PrestaShop vs Shopify: Platform Comparison

Comparison of PrestaShop and Shopify CMS

With the development of e-commerce today, more and more entrepreneurs are striving to create their own online store. In this regard, choosing the right platform for online business becomes especially important.

Next, we will figure out which is better, PrestaShop or Shopify. To do this, consider their strengths, weaknesses, as well as unique features that will help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect CMS for an online entrepreneur.

Which is better for an online store: Prestashop vs Shopify

Both platforms provide intuitive solutions for developing an online store, but the features, capabilities, and payment models are different. Let’s look at the main aspects that will help you understand what is better for eCommerce, Prestashop or Shopify.

Inventory control

PrestaShop has an internal stock management module, with which the administrator can monitor the amount of goods in stock, and set a threshold for automatic notification when stock is low.

Also, using this system, you can create orders to suppliers and control the movement of products between different warehouses. CMS supports synchronization with third-party inventory control systems via API and specialized plugins that can be purchased on the official marketplace.

As part of the Shopify Basic plan, you can also track current inventory, set up an alert when inventory is reduced, and manage inventory across multiple different warehouses.

The Plus subscription provides more sophisticated inventory control solutions. You can also connect external services using the API or install extensions.


In Prestashop, you can create new delivery methods, define geographic areas, weight and price ranges. It also allows you to integrate with popular courier services by installing a special module.

Shopify allows you to set up shipping rates, define a coverage area, and add your own calculation rules. In addition, it supports synchronization with many courier companies for automatic price calculation and label printing.

Design and templates

Choice of templates on the PrestaShop website

For PrestaShop, you can download many templates that are designed for various industries. Many of them are responsive and optimized for mobile devices.

You can also edit the active theme by changing colors, fonts, block layout, and other appearance elements. If you have enough knowledge and experience – you can also edit the source code to create an individual design.

You can also install many templates in the Shopify Theme Store. All of them are optimized for devices with any screen resolution.

You can also customize the visual design, fonts, block layout, and without knowledge of HTML and CSS. The CMS also has an internal Liquid code editor that allows you to edit the markup, but this requires basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.

Online payment services

PrestaShop supports key systems for accepting payments. The standard installation includes PayPal, Stripe, and a few others. Also in the official marketplace you can download plugins for interacting with other payment providers (as a rule, they are paid).

A feature of Shopify is its own gateway for accepting payments – Shopify Payments, which is based on Stripe and works without additional fees. However, it is not available in all countries. Transfer fees may apply if third-party gateways are used.

Connecting online payment on Shopify


A well-organized checkout process can increase conversions and reduce abandonment rates. By default, in Prestashop, this process takes place in several stages. But by connecting a special module, you can implement checkout on one page (one-page checkout).

You can also customize form fields, define required and optional parameters, and change the look and feel of the purchase confirmation page.

At Shopify, the checkout process is designed with the latest behavioral research in mind. One-page design is implemented here, as well as adaptation for mobile devices.

The administrator can add and remove fields from the form, the company logo, and change the color scheme on the page. The Plus plan provides even more options for customizing the process.


On the PrestaShop website, you can find online documentation, video tutorials, and a blog to help you understand how to use the platform. Free technical support is implemented on the forum, where you can ask questions and get help from other users and developers.

Prestashop Support

Personalized technical support by phone or e-mail is available only on a paid basis. The cost depends on the level and duration of the services provided.

 Types of consultations

But Shopify provides 24/7 support for everyone at no extra charge. Communication with specialists is possible by e-mail, online chat or by phone, which allows you to quickly solve emerging problems.

Load speed

A resource on PrestaShop can be placed on almost any hosting, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on your experience and knowledge. If you choose a good hosting provider and optimize performance, the download speed can be quite decent.

However, without specific optimization knowledge, the resource may load slowly. It is important to keep in mind that some plugins or “heavy” templates can slow down the work, so we recommend testing them before installing.

Shopify is a cloud service, which means you don’t need to pay for hosting separately. This allows you to focus on organizing your business without worrying about the technical aspects.

The loading speed on this CMS is usually much faster due to its own cloud infrastructure and competent specialists. All themes and plugins on the official marketplace are tested for performance, which minimizes the risk of slowing down the site.

Extensions and plugins

Developers list their plugins and themes in the PrestaShop Addons store. Here are extensions for SEO, usability optimization, social media connection and more.

Select modules and category

Some are free, but most require payment. It is worth considering that the quality of the modules may vary, so we recommend that you read the reviews before installing to avoid potential performance and compatibility issues.

There are many third-party plugins available in the Shopify App Store to help you expand your store experience. Application quality control is quite strict here, but poorly performing options still come across. One tip – before buying, be sure to read the reviews of real users.

Which platform is better for promotion, Prestashop or Shopify?

Promotion of an online store is a key factor in driving traffic, increasing sales and achieving success in an online business. To determine which platform is better – Shopify or Prestashop, it is important to consider what tools and features each offers to promote and optimize your marketing strategies.

SEO promotion

High positions in the search results attract the target audience and increase sales. For search engine optimization of a project on PrestaShop, you can register meta tags (title, description, keywords), as well as create search engine-friendly URLs.

This engine also supports canonical links, which prevents problems with duplicate content. In addition, you can install third-party modules that will help improve the performance of the resource, implement micromarkup and other SEO settings.

All of the above functionality also supports Shopify. In addition, it automatically generates a sitemap.xml file, which simplifies indexing in Google. In general, the opportunities for search promotion are comparable, so when choosing a CMS, start from other factors.

Email Marketing

Prestashop integrates basic functions — sending newsletters and managing the subscriber base. However, for deeper automation of marketing campaigns, it is recommended to use third-party modules.
You can download them on the PrestaShop Addons marketplace. Here you can connect popular mailing list services – Mailchimp, Sendinblue, GetResponse and others.

Regular mailing lists are also built into Shopify. To expand these capabilities, the App Store offers solutions for integration with popular email marketing services (Klaviyo, Omnisend, Mailchimp), which will help you automate campaigns, segment your audience, and analyze results.

Integration with marketplaces

Connecting to Amazon, eBay and AliExpress can significantly increase the target audience and increase sales. To do this, PrestaShop has third-party applications that can be downloaded from the official marketplace.
These modules provide synchronization of inventory balances, sales management and much more. It is worth noting that most of the modules are paid, which can increase the cost of using the store.

The Shopify App Store also provides extensions for connecting popular marketplaces, where you can install integrations with Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, and more. The range of applications is smaller here, but the system controls the quality of their work more carefully.

Analytics and reporting

Using Prestashop’s built-in control panel, you can view statistics on sales, visits, traffic sources, conversions and other key indicators.

In addition, the platform can be connected to Google Analytics for additional analysis and tracking of user behavior. For deeper analytics and report generation, third-party modules are available in the PrestaShop Addons section.

Shopify also has an analytics system built into the dashboard. The level of report detail depends on the selected tariff. You can also install integrations with Google Analytics and other third-party tools in the App Store.

Prestashop vs Shopify cost comparison

When comparing Shopify and Prestashop, it is important not to forget about the cost of using the platform, because this is one of the key factors that usually influence the choice. Next, we will look at the main pricing plans, as well as additional costs for extensions, plugins, and maintenance and support.

Expenses for using Prestashop

PrestaShop is a free and open source platform that doesn’t require you to pay to use the underlying software. Despite this, consider a number of additional possible costs:

  • Hosting. Unlike Shopify, where it is included in the cost of the tariff plan, here you will need to pay for hosting separately. The price may vary depending on the selected plan and provider. On average, this is from $5 to $100 per month.
  • Plugins. To add additional features (connection of payment gateways, marketplaces, marketing tools) you will need third-party modules. PrestaShop Addons offers both free and paid solutions, ranging in price from $20 to $500.
  • Design. You can also download a free template on the site, but if you want a unique, professional and fast design, you may need to purchase a paid theme. The cost of paid themes can range from $50 to $200.
  • Technical support. If self-configuration is not yet within your power, you may need a support service, which costs money in Prestashop. The services of specialists will cost from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on their level of expertise and amount of work.

Shopify Rates

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify is a cloud-based CMS that provides multiple pricing plans depending on business size and budget:

  1. This is a basic plan that includes all the features you need to run a full-fledged online store. You will have access to two manager accounts, an unlimited number of products, support for payment gateways, an SSL certificate, analytics and reporting capabilities, and 24/7 support.
  2. This includes all the features of the base rate plus additional features such as gift cards, professional reports and 5 employee accounts.
  3. In addition, it opens up advanced features for the user – more detailed reports, integration with external warehouses, accounts for 15 employees, etc.
  4. This is a custom plan designed for large companies that require scalability, customization, and a high level of support. The price is discussed individually depending on the size of the business.

It is worth noting that all tariff plans include hosting, an SSL certificate and access to free templates. However, you may need paid apps from the App Store to integrate with payment gateways or other services, which may incur additional monthly charges.

Shopify also charges transaction fees if you use an external payment gateway instead of their own Shopify Payments. The transaction fee ranges from 0.5% to 2% depending on the chosen tariff.

Shopify or Prestashop?

In this section, we’ll go over the key advantages and disadvantages of each platform to help you decide whether to choose Prestashop or Shopify.

Pros and cons of Prestashop

Let’s start with the positives. They include:

  1. Free platform. It is an open source CMS, which means absolutely free to use without the need to pay a license or monthly fee.
  2. Flexibility. Ample opportunities for customization and expansion of functionality are provided thanks to a large number of modules and templates.
  3. Multilingualism and localization. Prestashop supports multilingualism and multiple currencies, which can be an important advantage for international business.
  4. Active community. It includes many developers and users around the world who share knowledge on forums, which can be useful for solving problems.

However, there are certain disadvantages:

  • Technical expertise required. To implement complex functionality, you need certain skills and knowledge in the field of web development and programming, so CMS will be more difficult to master for beginners.
  • Additional costs. Despite the fact that the platform itself is provided free of charge, you will have to pay for hosting, domain, SSL certificate, plugins, templates and technical support.
  • Less pre-built integrations. Compared to Shopify, PrestaShop may offer fewer out-of-the-box integrations with popular services, which can take time and effort to set up.
  • Speed of work. Depending on the quality of the hosting and optimization of the resource, there may be problems with performance and page loading speed, which can negatively affect the behavior of visitors and conversion.

This CMS can be a great choice for advanced users and those on a tight budget. However, you will need to invest time and money in website optimization and maintenance in order to ensure the successful development of your online business.

Advantages and disadvantages of Shopify

Pros and cons of the Shopify platform

Among the key advantages are the following:

  1. Easy and fast project launch. It is one of the easiest to use platforms for creating an online store. You do not need specialized skills or experience, even a beginner can figure it out.
  2. All inclusive. You do not need to separately connect hosting, an SSL certificate, buy a theme or order its development.
  3. Scalability. A flexible tariff scale allows you to switch to a higher plan with an increase in turnover and get the required functionality without contacting a programmer.
  4. Wide range of integrations. In Shopify, you can set up a bundle with all common services, which greatly simplifies the work of the site administrator.

Do not forget about the disadvantages:

  • Price. It is a cloud platform with a monthly subscription and possible additional costs for purchasing applications or paying transaction fees.
  • Limited customization options. Compared to open source CMS (Prestashop and others), there are some limitations that do not allow an experienced user to radically change the logic of the resource.
  • Difficulties when changing CMS. Customer, product, and design data is tied to the platform, which can make it difficult to move if you decide to do so in the future.

As such, this platform is a great option for beginners and small businesses who need to get their website up and running quickly without having to deal with complicated technical issues.

Сергей Шевченко
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