Magento vs PrestaShop - The Clash of eCommerce Titans. Who Wins the Market?
Magento the Magnificent
For those who are not familiar with the platform yet, some general information on the shopping cart. Magento platform was launched in 2008 and in 2012 won the hearts of more than 125 000 merchants. Not surprisingly - the platform offers the richest set of features, is open source and fully customizable. The platform offers both free and paid editions. It is built on Zend Framework and its development went far beyond the borders of USA. It also can boast of the largest community of developers and users. And all these impressive results achieved in only 4 years. Whatever objective we try to be, Magento rapid growth must be paid tribute.
Reasons to choose Magento
Choosing Magento is a big and courageous step in store development. It can be justified by the reasons which make shopping cart so widespread. First of all, it’s about customization opportunities. Magento offers full access to the code and advanced modular architecture so you can get the most out of your platform. Freedom of modifications means a lot to the merchants who want to be both creative and independent. It’s like you get a huge Lego construction toy and can build wherever you want (if you have certain skills of course).
Another reason to choose Magento is rich functionality of course. Along with standard store management features like catalogue management, product navigation, reports and analytics, multiple payment and shipping options Magento offers certain special features. Among them are multiple store management, gifting options, automated e-mail marketing reminder, backup and rollback feature, customer attribute management.
In addition, Magento is restless in development. It offers constant updates, adds innovative features and improvement to justify the trust and reliability, provide highest level of security and service quality.
Things to consider
As nothing is perfect (and we still try to be as unbiased as possible) certain drawbacks of platform functionality have to be mentioned. First of all, it is complicated in maintenance so learning curve may be quite steep. Also, Magento is quite demanding in terms of hosting requirements. And as the platform is advanced, innovative and functional - it requires considerable investment. Even with community edition - if you want to extend functionality and grow your business - plan some financial spending. These possible difficulties do not darken the bright sides of Magento cart, however are worth mentioning.
The Prestigious PrestaShop
Now its time to switch the discussion to another eCommerce leader which is not far behind Magento. Let’s consider PrestaShop as alternative solution which almost caught up with Magento in the amount of users and available features. Launched in 2007 in Paris, PrestaShop was gathering steam. Two years in a row the platform won Best Open-source Business Application award. The platform has won the reputation of the friendly-for-everyone solution with the aim to provide customers with “best e-commerce experience”.
Advantages you will get
PrestaShop is open source and totally free shopping cart. So the financial aspect will not be the issue to bother of. The platform is not complicated in management even if you don’t have advanced programming skills. Moreover, it provides the merchant with simple store launch, as it is lightweight, easy to download and install.
The platform is flexible to meet practically any business requirements as it combines convenient administrative panel with a set of useful management tools. PrestaShop is popular for numerous design themes which can make the storefront look modern and attractive fro site visitors. Other advantages that the shopping cart can bring to your business are SEO friendly URLs, marketing and promotional features. world class support and enhanced security.
Beware of drawbacks
And again, a few words about the disadvantages, that can’t be avoided. PrestaShop is more optimal for small and middle size businesses. To manage large store you will have to purchase modules and extend cart functionality. In new version PrestaShop 1.5 offers multi-store management feature. However, the customers face functionality and upgrade issues which has negative effect on platform reputation.
To sum up the brief shopping carts review, a proverbial phrase comes to mind - tastes differ. Indeed, every online merchant picks a platform which is most convenient for them personally as the successful store management results in successful business development. Choosing one of the leading open source solutions mentioned is not a nostrum. A lot of merchants turn their eyes to hosted platforms to power their online stores. However, at the moment the biggest number of migrations are still aimed at Magento and PrestaShop with their solid reputation, constant updates and wide management opportunities.
But what to do if you already have a store powered by another platform and it doesn’t meet your demands? It is not as complicated as it seems to be at a first glance. With Cart2Cart, your e-shop can be moved to a desirable platform in a few hours, automatically.
Guest post by: Martin Wann is a Marketing Assistant at MagneticOne, developer of Cart2Cart - automated shopping cart migration service. Find out more information about migration to/from Magento here: http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com/supported-carts/55-magento and migration to/from PrestaShop: http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com/supported-carts/147-prestashop.