Starting an e-commerce business requires certain prerequisites, starting with having your own online shop. Currently, the growth of online sales is such that the design of e-commerce sites has been popularised and simplified. To create an efficient and profitable sales platform, all you need is the right skills and, above all, the right content management system.
In terms of e-commerce tools, there are quite a few on the market. Among the best-known CMS, the two giants Prestashop and Woocommerce are both trying to take the lion's share. As a company, are you hesitating between these two content management systems? Prestashop or WooCommerce? This comparison helps you to choose the CMS that suits your needs.
All about Prestashop
Based in Paris, Prestashop is a French company specialising in software applications. The program of the same name was created to facilitate the creation, customisation and parameterisation of a professional's e-commerce site. The software includes a large number of modules and options for all types of projects.
Officially, the Prestashop project was launched in 2005, but the advanced version of the software was only released in 2007. Since its inception, the solution has won over many. The system currently hosts over 300,000 users worldwide, according to the official website.
What to do with Prestashop?
The French solution offers a wide range of unique and easy-to-use options. In all, it offers more than fifty functionalities, not counting the various modules.
With Prestashop, you can make a large number of changes to your products. Indeed, the application allows you to manage the number of minimum purchases as well as the quantity of packs. You are free to change the display mode of your items, which is done in just a few clicks.
Thanks to the dashboards and specialised modules, you can monitor stock movements in real time. To reassure customers, it is possible to link your products to their suppliers and manufacturers.
Like most CMS, it is possible to customise your site with Prestashop. Its customisation possibilities are enormous, allowing you to create a site that reflects your brand 100%. That said, in order to enjoy this functionality, it is essential to opt for an expert package during installation.
In addition to the design, you can also change the payment types and add multiple currencies. In addition, you can reorganise your site as you wish, so as to optimise the user experience. Thus, this tool will allow you to work on the form, the themes, the visual presentation as well as the fluidity of navigation.
With several thousand shop templates and no less than several hundred plugins, you will be completely free to set up your website. When it comes to customisation, many customers have already found their way around Prestashop, and some even describe it as a system with a "very complete back office".
By opting for Prestashop, you will benefit from interesting functionalities, with powerful visual results. The program is available in a free version, but also offers paid modules with more advanced functions.
Evolution and use
Prestashop offers a very open user space, allowing contributions from users in addition to mutual support. It is therefore possible to find official modules, but also those proposed by other subscribers. Thus, it is a system in constant evolution.
The software is as easy to use as possible. The management of the website is accessible to any user, and does not require any specialised knowledge in the field.
The official website has a documentation centre with practical guides in written and video form. Everything is done so that you, the users, can take advantage of the tool with ease, without necessarily asking for external help.
Some disadvantages to note
The programme is constantly evolving. This is both an advantage and a problem. If you want an average site with just a few modifications, you will be satisfied. If you want to redo the whole thing, you will also have to :
On the one hand hiring good programmers;
And on the other hand being prepared to put money into it.
Indeed, despite the presence of ready-to-use modules and options, some functions require some effort on your part. Advanced settings and add-ons will require you to pay more, although the prices are not exorbitant.
You can be totally successful with your SEO with Prestashop. Everything has been thought of to ensure that this operation is carried out properly, but once again, the prices can be a real brake for those with a small budget. Some modules are free, but most of them, and especially those that are most interesting, are not free.
Like Prestashop, Woocommerce is also open source. However, this tool is classified more as an extension than a CMS. Indeed, it is linked to Wordpress and is therefore exclusively intended for those who use this platform. Nevertheless, Woocomerce is comparable to many existing CMSs in terms of its potential.
A little more recent than its competitor, this content management system was developed in 2011. It is a multilingual system. Since its launch, Woocommerce has already recorded more than 7 million downloads. Statistics show that about 30% of the world's e-commerce sites currently use this system.
With its millions of users, this extension was designed to accept more than a hundred different currencies. It is available to e-merchants in the United States and some European countries such as France, Italy and Spain.
Like its companions, it has a good arsenal of functions that you can use as you wish.
Good things to know
Like any content management system, Woocommerce takes you beyond site creation. Among other things, you have the ability to create, modify and manage according to your needs and criteria. The first step is to download the extension and place it on any WordPress site.
Easy to handle and use
With Woocommerce, there is no need for a programming degree. You just need to be comfortable with Wordpress and the rest will be taken care of by the extension. For those who are still sceptical, the platform offers guides in several languages for all users.
When it comes to customisation, most plugins do not require any coding knowledge. You can therefore modify your site by just clicking on the options you like. On the other hand, the number of available themes is largely sufficient to satisfy you.
If you are having trouble using the tool, there are experts in the Woocommerce community ready to help you. You can also ask for advice from other users via the official blog.
Several options for site management
This system allows you to :
Categorise your products efficiently;
Set up an automatic inventory;
Insert various payment methods for several different countries;
Manage orders, customers and product information.
In all, you have several hundred WordPress modules at your disposal for your settings. Note that the options and the dashboard are very intuitive to facilitate your use.
To complete the picture, this content management system facilitates SEO settings. Those used to Wordpress tools can, of course, proceed as usual without affecting the desired result.
Other advantages of Woocommerce
To encourage sharing and mutual aid, Woocomerce provides you with a customer and user space. That said, you also have the possibility of creating your own newsletter thanks to plugins.
Editing product files is very easy for those who are familiar with Wordpress. Just follow the steps given by the editor help. In addition, some specific details can be added such as :
- sales prices ;
- promotions ;
- the colour ;
- size ;
- weight ;
- available stock ;
- transport costs ;
Woocommerce has all the e-commerce features you need. This covers payments, deliveries and much more.
Also, by using Woocommerce, you don't have to pay monthly fees. Since it's an add-on, you don't need to take out your wallet. You just have to buy some add-ons as you use them and according to your needs (Find out the real price of a WooCommerce shop in this article).
The tool offers different payment methods, including VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, Apple Pay: VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, Apple Pay... Other solutions exist, depending on the country, but also on the needs
The minuses of Woocommerce
Although many modules are free on Woocommerce, you still have to pay when it comes to making more changes.
Also note that this system does not support all Wordpress themes. This means that you will have a limited choice, as some themes are not compatible.
As a simple extension, Woocomerce requires that you have a Wordpress site ready to use. You can't start from scratch and create your site with it. Moreover, it is not suitable for large sites and is mainly recommended for small and medium-sized businesses.
For further customisation, coding skills will be required. The ready-made modules are limited to general modifications, although they are quite satisfactory.
Here is a small table summarising the advantages of the two systems to make your choice easier.
|Download||Free of charge||Free of charge|
|Available themes and modules (compatible)||Over 5000 modules and themes available (including free and paid)||Over 5000 modules and themes available (including free and paid)|
|Fees||- no monthly fee|
- free hosting and SLL certificate
|no monthly fee.|
|Use and handling||Requires minimal coding knowledge and guided use.||Ease of use with reduced coding.|
|Customisation||- 100% free with a wide choice of tools and options.|
- It allows you to create a totally unique site by using resources to the maximum.
- product sheet editing
- extensive stock management
- site creation, content modification, reorganisation and management.
|- most themes and modules are ready to use|
- can help you redesign your site to give it a unique look by adding a few add-ons
- advanced product sheet editing Wordpress
- edit, reorganise and manage
- able to set up automatic inventories
|Payments||More than 80 types of payment methods available.||More than 80 types of payment methods available.|
|Other||- allows you to create your site from scratch|
- supports large e-commerce sites
- allows users to contribute (creation of modules and themes)
- focuses on expertise, freedom of modification and creation.
|- perfect for medium-sized business sites|
- access to various wordpress plugins
- focus on ease of modification without touching the coding.
|Commissions||No commissions are charged on sales.||No commissions are charged on sales.|
|Available in app and mobile mode||Yes||Yes|
|Dropshipping||Not restricted||Not restricted|
|Rates||Three packages are available with different options depending on your needs, starting at 300 euros.||The plugin is free. Some professional add-ons have to be purchased.|
|Payments||- open internationally and accepts a large number of currencies|
- possibility to set up payments with cryptocurrency, and credit cards.
|- available for merchants in the U.S.A., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy|
- accepts payments in more than 135 different currencies
- can integrate all current payment methods
To sum up, whether it's Prestashop or Woocommerce, both systems can help you with your e-commerce projects. For large projects, however, it is advisable to go with Prestashop. The second option is perfect for medium-sized e-commerce sites.
For those who want to start from scratch, Prestashop is a good choice. However, you will have to be prepared to face some difficulties. For those who are used to Wordpress, simply download Woocommerce and summarise your activities, but better.
So, Prestashop or Woocommerce?
So, which of these CMS seems to meet your needs and objectives? Would you opt for the French-style solution to take advantage of a complete back-office or would you prefer to choose a tool with easy-to-access options? Give us your answers in comments.