There are at least 12-24 million online stores operating all over the world – and with this, we can deduce that the world of ecommerce has completely revolutionised the business landscape. This means that choosing the right platform for your online store one of the most important decisions you can make. Two of the most popular platforms out there are PrestaShop and WooCommerce.

Both platforms come with their own pros and cons, and in this post we’re going to break these down. Find out the differences between PrestaShop vs WooCommerce, the pros and cons of each platform, and which one you should choose.

But before that – let’s give a quick intro to both platforms...

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a powerful, open-source ecommerce plugin built on top of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). Created back in 2011 – it has quickly become the go to ecommerce solution for users looking to run their own online store. As it’s open source, it allows for easy customisation, enabling you to tailor every aspect of your store to your requirements. It also means WooCommerce users are continuously contributing their own solutions to the platform, which can help pros and newbies alike.

What is PrestaShop?

Launched in 2007, PrestaShop is also an open-source ecommerce platform that’s used to build online stores. It’s available as a free version and a paid version called PrestaShop Ready, which comes with extra features that are usually implemented by larger online stores (and/or those with complex needs). The platform does require some technical skills such as HTML and CSS to operate effectively, however.

PrestaShop Vs WooCommerce – What are the main differences?

While both PrestaShop and WooCommerce provide comprehensive ecommerce solutions, there are some key differences to consider before you make your choice.

1. Cost

Both PrestaShop and WooCommerce are open source and free to download, making them accessible to businesses of all sizes. However, you also need to keep in mind that you’ll need a domain name, web hosting provider and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. Fortunately, you get a free SSL certificate (and email address!) when you register a domain with us – which starts from just £1 for new customers.

2. Usability

In terms of usability, PrestaShop is known for being very easy to navigate and pick up. However, WooCommerce has a slight edge if you're already familiar with the WordPress platform. That’s because WooCommerce can be easily installed from the WordPress admin panel, and the process of adding new products is similar to creating a post or page on WordPress, making it intuitive for those who already use WordPress.

3. Flexibility and features

When it comes to flexibility and features, both platforms have their advantages PrestaShop offers over 600 features, including advanced stock control options and multilingual support. WooCommerce, being a WordPress plugin, also offers a vast number of plugins, enhancing its flexibility and customisability. WooCommerce also supports both PayPal and Stripe payments out of the box, with many more integration options available.

4. Support

Support is common in both PrestaShop and WooCommerce. You have the option to pay for support services for both platforms. These services might be quite costly, depending on whether you go for the Verified WooCommerce Experts, Codeable Freelancers, or PrestaShop Support Plan.

But don’t fret. because there are loads of internet resources at your disposal, including forums, YouTube videos, articles, instructions, and documentation. Essentially – both platforms have an active community of which you can turn to for help.

5. Security

Both PrestaShop and WooCommerce offer strong security features, such as SSL support, payment gateway integrations, and regular patch updates. It’s possible to check vulnerabilities in both PrestaShop and WooCommerce – which are regularly updated.

Ultimately, using WooCommerce or PrestaShop shouldn't have a significant impact on security unless you fail to agree to the regular updates. As soon as a new version or patch is released, you should upgrade your e-commerce software in the first instance. This goes for add-ons, WordPress themes, templates and extensions too.

6. Performance

It goes without saying that speed is everything – particularly for your online store. It affects SEO, as well as customer retention (among other things). 

Because WooCommerce and PrestaShop are both open-source platforms, your hosting provider will have a major impact on how well they run. You won't get good performance with shared hosting for an online store with hundreds of goods and high traffic.

There are several manual techniques for PrestaShop and WooCommerce shop speed optimisation. This could be upgrading your VPS, PHP version or identifying which plug-ins may be negatively affecting one another. Read more about how to speed up a WordPress website.

Why choose WooCommerce over PrestaShop?

While both platforms are robust and offer a multitude of features, there are a few reasons why you might opt for WooCommerce over PrestaShop:

1. Integration with WordPress

If you already have a WordPress website, WooCommerce can be easily integrated, turning your site into an ecommerce store. Just navigate to the plugins sections of WordPress and download it there.

2. Ease of use

WooCommerce is known for its user-friendly interface, making it a great choice for those with limited technical knowledge. WooCommerce also offers a setup wizard during installation and allows for later configurations via the admin dashboard. Similar to PrestaShop, WooCommerce features a product editor resembling the classic WordPress editor.

3. Plugins and extensions

WooCommerce has around 400 extensions and counting – all developed by the WooCommerce team or third parties, in addition to easy access to WordPress's extensive collection of approximately 58,000 plugins. In comparison, PrestaShop has approximately 4,000 modules available. Both platforms integrate with various third-party services, such as payment gateways, shipping providers, marketing tools and more.

4. Community support

With a large community of users, finding support and answers to your queries is often easier with WooCommerce. Having said this, WooCommerce doesn't offer direct support to its users. Instead, WooCommerce has an active community of users and developers where anyone can ask questions, share experiences, and get help from others. There are also many helpful resources available for troubleshooting and resolving issues. You can also open a support ticket on the WooCommerce website, where users can typically expect a response within 24 hours – but this depends on the issue you’re reporting.

5. SEO

WooCommerce has the added benefit of adding schema markups to product pages – meaning you won’t have to do these manually (or hire someone to do it for you). This means that search engines will have a better time understanding the context and structure of your pages.

Why choose PrestaShop over WooCommerce?

There are also several reasons why you might opt for PrestaShop over WooCommerce:

1. Dedicated ecommerce features

PrestaShop is built specifically for ecommerce, offering advanced features like multi store support and advanced stock control. It also offers over 600 features – of which many aren’t available with WooCommerce. Plus, with the PrestaShop dashboard, you can easily view your store's performance – which can allow you to make quick decisions where needed.

2. Ease of use

While PrestaShop requires a bit of technical knowledge, it actually has a walkthrough once you’ve installed it, which navigates you through all the sections you need to effectively manage your ecommerce store.

3. PrestaShop technical assistance

Unlike WooCommerce, PrestaShop offers paid technical support, providing personalised assistance for technical issues through PrestaShop Online Assistance and PrestaShop Technical Assistance. The first is a bank of resources PrestaShop users can navigate through to solve common issues and setups through tutorials FAQs andeven training courses.

Plus, there are more than 1.2 million members in the PrestaShop Forum community to help!

4. Security

PrestaShop prioritises secure coding practices to lessen vulnerabilities as much as possible by regularly reviewing and updating the code to address any known security issues. It incorporates built in features for controlling user access – which allows store owners to manage access to sensitive information and functions. Plus, PrestaShop's integrated user access management and secure coding practices offer an extra layer of security for certain businesses.

WooCommerce vs PrestaShop vs OpenCart

When considering ecommerce platforms, OpenCart is another option worth considering. Similar to WooCommerce and PrestaShop, OpenCart is an open source ecommerce platform that offers a wide range of features. However, its user interface is considered less intuitive compared to WooCommerce, and it offers fewer themes and extensions compared to both WooCommerce and PrestaShop. Read more about OpenCart vs PrestaShop to compare your options.

Frequently asked questions about PrestaShop vs WooCommerce

Is PrestaShop cheaper than WooCommerce?

Both PrestaShop and WooCommerce can be freely downloaded and used since they’re open source applications. However, premium WooCommerce themes and plugins averages around $19 per year. The average price for PrestaShop themes and modules starts at $54.99 per year, nearly three times higher than that of WooCommerce.

Is PrestaShop or WooCommerce better for SEO?

Compared to WooCommerce, PrestaShop has limited availability of SEO-focused modules, with the majority being paid options. While categories and products are typically optimised for SEO, the static pages in PrestaShop have limited capabilities, offering minimal assistance in SEO advances. WooCommerce on the other hand has an SEO-first approach, it essentially has all of WordPress’s available SEO capabilities!

Is PrestaShop completely free?

PrestaShop is open source and completely free to download and use. If you require a particular theme, extensions or plugins, some of them come with a premium – so keep this in mind.

Now that you know more about PrestaShop vs WooCommerce – which will you choose? Our VPS packages, an apps on VPS contain both platforms plus a whole host of others (including Magento). Contact us to find out more about how they work.