Will PrestaShop Provide Or Shopify Succeed When It Comes To Your Choice Of Online Store?
Looking for an online store presence and undecided which platform to use?
Our latest comparison review of PrestaShop vs Shopify goes deep into two platforms that will meet different needs. Once you have read through the benefits of each you may wish to compare other platforms.
What each platform is all about:
Before getting into a comprehensive, side-by-side review of both platforms, let’s give an overview of what each platform is:
PrestaShop are headquartered in Paris and have offices around the globe. Their online store shopping solution is used by around 300,000 businesses worldwide.
The PrestaShop Ecommerce solution is open-source and the software is completely free for download and use.
The fact that anyone using the service has full code access to build their site means that programming, development and design skills will be highly beneficial.
Having said this, those without technical expertise can still build their store using the PrestaShop WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.
It should be noted that the company has launched a “PrestaShop Ready” option which is their hosted PrestaShop Ecommerce option.
Using this makes life easier for non-technical users but does limit access to the code required for customisation and you will pay on a monthly basis.
Shopify is the opposite. This service is classed as a fully hosted platform. Your online presence will be fully hosted, so no worries about finding a hosting provider or worrying about technical aspects.
Of course, being a hosted service means you need to pay monthly subscription costs.
The platform is admired by many and Shopify currently has more than 600,000 subscribed users. This is double the number of Prestashop.
Shopify is seen in a positive light for the initial ease of store set-up and its app store offerings. These features give the ability to grow your online store at a pace that fits your business planning.
In-depth comparisons – Prestashop vs Shopify
We have a lot to get through, so let’s get started with in-depth comparisons on PretaShop vs Shopify in 9 all-important categories.
When referring to PrestaShop Ecommerce offering we are discussing the ‘Self Hosted’ platform offered. This is by far the most popular option for current users.
To help you clearly understand the differences we have also placed a PrestaShop, Shopify ‘winner’s verdict’ at the end of each section.
|Ease Of Use:|
|The PrestaShop online store set-up can take time and patience.|
This is because the back-end (the part of the system you see, your customers do not) is more technical to get to grips with than that of hosted platform.
Having said this, once you get started, PrestaShop provide a demo video with advice that walks you through the first stage of store set-up.
Once the initial set-up process is complete, your next challenge is deciding which modules your online store requires.
If you do not have in-house expertise for this, you could save time and stress by paying for the assistance of an expert.
This of course will cost you money so would need to be budgeted for.
Once set-up, required integrations and relevant modules are created the daily admin of your store is very straightforward.
|Shopify makes set-up very easy. The interface is intuitive and takes very little time to get used to.|
The drag and drop functionality of customising your store exactly as you wish requires no technical ability whatsoever.
Being a hosted platform means the onus is on Shopify to provide all the tools you require to build a store from scratch and then to run it.
It should be noted that once you have signed up, Shopify even present you with a default store which you can make changes to immediately.
When setting up any online store you need to consider such things as:
· Customised image insertion (these are images of your brand, products, services etc.)
· Loading of initial product range and the ability to add future products
· Payment set-up (we all need that!)
· Store customisation to suit your style.
Shopify offer all of this and more in an easy to use way and do it very well.
In the Prestashop, Shopify ‘ease of use’ comparison – Shopify wins.
|Templates & Flexibility:|
|You will not be short of templates when using PrestaShop.|
Being an open-source platform there are in excess of 1,500 themes and templates to choose from.
Do take your time in choosing, some are far better quality than others.
Granted, some are free, others you pay for, but the reality is that whatever you want you will get.
One thing is for sure, whatever business niche you are in, you will find something to suit.
Also, the fact that this is an open source platform means that you have complete flexibility in designs, additions and add-ons.
Verdict: PrestaShop or Shopify in the Templates & Flexibility section? We have to go for PrestaShop.
|Shopify also offers quality in terms of templates.|
They have over 60 themes which have been designed professionally and will certainly attract.
These are free as well as paid-for, so going for a ‘premium’ theme design will cost.
Those going down the premium route should view this as a long-term investment.
Once chosen you can customise your online store to your hearts content.
|With the rise in mobile device users your store must be fully mobile responsive.|
PrestaShop offers this across their themes and platform.
Before plumping for a theme do fully check its mobile responsiveness.
One thing you also need to be aware of is site speed and this will largely be down to your hosting provider.
Again, it is important to check that your hosting provider is up to the ‘mobile’ responsive standards required.
|Shopify realise the importance of mobile device visitors and customers.|
The good news is that all of their themes come as mobile responsive.
Your store will look as appealing to customers viewing from a mobile device as those viewing from any other more ‘traditional’ device (PC, Laptop etc.).
In the PrestaShop or Shopify mobile responsive comparison – We deem this a draw.
It is really Shopify’s concentrated quality against Prestashop’s quantity.
|Features & Tools:|
|PrestaShop excel in the number of features and tools available.|
You get in excess of 600 pre-built in features to choose from.
Being open-source you can choose any features of tool add-ons you please.
You can sell any digital products you wish, there are features that alert you to ‘time-sensitive’ products and you can place ‘expiry’ dates on special offers relating to products or services.
They also offer an extensive inventory management system. This tracks inventory and gives restocking alerts.
When it comes to payment gateway options you have a huge choice. The decision you make can be dependent upon the countries you are selling to.
It goes without saying that in some countries, certain payment gateways are far more popular than in others.
Do check transaction fees of these payment options. They can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
|All of the basic tools required to run your store are available on the Shopify platform.|
You will get the basic (required) features to set-up and run your online business.
This includes product pages, shopping carts and checkout modules.
The higher you go on the Shopify price plans the more you get.
When it comes to payment gateway options you have well over 70 to choose from. This should meet any needs you have in the payment arena.
It should be noted that using the ‘Shopify Payments’ system means 0% per transaction.
Using other gateways will cost a percentage for each transaction.
The latter can add up!
Verdict: Due to the wide-ability of both platforms to provide payment gateways we have to deem this Prestashop, Shopify category as a Draw.
|The apps available when using the PrestaShop platform are wide and varied.|
Some are free, many you will pay for. Do make sure that if purchasing an app for use that you take one from a respected, well-reviewed source.
Basically, you will find whatever app you are looking for, but you do need to bear in mind that additional costs for these apps need to be added to your overall budget.
|With a very healthy app store offering around 2,500 apps to choose from you will not go wrong with Shopify.|
These apps are both free and paid for. By taking advantage of selected apps from a wide range of sources, you will certainly add power to your store.
Shopify excel in the ‘apps search’ category. This feature makes it very easy to find the type of app you are searching for.
Verdict: This is a close call in the PrestaShop vs Shopify category, but we give the award to Shopify.
|SEO is crucial to your online store recognition. PrestaShop offer tutorials and apps to help you along.|
Some of these have been specifically designed by the platform, others are from 3rdParties.
We keep repeating this, but it is important to understand that while the PrestaShop software is free to download, you will have to budget for add-ons.
Good SEO module(s) are certainly something you should be prepared to pay for when using this platform.
|Shopify is solid when it comes to SEO features.|
Their tutorials are very informative and inclusive SEO features should be used to maximum effect.
Things such as their SEO issues scan and Site Speed Check features are something you can take full advantage of.
Verdict: Due to inclusive SEO features and tools when considering PrestaShop or Shopify, we give this section to Shopify.
|Back Up & Restore:|
|It is important to remember that PrestaShop is a self-hosting platform. This means you are responsible for your back-up and restore.|
Using a good hosting provider will mitigate what you are required to do in this area, but do fully check exactly what the provider offers in this respect.
Daily back-up is a minimum expectation (this also stands if you are hosting yourself) and as for any restore required, do check if this is included in hosting costs or you have to pay.
Do not forget that any apps and add-ons you have also need to be regularly updated as new releases are issued.
It also makes sense to carry out your own back-ups regardless of what your hosting provider offers.
|Being a hosted service, Shopify looks after back-up and restore for you.|
You will get daily back-ups. This means that in the event of any problems with your online store you would only lose changed data made on the day a restore is required.
For a ‘belt and braces’ approach, you can of course back-up your own data. This should be seen as good business practice.
Verdict: PrestaShop or Shopify in this category? We have to give it to Shopify simply for the fact that your data is automatically backed up by the platform.
This certainly makes less to worry about and allows you to concentrate on store promotion and recognition.
|Help & Support:|
|When it comes to PrestaShop this is an interesting one.|
They have an excellent ‘community’ where other users offer free real-life solutions to challenges you may come across.
While this is comprehensive (as are the tutorials and online material available from PrestaShop), you need to realise that this is very much a DIY solution and may take precious time to find exactly what you are looking for.
An alternative is ‘paid-for’ assistance where the platform offers a certain number of support ‘hours’ for a certain cost.
This should certainly get your issues resolved but it is NOT cheap.
If taking the ‘paid for’ option, please do bear in mind the additional, potentially significant costs involved.
|All-inclusive means just that when it comes to what you pay for on a monthly basis with Shopify.|
In the first instance you have excellent knowledge-based tutorials that come with screenshots and tips.
Taking time to read and learn will certainly reap rewards.
Shopify also provides support via E-mail, Live Chat and 24/7 telephone support which is included in your monthly fee.
You should also not dismiss the Shopify ‘community’. This is an excellent resource made up of fellow users.
Verdict: Once again, when considering the PrestaShop, Shopify Help & Support options, due to the inclusive nature of what is offered and its breadth, we have to give Shopify this one.
|While the software is free to download, you need to take into account other costs.|
The first to consider is hosting.
You then need to think about whether you need paid assistance in initial store set-up, you need to include costs for any paid for templates or themes, and the add-on apps that you are certain to need.
Some online store owners will obviously need more than others.
Verdict: We cannot honestly compare like-for-like in the PrestaShop vs Shopify pricing section.
Both have their pluses and minuses. Total costs will depend on what you need and what you use.
For this reason, we must class pricing comparison as a Draw.
|You can choose between 3 ’regular’ price plans that range from $29 per month to $299 per month.|
Two other plans are available.
The first is a basic ‘Lite’ plan, but this does not allow the establishment of an ecommerce store.
Instead, you simply add a ‘buy button’ to your existing store.
The other is top end ‘Enterprise’ for large organisations. Pricing needs to be discussed with Shopify to understand your needs.
While lots of features and services are included in the monthly price plans, you do need to bear in mind that any paid for apps and add-ons will add to your set-up/running costs.
Choosing PrestaShop or Shopify as your online store platform of choice depends on many variables. Those with technical nous (or those prepared for a steep, but effective learning curve) will appreciate the true flexibility that PrestaShop offers.
Anyone selling to an international audience will also appreciate the fact that their online store can be made available in 65 languages.
On the other hand, when considering PrestaShop vs Shopify for those who want the back-end of their store (i.e. the working parts!) looking after without having to worry about hosting, security and feature functionality, then they will definitely benefit from going down the Shopify route.
For this reason and overall ease of management in our PrestaShop or Shopify comparison, we feel Shopify will suit more online store owners than PrestaShop.