When hiring any consultant one must ask themselves what it is they want to achieve. You must understand what it is you want to achieve so you can communicate that to the consultant you hire.
Hiring a PHP programmer is no different.
If I were looking to hire a PHP programmer I would look for several things.
Education: I’m a fan of education. While education alone is no indication that the PHP programmer you hire will be effective at helping you achieve your goals, it is an indicator of motivation, ability to plan, see that plan through to success, and more. Most corporations require their programmers posses a Bachelors Degree. Maybe they know something.
Experience: Have they built a website before? If so, take a look at it. If they have no experience, how will you know they can do the job?
Motivation: If the PHP programmer you hire is not motivated how will your website get completed?
Availability: Is this a high school kid working on your site at night or on weekends. Is your prospective PHP programmer moonlighting?
What happens if your website experiences a difficulty and you need to contact your programmer?
Hiring a full-time freelance PHP programmer is your best bet. They will have a vested interest in your success because their success is dependent on it.
A freelance programmer will more than likely be more available and keep regular hours.
Fees: You are more than likely asking “What do fees have to do with it?” They are a factor worth looking at in accordance with everything else.
When someone’s fees are too low it may be an indicator of one or more factors. The main thing I would be concerned with is ability and reliability. Low fees are an indicator of a hobbyist, someone that is moonlighting, or someone just starting out.
One thing to keep in mind, reasonable fees are good for everyone. If a PHP developer charges too little he or she will go out of business and will not be there when you need him or her.
Skills: Being a PHP Programmer requires a fair amount of ability and skill. Programming in general is an art and a science. The art is fitting programming code together in an eloquent and effective fashion. The science is understanding how everything works from a technical standpoint.
Personally I believe anyone doing website programming or layout should have a basic understanding of how the search engines view your website. Your PHP developer can harm you more than help you if he or she does not have search engine optimization knowledge.
I’m not saying the PHP programmer you hire has to be a search engine optimization guru. However they need basic search engine skills.
Now the hard part, finding that all inclusive PHP programmer to Hire.
I think if you trust your instincts and apply what you have just read you will be able to find a reasonably qualified PHP programmer to Hire.