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I was impressed with the onboarding process, which was easy & pretty fast. I was matched with a dev with vast experience and in our 1st meeting could understand a project.

Ryan Healy
// Founder at 365Apps, UK

Really great experience. I've hired from lemon quite a few times now and they've always been able to find the right developers in a very short period of time.

James Yu
// Founder at jfyholdings.com, US

Olga has matched us with Sergey who exceeded our expectations. He helped us out at the most hectic times with super complex tasks, had great can do attitude, and worked fast.

Monika Tamics
// Head of Digital Product at GANNI, UK

I don't have to go searching for just the right subcontractor for a specific job, Lemon chooses the right person and if that person has no time or did a poor job, they find a replacement.

Steve Spinner
// Founder at Studio Spinner, Israel



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According to Stack Overflow, PHP is currently in the top 10 of the most popular programming languages in the world (top 5, according to GitHub). PHP outpaces Java and Python in terms of demand and has been used to create Facebook, WordPress, Magento, and a bunch of other programs and services we use daily. So, your decision to hire a PHP programmer is certainly right.



PHP owes such popularity to several reasons: 

  • it’s easy to learn and simple to work with;
  • it’s an OOP (object-oriented programming) language;
  • it’s an open-source language, which means PHP is free and accessible by anyone;
  • it performs well on almost any platform;
  •  it’s flexible and develops constantly (the large community of developers creates all kinds of add-ons and extensions to it regularly);

and so on. 

Considering this, the number of developers working with PHP is huge, and probably even more of them are learning it as you’re reading this. For you, it means that you will always be able to hire a dedicated PHP developer whenever you need them. The main question here is how to hire PHP coders the right way. 

Let’s figure it out.


How to find PHP developers?

Below we’ll overview several platforms where you can hire PHP developers. For now, let’s focus on what steps you should take, and what to pay attention to when recruiting, and typical mistakes people make when they hire PHP programmers.



What suits you best

Depending on the nature of your project, your estimated budget, deadlines, and other factors, you might find yourself choosing between remote developers vs. development agencies. Each has its strong and weak sides: you can read about them in detail in our article, “Freelancers vs. software development company: what’s right for you.” So far, here’s what you need to know to find PHP developers with no sweat.


Hire PHP development companies

Simply put, you want to hire a development company when you want a brand new website or a web application. Of course, you can use the services of a full-time remote team (which can be more beneficial in a number of ways). But, if you are looking for a development company for some reason, here are some aspects you should consider.  


  • They usually provide a full cycle of development, from site layouts to the maintenance of a finished website
  • There is a large team working on your project. Managers, coders, web designers, testers, QA specialists – each PHP web programmer does their best to meet your requirements
  • You can expect support and troubleshooting throughout the whole course of the development process
  • Deadlines are clearly estimated and rarely postponed
  • There is always a person whom you can address with your concerns: your project manager.


  • Pricey! Imagine how many resources a company takes to employ in-house staff, pay taxes, salaries, insurance, office rent, etc. At whose expense do you think a dev company will try to compensate for all that? (Psst, at yours!) 
  • Ownership rights. You might think that since you pay the money, you own the final product. Sometimes, things don’t work that way. And development companies often have an army of lawyers to prove why it is so. 
  • You have little control over what’s going on during the course of development. Of course, they are the experts, not you. But, sometimes, it’s good to have full access to the “workshop,” so to say.  
  • Implementing even small changes to the project when it’s in progress  is not that easy. Development companies are bigger and clumsier than PHP remote developers you can hire online. Every alteration to the project requires additional coordination, rearrangements, and often – money. Your money, because no one is going to provide you with free revisions.
  • Poor management can kill all the positive experiences of working with a company. If your project manager isn’t quite competent (e.g., fails to keep you updated, hesitates to reply to your questions and requests, misinterprets your instructions/requirements when passing them on to the dev team, etc.), the project will turn into an ordeal for both you and the company developers.


Development companies hate us for disclosing their biggest secret 

The truth is that you can handle website development with remote devs alone, no companies involved. Given that these professionals are skilled and experienced, you can manage them right. 

In other words, do outsource. Working with independent contractors has many advantages, like



  • Prices. This is the most obvious and one of the main advantages remote PHP developers have over their colleagues working for development agencies. Hourly rates of top-rated contractors are often pretty affordable, even if you search on specialized platforms for vetted developers
  • Flexibility. Remember what we said about companies being reluctant to implement changes mid-project? Due to direct communication with hired contractors and the smaller number of people involved in the work on your project, sudden changes and alterations to it can be implemented faster. 
  • Simplicity. When you outsource, a temporary work contract is all that binds you to a remote developer. No legislative complications, and no ownership confusion. Developers get the money, you get the product. Them – money, you – product. Simple.
  • Easy to find. Show us an online marketplace in 2020 with no PHP devs registered on it, and we’ll buy you a donut (gluten-free).


  • Trial and error. If you have little experience in recruiting remotes, it will take time and resources to find a skilled and reliable one (multiply your expenses proportionally to the number of contractors if you’re hiring a remote team)
  • Reliability. Sometimes, such devs disappear. They’re people, after all. They can get sick, get bored with your project, receive a better offer, or disappear because of other 9000+ reasons. 
  • Security concerns. When hiring a development company, you most likely sign an NDA agreement with them. With developers from the internet, you sign nothing. Get ready to disclose sensitive project info to complete strangers! 

Fortunately, the best PHP programmers who work as outsourcers know how to neutralize these cons. We’ll get to that a bit later when we analyze platforms where you can find dedicated PHP programmers. 


  • Only vetted professionals. We have developed a four-step vetting procedure that allows us to add to our talent pool and your team only the best PHP professionals out there. 
  • Agile workflow. We value productivity. And just like it is hard to swallow big chunks of food, it is hard to accomplish huge tasks. Therefore, we are using the Jira application in order to split big projects into smaller manageable tasks; 
  • Custom matching. Not only custom, hand-picked matching but also a fast one. Give us 48 hours after your request, and we will match you with the first candidate;
  • Minimal burerecraucy. At Lemon.io, we know how eager you are to implement your ideas into reality. With us, there is no need to sign tens of papers to begin working with your PHP dev unless decided otherwise; 
  • NDA in place. We value transparency, therefore, we have an NDA. Once all the payments are complete, you are the one and only owner of the code; 
  • Lemon.io application. Once you begin working with a PHP developer, you get access to an application that allows you to track what tasks were completed, when and how much time did it take a developer to do so; 
  • Flexible hiring. There is no difference to us if you are looking for a part-time or full-time dev. We will match you with the best we got!
  • Big talent pool. No need to worry if you are on a different side of the globe. We got developers from around the world, and our Matching team will find you a dev that fits your time zone.


How to hire PHP developers through Lemon?

It is very simple! The process begins with you filling in the form on our website. After careful revision, one of our Sales representatives will get back to you through an email to set up an interview. This can take from a couple of hours to two days. 

Throughout an interview, which lasts from 25 to 45 minutes, our Sales team member will specify your project’s requirements and deadlines. If, upon the ending of an interview, both sides make a favorable decision to move forward with the process, the Matching team starts to play its part. 

The Matching team of Lemon.io, as you might have guessed, is responsible for finding suitable PHP candidates that will fit all of your requirements. The first candidate is offered within 48 hours, and you are reached out to set the second interview and meet them. 

At the second interview, both parties are welcome to ask questions and make final decisions. If the decision is pro-collaboration from both sides, then the relay is passed onto the Customer Success team, who will prepare your onboarding, contract, NDA agreement, etc. They will also curate you throughout work with Lemon.io if any issues or questions occur. 

The final stage is signing all the papers. Once that is done, you can start onboarding your dream PHP developer. 


What skills a PHP developer should possess?

The list of necessary skills for a PHP developer includes: 

  • Obviously, excellent knowledge of PHP. Familiarity with JavaScript is an asset, too. 
  • OOP should mean to a developer more than just the first three letters in “oops”
  • HTML and CSS (even my grandma speaks HTML)
  • Knowing how to work with structured query languages (SQL) and SQL databases
  • Database management and optimization 
  • DNS management
  • Knowing Laravel, PHPixie, Phalcon, Slim, or other PHP frameworks

This list is incomplete, but it should give you the vision of the programmer you want to hire. 

And for now, when you know what to look for, time to find out how much you’ll have to pay for it.


The most affordable option

Sometimes it seems that fooling the system is easy. If you want to hire a PHP specialist, India might look like a perfect option, in this regard. Why?

Salary! This is why companies and startups consider hiring Indian developers in the first place. Indeed, the yearly income of a PHP programmer from India is often a dozen times lower than that of their American or European colleagues. In 2021, an average yearly income of an Indian PHP developer is about $6,100.


Source: glassdoor.com


But don’t forget that globalization is still a thing. The high quality costs accordingly regardless of the country an offshore developer comes from. So, if you want a thoroughly developed product for reasonable money, you might want to consider hiring elsewhere. 


PHP developer salaries in the US and Europe

On the other hand, you can hire PHP app developers in the United States or in Western Europe. Traditionally, an immaculate work ethic, professionalism, and a broad range of skills and experiences come at a price: as you might expect, PHP developers here cost a lot. Here are some numbers for you. 

If you live or hire in New York, you will have to pay on average $86,000 per year for the services of a PHP developer.


Source: glassdoor.com


In Los Angeles, a PHP developer will count on at least $80,000 per year.


Source: glassdoor.com


If you believe that hiring overseas would be cheaper, you might technically be right. But still, it’s pricey. In Germany, for example, a remote PHP developer will count on €49,259, which is $54,200. 


Efficient alternatives

So, Indian developers are more affordable, but the risks of running into an underskilled coder are pretty high. On the other hand, mature senior pros from the United States or Europe cost much, much more. Not every startup or new business can afford to hire PHP programmers in the West. 

So, what can you do about it? 

If you haven’t paid attention to Eastern Europe – Ukraine, in particular – it could be just about time to do so. Sharing the Western mentality and work ethic, PHP developers from this region gain popularity around the world year to year. You can read more about why it is so in our article, “Top-7 reasons for you to hire Ukrainian developers.”

Here, we’ll only mention the average annual salary of a Ukrainian PHP developer, which is about $26,400, or $2,200 per month.


Source: glassdoor.com


Do our eyes deceive us, or is it truly a perfect balance between price and quality?


How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer at Lemon.io?

You can hire strong middle-level PHP experts through Lemon.io from 40 to 45 USD per hour. If you aim for senior-level PHP professionals, you can find them for 55 to 60 USD an hour. CTO and Tech Lead level programmers could be matched with you for around 65 USD an hour.



As you can see, it’s not that easy to hire a skilled and affordable PHP developer – especially when it comes to remote devs. Luckily, you’ve got Lemon.io to back you up.

Lemon.io = (good prices + high quality) x hand-picked remote PHP developers. 

That is all the calculations and planning you’ll need if you call us. Trust us with the rest.


  • Why hire PHP developers?

    PHP is one of the most popular programming languages nowadays — despite the fact that it’s far from new. Some things just remain with us for years and decades, and PHP is definitely one of those things. PHP is the language that will help you with a variety of applications. The TIOBE (The Importance of Being Earnest) index places PHP in the top 10 programming languages — and the situation remains consequent for at least a decade. 

    Here’s the list of main PHP advantages:

    It’s easy to master and operate (intuitive syntax, less time for development);

    It’s compact (compatible with the majority of web platforms and systems);

    It’s open-source (hence, it’s free to use, and it has a vast encouraging community of skilled masters who’ll eagerly help the novices);

    It’s incredibly flexible (many software environments are suitable for PHP work, plus the developers are free to add any HTML tags to their code).

  • How to hire PHP developers?

    When it comes to hiring a PHP professional, we understand the importance of finding the right fit for your project. At lemon.io, we make the process hassle-free. Fill in our form with your project requirements, and within 48 hours or less, we will provide you with a selection of exceptional PHP engineers.

  • How to become a PHP developer?

    Let’s skip the first, the banalest stage of the process — the one where you study some IT-related course(s) or graduate from the informatics program. It’s obvious that you should gain some preliminary practical knowledge of the subject matter. Afterward, it’s time to get the job, right? How do IT professionals get their jobs nowadays? There are three main ways of acting. The first one is to get a full-time job and work 9 to 5 or even 9 to 6 — with a strictly outlined schedule, regular salary, and pre-planned self-development. For someone, it’s the dream option. For those who decline such boring life, there are a few more! If you want to get the job of a freelance PHP developer and be the master of your own time, then it’s due season to address bidding or vetting marketplaces. At bidding marketplaces (Freelancer, Gigster, Upwork), you propose your price for the open projects and do them if your bid wins. At bidding platforms, there is no pre-check mechanism, so they’re open to everyone, even those having no experience whatsoever. Vetting platforms (Lemon.io, Turing.com) accept only Middles and Seniors, pre-vet all the candidates, and offer you projects at the desired rate.

  • What should PHP developers know?

    The desired skillset of a talented PHP developer is the skillset of any proficient developer plus the specific PHP-related dexterities that lead to a clear functional code. The average programmer should be able to analyze the general requirements of the web page, introduce database solutions and amend back-end code to enhance productivity and performance. PHP developers also require this kind of knowledge — however, in addition to it, they also have to be masters of PHP-specific web frameworks: Laravel, CodeIgniter, or the like. Besides, PHP masters should know object-oriented programming like the back of their hands.

  • Are PHP developers in demand now?

    As the web application boom continues, PHP developers are enjoying their share of deserved popularity. What currently (or constantly) popular things can you do with PHP?

    Generate dynamic web page content;

    Programming GUIs (graphical user interfaces). The most common examples are web browsers and Microsoft programs where PC users communicate with programs (back-end side) via icons and buttons. 

    Command line script writing;

    Extreme HTML compatibility (you can write HTML code within PHP code).

    That’s quite a lot. No wonder PHP developers are in great demand now!

  • How to hire a good PHP developer?

    Our team at lemon.io takes pride in handpicking top-tier PHP professionals who have demonstrated their expertise through past projects. By leveraging our extensive network, we ensure you have access to a pool of highly skilled and qualified candidates.

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