You can run a Magento store without a developer for as long as you don’t need changes and your Magento store was built rock solid. This path is possible. There are Magento stores I contributed to in the past that are still running in their original state. Only the necessary patches were installed during the past few years, nothing else.

In most cases, there’s always something that needs to be fixed or changed. For that, you will need at least one great developer.

Many eCommerce managers struggle to find a good Magento developer or an agency, and this doesn’t affect their business in a right way. But there’s a cure. That’s why I’m writing this post to explain how to find the best person to mend your Magento website.

Agency or freelancer

Firstly, you need to decide if you want to hire an agency or a freelancer. There are pros and cons on both sides, and sometimes it’s super hard to decide which way to go.

Pros for agencies

  • Almost unlimited availability
  • There’s no need to hire multiple experts for different areas of the website
  • Delivery on time (in most cases, I can’t guarantee as I have seen bad examples too)

Cons against agencies

  • Work from a Magento agency comes with a high price tag
  • Due to company overhead, delivery times can be longer
  • There’s no direct connection with the developer

Pros for freelancers

  • Direct connection to the developer
  • Consistent quality
  • Good price

Cons against freelancers

  • Limited availability
  • Delivery times tend to slip more often
  • Due to specialisation, you might need to hire more than one person

Size of your project

Sometimes it’s entirely OK for a freelancer to coordinate the whole project lifecycle of a Magento eCommerce store. We all know that guy, who can talk to your designer, implement the frontend and backend as well to high standards. Other times, however, there are those incompetent agencies can’t understand the client requirements and the whole project is turning into a disaster. Or the other way around: a great agency can easily outperform a lousy freelancer.

Generally speaking, if your project is significant, you probably need an agency. But how can you tell if your project is big? There is an easy way to find out: ask. A question to ask from an agency is how many developers will they assign to this project full time to deliver your project. If the answer is that they will provide 80% of your project using only one developer, what is happening behind the scenes is then there will be a senior developer assigned to the job with a few graduates and junior developers also contributing and learning on your project. In this case, I highly recommend hiring a decent freelancer. Why? The agency overhead will take around 60% of the whole budget. 40% actual funds will be used for development work. Additionally, in practice, completing your eCommerce store will take 50% more time because of learning time and “contingency”.

You will need an agent if one developer cannot complete your project in time.

To hire an agency, I strongly recommend going to a Magento Solution Partner. The acceptance criteria will ensure that you are getting the right team stuffed with knowledgeable certified developers. These partners have access to trainings, support and services from Magento.

To hire a Magento Freelance developer, it goes the same way: a Magento certificate is a good indication of knowledge and experience. Since it’s impossible to fake it and the exams are hard, you will most likely get a decent Magento developer. You can browse the Magento Certification Directory to find someone who’s local to you. But does location matter?

There’s very little chance that you find your dream developer in your town, so hiring remote developers is a good idea. There’s a dedicated website to connect remote developers with decent companies: