PrestaShop is a popular, free software for running an online store. The PrestaShop system can be used to build your own simple online store, but also an extensive sales platform.
The PrestaShop system was created in 2008 and is developed by a community affiliated with the PrestaShop brand. As of 2023, there are more than 300,000 online stores using PrestaShop worldwide.
Access to the PrestaShop platform is fully free. At no cost, anyone can use the PrestaShop engine to open their own online store. You can use the PrestaShop source code for free, expand and modify it for your own needs.
There are many ready-made templates and modules on the market with the help of which you can expand your store with additional functionality (read more).
PrestaShop store compared to competing systems
PrestaShop is free and growing fast
Every online store uses an engine, or source code, which is responsible for the operation and functionality of the store. There are three main types of eCommerce stores:
Open Source stores
Open Source, which means with free and open source code. Open source stores are available to download for free, you can install them on your own server, modify and expand them, Modern open source stores do not require programming knowledge, but to fully exploit their potential it is worth using the services of programmers, SEO agencies, etc. Examples:
SaaS (Software as a Service) stores
SaaS "software as a service." SaaS stores are paid for, often in subscription form. The owner is responsible for the development of SaaS systems. The SaaS system owner is responsible for the development and functionality of the source code. In most cases, the SaaS owner does not make the code of his system available for editing by end users.
SaaS is an off-the-shelf solution with a low entry threshold and integrated with the owner's server.
Companies with sufficient capital build their own store engines integrated with a variety of internal tools. Many large stores use open source engines in the base .
PrestaShop is from the popular open source systems
Huge community and frequent updates
Open source solutions gather a large community of fans and users among themselves.
The popularity of PrestaShop is due to the sizable number of users involved in the development of this system. Developers, freelancers and resellers all over the world come together in groups using PrestaShop in eCommerce business. There is a constant exchange of knowledge and experience on the forums. Beginners ask questions, and the more experienced users share their experiences, give hints and help.
Since the PrestaShop code is open and flexible, professional implementation agencies can design a customized look and sales features.
It's worth taking a look at the official PrestaShop Help Center https://help-center.prestashop.com/en and the PrestaShop Academy, which has lessons covering the eCommerce industry and store operations: https://www.prestashop-academy.com/en. Both portals are available in English (2022/08), but we have some information that the team is already working on a Polish version.
Advantages and disadvantages of PrestaShop system
Many advantages, disadvantages related to cost
PrestaShop uses well-known and popular technologies that developers and implementation companies are eager to use, such as Smarty, Twig, Bootstrap, Symfony). PrestaShop 1.7 and the latest 8 at its core uses the Symfony framework, which is one of the more popular engines for building advanced websites.
The Symfony framework and Bootstrap have significantly increased PrestaShop's appeal to implementers and developers around the world.
For a store owner, PrestaShop gives a lot of room for maneuver in creating a store based on a personalized vision and extensive needs.
Clear source code
PrestaShop's good source code has attracted the attention of developers for years. Companies and freelancers can create their own modifications or use ready-made modules (plugins) and templates provided by the community.
PrestaShop source code is appreciated not only by freelancers and small businesses. The quality of the code also finds supporters among the largest brands selling online. This proves the tremendous scalability of the PrestaShop engine.
A good PrestaShop code makes it possible for virtually anyone to have an online store - whether it's an individual with a limited budget or an established brand processing hundreds of orders a day online.
The PrestaShop interface makes it easy to build and configure an online store using standard PrestaShop functionality and based on additional ready-made templates and modules that can be added to the store.
In most cases, all the work consists of selecting the necessary elements and "uncluttering" their settings, adjusting them to your needs. As a result, you get your first store - perfect for use in the entire eCommerce world.
Scalability and flexibility
PrestaShop allows you to scale your business to a truly sizable size. A basic installation of PrestaShop on a classic FTP server will satisfy merchants with catalogs of up to 20,000 products and receiving the same number of customers per month.
Optimizing the store, modules and server allows you to run a smooth business with a million product catalog and thousands of customers in the store at one time.
PrestaShop is an engine that easily undergoes modification and expansion. This feature makes life easier for experienced sellers who have specific needs and design online stores from A to Z, starting, for example, with mockup and custom graphic design for Desktop and Mobile.
These strengths make PrestaShop adaptable both to a huge product base and to selling 1 product, even a virtual one. As a result, you create an online store that suits your needs and business plans.
Modules and templates are paid
You will find free modules and templates on the market, but most of them are paid. When building an online store and wanting to develop it, you have to reckon with the cost of modules and templates. The prices of modules and templates vary between €20-200.
The cost of a good programmer
In order to develop your store efficiently, it is good to use the help of a specialist. Prices vary and depend on the experience and skills that the programmer or manager has. The prices of specialists vary between EUR 20 - 50 for each hour of work.
Necessary optimization and updates
A growing store with more products and an increasing number of visitors requires regular optimization and updates of the components used (PrestaShop engine, modules, template). The optimization and update process is optimally carried out every 6-12 months. This is a one-time service that will adapt your store and server to the current requirements of the market, especially Google guidelines.
How to launch a PrestaShop store yourself?
Without being a programmer
The knowledge you will gain from working with the PrestaShop system will allow you to specialize in the eCommerce industry, learn about the many facets of online commerce and build your own online business independent of anyone.
If you are not a programmer, PrestaShop has been prepared so that you will install, configure perform your first sales fully on your own. If you have experience navigating the Internet and know the basics of code editing (e.g. HTML and CSS), you'll find it easy and fun to work with PrestaShop.
Install PrestaShop step by step
- If you are a beginner - you will need a web domain and a server (hosting), on which you will install PrestaShop.
- If your server does not have a built-in PrestaShop installer, then download the package from the official PrestaShop website. Then upload the package to your FTP server and run the installer by calling the index.html file in your browser.
- During the installation, enter your database details and create your store admin account
- After the installation, log into the store admin panel and familiarize yourself with the available PrestaShop configuration options.
- Configure your store, install additional modules and add or import via XML, CSV or API file your first products.
- Remember to test your store! Put yourself in the shoes of your customer: try to find your store on Google, add products to your shopping cart, create an account and make a test order. Also test how your store looks on mobile devices. Make sure that all elements look good and are readable for your new customers.
- Done! Your new PrestaShop store is visible online and can take orders.
You will find many interesting commands to speed up your operations and tools useful for working with your PrestaShop server and store in this blog post.
Valuable considerations for getting started
Launching a PrestaShop store is the beginning of your eCommerce business adventure.
Take care of your store's performance and speed first. Take advantage of Page Speed, GTMetrix performance tests. Review the test results and make improvements to your store. High scores in performance tests are the basis for high positions in search results.
Combine your store with these tools to accelerate your online growth:
Google Search Console - a free tool provided by Google that allows website owners to monitor and optimize the visibility of their sites in Google search results.
Google Merchant Center - is a platform provided by Google that allows online merchants to upload information about their products and then display those products in Google search results and in product ads on the Google Shopping platform.
PrestaShop is a system that is good for starting
and for growing and scaling your business
PrestaShop addresses the basic needs of online store operations, including: managing product catalogs, customer database, secure order process, integration with couriers and online payments, and in conducting analytics and marketing activities.
- PrestaShop has good technical and user documentation translated into many languages.
- Presta allows you to personalize the look of your store - there are more than 20,000 design templates available on the market, prepared for various industries and products.
- PrestaShop is thousands of ready-made modules that you can upload to your store and start using them right away.
- PrestaShop positions itself well, which is another convenience for beginners. You can perform search engine optimization yourself in the administration panel.
Default PrestaShop template - the front part of the store available to buyers. Sequentially: home page, category page with product list, product page, shopping cart and order process.
PrestaShop system is constantly developed and updated
Fast, secure, modern
The availability of regular updates and the simplicity of migration to the latest version guarantee a high level of security and reliable operation.
Functionalities that a few years ago were available only on individual order, today with PrestaShop you can implement quickly with the help of ready-made modules, programmer or software house. New features also appear with free updates to the PrestaShop engine.
Leaks straight from PrestaShop headquarters
Technology in PrestaShop after 2022
For the post, we invited Krystian Podemski, a specialist, developer and Tech Evangelist of PrestaShop Poland. Krystian spreads knowledge related to PrestaShop technology and has been working with PrestaShop for more than a decade:
"PrestaShop is already one of the most flexible solutions available on the market. Since version 1.7 of PrestaShop, part of the engine has been rewritten to the Symfony framework, giving developers even more possibilities to interfere with the platform's default mechanisms and making it easier to create their own. The move to the Symfony PHP framework is intended to help Presta mature, moving away from an in-house solution to one that is known throughout Europe. We are giving developers a tool that many of them are familiar with, this should make it easier for them to work on new stores and services for them.
PrestaShop 8.0.0, which will be released this year, will support Symfony 4.4 long term support (LTS) and PHP 8.1. C, the goal of the entire team of project maintainers is to make sure the platform is as competitive as possible and compatible with current technologies. Twig, Doctrine, the ability to modify the Symfony container directly from modules, are just a few elements by which the developers' work should be easier. You can read a lot about the technical aspects of PrestaShop on the official developer blog https://build.prestashop.com/ and in the official documentation for developers here."
PrestaShop templates will make your store look original
A huge advantage of PrestaShop templates is that they can be freely modified. You can customize and change every template you buy to suit your needs.
PrestaShop template, or the look of the store. On the Internet there is a huge number of various ready-made graphic templates. The wealth of graphics and layouts available in PrestaShop templates allows you to create a shopping platform characterized by individual design and functionality.
Check out how the latest default template for PrestaShop 9.0 is coming along! Information about it is spread on github, and you can browse the graphics online at Figma: https://github.com/PrestaShop/hummingbird/issues/2
Modules will complement your store with new features
APrestaShop module (plugin, plug-in, add-on) allows you to introduce new functionality to your online store. With the help of modules you can extend the basic capabilities of PrestaShop with new features and integrations.
The advantage of creating a store based on PrestaShop is the availability of a huge number of modules. With appropriately selected plug-ins, you can build a modern online store that not only performs well in the eCommerce market, but also does not require expensive implementation and complicated maintenance.
In addition to the default modules in PrestaShop and free modules available on forums, you can use paid modules created by agencies that know the problems and needs of stores and create modules that support or automate the work of eCommerce at different levels:
Modules that allow customer interaction are a new category of modules.
Until now, developers creating modules have focused on the automation of the online store and integrations with external services. Today we know that the returning customer to your store is a very important customer. Nowadays, more and more emphasis is placed on contact with product buyers - hence the offers of companies creating PrestaShop modules include blogs with the possibility of posting products and loyalty or affiliate programs with exclusive bonuses only for participants.
To ensure that the implementation of new modules is efficient and their use is pleasant, it is worth noting whether the company creating the modules provides a performance guarantee, HelpDesk support and a system of module updates.
- Integrations, such as with wholesalers, payments, parcel machines, Google Analytics, Instagram, Facebook or ERP systems
- Customer communication management, such as lookbooks, banners, pop-ups, promotions
- Managing content and building SEO value, such as running a blog like this one
- Establishing customer relationships, e.g. affiliate and loyalty programs
What kind of stores work on PrestaShop?
You can sell any goods and services on PrestaShop
Online stores built on the PrestaShop engine are characterized by flexibility and scalability. Depending on your needs and available budget, the platform can be expanded both in terms of new functionalities, number of products and automatic integrations.
Store for a manufacturer of windows and doors.
In the standard PrestaShop engine you will find features such as:
- Domestic and international tax and currency handling
- Convenient translation in any number of languages
- Management of multi-variant products
- Multistore - management of multiple stores from one administration panel
- Affordable shopping cart and purchasing process
- Possibility to integrate with any service, suppliers and payments available on the market
Designer store with furniture and home decor accessories.
A small store becomes a big one:
Over time, your store may need adjustments or changes that you won't be able to make on your own.
That's when it's a good idea to get help. Prices of programmers on the market range from PLN 30 to 300 net per hour of work. Many companies will easily price the commissioned work in advance. It is worth trying to partner with a freelancer or a company that will provide support when you need it.
A local store for a manufacturer of traditional cold cuts with InPost refrigerator shipping.
At PrestaShow, we believe that the PrestaShop system is a valuable and worthwhile platform for building an online store for any product and industry.
Proof of this is the growing popularity of this system and the fact that you can start building your own eCommerc empire on your own or with the support of an agency, at no cost or with any budget :-)
A restaurant website for taking and fulfilling food delivery orders in the area.
Doesn't PrestaShop sound mysterious already? :-) At PrestaShow, we've been working with PrestaShop since 2012. During this time we have implemented dozens of stores, helped thousands of owners and built more than 50 modules and services ready to support your PrestaShop store.
What capabilities do PrestaShop modules have in 2023?
Below are the most popular items in our module store in recent times. These are Polish modules with internationally unique capabilities. During their design, we were accompanied by the wonderful PrestaShop community and the vision of providing functionalities for which, until now, you had to turn to external complicated and expensive tools. Why run your business from several places when you can with PrestaShop? :-)