How to Hire a Stellar NopCommerce Developer?

How to Hire a Stellar NopCommerce Developer?

Imagine you wish to build your dream house for your family, two dogs, and a ferocious cat, which miraculously you still find the strength to love regardless of its bad temper. What will you do? No doubt, you will start by researching the best construction companies in your region. Maybe you will ask your friends for a referral. You have a set of requirements that you don’t wish to compromise with. You are looking for professionals who will deliver within budget and on time so that your family celebrates next Chrismas in a new home.

Hiring a nopCommerce developer is like finding a reliable construction company.  It can be difficult, but not impossible. 

But how to make an informed decision. I will share with you some tips which you can follow to trace your nopCommerce dev magicians.

I am sure most of you will start with googling, hire a nopCommerce developer. And you will find many companies that are indeed nopCommerce developers or at least claim to be. So how can you sift through the results and find the best one?

First, you can check whether the companies you have found on Google are nopCommerce partners. To do this, go to the official nopCommerce partners’ page, where you will find a list of all partners. The silver and gold partnership is paid. So, just because you don’t see your companies of choice among the top partners, does not mean that they are not good enough. Naturally, gold partners are placed above the silver ones. The companies decide if they are willing to pay for the silver partnership or for the more expensive gold one depending on the benefits they wish to get. Some of the benefits are - access to sales leads, dedicated newsletter drop, discount on premium nopCommerce support, etc.
So, if all partners are on the list because they are paying for it, then why looking up the nopCommerce partners' page at all, you may ask. The answer is simple - paying for the nopCommerce partnership alone is proof for the company's long-turn dedication to the system.

Moreover, there is some pretty useful information you can collect from the partners’ profiles. Here is what to look for:

  • The number of years they have been a nopCommerce partner - no one is going to pay for years if they don't take their nopCommerce business seriously. However, don’t mistake the years of partnership with the years a company has been in business. For example, we have only six years of partnership, although we have been developing products and contributing to the system since 2011.
  • The number of certified developers the company has - the nopCommerce certified developer is a paid program where a developer needs to take a test to prove their skills and knowledge of the system. They need to score above 80% to pass the test and to qualify for the certificate. Companies that offer products or services for nopCommerce usually ask their developers to take the test as a sign of proficiency with the system. 
  • Plugins or themes the partner has developed for nopCommerce - don’t reply on the numbers solely. Go a step further and have a look at the products a company has in the nopCommerce marketplace. What reviews do they have? You can get a pretty good idea of a company by the quality of the products it offers.
  • While you are viewing the themes and extensions, don’t forget to check if they are upgraded to the latest nopCommerce version. This shows that the company is taking their business seriously enough to put an effort to keep their products compatible with the latest version. Having gone through 20+ nopCommerce updates, we at Nop-Templates can honestly say that product upgrade is not a piece of cake. It depends on the complexity of each new version and the number of products you need to upgrade.
  • The number of websites the company has developed - take the time to have a look at the company’s actual work and see if it aspires to your standards. 
  • Contributions the company has done to nopCommerce - this shows the company’s genuine interest in helping the system improve and develop. The best place to check for the contributions of a particular partner is the nopCommerce repository in Github.

Ok, you have done all of the things I have suggested so far, but you still find it challenging to select your top three companies. To crown your winner, consider the following, as well.

  • Check their karma in the nopCommerce forums. The karma shows how the nopCommerce community rates the partner. There are two kinds of rating - a monthly rating and a yearly rating. The forum karma is an excellent indicator of the partner’s activity on the forum and their knowledge of the system. Be assured, this is a genuine ranking, just like product reviews, you can’t fake it.
  • Check the company’s website. Pages you must look at are - about us, meet the team, our story, testimonials, and case studies. You will get a pretty good idea of the people behind the company logo, what are their values and business ethics. 
  • Don’t forget to view the company blog page. When is the last blog dated? Is the blog providing good quality content, or does the content lacks any value and is only created to rank for keywords? 
  • Social media is your next stop. What kind of content the company shares. Again, when has the last post been published? Do they get any recognition by other nopCommerce experts or by nopCommerce itself?
Still not able to make up your mind? Consider my last round of tips, which will help you decide with confidence:
  • Check if the company has a forum on their site. There, the company's expertise is tested every day. Take the time to go through the latest posts and the company's replies. Also, see for how many years the forum has been active.
  • Don't be shy and ask a technical question. You can either write in the company's forum if they have one or send an email. With this, you can put their expertise on the test and see whether they provide meaningful and helpful support.
  • Test one of their products. Free trials are available for most nopCommerce products. Make an effort to test the quality of the company's software.
  • Check if the company has participated in one of the annual nopCommerce conferences. Have a look at their presentation if they have been speakers. Is the company a regular participant in the nopCommerce events?

I hope that by now, you have managed to narrow down your search results. But I want to share one more thing with you, which I find invaluable for making a final decision.

Take the time to establish a connection with your top three companies. How long it takes for them to reply to your email, or do they provide in-depth answers to your questions, indicate whether you can trust these people and how much expertise they have. Go beyond the usual inquiry email. Talk to them in person and see how they will handle your inquiry. After all, it is easy to write the perfect about us page and brag about company values. Complying with those values is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Now, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room and talk about money. Price does matter when hiring a nopCommerce developer. Usually, it is the only criteria for making a final decision. But, my grandfather, who was a wise man, used to say, “I am not rich enough to buy cheap shoes.”
I was little back then to grasp the meaning and could not find any logic in his words. But now I know better and always ask myself when I need to make a buying decision “Is this good value for money”?
Regardless of how important the price is for you, you cannot base your decision solely on it because a cheap hourly rate does not necessarily mean cheap final cost.

Let’s go back to your dream house. You want to find a construction company that will offer excellent value for your money. Professionals who will do a great job, so you don’t have to hire someone else to do repairs on a newly-built house. 

The same goes when hiring a nopCommerce developer. Choosing the right one from the start will save you money and time in the long run. Do your research, apply the tips I have shared with you, and I am sure that you will find your nopCommerce development wizards in no time.