Prestashop is probably one of the lesser known content management systems available. But that doesn’t mean that it’s any less valuable. There are currently about 270,000 PrestaShop stores open worldwide, which is a small, but growing platform. In this Prestashop review, we’ll give our opinion on why this platform is worth considering for your next web project.
What Is PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is an open source shopping cart. It’s completely free to download and install on your own server. Alternatively, you can use a hosted version of the software on their PrestaShop Ready server.
As the core programming is open source, you have the rights to modify the programming to make it more attune to your business’ specific needs. This can be done with the use of modules, which can be rather expensive or, if you have the skills, through your own coding.
Building Your PrestaShop Website
Once you’ve installed the PrestaShop code on your server, you’ll have to create the look and feel of your website. There are over 3,000 templates available which have been created by third-party designers. These are all mobile responsive and so do well on search engines.
The problem is the price for these templates can be high. The most expensive is about $530. And the quality for the themes can be patchy at times. You have to check the seller, reviews, and do your own research to find your perfect theme.
In addition, there’s only one free option. This is the default theme that accompanies the core software.
But, there are some great tools to help you customise any design, thanks to the open sourced nature of PrestaShop. Firstly, if you have the skills or have hired them, you can get into the code itself and customise the look of your website.
If you don’t have the necessary skills, you still have hope, as there’s a beautiful ‘What You See Is What You Get’ editor (WYSIWYG). This allows you to add your logo and change the layout of any pages without creating the necessary code.
You can also use the editor to alter content on a page.
If you’re using the PrestaShop Ready option, you’ll be limited to just 10 themes. These will be available in your admin area. These themes can be edited with
CSS or the
WYSIWYG editor. This is one of the drawbacks of PrestaShop as you have fewer choices.
There are lots of integrations and add-ons that are available on the PrestaShop’s Marketplace. This is accessible for those who are using the downloadable software. The cost for each of these integrations can vary a lot. One of the good things however, is that there are free modules you can have, but most modules are offered as a one-off payment.
One of the problems with PrestaShop, and the way that the modules have been developed, is that they aren’t all compatible with each other. This can be very frustrating and you can sometimes be forced to choose between two modules, both of which you want.
If you think that PrestaShop support can help you with such issues, you may be disappointed. In some cases they might be able to offer you a solution but it’s not guaranteed and you shouldn’t rely on this.
As time goes on, some users find that their websites become glitchy and sometimes unusable.
If you are using the hosted service from PrestaShop, you are limited to about 100 modules available. But the bonus here is that these modules will work together so you aren’t wondering if your site is going to stop by adding functions you need.
PrestaShop does not offer a free trial for its software, after all it’s free. There’s a demo available and this really does allow you to explore the inner workings of the software. This can be a great way to try out PrestaShop to see if it’s a suitable solution for your next web project.
The software, as we’ve mentioned, is free to download. Where you will expect the costs to go higher is with the themes, modules, hosting and domain name. If you don’t know much code, this can get really expensive.
You can also expect your website to be expensive if you should you need to hire a developer.
If you decide to use PrestaShop Ready, then you will have a monthly cost. Currently there is only one pricing plan that is about $20 per month. But that doesn’t include transaction fees which are free up to $3,000 per month and then 1.5% of your sales above that amount.
They are planning at least two more pricing levels. But the features of these pricing levels haven’t been announced yet.
With this package you are given a lot of great features. For instance you can get unlimited products, employee accounts, images, and an SSL certificate. These are great for managing and setting up your website.
You can also get great support any day of the week. However, the PrestaShop Ready does not offer the variety of tools that the downloadable option has. You are also limited to just 12,000 emails set via your PrestaShop Ready system on the basic plan with no way to upgrade this.
There is a PrestaShop Ready trial that is valid for 15 days.
PrestaShop Review: Pros
- Great user interface that allows you to create a great website with numerous themes available.
- A vast array of great third party modules to help expand your website’s functionality.
- Free core software that is open-sourced that allow you to customise the website.
PrestaShop Review: Cons
- Modules can sometimes be difficult to work together.
- Modules can be very costly.
- PrestaShop Ready has limited options to help you grow your business.
PrestaShop Review Conclusion
In this PrestaShop review, we’ve shown that the core programming is great and there are lots of options for you to create a great online store. But the extension system is a little flawed. The PrestaShop Ready system might be better for many larger businesses, but it is still in its early stages and therefore more time is needed to ensure it is a great fit.