Are you looking for a free open-source eCommerce platform to start your online business? If that’s the case, then Prestashop might be the solution for you. Used by thousands of business entrepreneurs, Prestashop is definitely one of the most popular platforms for online starters. Therefore, we are going to conduct a Prestashop review to help you thoroughly grasp the main points of this platform.
Prestashop is a user-friendly, feature-rich open-source eCommerce platform. In this Prestashop review, we’ll look at its eCommerce features, pricing, ease of use, and far more. Hope this article can help you to answer the burning questions you have about this solution.
Important update you should know about: PrestaShop has recently introduced a hosted version of its software called PrestaShop Ready. Intended as an easier alternative to the open-source shopping cart, PrestaShop Ready has been pulled from PrestaShop’s website and is not currently available.
Let’s stick around for a full and detailed Prestashop review!
Prestashop Review: Overview
First started in 2007 and located in France with offices around the world, Prestashop has proudly become an international shopping cart solution.
As of November 2020, this platform has over 700,000 websites that are Prestashop customers. In fact, there are 302,990 live websites using Prestashop and an additional of 398,486 sites that used Prestashop historically.
Prestashop is an eCommerce platform whose source code is freely available. It means that you can download and modify it in any way you wish. However, that does not mean that PrestaShop is a zero-expense eCommerce solution. If you choose to download the software, you’ll have to pay for web hosting. You’ll likely also have to purchase several (often expensive) modules to integrate different functions to your site. Therefore, a Prestashop review will be an ideal suggestion for you to look at.
On the grounds that Prestashop is free to download, they don’t offer a free trial but have a demo available. This demo gives you a general picture of how the software works and what kinds of technology you’re going to spend some extra money on.
As mentioned before, Prestashop isn’t a zero-expense eCommerce solution that requires you to buy some hosting and modules to launch your store. You’ll end up paying for hosting services and a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate with a great deal of Prestashop official hosting partners such as 1&1 or A2 hosting. The price can range from 4$ – $14 per month.
Owing to its open-source solution, whatever modification you make requires code involvement. It means that unless you or someone at your business has technical knowledge, you’ll more than likely have to hire an agency or developer. Therefore, the total price for operating a Prestashop store may include developer expenses which range from $50 to $80 per hour.
Just like similar open-source solutions, Prestashop does have a number of expenses to consider, but the money you actually pay will vary depending on a number of factors. There are several add-ons and modules you want to tack onto your store experience. The price for these extensions is pretty costly compared to other platforms, which ranges between $35 and ~$6000.
You can also access extras from Prestashop including, for example, the Prestashop Checkout Gateways. You can add a button to your website to take payments from everything from VISA, PayPal and Mastercard. This service is free to install but you need to pay a slight transaction fee on every online payment. In addition, if you are taking transactions from elsewhere in the world, you will need to pay for some international fees.
In short, merchants should take into account all of the required expenses before opening a store to avoid footing the bill.
It is important to see how the devices load under a particular time. Loading time is about how fast products pages are loaded and. A fast website definitely gives your customers a pleasant and enjoyable experience while shopping in your store.
According to Tradius, many users admit that the loading speed needs to be improved as it depends on the web hosting of the site and how the servers are set up.
As you can see in the picture above, the performance and load time of Prestashop is not impressive compared to other platforms.
Luckily, Prestashop has several add-ons to improve the performance and some of those outstanding modules are Cache Manager or Page Cache Ultimate Module. The price for the module can range from $49.99 – $149.99. It can help you reduce loading time of your shop in an optimal way with the full page cache. The strategy of these modules is to cache the whole page so browser cache can be used with the extremely fast loading time. What the merchants like about this module as it can save time and provide ease of navigation. Therefore, users can view more pages, products and thus buying things is just a breeze.
Ease of use
Like I said, Prestashop has a demo online, so you can try it out without going through all the hassles of downloading and implementing the software. As an open-source cart, it is written in the PHP language and runs on Smarty Template Engine, which is compatible with Unix, Linux and Windows operating systems. With this platform, you do not need much technical skill when launching a basic online store. However, you must possess some coding know-how if you want to make your store dazzling and equip it with full functionalities. Otherwise, hiring a developer is the only option to bring your vision to life.
Here’s the dashboard you’ll be able to access once you’ve run the software. At this point, you’ll need to figure out which modules you need for your store. If you are not a tech-savvy, it will be wise to hire a developer to take care of integrations for you. Luckily, once you’ve got your site up, daily operations are quite simple. You can list a product’s description, categories, quantities and SEO features to your store simultaneously with the products.
The main product page allows you to do many things such as adding title and description as well as quantity and price. However, it is worth working through the tabs at the top of the page to make sure that your product listing is the best it can be. To organize your products, merchants now have the chance to try and test category system which makes it easy to organize them into main and sub-categories.
Order management is just a piece of cake. You can add, edit orders and apply discounts from the admin panel. You are also able to contact your customers via email from the orders page. If you already have your store well set up at the beginning, you should be all right handling in the future.
Themes & Customizations
Mentioning customization means that themes and templates are the necessary factors for your online shop. Because of its open-source nature, Prestashop offers endless possibilities for customization which means that merchants can freely customize their stores as they wish. In the competitive world of eCommerce, building a memorable brand is key to your long-term success.
If you don’t have much technical knowledge, a WYSIWYG editor is here to help. You can add your logo, change the page layouts and update your page’s content without using codes.
In the Prestashop Marketplace, there are 15 different categories. The store owners now can apply filters to search results to find ones that suit your business’s features. For instance, you can browse for pets and animals, food and restaurants, fashion and shoes, home and garden, and so on.
Besides, LitExtension does have a collection of “Best Prestashop themes in 2020” for you to find the most suitable look for your website.
Because Prestashop is an open-source platform, it can help build anything, from a small online shop to a full-on shopping cart solution. With a massive add-on market and a package of built-in features, Prestashop presents a quick fix for eCommerce merchants.
Update Stock with Supplier: Import stock from any different file locations or any format from your supplier. With a complete automated process, it can track all sync history, check results without worrying about raw data adjustments.
Sync with Third-Party Systems: Update customers, orders, and items from any files you have from outside systems or export mailing lists, sales and any other database for further use.
Restock Inventory Smartly: Keep an eye on the out of stock items, best sellers and hot items in your store.
Sync with Sales channels and Accounting: Get all sales in one place to keep full control over the system when selling things on Amazon, eBay and integrate with QuickBooks.
Analyze Sales and Stock Level: Make a real analysis of your sales activities, Prestashop stock level and incoming. Merchants can use “take an action” reports that say what you need to do which is a way more better than simply checking silent statistics.
The fact is that making your store conspicuous on search engines to get traffic is everyone’s desire. For this, the solution is to be amongst the first results on search pages. Luckily, Prestashop has more than 180 modules to let your store be indexed which can save you precious time.
PrestaShop comes with pretty solid built-in SEO features. Here, you are able to control how the products appear in Google search, including SEO title, meta description, and permalink. You can also set up page redirects if necessary.
One of the best seller SEO modules is Prestashop SEO Audit which hits top #1 with best SEO practices 2020. SEO Audit is the unique module that helps you write perfect friendly content for both search engines and users. It is integrated with up-to-date rank math to help you analyze and detect any SEO problems with the content on every web page of your website. You can optimize your product pages, category pages, CMS pages, and far more.
Prestashop Ads is a smart marketing tool advertising all products on relevant eCommerce websites. It allows merchants to advertise on Google Ads, Amazon Ads, Facebook, Instagram and more. It also removes the complexity of setting up data feeds and conversion tracking. Prestashop will introduce a new way to do competitor research, recipe products, and advertise in major platforms.
Some top features of Prestashop Marketing include:
- Product health check: improve data feed quality and helps to resolve data feed related issues.
- Competitor Analysis: find your store’s top competitors across online marketing platforms
- eCommerce Price comparison: Identify competitors’ price and find out the competitive products, then focus on marketing strategies.
- Multi-platform access: use the same product data feed to advertise products on Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram & Amazon.
Having a store with full functionality will come with tons of extra add-on features. For payments, you’ll have 250 options in total which are from the third-party processor or a merchant account with the Prestashop Checkout Gateways. Your customers will not be directed to another site when processing their checkout process as well as be fully compliant with all adjustments, especially GDPR.
Prestashop Checkout also has an extra service which is built with PayPal. It provides access to various checkout options, including American Express, Mastercard and many others.
Modules and Integrations
In their marketplace, Prestashop has over 3000 modules that help merchants to customize online shops, increase traffic, improve conversion rates and build customer loyalty. Some modules are free while others are available through a one-time purchase.
The fact is, adding integrations can cost a pretty penny to boost your site. Those modules will range from $29.99 – $699.99 depending on your needs. However, once your sales reach the potential amount, you can come out on top with Prestashop. One more thing you should bear in mind is that those modules are made by hundreds of developers from all over the world. Accordingly, there’s no guarantee that everything will work exactly as expected. You will need to be careful about what you add to avoid a glitchy and slow-performing website.
Support & Security
While setting up an eCommerce store, you will need support from experienced experts to help you take under your wings. Luckily, in this Prestashop review, I will provide you with 2 kinds of support services: Presta Online Assistance and Presta Technical Assistance.
Firstly, Prestashop has plenty of free info sources such as guides, tutorials, FAQs and training courses for users and developers. Nearly 80% of all situations that the customers can probably encounter comes from Presta Online Assistance, you can easily find those detailed information into the search bar. In case you cannot find your knotty problems, you surely want to join the Prestashop forum to give and exchange experiences. This forum has over 1.2 million users where you can meet any acute cases or solved issue tips.
Secondly, Presta Technical Assistance is a unique service compared to other open-source platforms. You will have a chance to call the Presta specialists within 15 minutes to solve any problem you have. However, the price for this service is very expensive which ranges from $249 to $1399 depending on the support level.
Seeing that Prestashop is an open-source software, it is PCI compliance ready which means that your store is well-secured. However, your Prestashop store won’t be compliant on its own, you will need to purchase your SSL certificate and check up on any available security patches.
If you have a small or medium sized business, Prestashop will be an ideal solution. Apart from the customizability and hassle-free procedures, Prestashop is outstanding in terms of thousands of add-on modules and ready-made themes. You can start with low investments and gradually build up your website without worrying about any maintenance at all.
I hope this article will help you get the answer for Prestashop solutions. And if you are planning to switch from your current platform to Prestashop, LitExtension is here to help. As the world-leading shopping cart migration, we have successfully done 140,000+ cases with 40,000+ worldwide customers. With 9 years of experience, we can assure you to migrate your data speedily, securely and accurately with our automated migration tools.