Magento, Shopify, and Prestashop are three e-commerce solutions for businesses, but deciding which one is best for you takes a little research. Here’s what you need to know to guide your decision about which platform fits your business goals.
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform with an array of powerful customization opportunities for online stores. Both Magento Open Source and Commerce versions are self-hosted and enable the platform to work efficiently with businesses of all sizes. Prestashop is also an open-source e-commerce platform, offering search engine optimization (SEO) and analytics tools. Shopify is another hosted e-commerce solution, which is easy for users to set up and operate.
Magento is an excellent option for businesses that need highly flexible, customizable platforms to develop their brands. Shopify and Prestashop are great options for smaller organizations looking for an easy-to-use platform to create quick stores. These two options are best for businesses that do not need the robust capabilities, increased site control, or customization possibilities that Magento offers. Look at these comparisons to help guide your decision.
Prestashop is an e-commerce solution that is self-hosted. It is beneficial because it offers over 41 languages, is easy to install, and can be customized. Prestashop also has lower average cost for monthly maintenance, and it contains over 310 features, including SEO, marketing, analytics and reporting, localization, shipping and payments, and site management. On the downside, it lacks a built-in tool for exporting and its importing tool is limited. Prestashop is best for small businesses for the most part.
Shopify is a fully hosted e-commerce solution, which means it is easy to use and set up. In addition, Shopify is fairly inexpensive, comes with many different free and paid themes, and provides excellent user support. The cons to Shopify include a lack of an exporting tool, fewer features than other platforms, and limited customization abilities. Shopify is ideal for businesses of most sizes on a tighter budget, although this limits the abilities within the platform.
Magento offers multiple options for different types of businesses – Open Source (previously known as Community Edition), and Commerce (previously called Enterprise Edition). Both Magento Open Source and Commerce editions are self-hosted. Multiple editions allow Magento to work for businesses of any size; however, these advanced features can be more expensive than other platforms and often require a steep learning curve due to the endless options for customizing your site. In addition to extreme creative freedom, the Magento platform is SEO friendly, offers advanced options for inventory and reporting, and provides a wide range of templates and third-party integrations.
Magento’s Top Features
- The platform offers an unmatched selection of customization options, including add-ons and integrations.
- Magento gives users complete control of their websites with robust flexibility
- Community Edition is free to use
The Top Features of Shopify
- Offers paid and free responsive themes
- Includes SEO tools
- Easy to use
Prestashop’s Top Features
- Quick and simple installation process
- Easy to maintain
- Integrates with several applications and systems
Along with their benefits, each platform has some drawbacks. Here are a couple of cons associated with each:
Magento Does Have Disadvantages
- It may be too intricate for small, simple online stores.
- The number of customization options can confuse users with limited website design experience.
- Versions other than the Community Editions can be pricey for small businesses with a limited budget.
Cons of Shopify
- Charges shops transaction fees for each sale
- Limited potential for customization
- No free version
Cons of Prestashop
- Limited customization options
- Less scalability
- Lack of an official support team for problems
Another consideration when deciding which platform best suits your business is how long each takes to build. Some of that depends on your business and its industry; however, there are some standard times for each.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Magento Site?
A Magento website requires several tests to ensure it is functioning to its highest potential, so it takes a minimum of three months to set up. However, the timeline varies depending on the specific data requirements, store intricacy, and customization options.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Shopify Site?
While the process of creating a Shopify is simple, it relies on the size of the store and the chosen customization options. A simple shop with only a handful of products, as well as limited added applications and customizations, can be up within an hour.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Prestashop Site?
Like Shopify, a Prestashop site is easy to set up and can be completed within a relatively short time. The amount of time depends heavily on the customizations and products. A small shop with limited products and without customization features can be complete within a day.
What Kind of Support Do They Offer?
- Magento is an open-source platform with a large community for support. It has an open email forum and solution support available through certified Magento partners. Official support is available with the Enterprise addition.
- Shopify offers 24/7 support via email, phone, and live chat. Other options include the Shopify forum and manual.
- Prestashop is an open-source platform with a medium size community for support. Support plans are available for additional prices. Support is available via phone Monday to Friday from 1 to 5 pm eastern time.
- Magento: Over 300,000 developers worldwide
- Shopify: Over 1,000 application developers
- Prestashop: Over 250,000 developers
- Admins have 100% control over their websites’ designs with flexible templates and a wide range of customization options.
- The platform offers an array of customizable themes and graphic options, but restricted control over site design.
- It offers easy-to-design themes but limited design flexibility.
Integrations and Extensions
- Magento offers approximately 3,000 extensions and supports over 1,000 integrations.
- Shopify supports integrations with Mail Chimp, QuickBooks, Fulfillrite, itDuzzit, Zapier, KISSmetrics, and Chargify and offers over 2,300 paid and free add-ons and extensions.
- Prestashop supports integrations with a large selection of platforms including eBay, PayPal, WordPress, Google Shopping, Facebook, MailChimp, and more. It also offers more than 2,000 add-ons.
- Magento hosts over 600K sites and companies including Nike, Ford, and Samsung.
- Shopify hosts more than 500K sites including Johnny Cupcakes, Los Angeles Lakers, and Wikipedia.
- Prestashop hosts over 250K sites with brands such as Timefy, McDonalds, and Bolina Sail.
- Magento includes a responsive design reference template, making it easy to create a site optimized for all mobile devices.
- Prestashop includes default themes that are mobile-friendly.
- Shopify comes with mobile-friendly features, themes, and checkouts.
Still undecided about which is the best platform for your site? Don’t hesitate to get in touch for Forix today, our experts are happy to help you.