHP meetups and conferences.
That’s why you should join Revelo, the largest tech talent platform in Latin America. We have a massive pool of developers who have been vetted for their skills and English-speaking ability. What’s more, they’re located in U.S. time zones — you can work with them in real-time.
If you’re interested, schedule a meeting with us today. Talk to us about your needs and goals and we’ll match you with our best developers. You’ll get a list of our best picks within three days. You can then interview and choose to hire the candidates you want.