What ecommerce platform is better: PrestaShop or WooCommerce?
Choosing your Content Management System (CMS) to manage your online shop is one of the most important business decisions you can make. Could it end up like a bad marriage that can only be left after an endless string of paperwork and a lot of pain?
Choosing an ecommerce platform does not mean having to be married for life to that platform. You can always migrate your contents to another platform, although sometimes this is a slow, tedious process, especially if you have a big product catalog. That’s why it’s best to choose wisely from the beginning, basing your choice on your current business situation.
PrestaShop and WooCommerce are two of the platforms that you’ve probably heard mentioned most. They are very easy to use and scalable. These two platforms have been designed for shops that are just beginning to sell a few products, as well as for businesses whose product catalog grows year after year.
Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: one is not better than the other in absolute terms. Each candidate has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at everything so that you can see for yourself.
WooCommerce vs. PrestaShop: installation and use
WooCommerce is, in truth, a plugin for WordPress. This means that the installation process is almost instantaneous, and it is very easy to develop if you already have a website or account set up with WordPress.
You don’t need any technical knowledge nor do you have to create a template for your website from scratch; instead, you can choose from the many preconfigured professional designs (there are some that are more simple and others that are more complete, depending on whether they are free or paid).
WooCommerce also includes SEO analysis functions, which makes it easy for you to position and improve your site’s text with regular reviews. And, to top it all off, as it integrates with WordPress, you can tie your online shop into your blog and strengthen your marketing strategy.
While it is a younger CMS (it came to be in 2011), WooCommerce has grown to be amongst the most downloaded CMS solutions in the world. That can only bring good things: a larger support community and better development of complementary plugins (although these are normally paid).
PrestaShop, on the other hand, is an open source CMS, making it extremely flexible and very easy to install. The only downside is that you’ll need more knowledge or a specialized team to get the most out of it.
Its administration panel (where you can manage your shop) is more complex than WooCommerce’s panel, but it includes many useful ecommerce features — from stock management and invoicing to applying discounts to products, time periods, and/or regions.
PrestaShop also offers a wide variety of themes for your website: free modules, SEO analysis features by page, and the possibility of serving up different versions of your site in different languages (that’s only a paid option in WooCommerce).
PrestaShop vs. WooCommerce: payment methods
One of the keys of an online shop’s success is to provide the user with as many payment gateways as possible, but not all of those gateways are included in the CMS solutions by default.
WooCommerce allows for payments by PayPal and Stripe, as well as bank transfer and COD. Nevertheless, to use PayPal in PrestaShop, you’ll have to add an additional module.
Take a good look at the payment gateways allowed for free by each platform before deciding on one so as to avoid unforeseen costs down the road.
WooCommerce vs. PrestaShop: security
Both platforms guarantee good security levels while browsing. In theory, WooCommerce can be exposed to more risks because of the simple reason that it depends on WordPress and many users forget to update to the latest CMS and plugin versions, which can bring about some problems. With PrestaShop, you can use SSL certificates.
Therefore, to offer solid security on your online shop, you should take some steps in addition to those included by the CMS, such as extra security measures and a good hosting package to guarantee safe browsing.
PrestaShop vs. WooCommerce: customization
In this sense, both PrestaShop and WooCommerce can go a long way in terms of customizing your online shop, as they offer users hundreds of modules.
PrestaShop provides options such as multiple languages, multiple shops (managing different shops from the same control panel), choosing the number of steps in the payment process, and customizing the user experience, as well as extras like the creation of wish lists.
Additionally, template design is not limited to designs that are only compatible with PrestaShop, as is the case with WooCommerce (although in WooCommerce, customization of designs is better).
Having said that, be careful of choosing a template design only for its originality and appearance. Many don’t adapt to WooCommerce well or are not intuitive for the buyer and they’ll end up making more people leave your shop, which means that you’ll lose customers.
It’s important to choose a website design that follows the typical guidelines for an online shop, in which the user can easily find what he or she is looking for.
For other matters related with the online shop’s management and orders, you’ll need more modules in WooCommerce; for example, to customize shipments and prices depending on different criteria (weight, size, province being shipped to, etc.). In contrast, PrestaShop already includes a lot of those features by default.
WooCommerce vs. PrestaShop: price
We’ve come to the part that has probably been on your mind since the beginning.
WooCommerce is completely free.
PrestaShop is completely free.
Well, not completely. The cost comes from the extra modules and plugins that you add to each platform. Depending on your needs, the free modules may suffice — or you may have to opt for some paid ones.
The plugins for PrestaShop tend to be more expensive than those for WooCommerce; however, as we have said, that all depends on the extra features you need to configure.
Are there alternatives to PrestaShop and WooCommerce?
Yes, you can choose from many other well-known ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. The choice depends on the size of your catalog, the type and complexity of the features that you need, and your budget.
For example, Magento has one of the largest communities and the longest track record with medium- and large-sized companies; however, its costs are high and it requires more specialized technical maintenance. Shopify has become the preferred platform to create online shops as a result of the COVID-19 crisis because of its ease of use and great variety of plugins.
In conclusion, what’s better? PrestaShop or WordPress
Now that you know what PrestaShop and WooCommerce for WordPress are, you’re probably thinking that there is no clear winner out of the two.
And the truth is that victory is relative: each CMS has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general the differences are quite subtle. Experience will end up telling which system works better for every business, although both CMS solutions adapt well to new, smaller shops and to catalogs with a bigger volume.
Any choice is a good one if you have software that centralizes your product information management. Editing said information, updating it, and sending it to your ecommerce platform will be fast and easy with a PIM solution like Sales Layer, which you can try for free for 30 days.
No matter what choice you make, we adapt to you: we have connectors for all the main ecommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, WordPress, and PrestaShop.