Introduction: Hey Presto! What is PrestaShop eCommerce?
Welcome to our PrestaShop reviews. Any brand with online retail ambitions needs a platform that allows easy customer checkout functions.
Achieve this and whether your ambition is to sell locally, nationally or globally, you have the ability to leverage a constantly increasing online community of buyers.
The eCommerce PrestaShop reviews gives you the lowdown on this global shopping cart solution.
Overview: Read our PrestaShop reviews to see if this global shopping cart solution is right for you.
With headquarters in Paris and offices around the world, the eCommerce PrestaShop shopping cart solution is used by almost 300,000 online stores worldwide.
Completely free for download and use, it is an open source shopping cart that is certainly a valid consideration for your E-Commerce solution.
A huge benefit for those looking to maintain and expand their global customer base is that PrestaShop features an extensive multilingual capability.
Ease of use:
Because the PrestaShop E-Commerce platform is open source. You will have full code access with which to build your online site. Those who do not have development or design skills would be well advised to avail of the services of a professional ecommerce design team.
It should be said that those without tech expertise can use the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor to add such things as company/brand logo, amend page layouts and update page content. Certainly not the easiest compared to other eCommerce platforms for beginners.
Prestashop Features and Flexibility:
With over 600 PrestaShop features pre-built-in you will not be short in finding those which are most useful to your particular needs. They include all basics that the vast majority of merchants require to begin their online store. The eCommerce PrestaShop offering should be investigated to understand which features are of most specific value to you.
Download from PrestaShop website and install to your own reliable hosting from a 3rd party web hosting service. Bluehost and HostGator are recommended. Bluehost allows full editing of the PHP.ini file and HostGator allows you to edit the PHP.ini file but limits what you can edit without calling and having an Admin edit for you.
Hosted Service Option:
No installation cost with the hosted service offering, but a price tag comes with this option. A higher price tag too when compared to using your own hosting provider.
Themes and Templates:
Finding quality themes and designs to meet your needs is easily achievable via the Prestashop Market place and 3rd party providers such as Template Monster.
A final option but only for those with know-how. Due to the open-source code available it is possible to build yourself a ‘Ground Up’ Prestashop Theme. But again a higher level skill set is required.
No limit on listings:
List as many products as you like
Digital Product sales:
Sell digital products as you wish. There is also a downloadable function that allows ‘expiry date’ for any ‘time-sensitive’ products
The comprehensive inventory management tool includes tracking of inventory as well as providing restock alerts
Estimated shipping costs:
This is one of the PrestaShop features that will ensure those buying from you do not get an unexpected ‘add-on’ at checkout
You have the ability to integrate a 3rd party payment process, or for customers to pay by cheque or wire transfer
Set an extra charge for gift packaging of products. It’s a nice touch.
With translations in 65 languages and acceptance of multiple currencies you can sell globally
Abandoned Cart Notifications:
This is one of the PrestaShop features we recommend you utilize. It gives you the opportunity to auto-e-mail customers who have abandoned their cart
Various options for promotion customisation such as specific products, groups and orders
Post-transaction automated Emails:
Give customers peace of mind by automatically confirming their purchase
SEO and Mobility:
To get your site and brand out there, 1st class SEO is essential.
While you can take advantage of on page and technical SEO aspects such as URL rewrites, meta titles and descriptions, it is recommended that you look for assistance from a professional SEO Online Marketing team if you do not have this in-house expertise.
Technically, Prestashop doesn't have a specific page speed. Speed will be dependant on a number of factors including the server level. Also consider that downloading and incorporating plugins can effect site speed. Also depending on the elements you put on your site pages such as images and videos can effect site speed also.
Support and Resources:
When it comes to support and resources for eCommerce 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 PrestaShop pricing involved.
PrestaShop pricing cannot be classed as completely free. Yes, the software is free to download and there is a comprehensive demo available to understand what is offered.
However, extra expense will be incurred for reliable hosting like . Ongoing expenses will also vary dependent upon whether you need help setting up and using the software. (strongly recommended for those who are non-technical).
One other factor to bear in mind is that the more modules and add-ons you need, the higher the price and these can end up being steep.
More recently written PrestaShop reviews articles will mention “PrestaShop Ready”. This is a hosted offering based on a subscription plan and costs Euros 24.90 or approx $28 per month.
The subscription offers a reasonable feature-set and the folk who run the E-Commerce PrestaShop platform intend to introduce 2 further paid-for plans with rising feature sets in the near future.
While there will undoubtedly be interest in the above offers, those who are still unsure as to whether this pricing plan structure will fit their immediate and future needs, it is recommended that you also review other eCommerce platforms to achieve a comprehensive understanding of what is out there.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
So, our Prestashop reviews conclusion;
What is it best used for?
The free, downloadable version mentioned in our PrestaShop E-Commerce review will suit those with HTML, CSS and PHP knowledge, as well as those who have budgeted for professional assistance in set-up.
In its favour, it must be said that the open-source software is highly customisable and comes with an extensive feature set right “out of the box”.
In addition, there is a continually expanding selections of add-ons to choose from, but unless you decide carefully, the initial eCommerce Prestashop pricing could become more expensive than other fully-hosted options.
What is it not best used for?
In our view, it is therefore not for the beginner. The “PrestaShop Ready” subscription plan will suit those with no experience more so but again there are more recommended ecommerce solutions on the market.
For those who are just moving into the E-Commerce arena it is quite likely you will find less demanding solutions to meet your needs. If you want more of the latter, we recommend using WordPress.org combined with WooCommerce for a content management system. Remember you can test out WordPress for free using the hosted version WordPress.com.
Newbies with less experienced hands who want to launch a site with less hassle we suggest reviewing some other platforms like Shopify. We have written an in-depth comparison review with PrestaShop and Shopify for further reading.
That’s all for now:
Thanks for reading our Prestashop reviews. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms, website builders, and more such as;
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Being a veteran in the website building and eCommerce game definitely has its benefits. Richard has long been in the industry with more than 10 years of experience with building websites and constructing eCommerce platforms for clients. He’s also a bit of a whiskey connoisseur.