The advantages and disadvantages of creating an online store with PrestaShop
  • eCommerce


These days having an online store is almost an obligation for any business that wants to grow and adapt to new consumer habits, where online purchases have become an everyday occurrence.

An e-commerce is also an interesting solution for an entrepreneur that wishes to start a digital business, creating income by selling products or offering services through the internet.

To create a virtual store you have to select an appropriate environment or tool that facilitates the whole process and reduces development costs. PrestaShop is one of the most popular options for creating an e-commercerapidly and simply, without needing to be an expert web programmer.

What is PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is one of the main tools for creating and managing a professional online store without the need for advanced programming knowledge. With this solution you have access to all the facilities you need for this kind of digital business, such as shopping cart, shipping and payment systems, product information, recommended articles, user management, and much more.

The PrestaShop platform has advantages and disadvantages that are good to know about so that you can decide if it’s the right tool for a particular online commerce project.

What are the benefits of Prestashop for an e-commerce?

Creating an online PrestaShop store has a number of benefits owing to its various special features and functions. The main advantages of using PrestaShop for developing an e-commerce are as follows:

1. Reduced costs

PrestaShop is an open source platform that can be used to develop professional online stores without needing to pay for an acquisition licence or to use it. Any project created with PrestaShop will involve a much smaller investment, allowing you to take on projects in a much more straightforward manner.

If you are wondering how much PrestaShop costs, the answer might surprise you. This advanced tool for creating professional online stores is free and the cost is zero.

2. Ease of use

One of the main advantages of PrestaShop is that advanced technical web programming knowledge is not required. Even someone who doesn’t know about basic web development technologies such as HTML or CSS can create a professional online store tool.

The learning curve for PrestaShop is very gentle, so that a user can start creating an e-commerce after only a few hours learning how the tool works.

3. High degree of customisation

With this tool you can create any kind of electronic commerce and which are highly personalisable, using modules, templates or themes.

The PrestaShop modules are similar to WordPress or WooCommerce plugins, where the user selects a feature to add to the platform, creating a specific function to improve some aspect of the e-commerce.

There is a wide variety of options for PrestaShop, from sales campaigns or up-selling tools, to SEO improvement modules and advanced payment methods, as well as those for integrating advanced invoice and ticket management.

The templates allow a store created on the platform to have a professional-looking design and appearance. There is a wide a range of online store themes to choose from with PrestaShop, with a high degree of personalisation and responsive design, so that the store perfectly adapts to mobile phones or tablets (something that is vital these days to increase online sales).

4. Ability to work with a large number of articles

With PrestaShop the quantity of products an e-commerce handles is not a problem, since it is able to manage thousands in a straightforward manner, without performance being affected.

5. Multi-store

Another benefit of PrestaShop and one which is highly useful to many entrepreneurs, is that it can manage several different online stores from the same control panel.

This is a multi-store portal where one can manage several internet businesses in a centralised manner, making the whole job considerably easier and faster.

6. Multi-language

When an online store is created, one of the main objectives is selling to potential clients and users who couldn’t usually be reached through a traditional store.

Putting aside the size of the company, international trade is one of the big advantages of e-commerce. With PrestaShop multi-language it’s much easier to sell in other countries, since the platform lets you implement different languages in an online store, permitting users from a particular country to access the store in their native language automatically.

7. Internet positioning

PrestaShop was developed with key SEO technical factors and criteria in mind. When creating an e-commerce with this tool it’s a great deal easier to get a high ranking with the largest search engines, especially Google.

With a SEO on a PrestaShop online store has a better chance of appearing in the top Google results.

8. Good support

PrestaShop has a good usage guide and a wide range of resources available, which means it’s easy to learn how to use the tools, with all their various functions and options. Behind this platform you’ll find a large community that is known for being energetic and quick to respond to any problem or incident that might occur.

9. Compatible with different payment methods

This platform is compatible with the main payment methods, such as debit cards, PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, Apple, Google Pay, Bizum and many more as Redsys module for PrestaShop.

What disadvantages does PrestaShop have when creating an online store

Although the advantages of this CMS for online stores are many, it also has a series of weaknesses which are good to know about before making the decision to create an e-commerce with PrestaShop.

The main disadvantages are:

  • More difficult to use than other platforms. Although it is simple to create an e-commerce with PrestaShop, the large number of options and settings makes it more difficult to use than alternatives such as Shopify or even WooCommerce by Wordpress.
  • Paid modules. Although there are many features offered for free, the professional and more advanced modules do cost something. That’s why having cash to invest in a store might be important.
  • Lack of variety with the templates. Compared to other similar tools, it has fewer themes on offer to personalise the store.
  • It isn’t recommended for a marketplace. This kind of business manages thousands of articles, which is why it’s better to use an alternative such as Magento for that purpose. When PrestaShop goes over 10,000 articles (approximately), its performance can be seriously affected.

For those looking for a platform to create an online store quickly, cheaply and professionally, PrestaShop is one of the best alternatives you can find on the market.

This is an ideal tool for small online store projects, or for professional e-commerce businesses looking to minimise investment when it’s time to launch online sales.

PrestaShop is one of the most popular virtual store creation portals worldwide, owing to its special features and the wide range of advantages that it offers. However, it also has certain inconveniences that it’s good to know about when evaluating if this is the right solution to take on a particular online commerce project.