Online commerce has experienced a quick evolution that can only make us, the buyers, really happy. Every day, more and more online stores are launched, from different fields, and entrepreneurs try their luck in the 2.0 World. Online commerce can be extraordinary and can propel a business to the top of it can be the biggest failure of an entrepreneur. Success or failure depends on several factors, including the use of an ideal eCommerce platform. Next, we will analyze two of the most popular Magento and PrestaShop platforms and we will let you draw a conclusion about what is the platform that better suits your needs.
What is Magento?
Magento is an open-source technology-based platform, specially designed for online stores. It is intuitive, easy to use, and allows control over site settings, plugins, how information is displayed, and over the features.
Magento is ideal for all people who want an online store, but do not have the time or knowledge to create one and do not want to fail. Using Magento has many benefits, including:
- supports many languages and currencies
- easy administration of the product catalog
- reporting and analysis system
- coupon system and prices
- the possibility to personalize the shopping cart
- SEO administration
- product search
- zoom images
- optimization for mobile devices and more.
Did you know that more than a quarter of online stores around the world use Magento? And you probably didn't know that internationally famous companies sell online through Magneto: Land Rover, Nespresso, Nike, Hermes, Jaguar, Coca-Cola, Ford, and many others chose this platform and did not fail.
Currently, there are two main versions that can be used by users, depending on their preferences and budget: Magento 1 and Magento 2. Of the two versions, Magento 2 has proven to be clearly superior, because it is faster, has a much better interface than Magento 1, and has better results in terms of SEO optimization. Other than that, Magento supports the latest version of PHP, which helps improve site speed. Another advantage is that it supports more orders per hour than Magento 1, which can be very useful if you have a high sales flow permanently or occasionally (for example when offering promotions).
What is PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is also an open-source online platform, launched in the same year as Magento (2008). Although downloading the platform and some models directly from the official website are free, you will find out that certain modules are paid (more precisely those that make the difference between an average experience and a truly spectacular one). PrestaShop is based on the Smarty system and is easily installed and configured, which can be used by people who do not know about online stores.
The difference between Magento and PrestaShop
First of all, we must mention that PrestaShop might be a better version for entrepreneurs at the beginning of the road because it is quite efficient and in the free version, but if you want really spectacular results, choose Magento. Next, we will analyze some main aspects to see which of the two platforms is better from all points of view.
Templates and design
It shouldn't be an issue to care about too much, as both platforms offer many themes and customization options so that your online store looks exactly the way you wanted it.
Magento uses the services of third parties to offer customers the best themes and design and if you have the necessary skills you can create a theme from scratch. Instead, PrestaShop provides customers templates made by them, and the number is noticeably smaller than in the case of Magento. Also, the customization option does not allow you too much freedom.
Security is vital when it comes to eCommerce because customers fill in their personal data when they place an order (name, address, phone number, credit/debit card details, and so on).
Both platforms are impeccable in terms of security, but Magento has a big plus: it often releases security updates to eliminate any vulnerabilities. PrestaShop uses a self-hosted version.
This is another aspect where Magento receives extra points. Although both platforms are customer-oriented and have many eCommerce functionalities, Magento 2 is offering many perfect features for B2C and B2B and is ideal even for wholesale online stores, unlike PrestaShop, which is a good version for those who want a basic platform (usually entrepreneurs with new businesses).
Plugins and Extensions
Magento offers users over 3600 Magento 2 extensions so that online stores can be customized however the entrepreneurs want. The extensions are grouped into categories to make them easier to find. You can download extensions for site optimizations, payment, and security, sales, and more. You can download both free extensions and premium extensions (for a fee).
As for PrestaShop, although this platform offers more extensions than Magento, more precisely 3800, they are not so intuitive, and users said that even the paid versions would need some improvements.
For an online store to perform, it needs high-speed page loading and the ability to support a large number of visitors at the same time, for events such as Black Friday or whenever you want to offer promotions.
Magento is designed to support up to 50,000 visitors/hour, much better than PrestaShop.
We can say that SEO optimization is the key to online commerce, so it is essential that the platform you choose offers you the best support.
Both Magento and PrestaShop offer pretty good features in terms of SEO optimization, but Magento is the winner again. Why? Because everything you need is already included in the platform, including critical features, while at PrestaShop you need to install the modules you need and you may not know which are best for your business. In addition, Magento also offers several marketing tools, such as customer segmentation, targeting, analytics, and so on.
As you can see, both platforms are good for starting an online business. Each one offers a different experience and we can say that it addresses all types of entrepreneurs. Although at first glance Magento would be more suitable for larger businesses, we believe it is the best solution for anyone, even for new entrepreneurs, because it offers you everything you need in an intuitive platform.