Magento vs. Prestashop, which one is the better free ecommerce software? Ultimately, that decision depends on the user and client’s needs but here are a few tips that I discovered from playing around with both softwares.
One of the most challenging aspects of using free ecommerce software is that additional desired functions are a la carte and can become quite expensive when added up. Prestashop’s modules can be more expensive compared to Magento which offers a larger selection of free and fairly priced extensions. You can find free modules for Prestashop online from third parties but developers don’t update them frequently enough to keep up with the software updates.
One feature that gives Prestashop an edge over Magento is its customizable design. Instead of digging through code intertwined with templates, Prestashop divides the PHP code from the templates making it easy to customize the design with CSS code and divs tags. There are free themes available for Prestashop but like I stated before about modules, they are not updated frequently though you can find good deals on premium themes online. For example, I got one from PrestaDesigner for only $19. For Magento, there are plenty of free themes out there online plus premium ones that are amazing for less than $100 from ThemeForest.
Between the two, I prefer Magento since there is much more tools and information available online to help you create your ecommerce site. If you install both softwares and test them side-by-side, Magento exceeds expectations in functionality and design. Though, my main issue with the software was creating attributes easily with picture color swatches that change to the corresponding product images. With Prestashop, this function is easy to achieve if you have the patience to add each attribute’s image one at a time. With Magento, the only real solution is to purchase an extension or develop one if you know how to code PHP.
In the end, you really have to analyze your client’s need and decide which software works best for them. Personally, I found Magento to be amazing but it ran slower compared to Prestashop on GoDaddy’s server due to memory usage. Unless you have your own dedicated server, Magento can be memory consuming on a shared server. I ended up using Prestashop for my client since it suited her needs and budget.