5 Steps To Hire A Shopify Developer & 3 Red Flags To Avoid


hire shopify developer

Table Of Contents

Want to hire a Shopify to grow your business? Over 780 Shopify Experts can help you improve your store's design, functionality, and user experience to boost sales and online visibility.

However, selecting the perfect developer might be stressful. But don’t worry; this article will provide you with the information and processes you need. We'll also discuss three red signs to look out for throughout your hunt to avoid mistakes and discover the right partner for success.

What Can A Shopify Developer Do For My Company?

The Role of a Shopify Developer in My Business
The Role of a Shopify Developer in My Business

Want to provide your consumers with a distinctive, strong, and easy purchasing experience but require more technical know-how? Look no further than a Shopify developer. They're the secret weapon your store needs to stand out, convert more sales, and free up valuable time:

A developer designs a distinctive and user-friendly storefront that attracts clients and allows for easy navigation and purchases, thereby increasing conversion rates.

However, a developer's expertise goes beyond aesthetics. They can unlock powerful functionalities like:

  • Redesigning an online shop: A Shopify developer may create a bespoke design for your current shop or construct a brand-new one from the ground up.
  • Development of Shopify themes: They have the know-how to create an online shop for you with a contemporary style that appeals to buyers.
  • Development of custom apps: Your online business is exposed to a broader audience and more sales channels when you work with a Shopify developer to create a bespoke app for your Shopify store.

This mix of design and technological understanding makes a Shopify developer your success partner. They'll help you build an attractive, strong, efficient shop to reach your eCommerce goals.

How To Hire A Shopify Developer? 

This part will serve as your road map, guiding you through each stage of the recruiting process, from identifying your specific requirements to signing a clear contract.

Step 1: Defining Your Requirements

The first and arguably most crucial step is defining your requirements. This is like laying the foundation for your dream house – the more precise your vision, the sturdier and more impressive the result will be. 

For example, if you want theme customization, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want minor changes (colors, fonts) or a comprehensive overhaul? Knowing the level of modification allows developers to comprehend the breadth and complexity better. 
  • Or do you have any particular design aspects in mind (such as animations or interactive features)? Providing examples or outlining your vision allows developers to evaluate their skills and prevent surprises.

For creating a custom app, consider the following questions:

  • What particular issue are you hoping to tackle with the app? Clearly outline the app's purpose and intended audience. 
  • What features are really necessary, and which are optional? Prioritizing features allows developers to estimate work and costs accurately.

For ongoing maintenance and support: Which support level do you require (bug patches, security updates, code optimization)? Developers may customize packages by specifying continuous maintenance.

The more specific your needs, the simpler it will be to discover the right Shopify developer to realize your concept. 

Step 2: Research And Shortlisting

It seems like you've found out what your Shopify shop requires regarding developments. The next important step is to locate the ideal developer to realize your idea. There's no one-size-fits-all solution here. Developers differ in their communication styles, specializations, and experience levels. 

Let's examine the many choices—from well-known organizations to self-employed platforms—and how to use references to get credible recommendations.

Option 1: Shopify-Specific Platforms

The Shopify Experts platform connects shop owners with competent developers who can help them realize their ideas.


The Shopify Experts platform

The Shopify Experts platform

Here is the magic of Shopify Experts:

Firstly, they have pre-vetted professionals. Shopify vets all of the platform's developers, so you know you're dealing with someone who understands their actions.

Secondly, this platform has a lot of expertise. Shopify Experts can do many different things, from making your shop look unique by adding complicated features. You will be able to find the right person for you!

Shopify Experts’s services

Shopify Experts’s services

Finally, there is convenient communication; you can easily communicate and converse with developers using Shopify Experts. You don't have to understand technical language; describe your idea, and they'll turn it into Shopify magic.

Overall, Shopify Experts is an excellent resource for locating a dependable and talented developer to help you take your Shopify shop to the next level. It's like having a whole team of digital gurus at your disposal, ready to make your ideas a reality.

Option 2: Freelance Platforms


Upwork is a great place to locate skilled Shopify developers. It offers a vast pool of pre-screened remote developers prepared to take on your project, whether you need help creating your complete shop from the beginning or simply making a few minor adjustments to your checkout procedure.

Hire freelance with Upwork.

Hire freelance with Upwork. 

Here's the appeal of Upwork: total openness. Each developer's experience and previous work with Shopify are shown in full in their thorough profiles. Additionally, thanks to the clear presentation of hourly charges, you may quickly identify someone who meets your budget.

Here are some of the ways Upwork simplifies your search:

  • DIY scouting or talent scouts: You may either take the initiative and look for developers yourself or use Upwork's Talent Scouts to find suitable candidates.
Using Upwork to Find Talent

Using Upwork to Find Talent

  • Finding the right fit: Upwork extends beyond individual profiles. They provide beneficial options like project filters and talent badges to ensure you locate developers with the precise abilities you want.
Upwork has project filters and talent bagges

Upwork has project filters and talent bagges

Keep in mind that although Upwork provides a pre-vetted pool of developers, you are ultimately responsible for vetting and interviewing them. 


Toptal began as a matchmaker for top-tier technology talent, and although it has evolved to include design and financial experts, its heart remains with developers. So, if you're looking for a Shopify specialist who speaks fluent "coding" and knows your platform inside and out, Toptal is undoubtedly worth checking out.

Toptal’s homepage

Toptal’s homepage

  • Try before you commit: Enjoy a risk-free trial of up to 5 days to see if a Toptal developer is the best match for your shop.
  • Proven track record: They've finished more than 60,000 projects for many satisfied customers, which equates to many prosperous Shopify shops!
  • Stellar reputation: With an impressive 4.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot in 2024, their consumers rave about them.

For that reason, Toptal can be the key to finding a trustworthy, expert Shopify developer to make your business really sparkle. Remember that excellent expertise usually comes at a premium price, so talk to your developer of choice about your project's scope and budget before you hire them.

Storetasker’s homepage.

Storetasker’s homepage.

Storetasker is the most popular freelancing marketplace for top Shopify developers and e-commerce specialists. They have developed a hand-picked expert network, worked with 30,000+ e-commerce brands, and simplified the remote collaboration process.

The way Storetasker works

The way Storetasker works

Here's why Storetasker stands out:

  • Effortless setup: Simply enter your project specifications, and Storetasker will match you with the top developers for the job.
  • Quick quotes: Receive estimates from certified developers in minutes, enabling you to compare prices and discover the best match for your budget.
  • Streamlined workflow: Storetasker makes communicating and managing projects easier after you've chosen a developer. You will get clear proposals and the option to assess their work and give input before final approval.
Storetasker’s projects

Storetasker’s projects

Storetasker eliminates the bother of choosing a Shopify developer. It's a quick and easy method to receive the customized solutions your shop needs to grow.

Geeks Per Hour

The website Geeks Per Hour (GPH) could come to your rescue! This platform makes recruiting independent developers easy and affordable for companies of all sizes.


Geeks Per Hour’s homepage

Geeks Per Hour’s homepage

But GPH isn't only about locating programmers. Their Shopify specialists are similar to digital Swiss Army Knives; they can handle any task, from creating a unique online shop to offering comprehensive solutions for setting up your business and starting a successful digital marketing campaign. 

  • Fast track to success: Get a competent developer in less than one hour, with no setup or employment costs upfront. This implies that you may begin working on your project right now.
  • Receive your money back: GPH pprovides a 100% money-back without asking guarantee and a risk-free trial. Matchmaker magic: Their smart approach finds developers whose abilities precisely match your project's requirements. You may stop searching through profiles since GPH handles all the labor.
The way Geeks Per Hour works

The way Geeks Per Hour works

Therefore, Geeks Per Hour is worth checking out if you're searching for a quick and affordable approach to bringing on a top-notch Shopify developer.

Hidden Brains
Hidden Brains’s homepage

Hidden Brains’s homepage

Do you need a trustworthy partner to create and run your ideal Shopify store? You need to look at Hidden Brains. This India-based business meets your demands with a customized approach to Shopify development.

Hidden Brains's benefits

Hidden Brains’s benefits

  • Scalable solutions: Hidden Brains can customize a plan to match your project scope and budget, whether you need someone for hourly work or a full-time developer.
  • Expertise you can trust: Their staff of Shopify developers has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to building profitable online businesses. They are equipped with the know-how to make your idea a reality.

Beyond just connecting you with a developer, Hidden Brains provides a team-based approach to creating a profitable Shopify site.

Option 3: Hire A Service Provider

Using a full-service digital agency or web development business that includes Shopify development in their service offering is one way to go about this choice. These companies usually have a group of developers, designers, and marketers on staff who can manage your project from beginning to end. 

When it comes to Shopify-specific platforms, hiring a service provider is less expensive but may result in less customization inside the platform itself. However, it does provide a wider range of skills than only Shopify development.

In contrast to freelancing platforms, service providers provide a more all-encompassing solution that includes strategic counsel and project management. Still, they don't offer the same flexibility or maybe cheaper pricing.

Read more: 

The4 Services - Your All-in-One Shopify Store Builder
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Contact information

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[email protected]

Location: Vietnam

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Do you want to grow your Shopify shop even further? You just need to go to one place for anything eCommerce-relatedThe4 - #1 Shopify Full-Service Agencies. We are enthusiastic professionals with over 7 years of experience creating stunning and valuable online experiences; we are more than simply theme suppliers.

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  • Shopify shop set up service.
  • Shopify theme modification service.
  • Shopify theme setup service.

Irrespective of your experience as a Shopify seller, The4 has the knowledge and adaptability to tailor your shop to your precise specifications.

We can assist you in achieving the following eCommerce objectives:

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 At The4, we recognize that one-size-fits-all solutions do not work in the changing world of eCommerce. That's why we provide a wide range of services and personalize our approach to your requirements.  Tell us about your vision, and we will use our skills to realize it.

Step 3: Evaluation And Interviewing

You've found possible developers via multiple platforms, but now comes the critical part: evaluating and interviewing. Now that you understand the value of assessment let's look at some crucial interview questions to ask prospective Shopify developers.

Evaluate candidates

Evaluate candidates

We'll recommend some questions for technical skills:

  • Please walk me through your experience with Shopify development. (This evaluates their entire experience and familiarity with the platform.)
  • Can you detail a complicated Shopify project you've worked on and how you overcame any challenges? (This demonstrates their capacity to solve problems and deal with technological challenges.)
  • Are you acquainted with Shopify capabilities relevant to my project (such as app integrations and custom functionality)? (This guarantees that their skill set matches your project requirements.)

For problem-solving abilities, you should ask:

  • Describe an example in which you needed to debug a Shopify problem. How did you approach it? (This evaluates their ability to recognize and diagnose issues.)
  • How do you keep up with the newest Shopify developments? (This demonstrates their dedication to ongoing learning and keeping up with the platform.)
  • Can you describe your regular development process? (This demonstrates their approach to project management and structure.)

By asking these crucial questions and carefully reviewing replies, you'll be well on your way to identifying the ideal Shopify developer who not only has the necessary technical talents but also shares your project vision and communication style. Remember, good developer collaboration is essential for creating a great Shopify shop.

Step 4: Checking References And Past Work

Congratulations! You've interviewed potential applicants and selected a few top prospects. Before finalizing your pick, the last step is investigating references and prior work. This critical step separates the talkers from the doers and guarantees you get a trustworthy and qualified developer.

First, obtain a list of pertinent references. Inquire with the nominated developers about the contact information of customers whose projects match your requirements. This guarantees that references may immediately address a developer's work on related projects.

Second, remember to prepare smart questions. Do not settle for generic queries. Prepare questions that probe more into the developer's dependability, communication style, and ability to fulfill deadlines. Consider asking:

  • How well did the developer meet project expectations and timelines?
  • How was the developer's communication throughout the project?
  • Would you hire this developer again for a similar project?
  • Finally, review previous work (if possible). If available, request access to the developer's earlier work on projects comparable to yours. This enables you to assess the produced Shopify shop's design aesthetics, code quality, and functioning.

    Pro tip: Look beyond the excellent reviews. Positive recommendations are nice, but be cautious. Inquire if any difficulties were encountered throughout the project and how the developer addressed them. This demonstrates their capacity to solve problems and deal with unforeseen situations.

    Step 5: Dealing With The Contract And Completing It


    Dealing With and Completing The Contract

    Dealing With and Completing The Contract  

    You've conducted interviews, assessed candidates, and verified references — you've found the perfect Shopify developer!  Now is the moment to formalize the collaboration with a clear and precise agreement. This last phase ensures everyone understands the project's scope, dates, prices, and communication expectations.

    However, take your time with the procedure. Take your time and thoroughly read over the contract. If necessary, get legal advice to make sure your interests are protected. 

    Remember to describe the project scope and timeframe in the contract precisely, with exact deadlines for each step. Be realistic and provide enough time for any adjustments or unexpected obstacles.

    Also, consider other payment mechanisms, such as hourly rates, set fees, or a mix of the two. To preserve openness, ensure that milestones and deliverables are explicitly connected to precise payment amounts. 

    Finally, keep up a cooperative attitude. Contract negotiations don't have to be hostile. Collaborate with the developer to get to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    Communication is still crucial after contract signing.  A successful partnership and seamless project completion are ensured by providing regular updates on the project status, swiftly resolving any issues, and preserving a pleasant working relationship.

    By following these guidelines, you'll choose the ideal partner for your project, hire a Shopify developer confidently, and start creating a successful online shop.

    3 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Hiring A Shopify Developer

    Even if the earlier phases help you find the correct expertise and skill set, it's just as crucial to weed out potential misfit developers. Here are 3 warning signs to look out for throughout your search that may indicate future issues:

    Red Flag #1: They Avoid Answering Your Store-Related Questions

    Imagine you're trying to pitch a prospective chef your ideal restaurant. Still, they keep dismissing you and saying their "special menu" is all you need. Yes, it is frustrating. Hiring a Shopify developer is similar.

    A developer who wants to build you a profitable shop will pay close attention to your requirements and vision. This entails picking your brain by asking specific queries such as:

    • Which things will you sell?
    • Which features—like wishlists and customer reviews—are crucial for your store?
    • Do you have a certain look in mind for your brand?

    If they are not interested in these intricacies or are trying to force a generic solution without knowing your goals. That's a big red sign. They might care more about making a quick sale than a shop that will last.

    Red Flag #2: They Promise the World But Can't Deliver Specifics

    While phrases like "dominate your competition" and "skyrocket your sales" seem good in theory, they sound too good to be true.

    You should know that 89% of large companies globally are experiencing a digital and AI shift, while just 31% have seen revenue growth. Therefore, expecting to triple your online sales in a week is an unachievable expectation of quick success. 

    An effective developer doesn't just build castles in the air. They will provide a clear roadmap for your project, including development stages, dates, and milestones. This honesty ensures that you are both on the same page and establishes expectations for delivery.

    Remember, reasonable objectives and a well-defined strategy are more important than hollow promises. Don't hesitate to ask for details and walk away if the developer cannot supply them.

    Pro tips: Suggest that a competent developer disclose their development roadmap with you using project management platforms like Asana or Trello rather than only stating that they have one. This gives you a concrete illustration of their planning procedure.

    Asana’s homepage

    Asana’s homepage

    Read more: [+15] Best Tools for Product Management: Improve Your Strategy 

    Red Flag #3: Poor Code Quality

    A gorgeous storefront is similar to a good dinner presentation, but if the food is overcooked or made with low-quality ingredients, it will not satisfy your clients.  In the same way, a well-designed Shopify shop won't ensure success if the underlying code is badly written.

    According to 89% of company executives, there is a "large extent" or "some extent" talent shortage in the workforce for those with the necessary coding abilities.

    Here is why code skills are important: Careless coding might result in irksome errors and malfunctions that anger clients and harm the image of your business.

    Poorly written code may also lead to security flaws that make your shop vulnerable to data breaches and hackers. 

    That’s why you should work with well-written code that is simple to read, edit, and maintain. It will be necessary for your store's expansion and future upgrades.

    By avoiding developers that write poor code, you can invest in a business that is not just visually appealing but also long-lasting, secure, and scalable. A well-designed business, like a delicious and well-prepared supper, keeps your customers pleased and coming back for more. 


    1.  Should I Hire A Freelancer Or An Agency?

    Looking for a developer that is both cost-effective and adaptable? A freelancer provides direct connections but may lack experience. Manage the project yourself and plan for unexpected delays.

    Are you seeking a team with a diversified skill set and good project management? An agency offers scalability and dependability, but it might be more costly and less adaptable.

    To make the best decision, consider your project's intricacy, degree of expertise, and budget.

    2. When Employing A Shopify Developer, What Skills Should I Look For? 

    When choosing a Shopify developer, consider these essential areas:

    • Experience: Look for someone who has done Shopify development before, preferably in your sector.
    • Skills: They should know how to use Shopify Liquid, HTML, and CSS well. JavaScript and PHP expertise may also be useful.
    • Portfolio: Look over their previous work to determine if their style matches your vision.
    • Communication: Make sure they can effectively explain their strategy and comprehend your requirements.
    • Prices and Budget: Request quotations to compare prices and verify they are inside your budget.

    Bonus points for

    • Experience with certain Shopify theme frameworks.
    • Comfortable with API integrations.
    • Applying security best practices.

    By taking these variables into account, you'll be better able to identify the ideal Shopify developer to help you launch your online shop.

    3. Is There Any Way To Reduce Costs When Hiring A Shopify Developer?

    Absolutely! When choosing a Shopify developer, consider the following techniques to save costs:

    • Prioritize needs vs. wants: Clearly outline the functionality you want and distinguish them from "nice-to-have" options. To stay within budget, prioritize the development of essential capabilities.
    • Break down the project: Consider dividing your project into smaller sections. This enables you to engaging a developer for certain stages or freelancers with specialized skill sets for each step.
    • Pre-Built themes and apps: The Shopify app store provides many pre-built themes and applications that may add functionality to your business without requiring considerable custom development.
    • DIY options: If you're familiar with some basic coding or design concepts, you can use Shopify's built-in tools and resources to personalize your shop yourself. There are various tutorials and courses accessible online.

    While money is crucial, locate a developer who has the expertise and experience to carry out your idea successfully. Hiring a less competent developer may result in greater long-term costs owing to probable rework or difficulties.

    Key Takeaways

    Choosing the ideal Shopify developer is essential to creating a profitable online business. If you adhere to these 5 measures and avoid the 3 warning signs, you'll be on your way to a fulfilling connection. 

    Remember that the essential components of a successful internet company are clear communication, a well-defined project scope, and a developer who shares your vision.  Never be afraid to take your time, ask questions, and choose the developer who best gives you the assurance you need to realize your ideal shop.  

    Pro tips: Want to take charge of the growth of your Shopify site while saving money? The EComposer Landing Page Builder is the only tool you need! With the robust drag-and-drop interface that EComposer provides:

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    • Drag-and-drop editor: Easy-to-use interface for a smooth building experience.
    • Extensive design library: Pre-designed layouts, section templates, and millions of elements.
    • Built-in functionalities: Enhance your store with features like Ajax Cart and Image Optimizer.
    • Advanced options: Explore features like Page Analytics, Global Blocks, and AI Content Generator.
    EComposer's drag-and-drop design interface

    EComposer's drag-and-drop design interface

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