In the wake of emerging trends when shopping destinations are shifting from actual (shopping malls) to virtual world (World Wide Web), the significance of e-commerce solutions has increased dramatically over the past few years. People are no more walking towards shopping centers; they’re purchasing products on the move. A web space has become unavoidable for retailers and almost all of them have suddenly got busy in decorating, promoting and marketing their online shops. A number of proprietary and open source e-commerce solutions have been developed in the recent times. Magento and Prestashop are the two most vibrant and vigorous open source software, which have been able to capture a good market share. But which one is right for you?

First, you need to get this: No platform between two can establish superiority of over the other and actually it will be foolish to do so. It’s just that both these platforms come with slightly different features which appeal to different masses. If you can identify your requirement, you can get your pick.

Let’s go through these advantages one by one:

Price:

Since both the platforms are open source software, you don’t have to pay dollops of money for them. Prestashop offers about more than 300 free features while Magento also offers a number of benefits with its editions namely Community, MagentoGo and Enterprise.

Learning Curve, Accessibility and Usage:

With full download available as an open source installer kit, Prestashop is comparatively easier to learn, requiring less technical knowledge. Magento, on the other hand, has a steep learning curve. Magento is available in more than 60 languages while Prestashop is available in about 40 languages. The number of Magento shops are almost double than Prestashop stores.

Support:

Magento is way ahead in terms of community support and online forums to help its users across the world. The technical team of Magento is always at the back of customers’ call, all ready to help them through email, telephone and live chat. On the other hand, Prestashop customers have to rely on the forum – which is probably the only support system – for any advice. And yes, if you need to get quick feedback on your comments, you will have to post only in English language. Further, Magento is owned by eBay Inc. that just adds to the credibility or rather popularity of the software.

Speed and performance:

If you are using Magento, you will have to host a site on a dedicated server. This is not something that makes Magento bad. It is just a software requirement. If you don’t want to dedicate a server to your site, you should better go for Prestashop.

Search Engine Optimization:

Magento is the best when it comes to the promotion of your store online. In Magento, you can go on managing URL rewrites and using URL keys to enhance user experience, setting product meta tags, redirecting search terms, adding synonyms to search terms, embedding third party scripts in body tag, setting up a robot.txt file, setting up Google analytics, setting up a Google sitemap etc. Though Prestashop also includes almost all the aforesaid features, it has not yet been able to compete with Magento.

Themes and Designs:

Both the software are abundant with themes and designs. The product displays of Prestashop offer a variety of option to view the listed products, so is the case with Magento. However, Magento offers a detailed account of its theme and design features in highly systematic manner on its website. It beautifully explains how to create content pages, work with images, videos, static blocks, frontend apps, and use layout editor, text editor, theme editor, CSS and JavaScript Editor.

If you analyze all the features associated with both these platform, you can really argue that Prestashop is good platform but not for medium-large size businesses. And though Magento has a steep learning curve, it is certainly more powerful and scalable than Prestashop and offers many killer features that can help you make a great online store.

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