Prestashop : simple Magento competitor

Opensource ecommerce is going fast forward. After the might Magento, I have had the pleasure to test drive - and install in production environment - Prsetashop, a simpler alternative, that serves ecommerce with a nice ajax animated shopping cart and various interesting features.

Paris, France (PRWEB) August 4, 2008–PrestaShop, a leader in open-source e-Commerce, announced today the release of its first official stable version, 1.0, as well as the unveiling of its newly redesigned Website,

Development began nearly two years ago, and today, a dozen beta releases later, the PrestaShop™ e-Commerce Solution v1.0 makes its debut as mature, production-ready, shopping-cart software for the Web 2.0 era.

Why PrestaShop?

In order to reach the increasing number of online shoppers, business owners have been searching for the best system for extending their activity to the Internet.

"The first generation of e-Commerce software, still prevalent in today's market, was based on the traditional 'proprietary' software model," said Bruno Lévêque, PrestaShop CEO. "This is software created by a staff of developers that is sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars and, often, requires monthly payments. Only the software company has access to the source code, so fixes and improvements can only be made by its developers, who sometimes struggle to keep up with user requests.

"PrestaShop, on the other hand, is a committed member of the open-source software movement. Anyone can download PrestaShop software, and a growing number of people do--at a rate of more than 25,000 downloads per month. This world-wide user community helps our developers fix bugs and make feature improvements at a rapid rate.

"And, like other open-source e-Commerce applications such as osCommerce, PrestaShop is free. Its license (OSL 3.0) is one of the least restrictive. And users aren't even required to register first."

A professional Open-Source solution

Some small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) cast a wary eye upon open-source software, concerned that it is too complicated to use or not sophisticated enough to handle their business needs, or both.

Igor Schlumberger, President of PrestaShop, said that while this hesitation is understandable, the PrestaShop™ e-Commerce Solution is as powerful as it is user-friendly, for both shoppers and shop owners.

"Businesses love PrestaShop because it's easy to manage their online stores," said Schlumberger. "Customers love PrestaShop because its smooth, Web-2.0 interface is pleasant to shop on. And software developers love PrestaShop because it's easy to integrate and because the user community is very active and helpful--for example, PrestaShop users have already translated PrestaShop into over 20 different languages, and it's only at version 1.0."

Scalable and modular

The PrestaShop™ e-Commerce Solution was built to grow as your business grows. Thanks to its admin tool (Back Office), it is easy to customize PrestaShop by adding or deleting functionality according to your needs. Developers appreciate the uncluttered framework and clean PrestaShop code.

Light and fast

Despite its technical sophistication, PrestaShop is very light (around 5.5 MB), it's easy to install and update, and even customers with slow connection speeds will enjoy buying from you.

Sleek and intuitive interface

On the Web, look-and-feel is make-or-break. PrestaShop not only looks good, it also guides users through your product catalog intelligently and effortlessly, turning visitors into customers.

Sophisticated features and tools

PrestaShop is as robust as most commercial e-Commerce software. Customers enjoy such features as price reductions, gift vouchers, free-shipping minimums, recommended accessories, quantity discounts, and the chance to order out-of-stock items. On the back end, store owners control an unlimited number of products, currencies, tax settings, shipping options, and languages. (For a list of current and upcoming features, visit the PrestaShop Features page.)

Assistance for shop owners

For users looking to get more out of their online businesses, PrestaShop also offers custom-built solutions by adapting the PrestaShop e-Commerce Solution to their specific needs, such as unique functionality and professionally designed storefronts.

PrestaShop can also host customer Websites on their servers, and help create additional visitor traffic with its Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

About PrestaShop

Founded in Paris, France, by Internet enthusiasts and e-Commerce professionals Igor Schlumberger and Bruno Lévêque, PrestaShop aspires to provide the best open-source e-Commerce solution to the greatest number of business owners worldwide as the e-Commerce sector of the global economy continues to become more democratic

28 replies
  1. carry
    carry says:

    I recently started with Magento and decided to migrate to Presta. At first look Magento seems a very huge beast - lots of options,huge community... maybe lack of simplicity resulting in some performance loss. So my first tasks are category and product export.
    I did some searching on Magento's product importing and found a blog post which says that It is possible to migrate all items automatically , using cart2cart service. Is it really possible to import them in such way? is safelly?

  2. Marcus
    Marcus says:

    I found Magento to be slow and the it was too complicated for my customer to use.

    I'm a VB programmer for many years so I have also used .net carts like Vevo and nopcommerce. I have just played with a new one called kartris ( - i love it but you have to pay if you want more than 500 products which is a shame.

  3. Liad
    Liad says:

    I've tried both Magento and Prestashop. Magento is a lot harder to modify and is very slow. Furthermore, the software is very difficult to understand and manage, I don't expect any client to manage a store with it anytime soon.

    My business currently offers e-commerce solutions with Prestashop and it is working great. I feel that it would be the smarter choice if you're looking for for an OS e-commerce solution.

  4. Martin
    Martin says:

    Sometimes the shopping cart you're using just doesn't satisfy the needs of your business or stopped developing and you need more fuatures. That's when we look for alternatives. Prestashop is a good one. But when you do consider to move your store you should use service like so that all data is migrated to Prestashop (or some other platform) accurately.

  5. Tomer Grassiany
    Tomer Grassiany says:

    I can tell you from my experience that Prestashop is much easier to install and to use.

    I know that when I tried to install Magento for the first time, I got frustrated after about 15 minutes because it seemed too hard. Usually with new software it never takes me more than 15 minutes to figure out how it works.

    In fact I am just now in the middle of converting a Magento site to Prestashop for a client.

    I am also an English Moderator on the Prestashop forum, and I see many people that are far less tech savvy than me that manage to install and customize their own shops, and install themes, modules and modification with little or no help.

    I have many useful modules for Prestashop on my store (, like a filter module, a translation module (which I used to translate my site to 15 other languages), and an attribute wizard module that lets you customized your attributes similar to apple’s website.

    I have not tested Prestashop on a really large scale (10,000 – 50,000+ products), so I can’t say if Magento works better in those conditions, but for any small / medium shops, I feel the Prestashop is by far the better option.

  6. Kent
    Kent says:

    Magento is a programming marvel - Object Oriented design, PHP Data Objects,... all the latest programming techniques. But as a result, it's bloatware and it's slow. It thrashes the database on every query. I would like to see eBay or Amazon use it!
    If you are on shared hosting using Magento, don't be surprised to get a nasty 'resource overuse' letter from your hosting provider.
    Prestashop has a refreshing look and feel, but it's in it's infancy (not quite ready for Prime Time).
    ZenCart will probably never see 2.0, it needs a complete rewrite.
    UberCart on Drupal rocks!!!

    - Kent

  7. manfrodo
    manfrodo says:

    Two days ago I learned about Prestashop and I love it! In less than an hour I had a shop running and I'm not a programmer. There are lots of little tweaks and modules you can use to customize your store.

    I was using VirtueMart + Joomla but Virtuemart seems to be dead by now...

  8. noel
    noel says:

    I have installed Prestashop on my site and everything looks great. But just today, I happen to see OpenCart which looks nice as well. What do you think about this software guys?

  9. Adam Ng
    Adam Ng says:

    I set up my site initially with Magento but switched to Prestashop after getting tired frustrated of dealing it. Nothing is as easy as it should be in Magento. It takes a entire day of reading and messing with phtml files to get a basic vertical menu! Yes, Magento is the most sophisticated eccommerce solution you can get for free, but if unless you're a programmer with strong php and css skills, it will fustrate you to no end. Prestashop is very robust with a lot of advanced features, and they put thought into the ui. Documentation and howto on theming is scarce now, but that's understandable since it's still new.

  10. Mark
    Mark says:

    After trying numerous options (Oscommerce, Zencart etc.) I have settled for PrestaShop - infact I would recommend this software very highly to any person starting out as its so simple and create a good effect with simple css.

    I have no prior programming knowledge and I have already had my shopping site setup. Hopefully in the future with more users it will get only more powerful.

  11. Buck
    Buck says:

    Very good comments. I have been working with ZenCart for years.. and like others I am very tired of waiting for 2.0 to come out. Even when it does, if you have read the release notes, it is still lacking some very basic features that are necessary these days. And they aren't even touching the admin for another couple of releases so hopefully nobody was counting on that. They have just let themselves get very behind.
    As for the others.. I have been working with Magento and PrestaShop for the last 6 months or so and I am very impressed with both.
    True, Magento can be a little slower but there are many advantages.
    I recommend both Magento and PrestaShop and wouldn't waist time with any of the others.

  12. blissweb
    blissweb says:

    My current site is using OsCommerce and is performing ok for the last 2 years. But we need sophisticated features like layered navigation, coupons, discounts, wholesale pricing, customer group pricing, configurable design, nice CSS design, custom product attributes. Magento has everything, and without installing a single add-in. Its extremely well architected, and although slow, processors will catch up, just like MS Office and Vista. I just went to the PrestaShop site, its not noticeably fast, has broken images in the front-end demo, a poor design, and the backend demo password doesn't work. If you're just starting out it might be ok, but if you need muscle, Magento is where I would head.

  13. Marian Matys
    Marian Matys says:

    I was waiting for zencart 2.0, but they propably come never. Presta have some bugs because is new, but for me is best product!!

  14. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    i have download free themes for prestashop from and install it into my prestashop website. i got the problem the category block can appear but it didn’t list of the category that i have inserted on the prestashop website and it contains of error page on my browser but i couldn’t find the error. When i change the themes into default themes, the list of the categories appear and it work without error. anyone can help me to solve the problem? what should i do to fix problem? thanks.

  15. Jafar
    Jafar says:

    Everything everyone said about Prestashop is true, except all the negative things. No really, it has a ton of tricks it can out of the gate, and it's still a puppy. I hope Zen and OSc make a comeback because their faithful followers need it. But for people looking for something new to try aside from those, PrestaSHOP is definitely the way to go. Magneto,....I thought they named it after the Xmen character...hahaha charges for support. Now, something is fishy when you have a big bloated system that charges hundreds of dollars for that's not open source. Thats an accident waiting to happen, so they can help you.

    Go with Presta, you wont be disappointed.

    No really I'm being serious, stop reading posts and go install.

  16. nick
    nick says:

    i am very curious to see the new version of zen cart!

    people on demo said it is very promising and their experience gives a huge advantage against others i think!

  17. Probe
    Probe says:

    Well, let me tell you. I installed ZenCart (which went smooth) and after trying to figure out the bloated admin options for hours, way too many options for me and my little store, I searched the web and am SOOO glad I found PrestaShop! ZenCart was just to involved, too many options, scattered all over, mind-boggling! As soon as I send this message off, I am headed over to my host to install this awesome looking PrestaShop. I am behind now on getting my products up on the web, due to fooling around with Zen. One thing, PLEASE, always stay FREE, you have a great product and continue to "keep it simple", never let it get bloated like the others out there.

  18. Brad
    Brad says:

    I've tried ZenCart, Magento, FreeWebShop, osCommerce, commerce.cgi but found none I could stick with until I discovered PrestaShop. I found my way around the admin section in no time at all, and the amount of modules on there to add extra functionality to your shop is amazing. I sell all digital products (eBooks) from my website, and doing this is so easy. I add my products and PrestaShop runs on auto-pilot, even working out my sales for me. The stats page couldn't be more informative either. It tells you where your visitors are coming from and how they got to your site so you know where to advertise more, or less. PrestaShop is why I LOVE open source.

  19. Alfred
    Alfred says:

    although we should not judge a book by its cover... people always have and always will judge from their first sight... so what good is the software if it cannot even put forth its best foot forward?

    Not to mention the amount of time it takes and the skillset required... How many people really NEED the kind of extensibility to hack a osCommerce site?

    Though Magento is a slow dog... it still is faster to get out of the house and bring it out into the street than osCommerce...

    Prestoshop is by all means the fastest to bring out... what it lacks are the dressings... PS is a GREAT dog even with its limited tricks... at least it KNOWS some tricks without having to jump though any configuration hoops to teach the dog to have ANY tricks at all...

    All PS needs now is a nice slew of tailors making pretty suits and dresses to showcase itself... once the theme snowballs... it will be a tough fight to pull PS off the champion podium... emulate WP and its theme extensibility and PS will be a definite winner...

    what programmers often forget is that it is not the innards that counts... it is the dress... no matter how screwy your innards are... if you can dress well... then u are a success...

  20. osCommerce Preferred
    osCommerce Preferred says:

    I still recommend osCommerce. Magento is a dog and Pretashop is way too new with not enough features although it does LOOK good which seems to be all that counts these days. People get impressed because the demo looks good.

  21. Allen
    Allen says:

    Hi Everyone, I have been thinking of complete rebuild my Store from Scratch, I need a change. Could any one tell me is Prsetashop just For shopping carts, or can you make the complete website and shopping cart with this software. Can you use template type with this software our is it a Pre HTML and CSS Type Code. If anyone could give me a answer. I would be Greatful. Allen

  22. Hank
    Hank says:

    I have been reviewing OS platforms such as Magento and Prestashop.

    I just recently downloaded and installed Presta 1.0 on my local machine for some testing. At first glance, I was immediately amazed how easily it was to install and begin configuring the store. My local store was up in a total of 15 minutes. The interface is simple and straightforward. However, I have noticed there are some limitations. Of course, my next step is to customize certain things to tweak it exactly the way I like it. So far so good.

    As for Magento, I downloaded the most recent stable release and still have yet to complete and configure the platform. This was almost 1 month ago. It is my understanding that magento is very flexible and can do many things. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost? Just like anything, adding flexibility always makes the code longer and more comlicated. With more sophisticated features also comes large system overhead. Maybe I will post when i get a magento system up and running.

    If you need a simple and straightforward cart system and need to be up/running asap. Choose PrestaShop otherwise, spend the time to tackle the longer curve and hope that by the end of the rainbow the pot of gold is waiting for you there.

    Cheers... My 2 cents

  23. says:

    Just come to learn this Prestashop today. Looks very promising.

    I spent a great deal of time evaluating osCommerce and a few of its forks few years ago. Finally I dropped them all and turned to a Chinese script Shopex. After years of usage I found it a bit slow and bulky. Seemingly I can skip re-evaluating the osCommerce and the likes as I found no mention of them whatsoever in latest cart review blog writings.

  24. says:

    If you are looking for new Themes for your PrestaShop then visit , our website is for sharing free Themes for the PrestaShop shopping cart and professionally designed Themes can be purchased via the PrestaThemes site.

    We want PrestaThemes to become a valuable resource for the PrestaShop community and hope it will benefit anyone using this excellent open source cart solution.

  25. admin
    admin says:

    there is a lot to say. a good summary would be to start with inside technology : magento is based on a custom Zend-based framework while Prestashop uses its own classes and smarty templates.

    I haven't worked on feature comparison yet.

  26. dave
    dave says:

    How do you compare Magento and PrestaShop? These two seem to be the only two viable competitors in this market niche.


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