The first step to launching your eCommerce store is deciding which platform to go with. There are quite a few to choose from, each offering better features than the last.
Naturally, it can be quite confusing to pick the right platform for you. In this article, we will shed some light on two major players of this field, PrestaShop and WooCommerce.
This comprehensive guide will highlight the differences between PrestaShop and WooCommerce by analyzing categories such as ease of use, SEO, design, and customization, pricing, etc.
1. Software and setup
When it comes to PrestaShop vs WordPress WooCommerce, there are a few fundamental differences in the software and setup, which determine its ease of use.
WooCommerce is a free plugin that can be installed on WordPress, which is an open-source content management system, best known for blogging. By downloading WooCommerce on WordPress after installation, you can access specialized e-commerce features that would otherwise not be available on WordPress. To launch your eCommerce store, you will have to follow three steps – set up a hosting account, buy a domain name, and then download WooCommerce.
PrestaShop, on the other hand, is an open-source platform dedicated to eCommerce and comes with a reputed content management system. Like WordPress, you need to install it onto your system, after setting up a hosting account and buying a domain name. The only step missing is downloading an additional plugin.
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WordPress WooCommerce: Software and setup
Since PrestaShop has lesser steps involved in its installation, it wins this round. However, we are still a long way from determining which is better for eCommerce, PrestaShop, or WooCommerce.
2. Design and customization
WooCommerce equips you with thousands of free and paid themes and plugins, with the help of WordPress. The best part is its extreme flexibility as a platform, allowing you to customize every theme to the minutest detail. However, if you’re not familiar with coding, you may need a developer to customize some of these details for you, which will cost you money.
PrestaShop has over 3,000 modules and a vast number of themes on offer for your eCommerce store. However, most of these themes are paid, with prices starting at $59.99. Customization to these design features is possible, though it’s not quite as flexible as WooCommerce.
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WooCommerce: Design and customization
The differences between PrestaShop and WooCommerce in this category are quite clear. With more design templates and deeper customization, WooCommerce wins this round.
3. E-commerce features and tools
When deciding which one out of PrestaShop or WooCommerce is better for eCommerce, it’s imperative to analyze the unique features each platform offers to manage your eCommerce store and boost its sales.
You can sell unlimited digital and physical products through WooCommerce. You also have the ability to filter and review products, owing to its flexible product segmentation feature. You can also count on its built-in eCommerce features, like its inventory management system and payment gateways. Other pros include its geolocation and analytical tools.
PrestaShop, too, is pretty great when it comes to store and product management. You can import and export products, process payments through bank transfers as well as PayPal, analyze your store’s performance, and more. There’s also an additional feature of creating bulk orders or unique product combinations for purchase.
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WooCommerce: Ecommerce features and tools
While there are some differences between PrestaShop and WooCommerce’s eCommerce features, both stores equip you with all the basics needed to run an eCommerce store. The rest depends on your unique needs, and what suits your store better. We have to declare a tie in this round.
SEO is an important category in discerning which one out of PrestaShop or WooCommerce is better for eCommerce because, without a good SEO score, you will not get much traffic on your eCommerce store. So, who wins the SEO battle in PrestaShop vs WooCommerce?
WooCommerce lets you install free SEO plugins that can help you get a decent SEO score. With advanced plugins like Yoast, you can customize everything – page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, etc. You also get access to canonical tags, sitemaps, and Google Analytics.
PrestaShop offers pretty much the same SEO features like WooCommerce, enabling you to optimize your SEO to the best of your abilities. However, the main difference is that this platform has certain SEO-focused blog modules, most of which are quite expensive.
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WooCommerce: SEO
It’s true that both PrestaShop and WooCommerce have sufficient SEO features. However, you have to buy a blog module in PrestaShop, and in WooCommerce, you already have access to it, thanks to WordPress. Therefore, you can avail all the SEO features in WooCommerce for a lower price.
5. Customer support
You don’t have access to a formal support system at WooCommerce. Instead of live support via phone, email, or chatbox, you will have to turn to community forums, FAQs, and third parties. This can make it pretty hard for beginners to set up and manage their store, as there are bound to be some obstacles during the process.
PrestaShop, on the other hand, offers two types of support to its customers – PrestaShop Online Assistance and PrestaShop Technical Assistance. In the former, you can look to FAQs, training courses, and tutorials, etc. to help you when you get stuck. But if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can connect with an expert over a 15-minute call to find a solution. This is quite an expensive option, ranging between $249 to $1399, depending on the amount of technical assistance required.
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WooCommerce: Customer Support
PrestaShop wins this round, as it offers multiple options for support, unlike WooCommerce.
Let’s now look at the cost differences between PrestaShop and WooCommerce, which is undoubtedly one of the most important factors when choosing an eCommerce platform for your store. Being open-source platforms, you need to purchase a hosting account and domain name for both platforms.
Although WooCommerce is technically a free plugin, the cost of using it tends to add up. You might have to pay for high-end widgets, plugins, and third-party help. Similarly, PrestaShop also comes with hidden costs, despite being free software. In fact, its themes and modules start at as high as $54.99 per year, which is way higher than what these features would cost at WooCommerce (they start from $19 a year).
Verdict – PrestaShop vs WooCommerce: Pricing
WooCommerce wins this round, being the cheaper of the two eCommerce platforms.
Which is better for eCommerce – PrestaShop or WooCommerce?
To help you make up your mind for the final decision, we have compiled the differences between PrestaShop and WooCommerce in the table below.
|Open-source platform with an easier setup.||Open-source platform with a longer setup.|
|3000+ modules, a variety of paid themes, and some customization abilities.||1000+ free and paid themes, unlimited customization options, and freedom.|
|Built-in eCommerce tools for your store’s needs.||Built-in eCommerce tools for your store’s needs.|
|SEO optimization and paid SEO focussed blog modules available.||Built-in SEO tools are available.|
|Two modes of support – one free, one paid.||Five customer support services, including live support.|
|Technically free, with hidden costs like paid modules, which start at $54.99/ year.||Technically free, but costs of paid themes, plugins, etc start from $19/year.|
In light of this comparison, we recommend choosing WooCommerce over PrestaShop for your eCommerce store. Feel free to bookmark this page to revisit it when you’re setting up your business.