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The trend of online shopping is increasing every year. Recent surveys found that more than 25% of people buy something online at least once a week. This increase in popularity automatically translates into an opportunity for any business. Having an online presence and putting your products and services on an online store will give you the opportunity to reach many new customers and maximize the potential of your business.
To start and run a successful eCommerce business, you must first select an appropriate shopping cart software. There is a wide range of solutions available and it is quite difficult for most business owners to make the right decision. Two very popular options are WooCommerce and PrestaShop. Both can be used to run a successful online store, but they work differently and both have benefits and some drawbacks.
WOOCOMMERCE VS PRESTASHOP - BRIEF OVERVIEW
WooCommerce - Overview
WooCommerce was released by theme developer WooThemes in 2011. Later, in 2015, it was acquired by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress. WooCommerce is by far the most popular eCommerce platform in the world powering millions of online stores. WooCommerce makes it very simple to add an online store to your WordPress website by installing the plugin.
WordPress is the largest CMS in the world, the perfect platform to create any type of website, and with just a few clicks you can transform it into a beautiful and functional online store. It's for a reason that WooCommerce is considered the best eCommerce solution for WordPress (and in general). When you install it, you will get all the necessary tools that you will need to run your online store including: various shipping and payment options, products, order management system, marketing tools, business reports, etc.
Since it is built on top of WordPress, it also has the best blogging features so you can work properly on your content marketing and SEO. The theme editor is easy to use and we should note that unlike most other WordPress eCommerce plugins, WooCommerce is almost bug free. It is also constantly updated and maintained.
WooCommerce has been on the market for many years, so it is considered a very stable and mature solution that can be used by small and large stores and can be scaled to any point. The support communities are very comprehensive due to the number of users and WooCommerce/WordPress staff usually respond to direct tickets within 1-2 days.
PrestaShop - Overview
PrestaShop is an open source e-commerce software that is free to download and use. It was created in 2005 in France. There are over 250,000 live stores using it right now and it originally gained popularity due to an intuitive dashboard and rich default functionality. It's very easy to use and understandable as well as easy to navigate and you shouldn't have too many problems with it. Due to this, daily use will be easy and your customers will have a pleasant shopping experience. The main difference between PrestaShop and WooCommerce is that PrestaShop is a standalone eCommerce software while WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress.
PrestaShop is scalable and can create any number of products. This is good to keep in mind when you need to expand your store. Convenient inventory management tools will give you good control over your stock. There is also an option to run multiple stores through one panel which can be useful if you have more than one store.
If you need a feature that doesn't come by default (such as Facebook integration, payment gateway, etc.), you can easily add it with an extension that you can get from an official marketplace. PrestaShop is an open source platform, so the store design possibilities are limitless. PrestaShop also offers some SEO tools that will help you rank in Google search results.
WOOCOMMERCE VS PRESTASHOP - DESIGN AND THEMES
WooCommerce – Design
WooCommerce is definitely the best way to turn your existing WordPress website into an eCommerce store. Since WooCommerce is a simple (yet powerful) plugin for WordPress, it needs to be installed like any other plugin. Since it is free and open source software, you do not need any license and there are no recurring monthly fees. When you set up your WooCommerce store, you will be able to sell anything: physical products, digital products, services, subscriptions, reservations, etc.
Some of these may require additional plugin-enabled functionality, but most of the out-of-the-box features should get you started. Updating products is a simple matter of entering text, images and metadata about your products into the relevant fields contained on the 'Add a Product' page. Doing this takes no more than a couple of minutes per item, so even large stores can be easily managed using the back-end of the WordPress WooCommerce extension.
You will also have the option to install WooCommerce specific themes that were custom made to make every aspect of your online store look great. The place to start would be Storefront, which is the default theme for the online store. The integration between WooCommerce and Storefront is seamless as it is built and maintained by WooCommerce. If you want to further customize the look of your online store, you can choose one of the many child themes for Storefront and most cost 59€.
Support for paid WooCommerce themes is very extensive. The different themes will allow you more customization potential for things like menus, navigation, and social media integration. Colors, styles, fonts, and stock photos will also vary depending on the design package you choose when updating your WooCommerce site.
PrestaShop - Design
With PrestaShop, you can create your online store for free from scratch or use one of the free templates. Otherwise, you will have to buy a theme and there are many themes and templates available – over 1300 on their official website and thousands more on third party websites. Premium templates look professional and high-quality, but most of the templates you can get from third-party websites don't really compare to the look and quality of premium templates.
The price of the templates that were developed by the community varies from free to 300€. PrestaShop offers themes from certified partners, and the price starts from around 84€, and the price for premium templates can start as high as 150€, which is quite high. Installing a theme will have its set of challenges. Unless you have a lot of technical experience, you will definitely need to hire a professional. In general, PrestaShop is suitable for those with coding skills.
When you're about to buy a theme, be sure to look for mobile responsive options because not all themes are responsive. This will make your life easier later on and you won't have to pay anyone to get your store to respond later on.
WooCommerce has a huge advantage over PrestaShop when it comes to themes and design. PrestaShop has some good themes, but compared to WordPress and WooCommerce themes, they cost too much. The theme selection is also on the WooCommerce side because you can easily find some amazing themes for all kinds of purposes and industries.
WOOCOMMERCE VS PRESTASHOP - PRICES AND FEES
WooCommerce – Pricing
WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to transform your current website into a fully functional online store. Since the plugin is free, you will only have to cover other basic things that come with running any website. First, you will need to cover a monthly hosting bill which can be as low as 4€ per month, but will vary depending on the size of your website and monthly traffic. Secondly, you will have to buy a domain that costs 10€ per year on average.
After the initial basic expenses, you need to factor in additional extensions you'll need to purchase for things like payment gateways, SEO, etc. The price of the extensions will vary, but is usually around 49-79 euros. Since it's basically on WordPress, it has tens of thousands of plugins available for free, so you'll save a lot when using WooCommerce because, with PrestaShop, the prices for all of this will add up very quickly.
Even if you prefer the paid options for better plugin functionality, choosing the right solution becomes easy with voluminous customer reviews providing guidance on best practices. Most plugins can be purchased for a one-time fee of 10.99€ however some use a subscription model. Either way, you will be able to select the right product to meet your needs if you spend enough time reading customer reviews.
PrestaShop - Pricing
PrestaShop is open source software and is free to download and use. You can also view their demo so you can explore the dashboard and the store.
Each store will have an ongoing expense that will depend on many factors. PrestaShop is not that easy to install and use and its modules will interfere with each other, leading to store failure. If you don't have the necessary coding skills, you'll have to hire web developers and designers to fix every problem.
Plugins and modules usually come with a high price tag because this is how PrestaShop makes money. For example, you will pay quite a bit of money if you want to integrate your online store with Facebook, QuickBooks, Amazon, etc.
So, the main expenses you will need to cover include:
Web hosting:10€-100€ per month, depending on the size of your store and the bandwidth required
Template:150€-300€ for a good one
Plugins and modules – depends on which one you need, but they are very expensive
Web Designer/Developer – You will most likely hire one for various tasks if you have no coding experience.
PrestaShop may be free to start with, but the additional and recurring costs will add up quickly. Every additional feature and update of your website will be very expensive. Also, if you are not very tech-savvy, you will definitely need to hire a developer to help you set up and manage your store as it is not that easy to do those things compared to WooCommerce.
WooCommerce has the same basic website running costs, but has a lot more to offer in terms of free plugins and much cheaper themes and extensions. You also don't need to hire a developer for everything you need to do, so overall by opting for WooCommerce you will save a lot of money in the long run.
With over a decade of documented user experience on online forums, it's likely that other users have faced any issues you encounter using WordPress WooCommerce before. Step-by-step solutions to common user problems are easily found by googling the correct error codes.
Developer support for plugins is available frequently and it only takes a day or two for most developers to get back to most tickets. This makes it easier to converge plugins and can make more efficient use of available resources along with user documentation.
WOOCOMMERCE VS PRESTASHOP - CUSTOMER SUPPORT
WooCommerce - Customer Support
The best thing about WooCommerce is that it is almost free of bugs and errors. The developers are doing a great job maintaining and updating WooCommerce and new versions are released all the time. Because of this, you won't find yourself searching for how to fix a mistake on your store.
WooCommerce provides comprehensive support documentation that is easy to navigate and you will most likely get your question answered there. Since WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress, the main place to get help is through the official WordPress forums. You also have the option to go to the WooCommerce website, create a free user account there and submit a ticket. The support is very helpful and will solve most of your problems.
PrestaShop - Customer Service
Since PrestaShop is open source, anyone can contribute and create plugins. This means that customer support can be complicated, as it is almost impossible to have a support team that can answer all questions about software that is constantly changing. Your best option would be the community forum and there you will find users who are ready to help you.
Many users are actually developers and like to solve problems, but there are also many entry-level users who won't be much help.
Next, you may want to refer to the user guides for help, but some of them are over 500 pages long. There is the option to submit a ticket and the waiting time can be up to 5 days or more. When you submit a ticket, please wait because it is almost impossible to get a concise response. The PrestaShop documentation lacks some essential elements that would help store owners to fix their problems quickly.
The support plan is also available on PrestaShop, but the cost is exorbitant and it is limited to only several hours of help per year. For example, plans range from 33€ per month to 116€ per month and you need to sign up for a minimum one-year subscription. With the cheapest plan, you get a full six hours of support for that year. We suggest you don't waste your time with this option because it's too expensive for the small amount of support they provide.
The last option is the live chat that is available to you when you visit the PrestaShop website. If you start a chat, a PrestaShop representative may or may not respond. Most chats with support will be a sales pitch from them and will not answer any of your questions and the chat will likely end with a user guide being sent.
PrestaShop is not designed to work with other modules, themes and plugins on the market and with open source software, you cannot have high expectations when it comes to customer support. If you need to have support available to you, then PrestaShop is not for you.
WooCommerce offers better support, mostly in the form of great documentation and WordPress forums that have an amazing community of people. You can also head over to the WooCommerce website and submit a ticket and the staff will get back to you and help (although that's not exactly the case with PrestaShop).
WOOCOMMERCE VS PRESTASHOP - ADD-ONS AND EXTENSIONS
WooCommerce - Plugins and Extensions
From analytics to order fulfillment, payment processing, accounting, and many others, WooCommerce allows you to integrate different extensions into your store. There is a massive library of free and paid extensions and plugins that will allow you to add any functionality to your online store.
WooCommerce allows you to install third-party plugins and extensions and does not limit your options like other shopping cart plugins. Some of the most popular extensions include payment processing (PayPal, 2Checkout, and Amazon), accounting (Xero and FreshBooks), and shipping (FedEx and UPS), as well as basic promotional features like image sliders, social media plugins, and more. Contact. shapes.
What's even better is that WooCommerce works seamlessly with plugins and extensions offered by WordPress and even third-party developers. This means you won't have any issues with extensions not working properly together. The developers offer open support channels for their product, so if you run into a problem, you can easily find the tools you need to resolve the issue.
PrestaShop - Addons and Extensions
You will surely find what your online store needs in the PrestaShop addons market. Integrations are usually a one-time purchase. Modules range from payment security extras to advertising tools.
The price of add-ons can range from 20€ to 50€, but many others cost much more. For example, to sell on Amazon and manage your inventory from the PrestaShop panel, you will have to pay 280€ and the eBay integration will cost you the same. Therefore, the cost of plugins will really increase over time.
There is another downside to these third party plugins and that is the fact that they were created by different developers and are not guaranteed to work together. This will lead to crashes in your store and reduced usability. PrestaShop support will usually not be able to help you with this as they did not create the plugins.
Both WooCommerce and PrestaShop offer a large number of plugins and extensions that you can use to implement additional functionality in your online store. WooCommerce has an advantage here for a few reasons. WooCommerce has many more free plugins available as it is built on top of WordPress. They also work flawlessly and are stable, which cannot be said for PrestaShop as many plugins and modules conflict with each other. There is also the problem with the prices of the PrestaShop module, which will cost you much more than the WooCommerce extensions.
Making the right decision when choosing the best eCommerce platform is crucial. Switching platforms later is a nightmare, so you have to take into account all the points of the comparison.
When we look at every point like design, pricing, plugins, and customer support, we can see that WooCommerce is far superior to PrestaShop. WooCommerce offers a better design and the themes are also lower priced. Themes for PrestaShop come at a high price, plus you'll need to hire someone to install it properly. The basic price is similar for both, but when you look at other aspects and long-term expenses, WooCommerce will be a much cheaper solution.
WooCommerce also offers many plugins that are free and they all work perfectly together, which is not the case with PrestaShop as the modules cost a lot of money and moreover they will often not be compatible and will cause you problems.