How to hire freelance PHP developers in 2024

Updated on May 23, 2024
Platforms to find talented PHP developers

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What we liked the most:

  • Vetted developers
  • Short- & Long-term engagements
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We Work Remotely

What we liked the most:

  • Easy job posting
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Distributes your jobs to partner sites
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Kelly Wilson
Written by Kelly Wilson

Strategist and entrepreneur, with experience in hiring developers across various industries. Kelly has established herself as a trusted expert in identifying and recruiting top tech talent. She shares advanced tips on how to identify the right talent, create hiring strategies, develop your tech teams and much more.

Expertise: IT Recruiting, Tech, Marketing

Looking to hire skilled PHP developers to power your web projects? Our comprehensive hiring guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to find the perfect PHP talent. Explore a curated list of top talent platforms, gain insights into assessing technical proficiency, and learn how to evaluate candidates' project experience. With our guide, you'll navigate the hiring process efficiently, assemble a high-performing team of PHP developers, and deliver robust web solutions that exceed expectations.

Find the best site to hire the right PHP developers in under 60 seconds.

We'll ask 9 quick questions to better understand your needs and then provide you with personalized recommendations. No sign-up required.

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Here are the top 5 sites to hire freelance PHP developers:

Based on our research among online hiring platforms

1. Toptal

Founded in 2010, Toptal is a leading talent match-making platform that was initially created with only tech talent in mind. A smart abbreviation for Top Talent, Toptal is hands down the first platform you should consider when hiring PHP developers. Why? Toptal’s stringent screening and vetting process ensure that only the top 3 percent of candidates make the cut.

Whether you’re looking for a basic front-end development for your web app or a more complicated project with different PHP frameworks, Toptal’s PHP developers will likely be your best option.

Toptal’s amazing roster of PHP developers gives you the option to hire full-time, part-time, and contract talent with years of experience. In addition to PHP web developers, you will also find many different types of software developers, including Ruby on Rails experts, Javascript programmers, and ecommerce developers with extensive experience.

Key points:

  • Enjoy a risk-free trial for up to 5 days.
  • Completed over 60,000 projects for 25K+ satisfied clients.
  • Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.

2. Hired

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, Hired enjoys a strong global presence across 14 cities. Touted as a leading tech-focused talent matchmaking platform, Hired enables businesses and employers to hire PHP developers from a curated pool of highly qualified candidates. Every PHP developer screened for experience, skills, and salary requirements.

Hired uses a nifty AI-powered algorithm that helps businesses save over 45 hours of talent sourcing per candidate. Hire is great for finding specialized PHP developers with years of experience who are actively searching for new opportunities.

Key points:

  • Hired vets developers, allowing employers to view candidate skill assessments.
  • You can find developers for short- or long-term needs using Hired.
  • Choose between pay-per-hire or unlimited hiring annual subscriptions.

3. We Work Remotely

As the name suggests, We Work Remotely is a promising job board focused on remote listings. Given the platform’s dedication to listing remote professionals, employers can easily find an experienced PHP developer and other tech specialists and programmers with ease.

From Larvel to MySQL to javascript, We Work Remotely is a great place to hire remote PHP programmers. Whether you’re looking for server-side PHP programmers or front-end developers with PHP skills, We Work Remotely is a worthy platform to hire remote development teams with adequate years of experience.

Key points:

  • Post jobs easily with flexible pricing and bundling packages.
  • You can save sorting time with manually prioritized applicant batches.
  • This platform distributes your posted jobs to several other partner-network sites.

4. Remoteok.com

Whether you’re building a new native app or cross-platform app or modifying your existing software products, Remoteok.io is the right place to search for talented remote PHP developers from across the world easily and efficiently. From Java experts to Python engineers to iOS developers to PHP programmers, RemoteOK boasts of a plethora of remote developers from across skill sets.

Founded in 2015, RemoteOK has a global reach of more than 1 million professionals. With its flexible pricing and thoughtful add-ons, RemoteOK makes for an excellent platform to hire remote PHP developers. Companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, Stripe, among others, trust RemoteOK’s remote development teams.

Key points:

  • You’ll get posting discounts when listing multiple developer jobs.
  • View detailed profiles of available PHP developers from around the world.
  • Hire remote part-time, full-time, or freelance developers using this site.

5. Upwork

If you are looking for talented PHP developers then you can also consider relying on large freelance platforms like Upwork. The massive freelance marketplace boats over 12 million users. Whether you’re looking for cross-platform app developers or backend server-side developers, Upwork is a great place to hire PHP developers with experience across a range of skill sets and frameworks.

Tech recruiters and employers enjoy Upwork's ease of use and massive database of developers making it a promising place to hire PHP developers. While numerous noteworthy companies trust Upwork’s development teams, the process of interviewing and vetting candidates will be the employer’s responsibility.

Key points:

  • Choose Expert-Vetted candidates to hire the top 1% of Upwork developers.
  • The free Talent Specialists program highlights developers who completed similar projects.
  • Developer talent badges indicate positive feedback from clients.

Guide to hiring great freelance PHP developers

According to Sebastian Luczak, PHP Unit Leader for The Codest: “PHP remains one of the most popular programming languages around the globe with over 6.1 million PHP developers. Simplicity, platform independence, and outstanding community are just a few reasons why the number of PHP developers keeps growing.”

Hiring the right PHP developers for your PHP development project can get overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. While platforms like Toptal and Arc are famous for their rigorous screening procedures to vet their candidates, other platforms like LinkedIn and Upwork require you to do the heavy lifting of vetting and hiring.

What is PHP?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a general-purpose scripting language commonly used in web development. It was originally created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP is a server-side scripting language used to develop more than 77.4% of all the websites out there.

PHP is a widely-used, open-source scripting language that is executed on the server. PHP can generate dynamic page content and can also be used to create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server. PHP can send and receive cookies and can add, delete, modify data in your database. Furthermore, PHP can encrypt data and you can output images, PDF files, and even Flash movies.

PHP celebrated its 25th birthday this past year and has come a long way from being a simple server-side scripting language to become a more dynamic web development language. According to Zend, PHP is at version 8.1 and offers full object-oriented capabilities, an opt-in strict-typing system, a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, extensions for just about any database in use today, robust date and time processing tools that put other languages to shame.

PHP is a very relevant language given the fact that it powers content management systems, eCommerce websites, customer rights management, and resource management systems. Furthermore, PHP is also integral for APIs feeding mobile applications and communicating between businesses.

Most of today’s digital economy uses PHP in some form, and so PHP development will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

For employers, it gets easy to hire freelance PHP developers given the number of online platforms and websites now available to find talented software developers with wide range of skills. Some of the best sites to hire PHP developers include Toptal, Arc, Gun.io, Fiverr, Upwork, and more.

PHP Programming and Development Specifics

One of the main reasons why PHP is so popular is because it is relatively simple to get started with. Here are some more reasons why PHP critical for web development:

  • PHP is easy to learn and use.
  • PHP is open-source and free!
  • PHP is versatile and can be used on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and supports most web browsers.
  • PHP boasts a strong community of users, developers, and supporters.
  • PHP is fast and secure.
  • PHP is well connected with databases.
  • PHP is a tried and tested web development language.

Advantages and Challenges of a PHP Projects


  • Swift custom web application development: PHP frameworks provide handy tools, features, and code snippets that help developers build custom web applications quickly and efficiently.
  • Simplify web application maintenance: PHP does not focus on code readability and maintainability. Since PHP frameworks support model-view-controller (MVC) architecture, it helps to simplify web application development and maintenance.
  • Automate common web development tasks: The PHP frameworks help development teams to automate common programming and web development tasks like caching, session management, authentication, and URL mapping.


  • Web developers need to learn PHP frameworks instead of PHP: Development teams need to learn the PHP frameworks in order to add functionality to a web application without the need to actually write additional code.
  • Impacts speed and performance of websites: Most PHP frameworks come equipped with robust features and heavy tools to accelerate the development process of large and complex websites. This tends to impact the speed and performance of smaller websites as they don’t require all the tools and features.

What is a PHP Developer?

Simply put, a PHP coder (developer) is a Software Developer or Programmer who specializes in the coding, design, testing, and implementation of software using the PHP programming language.

A Senior PHP Developer creates and implements a suite of Web-based products using PHP, MySQL, Ajax, and JavaScript, and other advanced technologies.

Great Freelance PHP Coders For Hire

Some of the best sites to find PHP developers for hire include Toptal, Arc, Upwork, and more. Here is what you need to keep in mind when hiring a PHP developer:

  • Review the PHP developer’s portfolio and body of work. This will give you an insight into the quality of work and the overall capabilities of the programmer as well as their technology stack.
  • Try and get to know the PHP developer on a personal level. You can do this by getting on a call with them and assessing their personality and whether or not they match your requirements.
  • Discuss and communicate all the details about the project requirements. It’s wise to explain what you are expecting the project to look like and operate like.
  • Offer a paid trial period to dedicated PHP developers so you get a feel for their style of working. This also helps to check if the developer understands what you are expecting of them.

How to Hire PHP Developer

Essentially, there are three different options for hiring a development team. Hiring a full-time PHP developer makes sense if you are building an in-house web development or tech team. Hiring part-time is a sensible option for employers and companies looking to scale and expand their development teams without having to deal with the downsides of hiring full-time developers. Hiring part-time talent is also great for organizations comfortable with working flexible hours. Hiring freelance programmers benefits companies when it comes to cost and terms of employment as well as the added flexibility to hire on-demand for specific periods of time. 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Freelance PHP Developer?

While an expert PHP developer can help you estimate a budget pretty easily, based on the amount of information you provide him,  there are certain factors that determine the cost of hiring a freelance developer:

  • Complexity and scope of the project
  • The geographic location of the freelance developer and the employer
  • Expertise and experience level of the developer
  • Past work experience and brands they’ve worked with

According to Upwork, PHP Developers on Upwork cost $15–$30/hr. A Full Stack Developer Mix of front-end and back-end technology expertise working with Twig, Blade, and ReactPHP can cost over $45/hr. India is another great option to outsource or hire freelance PHP developers. India is widely regarded as a hub of talented developers. Hiring a PHP developer in India will cost you ranging from $20 to $50 per hour. India is a very good market to hire a PHP developer as they have the potential of delivering quality work really quickly. According to Payscale, the average salary for a PHP programmer is around $65K-66K.

What Skills To Look For Before Hiring A Freelance PHP Developer

Look for the following qualities in your PHP freelancers candidates.

  • Strong technical proficiency
  • Experience with various PHP frameworks
  • Great communication and soft skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strongly motivated and reliable
  • Depth in past work
  • Keen problem solving and coding
  • Excellent reviews and feedbacks

Choosing The Right Site To Hire PHP Developers

Depending on whether you’re looking for a freelance, full-time, or part-time PHP developer or one with a specific set of skills for server-side coding or front-end development, your criteria for choosing a PHP developer will vary.

Ultimately, which talent matchmaking platform you choose depends on a multitude of factors. Answer the following questions before zeroing in on your platform of choice:

  • How quickly do you need to hire a PHP developer?
  • How much experience do you have hiring PHP freelancers?
  • Whether or not you're equipped to test technical skills in the development process?
  • How many developers do you need to bring on?
  • The level of experience you need for PHP developers?
  • Whether or not you're open to remote workers?
  • What are your project management capabilities?
  • What is your budget?
  • How important is quality to your software solutions?

Hiring PHP developers - FAQ

Is PHP a front-end or back-end language?
PHP is a back-end development language only. PHP is part of the LAMP stack, which is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. To develop apps with this technology stack, a developer must know these four different syntax systems and HTML and CSS.
What is the main use of PHP?
The abbreviation PHP originally stood for Personal Homepage. However, it is now a recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is primarily used for creating and building reliable web servers. PHP runs on the browser and can also run on the command line. This is particularly useful for developers who don't feel like showing their code output in the browser, as they can show it in the terminal.
Are PHP and Java related?
PHP and Java are not related to each other, PHP is a server-side scripting language whereas Java is a general-purpose compiled programming language. PHP is used to build web applications and dynamics, while Java is used to power versatile and dynamic web apps.
Where can I hire a good PHP developer?
  • Toptal
  • Hired
  • We Work Remotely
  • GitHub Jobs
  • Authentic Jobs

Find more recommended sites to hire PHP developers.

How much does it cost to hire a PHP developer?
On average, web developers make $33 per hour. However, it varies on the expertise and knowledge of an individual web developer. Individual PHP developers start at a salary of $55,158 and can earn upwards of $101,000 for senior developers. Find more on web developer salaries in this helpful article.
Are PHP developers in demand?

According to the PYPL Index, PHP is one of the most popular programming languages, ranking in the top 5 in 2020. It has been used to build the front end of popular websites like Facebook and Yahoo. As a server-side technology, other programming languages like Javascript are needed to run the full site of most web applications. Because of the popularity of PHP and its use on large sites across the Internet, PHP developers are very much in demand--either for starting new web projects or for updating older ones. These sites will help you hire a PHP developer.

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