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These two platforms share certain advantages and drawbacks, but each also offers some unique features. Before you decide to start with one of them or switch from the platform you’re currently using, you need to consider several aspects that will be thoroughly discussed in this article.
Both platforms are widely used and offer self-hosted software for the creation of online stores. PrestaShop offers addons to supplement the functionalities of your online store. This is also possible in Magento, although they call these addons extensions.
Magento offers its software in a free version called Open Source and a paid version called Adobe Commerce Pro.
Both platforms come with the possibility to hire PrestaShop or Magento experts to create and develop the online store for you. This means getting your online store running much faster and without headaches, but the service isn’t free.
Note that Magento was acquired by Adobe and is now sold as Adobe Commerce. The information we present was updated in 2022, but we refer to Adobe Commerce as Magento because of the popularity of the software under that name.
Now that you have an overview of what PrestaShop and Magento do, continue reading for a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one, comparative tables and other criteria that will help you make the best decision for your business.
Choosing PrestaShop as a platform for your online store has some advantages:
- Customizable and scalable features for the online store
- Addon Marketplace to install new functionalities without custom development
Opening a store in Magento also has its advantages. They include:
- Having a fully customizable and scalable online store
- A free version of the software (Open Source) is available
- Magento extensions to create new features and functionalities
In the following table, you can see a comparison of the advantages of PrestaShop vs. Magento.
|Open Source||Open Source|
|Free possibility||Free possibility|
|Addons marketplace||Extensions marketplace|
|Fully customizable||Fully customizable|
|Great popularity: online resources||Large community of developers|
Having an online store in PrestaShop comes with the following disadvantages:
- There are limited free plugin alternatives (themes, features and other addons), so the cost of acquiring these options can quickly add up.
- Translations are automatic, but not perfect
- Hosting and domain costs aren’t included
Magento also has some disadvantages. For example:
- You will have to take care of providing your own hosting and server, and you’ll have to pay for updates (if you opt for the paid version)
- Magento comes with high cost and can be difficult to use. Even for experts, Magento is one of the most complex and expensive platforms, whether you opt for the paid or free version. You will always need a support team that doesn’t work for free.
This table sums up the main drawbacks of PrestaShop and Magento.
|Doesn't include server, hosting or updates||Doesn't include server, hosting or updates|
|Time investment for creation and modifications||Time investment for creation and modifications|
|Complex interface to use|
Other factors to consider
Now you’re familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of PrestaShop vs. Magento. However, it’s also important to consider what you need for your online store when choosing an open-source platform.
Consider your own requirements and choose accordingly, because switching platforms can be tricky, especially if you're already coming from an open-source platform where you've configured everything to your liking.
Cost of creation and maintenance of the online store
In this sense, both PrestaShop and Magento are very similar. Both can be downloaded for free and both are open-source solutions, so the cost of creation and maintenance, unless you are an expert in programming, is high.
This is especially true for Magento, since it’s more difficult to operate and the creation process is therefore even slower. Also, if you choose the paid version of Magento (Adobe Commerce Pro), you will see that it’s one of the most expensive platforms for online stores on the market.
If you want to always keep your store up to date with new features, adjustments and updates, you’ll need someone to take care of all this. Therefore, although both are free in principle, they also come with creation and maintenance costs. Of the two, Magento is undoubtedly the one that will require the greatest investment of time and money.
Ease of use of the platform
Both tools are relatively difficult to use, at least if we’re looking at the first phase of the online store —the creation phase.
Both platforms provide a “skeleton” on which you can create the store, but Magento’s interface is much less intuitive than that of PrestaShop, so in this sense, Magento loses out.
Scalability of the online store
Both platforms can accommodate the growth of an online store. As your company grows in terms of products, sales volume, needs, etc., you can modify the store accordingly.
They both offer addons or extensions to bring new functionalities to the online store.
Migration to another platform
Migrating a store from Magento or PrestaShop is possible through specialized migration software or with the help of an expert in the field.
However, creating a store in PrestaShop and Magento entails an economic cost and a fairly significant investment of time, so ideally, once you create it, you should try to avoid a migration (and the associated costs).
Because both are similar in terms of migrating, we recommend that you focus on the other criteria, to prevent future regrets.
Both PrestaShop and Magento are 100% customizable platforms, thanks to their open-source code.
Shipping and return management
This criterion is often forgotten both by sellers and by CMS platforms and marketplaces.
And, although PrestaShop and Magento have some functionalities for managing orders, shipments and returns, they don’t offer the features necessary for an efficient eCommerce logistics system. Use Outvio for order management, shipments, returns, and much more!
PrestaShop and Magento are two platforms widely used by successful online stores, so we know that they are fantastic tools for creating and managing an online store. The choice of one or the other will depend on the criteria that you consider most important.
In addition to these criteria, you should also consider the type of store you want to create, what your user persona is and the products you want to market, among other things.
In short, think about the priorities of your brand, the aesthetic you imagine for your online store and the personal preferences you have. Try to anticipate the needs that will arise when the volume of your sales and the size of your business start to grow even more.
If you want to make the best decision for your business, the first and most important step is to familiarize yourself with all of your options. This is one of the keys to making your business go in the direction you want.
Now you should be much better prepared to know which one is the winner in the PrestaShop vs Magento battle for the best platform for your online store. We hope that this article has answered the questions that you had about these two eCommerce platforms. If you’re not sure that an open-source solution is for you, you can investigate further by reading our articles on hosted platforms like Wix or Shopify.