How to choose the right Shopify developers for your business?

How to choose shopify expert

So, you want to know how to choose the right Shopify developers for your business? Today, there are so many Shopify designers out there …it can feel like being a kid in a sweet store.

Too many choices and you can end up feeling overwhelmed, which, in turn, makes it more difficult to choose and feel confident that you have chosen wisely. The best way to make informed choices is to know precisely what you need rather than playing the guessing game while feeling overwhelmed by every looming decision.

Investing in a Shopify website is a business decision like any other … buying a lease, investing in stock, hiring staff, etc. – don’t think “best” – instead, think… what are my business’s needs, it’s direction, and goals? Essentially, choose your Shopify designer through elimination based on your goals rather than searching out the “Best Shopify developers”.

Check out what we think are the 5 most important things to consider when choosing a Shopify developer to work with on your project.

#1 – Check out reviews

What is the best way to check reviews? When it comes to reviews…be thorough, simply put… check everything (google search) you can before you go ahead and decide on the right Shopify developers for your business.

If you’ve hired people before, then you know that a CV isn’t always the best reflection of how a member of staff will fit into your company. Yes, a CV can filter out unqualified people, but what if all the applicants have similar skills and experiences? How do you make that choice?

This can be extremely challenging if you are hiring for a position that you don’t have prior experiences with – such as Shopify design and website creation. Hiring a wrong person is a huge problem and it’s likely you’ll encounter it at some point during your journey.

However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of hiring a great Shopify designer that will execute your vision and take you closer to your goals. Firstly, ensure you go through every review you can find on the internet checking as many platforms as possible, go ahead, google the hell out of that company. See what people are saying about them.

Do they have a Trust Pilot account? Do the reviews seem “authentic”? Does their website reflect their supposed achievements? And, are they genuinely walking the walk, or do they seem like big talkers?  Taking the time to filter through and choose well in this part can save tons of time and money further on down the line.

What To Consider

  • Check for reviews on all platforms (Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Yell, etc.)
  • You’ll want reviews to be genuine – always best to fact-check profile names to ensure they are real.
  • Just because someone had a bad review… that doesn’t always mean they will be bad service providers
  • Keep an open mind in this process – good note-taking always helps to stay on track with everything

What To Avoid

  • Agencies or Shopify developers with too many bad reviews
  • Spammy websites

#2 – Check the Shopify developers portfolio

Any Shopify designer worth their salt should have a good amount of designed websites in their portfolio. However, if you can’t find something from your own or a related industry then look for Shopify stores on the portfolio with similar functionality.

Painstakingly taking the time to go through each website on the portfolio and reading the information the Shopify designer has presented (although this can be vague at times) will give you a better understanding of whether this agency/freelancer can successfully deliver your project.

This is a great way to distinguish the real from the fake. It’s a lot harder to fake multiple websites than a few simple written reviews. You want to see what they’ve done in the past, candidates have their strengths and weaknesses, the best ones will usually keep within their comfort zones when they take on new projects. Always check if the type of work the Shopify designer has done in the past matches your Shopify development requirements.

Don’t forget that the best Shopify designers produce whatever is required to appeal to the target audience – so don’t be dissuaded if the designs aren’t exactly your cup of tea, they still might be able to achieve the desired outcome you require for your store.

What To Consider

  • Check the full portfolio to see the types of Shopify sites they can offer
  • Good Shopify designers will be in demand – so you’ll want to see recent work
  • Their example websites should be good enough to turn you into a customer

What To Avoid

  • Bad example websites on their portfolio
  • Developers/Agencies that do not have recent projects to show

#3 – Are they the right fit for you and your business?

A Shopify developer’s own website and portfolio will speak volumes on who they are and what they can do for your business, however, eventually, you’ll have to start talking to some potential candidates. First impressions count at this point. Are they friendly? Attentive? Do they ask the right questions?

You don’t have to have every single detail planned out, but have a clear idea of the purpose of your Shopify store and your business goals before you start reaching out to potential candidates. You always want a developer that takes the time to understand your needs. They may not agree with all of your ideas, so this is the time to be firm about the things you want the most.

A Shopify designer should respect your ideas and goals, however, you don’t want a yes-man. They are the Shopify experts after all. When they disagree about features and if they are necessary, they usually have data to back up why their alternative is better.

Finding the right Shopify developer for your business can be the difference between success and failure – if possible, take the necessary time to get this part right.

What To Consider

  • What’s your gut feeling after the first phone call?
  • Like a good Doctor would…are they asking you the right questions before diagnosis?
  • Was the developer transparent?
  • Can they provide references or case studies?
  • What communication channels will be used?
  • Do they use project management methodologies?
  • Not all Shopify developers are available on the Shopify Expert Database and many great ones do not feature

What To Avoid

  • Anyone that isn’t listening to you
  • If they lack transparency then move on
  • Anyone that would quote you a set price before fully understanding the project

#4 – Shopify developer’s industry knowledge?

Does the Shopify designer have any other material you can review for a sense of their skill set or particular industry knowledge? Do they write articles, or have some videos or tutorials that highlight their skills?  In addition to Shopify skills, it’s important to know that your Shopify developer is up-to-date on other aspects of website infrastructure—SEO best practices, email marketing integrations, etc.

The best Shopify developers will distinguish themselves by having up to date marketing knowledge and use of the best tools to match their Shopify design abilities.

Great web design will seamlessly integrate SEO and social media. Also, a great Shopify developer will likely know the digital marketing industry well and have good knowledge of Pay Per Click advertising and organic traffic strategies to help you grow your business sooner rather than later.

What To Consider

  • Ask if they are up to date on new technologies
  • What else can they offer other than Shopify design?

What To Avoid

  • Shopify developers that do not understand the eCommerce industry as a “whole” – this suggests a lack of experience

#5 – Shopify developer’s price?

Price is very important to consider in Shopify web design, as it is in any type of purchase—especially as a business owner, you need to be on top of the budget all the time.

Without question, your website is arguably one of the most important pieces of your business—it is your digital storefront, it is where potential customers will navigate to and find you, learn about you, then hopefully purchase products or services from you—so it’s hugely important to invest in a quality Shopify website that will attract your target audience, tell your brand’s story, and convert your visitors into paying customers.

It’s likely the investment you’ll make in your website will be one of the greatest returns in your business.  So, of course, ultimately keep in mind your personal and business finances (which are often combined for new business owners), but also be aware of the importance of quality web design and find a number that you’re comfortable working with to achieve the best site you can.

Of course, it’s possible to purchase a £500 website… but you’ll likely see a significant difference in quality between that website and a £5,000 one.

Even Shopify sites that look somewhat comparable at first glance can be significantly different in all the little back-end details that make a site more or less successful—SEO, favicon, mobile responsivity, page load speed, UI/UX. Yes, these things really matter.

Shopify freelancers will generally charge an hourly rate for their services, especially, when it’s smaller and less complex projects. For larger projects, the fixed price approach protects you from underestimations on the amount of time required to complete the project, from having more than expected amount of revisions or bug fixes, etc. Do bear in mind larger projects take longer, are more complex, and therefore will have many more uncertainties.

What To Consider

  • Shopify developers/freelancers hourly rates can vary from £15 per hour to £150 per hour
  • If you have a tight budget see if you can negotiate a good fixed price


What To Avoid

  • Being rushed into paying
  • Being oversold on unnecessary features that you don’t need

If you need any help at all with your Shopify store speak to one of our Shopify experts or you can check us out!