Magento Agencies Vs Freelancers: Choosing the Best Developers for Your Project

Posted On July 3, 2017 by bubyr

Magento Agencies Vs. Freelancers: Choosing the Best Developers for Your Project

Unsure whether to hire a freelance Magento web developer or an agency? In this guide, we will address the most common issues every business owner faces. From the early stage of an eCommerce website development to Magento migration or advance customizations, get all the tips here.

Magento is the most reliable – thus, the most popular – eCommerce platform. It was specially developed to fit the requirements of every stage of any type of business. It’s a complex platform, meaning you have to choose the right developer. This developer should have the proper expertise to provide you with fast, dedicated, and affordable services. They should be there during the website development stages or while your Magento store is up. These developers will develop, customize, and troubleshoot any kind of problems that may occur during this time.

Before you call the experts, here is our checklist. This will help you make the best decisions in building your store and launching your brand online:

  • Why do you need to hire a Magento developer? Where do you find one, and how can a developer help you create your online store?
  • What is the difference between building an in-house integration for Magento and choosing to hire a freelance developer or a specialized agency? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option
  • And last but not least, how much does a Magento developer going to cost?

Why Hire eCommerce Developers for Magento

Can You Install Magento Without Professional Assistance?

Can you install Magento without any help? Basically, yes. There are a number of solutions out there that may guarantee you an automatic installation of Magento. They promise that you will save money and time. But entrepreneurs don’t usually find the default installation to be well-suited for their business.

Plus, you need to be acquainted with the basics of Magento programming. Especially if you want to integrate a new theme or import new data for your website’s categories. Also necessary if you want to install specific customizations.

That is why, to save you the efforts, time, and money in the long run, you need to request development assistance from Magento certified partners. They know how eCommerce works and already have the technical skills needed to migrate from other platforms to Magento. They can build your online store from scratch and launch it online quickly and effortlessly.

There are lots of advantages to managing your website with a team of certified developers. You will realize the true potential of this versatile and powerful eCommerce platform. Especially as their efforts will work in favor of your business.

Why Do You Need a Magento Developer

Magento is the most scalable and versatile e-Commerce platform. At the same time, it is a complex and powerful system. It can be adapted to every type of business you run, and every needs your customers have. If you want to have a functional, enterprise-level eCommerce online store, then you need to take advantage of all the customizations and functionalities the Magento platform can support. To do this, you need to hire a specialized web developer or agency with the necessary technical expertise. They should be able to migrate your web store from other eCommerce platforms to Magento. or develop a brand new Magento website.

Whether you choose to stick to the basics or you want custom installations, themes, and extensions, you will eventually have to ask for professional assistance. In this sense, choosing the right eCommerce developer determines the level of success you aim to attain with your business in online marketing.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to step out of the basic configurations and add non-standard functionalities. This will help you stay ahead of your competitors and attract more business. You will also offer the best user experience there is out there.

What Does a Magento Web Developer Do

Every website comes with different requirements. So the responsibilities a Magento developer has can vary from one project to another.

However, the following are the basic tasks a web developer can help you with in setting up your online store. From the beginning of the project and all the way up to deployment and maintenance, they can:

  • Magento theme integration and design to work on all devices
  • Modules creation and customization for existing needs
  • Importing data for categories and products
  • Magento settings configuration
  • Creating new pages
  • Integrating the payment gateway and shipping modules
  • PSD/HTML theme development and customization
  • Installing updates
  • SEO friendly-implementation
  • User-friendly design and usability
  • Third-party services integration
  • Web-services API integration
  • Deployment
  • After-launching support and assistance in managing the store

Magento is the most flexible platform for eCommerce website. So, a skilled developer should determine what the best solution for each client is. They should customize every store based on the different business plans given to them.

How to Choose a Magento Developer

Where Do You Find the Right Provider for Your Business

Magento is becoming the world’s leader when it comes to eCommerce platforms. They have over 240 thousand retailers in the world, from small startups to huge enterprises. No wonder the number of Magento developers is also on the rise!

If you google “Magento developers,” you will find ~30 million results. Some of these include specific documentation and step by step guidelines on Magento installation or individual services. There are also Magento partners, certified companies, and independent developers.

So how do you choose the right solution to fulfill your business needs?

Magento Partners

You can start your searches by checking out the list of Magento Partners. This gives you companies that can help you with the specialized services you need to build and deploy your online store in no time.

Magento Partners are certified eCommerce experts that provide end-to-end services. These include development, design, configuration and customization, web hosting, SEO, and PPC services. So you need not worry whether the end result will be exactly as you expected.

Plus, Magento partners have full access to all the support, extensions, and tools your Magento store development requires.

Magento offers two status levels to its partners. There are Solution Partners, which help merchants grow their business on the Magento platform. There are standalone Technology Partners capable of solving a variety of business needs, ensuring quality and compatibility with all Magento technologies.

The four types of Solution Partners are:

  • Global Elite: development agencies you can consult for full-service development on Magento or support. Their technical proficiencies are in the digital commerce domain. This spans UX/CX design through the management of complex programs and robust 24/7 managed services.
  • Enterprise: full-service consulting firms that offer strategy, design, development, implementation, and managed services.
  • Professional partners: companies that have an established commerce practice area and are adopting Magento as a key technology offering. They are up to date with the latest Magento innovations and have access to channel support.
  • Business partners: companies focused on implementing the Magento Community Edition.

Certified Magento Developers

How can you know if an independent Magento developer is a better choice?

When you are searching for a Magento developer, you need to address this question relative to how big your business is. Imagine are a small business, freshly integrated into the online market, choosing a Magento Global Elite Partner. This can exceed the budget you have for the website’s development, customization, and deployment.

In cases like this, you can consider hiring an independent agency or a freelance developer. This depends on how big your project is and for how long you will need specialized services.

If you want to install the latest Magento version, look for the agencies or independent developers that have the Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner Badge.

Magento 2 Trained Partner

For short-term contracts, a good suggestion is to search for a freelance developer on Upwork. There are over 14 thousand Magento experts listed here, out of which over 500 are certified.

Other sites like StackOverflow, GitHub, CraigsList, UpWork, Freelancer are good places to find Magento developers. And why not, Twitter (using the #MagentoJobs tag).

Find Magento Certified Developers on Use the dedicated section – Magento Certified Directory. You can browse through all certified developers by country and region, based on your highest interest.

Necessary Requests Before Contracting an Expert

Magento Developer’s Portfolio and References

Put together a list of possible candidates for the job. Then, ask them for references and examples of projects they have done in the past.

Browse through examples and check their online stores. This will help you make a qualitative selection to find the web developer that can easily accommodate your style and business plan.

Go to the developer’s website and check the dedicated sections. Browse through the about page, clients and partners, and showcases. These are where you will gather all the info you need to ease your decision-making process.

Seeing in their portfolio projects which resemble your business plan will be a plus, as you’ll know you have found your Magento developer!

Tick a few things before making a deal with an independent developer or a Magento Partner. First, be sure that the project manager you hire understands what you want. They should also know how your website should look and behave and all the systems and procedures you need to implement. Finally, your developer should understand routine adjustments to the more advanced customizations.

Discuss all business aspects before signing a contract. This will prevent extra costs and the eventual delays that may appear during the development stages. These snags can set you back and postpone the launching of the website. Letting this happen will cost you energy, time, and money.

Budget Planning and Quotation Requests

Creating a Magento store from scratch is a big investment. So your budget needs to be carefully planned. It is advisable to create a detailed plan which should include all your demands. It should also state the deadlines and the budget you are willing to spend for each part of the entire process.

Before asking for a quote from the Magento developers you have already chosen, you need to know precisely what services you need and for how long. Is it only a development project? Do you also need specialized services, support, and maintenance for an indefinite period of time?

Keep in mind the following aspects when you write down your financial agenda:

  • the desired site’s structure and architecture
  • the desired outlook and design
  • the overall usability and functionality
  • consider essential versus optional features
  • also, consider SEO, CRO, and PPC services
  • do you need support and maintenance?

Magento Development In-House, Agency or Freelancers: Pros, Cons, and Costs

How much is an eCommerce website project going to cost? Regardless of the option you choose, the budget varies significantly from one Magento version to another. It varies from Magento 1 or Magento 2. More than this, most of the time, price equals quality. So you should choose what you think is more advantageous for your business. Just make sure that the developers you pick for the job are skilled and proficient.

In this sense, 3 aspects will determine your selection:

  • the costs implied
  • the expertise of your Magento programmer or developer
  • their flexibility and level of dedication

But before jumping to conclusions, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced versus in-house development solutions. Here are the key pros and cons of every option. It also includes the corresponding cost estimates to help you make the right choice!

In House

One way to develop your Magento website is to expand your team with a Magento programmer. They should have a solid background in Magento development and other eCommerce platforms. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this option.


  • High level of engagement between employees.
  • High level of dedication which can help the entire project progress more quickly
  • Fast troubleshooting as you can directly address a problem in real-time and face-to-face. Outsourcing independent developers may not respond as quickly. This is because your project may not be the only or the most important project they are currently working on


  • Finding a skilled and dedicated developer is not an easy task. Most experts are either independent or work in big development agencies
  • Plus, how can you know that they are good developers without having the necessary technical knowledge to evaluate them?
  • If the developer decides to leave the job, you need to start the hiring process all over again. This will hugely impact your finances

Cost Estimates

It is difficult to give an estimate for hiring a dedicated person, as employees negotiate their contracts independently. As expected, the budget you should allocate for hiring a web developer specialized in Magento depends on two things. These are the experience and level of training of each participant. Fees may start from around $3,000 per month, but it can go as high as $12,000.

Outsourcing: Agencies

Whether you want to create a new website or migrate your store from another platform to Magento, a good option is to search for Magento development services offered by specialized agencies. Here are the pros and cons of this solution.


  • You can benefit from the expertise of a team of certified, qualified Magento developers
  • They know how eCommerce works and are prepared to troubleshoot any kind of problem
  • They are more experienced with custom developments
  • Magento development agencies generally have all the resources your project requires. These include the latest tools and technologies.
  • They provide non-stop assistance and support for the technical issues you may have with your store
  • They generally offer technical support even after the development stages are completed


  • Sometimes the project manager can have a different approach and a different management style. By contrast, an in-house expert gets to know the philosophy of your business better and makes better decisions
  • There is a chance of overlapping roles, tasks, and responsibilities. This can cause loss of time and contribute to the overall costs of the project
  • Although many agencies offer 24/7 assistance, the response time on the eventual problems which may arise can suffer a delay. With the in-house solution, any problem can be discussed face-to-face. They can be solved efficiently right on the spot, as long as it occurs during working hours.

Cost Estimates

A quick launch for Magento Community from 1.9 further can cost around $19,000. But the price per hour of Magento development varies from one firm to another, from $60 to $200 or even higher.

Outsourcing: Freelancers

A freelancer is a good option for creating your Magento store. But as with any other option, this one comes with its pros and cons, too. Here they are:


  • You can find them easily via dedicated websites such as UpWork and Freelancer. This will save you time, and you’ll be able to launch your website quicker
  • Nearly all freelancers have specific skills, and they usually are very good at what they do. So this can be the best option for you if you do not need a complete set of services for your project
  • This is the best option if your project is not too big and you need a dedicated person for a limited amount of time
  • You can find talented developers from all over the world and benefit from foreign currency fluctuation to make some savings. This will decrease your overall budget for your project


  • Intellectual property is at risk of being exposed
  • Communication delays may arise at any stage of the project
  • Not knowing the person or having a face-to-face discussion can make it harder to trust the developer you hire. It is recommended to gain as much info as you can (e.g., from social media) before hiring a freelancer
  • Some freelancers promise more than they can handle. That is why you need to avoid working with an independent developer if they don’t have a good ranking
  • Freelancer from different corners of the world has different concepts or preferences of design and content creation. It is therefore recommended to choose a developer from your region
  • Freelancers can be very expensive, up to $300 per hour, depending on the complexity of the project. When choosing an independent Magento developer, always ask for references, and try to choose the average price. An expensive freelancer is not necessarily going to do more for you than one with an average cost per hour. Especially if they have the same level of skills. So why pay more than you need to?

Cost Estimates

The hourly rate for Magento development freelances varies from one country to another. But it is also based on the level of expertise each developer has. Also, the absence of certification can lower the cost to even $15 per hour, but remember, in the end, you get what you pay for!


Choosing a solution for Magento development is not an easy thing to do! Regardless of the type of collaboration you opt for – whether you decide to hire an in-house Magento programmer, a Magento development agency, or a freelancer – the project is going to be a big financial investment. You should carefully choose the people you work with to benefit from the best results.

Keep in mind the scope of your project when you start your searches for the best Magento developer. Hire the ones that are suited for your business needs to help you launch your website as quickly as possible.

Taking everything in mind, the problem of choosing between a specialized agency and a freelancer comes down to a few factors. These include the scope and complexity of your project and the budget you have. It also involves your willingness to pay for good quality to see your website online in no time. Minimize your efforts and maximize your results.

Do you need to hire a Magento Developer? Don’t wait – let’s talk today!

You may also be interested in