Ecommerce Platforms – PrestaShop Review
PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform and is one of the most outstanding e-commerce applications around. Founded in 2007, this open source software has been built into a strong industry leader with their solid platform and a community of over 250,000 users in 60 different languages.
It’s designed to be a working e-commerce store right out of the box. You just need to set up the payment gateways you choose, the products for your store, and shipping info.
It has two versions, downloadable and cloud-based. When you sign up you are given the option between the download which you host and the cloud version which PS hosts for you.
Both versions are free. The differences are that the cloud version has the software pre-installed (and automatically updates). But only the download version gives you access to source code and database for complete code customization.
There are a wide selection of free and paid themes to choose from, so getting a store that fits you is definitely doable.
Easy to install and build your store
Easy to use and maintain
Detailed analytics built into the dashboard
Large user community
Solid and beautiful design
Support is accessed by opting in to one of their paid plans
Initial software set-up not as easy as others
You may need a developer if you are hosting yourself
Ease of Use
The cloud version has several steps taken care of for you so you really can focus on your store. The software version will require some coding and therefore more work.
Once installed and running, the dashboard is fairly easy to use with a little practice. Importantly, all the tools you need to run your store are already part of the software.
They also have a “Back Office” which allows you to carry out business or make changes in your store from any device. Super easy.
PrestaShop offers some excellent store designs and even the default theme looks great. The platform and interfaces are also excellent in design.
This is a mobile friendly platform with responsive themes.
It has robust features and integrations that allows you to run their platform with ease.
If you choose cloud hosting it gets even easier to maintain as basic software updates and all the technicalities of hosting are taken care of for you.
Most of its customer support relies on the open source community with their professional support available on various paid plans — based on how much assistance you need.
PrestaShop has built-in marketing features including an email sign-up for newsletters, social media links to your store’s accounts, special offers, coupons, affiliate programs, and even gift wrapping.
Scalable and light weight.
The platform itself is free though you may choose to pay for a theme and tech support.