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How to Choose a PrestaShop Developer: Freelancer or eCommerce Agency?

in PrestaShop on February 6, 2021

It is not easy to find someone who is an expert in PrestaShop development because we are talking about a quite complex system and even if you find someone like this you cannot be sure you have found the right freelancer or the right PrestaShop agency compatible with your objectives.


You cannot expect all developers to know PrestaShop development practices or development processes in general in-depth. It is precisely for this reason that in this article, we will help you choose the best developer, whether it is a freelancer or a web agency.

prestashop-Freelance - vs-ecommerce agency

We’ll cover the topics below in the following order:

The differences between a Freelancer and an eCommerce agency

  • About Freelancers
  • About eCommerce agencies
  • About Freelance platforms

What should you pay attention to if you want to find a professional PrestaShop developer?

  • Pricing
  • How much does it cost to hire a Freelancer?
  • Knowledge
  • Staging Server
  • Development process and production release
  • Consulting advice
  • Project management
  • Migration and integration experience
  • Training

So, Which Choice to Make: eCommerce Agency or PrestaShop Freelancer?

The differences between a PrestaShop Freelancer and an eCommerce agency

When is it worth to assign a bigger team i.e. PrestaShop eCommerce agency for development work, and when can it be better to look for a PrestaShop Freelancer or maybe also freelance developers who work alone?

About PrestaShop Freelance Developers

People generally become Freelance workers because there is one or more areas in which they can do incredibly professional work. They are true experts who are able to accomplish the work objectives in their area of ​​expertise, tasks that even a team cannot do sometimes. This isn’t always true of course, but managing working with freelance developers is only really worth it if they’re like that.

For this reason, in the event that you need a very special development which, on the other hand, is not on a large scale or there is a particular problem , it is a good idea to turn to an expert. widely recognized in the field.

It is also a fact that Freelancers usually work for a lower price. This is because running a team is more expensive, mostly due to additional costs, such as maintaining offices or providing materials for the job. In the case of a Freelancer, these expenses are minimal in comparison since they can be reduced considerably compared to the price of large development companies.

On the other hand, you will have a serious advantage in terms of flexibility if you work with Freelancer. Since you don’t have to have multiple overlooks or undergo a project management system, you can speak directly to the developer who is working on the project and thus make it easier and faster to understand your exact needs. Of course, for this same reason, truly professional development firms employ people whose only job is to facilitate this communication.

Having said that, the downside to hiring a Freelancer may be that they have some pretty obvious limitations: they can’t be expert in all areas at the same time , so if something goes wrong you will also need to involve someone. one else.

There can also be reliability issues: Freelancers tend to disappear from time to time, be unavailable, or work at night. Therefore, regardless of their flexibility and accessibility, communication can prove to be more difficult in the end.

About PrestaShop Professional eCommerce Agencies

The biggest advantage of a team is the team itself: if you choose a business with multiple people, you will pay for access to the knowledge and skills of many people who together can solve virtually any type. development problems .

All aspects of the project are handled in one place, you don’t have to involve new external people, which means development will go much easier and more seamlessly.

Efficiency – Professional development companies or eCommerce agencies have their own efficient work methods and routines that enable them to work quickly, even on complicated projects that require the joint work of a professional team.

Additionally, they will also be more likely to provide the appropriate support: there is usually one person on the team appointed for client communication, which is by all means beneficial.

The main drawback is obviously the price: if you want to have access to the knowledge of several professionals, you will have to pay the price. However, there is a good chance that it will turn out to be a worthwhile investment, as you get such a service for your money , something a Freelancer might not be able to provide even on a higher budget.

About Freelancers Platforms

If you think that it is better to choose a PrestaShop Freelancer instead of an eCommerce agency for your project, because it is a smaller scale development, or because you are looking for flexibility or for d For other reasons, you should take a look at freelance matchmaking platform sites.

You can find specialists at any time on these platforms who are able to do quality work in a given specialty area knowing that this quality is guaranteed these platforms can give certain guarantees. These sites are obviously expensive, but that is precisely because you will certainly find a competent person there.

And that brings us to our next question of whether you’re really dealing with a professional, whether it’s an independent contractor or a development company.

What Should You Watch Out For if You Want to Find a Competent PrestaShop Developer?

Rate

Pricing can depend on many factors for a website development project, but we can give you some general advice.

If someone is working for a very low price, you should approach the subject with caution. Prices may vary from country to country. For example, in Germany, development work carried out below 50 euros per hour is considered suspiciously inexpensive while in Tunisia this limit is around 16 euros.

Think about it, here we are talking about eCommerce applications on a system that needs to professionally handle products, deliveries or transactions etc.

SUGGESTION: There is no reason to work with someone who is not aware of the value of their own work, because in this case the work itself is probably not as valuable. So you shouldn’t hire, for example, low-cost WordPress or Joomla developers who think that while having minimal knowledge, they are good enough at handling PrestaShop too.

On the other hand, if they are too expensive, you should ask yourself why. It is quite possible that the high price is justified, you may be dealing with a professional team in which many experts work together on projects and whose work is more reliable and faster than that of others and No less. They are certainly also capable of meeting deadlines.

In this case, even if you pay a higher price, you will be better served in the end than if you had hired a less professional PrestaShop developer.

How much does it cost to hire a Freelance PrestaShop developer?

The hourly rates of Freelancers vary considerably, you can choose from hourly rates varying from 4 to 150 euros (obviously, within the framework of what has already been described above).

In eCommerce agencies, you can find hourly rates of even 200 euros or more, but by paying this price there, you also pay for the long-term relationship, because it is not advantageous in all cases to do work by a single professional without any continuity.

It’s definitely worth looking for the ones that aren’t the cheapest as you might find yourself teaching PrestaShop basics to those who typically charge less than $ 20 per hour.

TIP: You can also find developers in emerging countries such as Tunisia for French speakers or India for English speakers for prices 4 to 5 times lower than in Europe or the United States, while having the same level of quality and of competence.

Knowledge

PrestaShop is a system that remains complex: it is one of the most successful and complete systems, not only in terms of understanding but also for obtaining skills in its development, a lot of time and energy are needed to the accomplishment of these tasks. You can find many PrestaShop eCommerce Agencies and Freelancers who claim they are experts in PrestaShop, but in reality they are only adept at scratching the surface and cannot cope with more complicated projects.

WARNING: If you hear someone say that they are PrestaShop experts because they have worked with Symfony or other frameworks before, the alarm bells should start ringing in your head!

Ask them things like for example, after developing a new module, can you update PrestaShop without any problem, and if so, what makes it possible. You should also ask if they can make the system run faster, and if so, how. Educate yourself on the details, even if you are not an expert.

If they can’t answer these questions without having to think about it too much, it’s alarming.

Moreover, you have to make the effort to check the reputation and references of developers beforehand. It is also best if they can show you the tasks they have already done, something that is already done and is working well, which shows you in practice what kind of solutions they provide.

Staging Server

Preferably, if you buy a development service, developers use it in their own development environment: they integrate it, test how it works, fix any errors and only install it on the staging server. after all that.

If the developers want to install a newly developed feature on the pre-production server directly, you should definitely ask what is the reason why this could be a good reason, but it’s hard to imagine. On the other hand, if they want to install it on the production server immediately, that obviously indicates that something is wrong , because we are talking about a live store that customers visit all the time.

OF COURSE, THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN DURING THE PROCESS: You should ask the Freelancer about the development process, eg what steps should you expect to take, preferably before signing a contract with the person. This way, you will probably be less likely to face unexpected surprises.

Development and production process

You should definitely educate yourself on how the finished developments are installed. Is there a staging server or everything goes live immediately?

Going live involves risks, therefore, it can cause serious inconvenience for customers, and therefore loss of prestige for you.

Professionals do not download files with FTP, they deploy and think about the different versions. There are software tools specially designed so that development and deployment work can be carried out with minimal errors, or in case of problems, resetting to the previous version without problem (versioning management) is fast. One of the most popular tools in this context is for example Gitlab.

To learn more about this, you will have to educate yourself again about the development process and after reading the above information you may find that it is worth going into the details.

Consulting advice

In the case of complex development projects, it is not enough if the developer is an expert in his work because he also has to continuously communicate with the client.

This is of vital importance, as the way of thinking of clients and developers is often different, and it is no coincidence that the contact persons and the project managers, who can transform the client’s needs into professional tasks. , have such an important role in competent teams.

Therefore, the only companies or freelancers you should choose are those where consulting is an integral part of the service. But you shouldn’t just be careful about whether they’re chatting with you, but also what they have to say to you.

If you think it’s a salesperson sitting across from you and not a development partner, you probably already have a problem: A professional won’t want to sell you unnecessary things, take your money for unnecessary work. His communication will not be focused on sales, but on what you need and how he can best do that job.

This is especially important in the case of extensions: it is your partner who will have to find the best one for you, because unfortunately there are many extensions on the market that cannot be considered good.

TIP: When purchasing plugins or emodules, the second mandatory step, after getting to know the features, is reviewing the notes (it shouldn’t be the developer alone reviewing them) and it should be suspect if there are only two or three of them.

Since the owner of an eCommerce store is not an expert, he will have to make sure that the experienced professional finds the best solutions for him and integrates them into the system.

The same experience is important when business needs can only be met through custom development, as there is no extension in the market that alone would be enough to cover special processes.

Project management

You should always know which phase of the project in question you are at precisely and preferably, you should not know it because you discussed it by email or by phone or because the work simply went live without a predetermined date. and without your approval.

A professional works with tools (there are many project management tools that also match Freelancer prices, e.g. Basecamp, Redmine, Atlassian JIRA) that allow the client to clearly check what stage the project is at.

In our case, we have developed our own project management tool and you will be able to have personalized access to follow the progress of the work.

Migration and integration experience

This kind of experience can also be an important issue (Ex. ERP System) and in particular for eCommerce agencies which are supposed to have a greater knowledge in this area compared to PrestaShop Freelancers.

Training

This is also an important aspect because the developers can teach you how to use the modules implementing the new functions after their development. Professionals never abandon their customers after the development phase is over , and it’s not just for support. They carefully teach the client how to use the tool developed with training sessions, so that he can cope on his own and recognize the mistakes and this in order to make them a satisfied and loyal client who will turn to them next time too.

To finish:

eCommerce agency or Freelancer?

In case you need more straightforward development, it’s usually better to hire a Freelancer.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a partner who will help you in the long term, who can also deal with more complex projects and have experience and routine in all areas, an agency for PrestaShop eCommerce is recommended even if you have to pay a higher price. Indeed, reliability, comfort and diversity are a largely profitable investment in the long term.

Categories: PrestaShop

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