presta vs shopify

PrestaShop and Shopify are both e-commerce platforms, but they are built on different principles. PrestaShop is a free, self-hosted platform that offers excellent scalability, while Shopify is a software-as-a-service (Saas) solution that is hosted in the cloud.

In this article, we will compare the two platforms to help anyone planning to open an online store make an informed decision between these two platforms.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a comprehensive SaaS solution and one of the leading e-commerce store builders on the market. There are more than 3 million Shopify websites. Shopify had built its name on the claim that it's the store builder for anyone, even people with no programming experience. The platform has a drag-and-drop editor that makes building a website easy, even for beginners.

In addition, Shopify offers a comprehensive list of e-commerce tools and extensions to enable store owners to run a successful online business.

Users pay a monthly subscription for the use of the software, which includes the cost of a domain name. The hosting of the website on the web is included in the monthly subscription.

What is PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform. Users don't pay a monthly subscription to use the software; it is free to download, but users need to pay for a website domain as well as online hosting. Currently, PrestaShop powers around 330,000 websites across the globe.

PrestaShop offers a high level of personalization and customization, giving users full control over every element of their stores. The platform allows developers to create websites for small business as well as enormous stores that sells vast volumes.

Cost Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Cost of Using Shopify

Shopify has five pricing plans.


For $1 you can use the Starter plan for 3 months to sell products through social media.


Everything you need to create your store, ship products, and process payments.

Monthly subscription price: $25, $19 if paid yearly.

The plan includes basic reports, up to 1,000 inventory locations, and 2 staff accounts.


Monthly subscription price: $65, $49 if paid yearly.

The plan includes professional reports, up to 1,000 inventory locations, and 5 staff accounts.


Monthly subscription price: $399, $299 if paid yearly.

The plan includes a custom report builder, up to 1,000 inventory locations, and 15 staff accounts.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise solution that starts at $2,000 per month.

Cost of Using PrestaShop

As an open-source platform, PrestaShop is free to install, but you still have to pay for hosting and a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate.

There are many hosting providers to choose from. A domain name can cost around $12 annually, and hosting costs $5-$25 per month through providers like Bluehost or Cloudways. An SSL certificate usually costs around $90 a year.

In addition to these costs, you'll have to allow for development costs if you can't do programming yourself. Then there are the integrations you will need to turn your website into a functioning store that sells products and makes money. Depending on the number and price of the add-ons you choose, this can add thousands to your set-up costs.

Ease of Use Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Ease of use – Shopify

Shopify takes users step by step through the process of creating an online store. Shopify has a clear and easy-to-understand dashboard and setting up a website is fairly straightforward. The platform has many powerful ecommerce tools that users can access and incorporate with an easy-to-use editor.

Someone with no technical skills can build a website with Shopify, using the instructions that pip up while in the process.

Shopify bills itself as a platform for beginners, but the reality is that you can't build a store in five minutes, not if you need one with a comprehensive range of e-commerce features. For instance, choosing and integrating the necessary apps can take time.


Ease of use - PrestaShop

PrestaShop, on the other hand, so you have to do everything yourself. People who only need a basic website, will probably be able to so without help, but as soon as a fully functional e-commerce store is needed, programming skills will be necessary. Either that, or you'll need to employ a programmer to help you.

The more you want to customise your store, the more coding will be needed.

Bottom line? It is much more complicated to build an online store with PrestaShop but the reward is a store that you can customize much more than a Shopify store.

Design and Themes Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Shopify design and themes

Shopify has stunning templates designed by professional designers, however, compared to other e-commerce stores, Shopify offers relatively few of these awesome templates – 72 paid themes and only 10 free ones.

To make choosing a theme easier, the official Shopify themes are divided in categories according to layout style, industry, the number of products, home and product pages, navigation, marketing, and more.

Every theme is fully customizable. Shopify users can use the theme editor to customize the theme settings to add, remove, rearrange website features and content. Some themes may not include the possibility to make certain changes you need. In that case, you can leverage HTML, CSS, and Liquid, to edit the theme code.

Actually, if you are comfortable with coding or employed a developer, you can access HTML and CSS to customize your theme design to your heart's content.

All the themes are mobile responsive with prices ranging $100 to $350.

Of course, you can also explore ThemeForest online, the go-to place for e-commerce templates and themes. You can find more than 1,600 Shopify themes and templates on ThemeForest, designed by a global community of independent designers and developers.

If you do decide to go for one of these, though, investigate the agency that was responsible for the design to ensure that they provide continual support for their work.

PrestaShop design and themes

PrestaShop marketplace has 2376 templates and themes. The assist users with deciding on which templates to get, PrestaShop has also divided its offering into different categories, for instance, industry, business sector, language, and type of template in terms of color, structure and style, with reviews and information about the developers included, which is very helpful. All in all, there are 15 categories.

There are themes for every conceivable type of business, including, rollerblading, baby gear, pets, health, beauty, food, restaurants, fashion, and interior decorating, to mention a few.

On the PrestaShop Marketplace, the average price for a theme is around $80 - $100.Of course, you can also buy a PrestaShop theme on a marketplace like EvatoMarket, where a theme will cost you anything from $35 to $12,000.

Payment Methods Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Payment Options in Shopify

Shopify has its own payment gateway, called Shopify Payments. It works a bit like PayPal or Stripe, processing a store's payments using a variety of methods, including debit or credit cards.

With this solution, Shopify simplifies payments for merchants since they don't need to integrate a third-party solution to accept payments. Everything can happen seamlessly on the Shopify platform.

Merchants who choose to accept payments through Shopify Payments don't have to pay any transaction fees. These are the major benefits of using this Shopify product. Merchants who choose to use third-party gateways like Stripe or PayPal, incur transaction fees.

Please note, Shopify Payments is not available in all countries.

Shopify users have a choice of 100+ payment gateways that Shopify supports.

The latest development in terms of payment solutions is the growing popularity of payments with cryptocurrencies. Shopify has partnered with three of the leading crypto platforms, namely BitPay, CoinPayments, and Coinbase Commerce, to give Shopify vendors the opportunity to accept crypto payments.

Payment Options in PrestaShop

PrestaShop offers its users a huge range of payment options, both free and paid, on the PrestaShop marketplace.

The platform organizes the various payment gateways in so-called Payment modules. Each Payment module contains several different payment gateways, so merchants choose the module that gives them the most options. For instance, CloudSwipe is a popular option as it comes with more than 150 gateways for free. PrestaShop payment module is another example; it comes with unlimited payment methods.

PrestaShop also allows its users to accept cryptocurrency payments through its Bitcoin and Crypto Payments extension. When this extension is installed on a store website, customers can pay for goods and services with Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE), among more than fifty other cryptocurrencies.

Apps and Add-Ons Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

It takes extensions and plugins to fully customize an online store that has all the e-commerce features needed for a successful online business. Both Shopify and PrestaShop offer more than enough add-ons for users to create exactly what they need.


Apps and Add-Ons in Shopify

Shopify stores come with a lot of functionality out of the box, but most store owners are keen to extend their shop's functionality beyond that.

For that, Shopify has an app store where store owners can choose from thousands of apps, both free and paid for, to enhance their stores. In fact, with more than 8,000 apps, the Shopify app store is the biggest e-commerce app store.

There are two kinds of apps:

  1. Apps that add different functionalities to a store, like abandoned cart saver apps.
  2. Apps that give the store access to proven business apps, like HubSpot and ZenDesk.

Such a wide choice of apps has both pros and cons for e-commerce store owners. On the one hand, it offers shop owners endless opportunities to customize their stores with every conceivable functionality. On the other hand, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. Who has time to sift through thousands of options?

Also, adding a bunch of external extensions is bound to slow down the speed of your store. As they say, more is not always better. And, of course, the more apps you have to add to make your store function as you want, the more it costs, unless you go for free apps.

Apps and Add-Ons in PrestaShop

In PrestaShop, add-ons are offered through modules. In fact, there are more than 4,000 free and paid modules to add additional functionality to a PrestaShop store.

There are modules for increasing traffic and conversion rates, and improving site navigation, productivity, and customer relations. Think of what you want for your store and your customers, and you will find a module that will help you realize your objective.

Modules are divided according to use, module language, developer, and review. So, when you are thinking of using a module for your store, you can read up on the developer and customer reviews of the module. This service minimizes the risk of obtaining a module that turns out to be useless or causes technical problems.

On this point, you must remember that these modules are created by developers of different abilities worldwide. They are not necessarily PrestaShop experts, and their solutions may not be compatible with each other, or may not integrate properly with what you are already using for your website. So, you will, in all likelihood, need a developer to help you with the integration.

The solution may be to go for modules with good reviews and already being used by many other store owners.

Also, keep in mind that the more you add to your store, the more it will affect the performance of your website.

SEO Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Shopify SEO

Shopify SEO features are on par with other hosted website-building platforms. In particular, Shopify has made website owners' actions to optimize their websites straightforward. It is easy to:

  • Change page titles and meta descriptions
  • Add headings and alt text
  • Edit the robots.txt file so you can decide which pages search engines can crawl
  • Add 301 redirects to inform search engines that a page has moved

In addition, users can integrate their site with the Yoast SEO tool, which helps site owners to optimize their website and webpages to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Shopify’s SEO capabilities are also aided by the fast loading times of its theme designs, a factor that search engines like.

To top it all, Shopify offers various apps that can help websites built on the Shopify platform meet Google's Core Web Vitals requirements.

Core Web Vitals are a set of targets relating to a website's speed, responsiveness and visual stability. Websites that meet these requirements receive preferential treatment from search engines.


PrestaShop SEO

PrestaShop offers SEO capabilities through a significant range of modules that send PrestaShope pages to the top of SERPs.

For instance, the SEO Expert module automatically fills in both meta tags and social media meta tags to optimize your online store for better visibility on search engines and social media platforms.

SEO Audits is an all-in-one PrestaShop SEO expert module, which is up-to-date with Google SEO rank math, URL redirect, sitemap generator, etc.

All in all, both platforms offer their clients complete SEO solutions.

Customer Support Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Shopify Customer Support

Shopify offers comprehensive customer support. Clients can consult online resources in 21 languages. In addition, help is available 24/7 via email, live chat or phone.

Phone support is available 24/7 for customers in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

PrestaShop Customer Support

PrestaShop doesn't provide support via live chat, email or phone. Users have two choices, they can consult the online resources, or they can work with a PrestaShop expert for technical assistance.

The online resources include documentation, developer forums, the Addons team, and a training catalogue.

In addition, PrestaShop offers its clients several PrestaShop Support Plans, which give users access to a PrestaShop expert. This will cost you, though – from $52 to $1064.

It is clear that Shopify offers better customer support, and that if you decide to build your store on the PrestaShop platform, you better have deep pockets so you can hire software developers to help you set up and maintain your store.

Security Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Shopify Security

Since Shopify is a hosted platform, merchants don't need to worry about this aspect since Shopify takes care of it. With Shopify, users benefit from free SSL registration as well as all website updates.

In addition, Shopify takes care of SSL certificates so merchants can enjoy an extra layer of protection with the HTTPS display, indicating that all communication between the store and its customers is encrypted.

In addition, all Shopify stores are certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant – this is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This data security standard provides the highest protection of all data related to card payments.


PrestaShop Security

PrestaShop offers security out of the box since its set-up file that you download when you set up your website is PCI compliant – PCI stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Security is another feature that PrestaShop offers in the form of modules. PrestaShop owners can install numerous PrestaShop security modules, including the Official GDPR Compliance (General Data Protection Regulation) that ensures the store is compliant with the EU law on data protection and privacy.

The Security Pro add-on has been downloaded 2,500 times and includes a firewall, two-factor authentication, anti-SPAM, anti-malware, automatic backup and much more. The free Security Lite module prevents unauthorized access to PrestaShop websites by adding another layer of security.

Performance Comparison: Shopify vs PrestaShop

Optimal website loading times are crucial for e-commerce businesses. Each second counts when it comes to generating online sales. Remember that within the first five seconds of loading time, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second that it takes for the page to load.

Shopify Performance

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce solution, so users are dependent on the platform’s hosting for their site's performance. Shopify uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN) by Fastly for website loading optimization.

Users can not access the Shopify server to affect their site's performance, but they can use the Shopify Status feature to check the server's performance.

In addition to various steps users can take to speed up their website's loading time, they can make use of apps on the Shopify App Store that can help with this, such as Instant Pages, Hyperspeed and Page Speed Optimizer, which is free.

PrestaShop Performance

PrestaShop offers a full range of website hosting solutions for users to choose from.

  • Shared Web Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting
  • Reseller Hosting

Users can also choose to have their sites hosted by PrestaShop hosting providers, such as Hostinger, InterServer, or Bluehost. Web hosting solution Bluehost offers 24/7 expert support and is very affordable.

PrestaShop and Shopify both offer excellent website performance, but PrestaShop users have more options to boost their website performance.

Building a multilingual website: Shopify vs PrestaShop


Shopify doesn't only allow transactions in multiple currencies, the platform also lets merchants sell to a global audience in their language. Merchants can enable multiple languages from the Shopify admin to create separate URLs for the websites in each language, for instance, (French), (German), etc.

Recently, the platform introduced Shopify Markets, a cross-border management tool that enables selling to international markets from a single store.

Shopify Markets enables international selling in one place, from where merchants can create tailored online shopping experiences for each buyer segment.


PrestaShop is multilingual by default. The core of PrestaShop, including text strings found in the front and back offices, as well as message errors, PDF files, and e-mail templates, comes translated into over 65 languages.

To create a fully translated and localized PrestaShop store, store owners must use the PrestaShop editor to translate all the information.

When you install the language package, you get translations and currencies and taxes. You select a country and import a language pack by going to localization and setting the default language, country, and currency.

Both Shopify and PrestaShop enable their users to expand their reach and sell to buyers globally.

PrestaShop vs Shopify: Comparison Table

  Shopify PrestaShop
Nature of platform Hosted platform/ technical issues taken care of Open-source solution/ user must pay for hosting/ domain name/ take care of security
Pricing Monthly subscription fee Free open-source platform but need to pay web developers
Ease of use Drag-and-drop editor/ suitable for beginners Requires coding skills
Build time Fast, it's possible to build a store under an hour Can be time-consuming depending on level of customization required
Design and Themes 17 free themes and 70 paid themes 2376 templates and themes
Sales Features Abandoned cart recovery, customer segmentation, Instant Purchase, secure payments, Elastic Search Product page with call to action buttons, cross-selling and promotional content/ add-ons to increase sales
Plugins and Integrations Over 6,700 plugins 4,000+ free and paid modules
Marketing Tools Email campaigns, advertise and sell on social media, support multilingual sites Google with PrestaShop Marketing is pre-installed to connect with Google Merchant Center/ email automation
Payment Options and Transaction Fees Shopify Payment = no transaction fees. Supports 100 payment options = translation fees Supports large range of free and paid third-party payment gateway solutions
SEO Built-in tools and SEO extensions SEO provided via modules - endless customization possibilities
Security SSL Certificate and PCI-DSS compliant Owner is responsible for all security certificates
Customer support 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support, plus community forums, help center, API documentation, and video tutorials Online resouces plus paid expert support

PrestaShop vs Shopify – Which is better?

Actually, it's not a question of which one is the best; it's which one is the best for your purpose. Both platforms are excellent at what they do.

If you don't have deep technical skills and want to set up shop in a short time, Shopify is the obvious choice for you. Shopify offers all the sales and marketing features and all the functionality you'll need to run a successful business online.

Shopify is a fully-hosted platform with many features and functionalities as part of the package you buy. It has a user-friendly interface, which is easy for even beginners to manage.

Since many of the features, you'll need come installed, and you don't have to pay extra for a domain and hosting, it's possible to control the cost of your store, especially if you make use of free apps and themes. Shopify is the better option for people on a budget.

On the other hand, if you have the time and money to invest in a one-of-a-kind store, then PrestaShop will give you what you want. PrestaShop offers unlimited customization possibilities with thousands of themes and templates combined with hundreds of modules for different purposes.

With PrestaShop, you are part of a community of a million members ready to support you and give guidance when you need it.

In conclusion, there is no objective winner between Shopify and PrestaShop. It depends on your purpose, the time available, and the technical skills at your disposal.


What is the difference between Shopify and PrestaShop?

Shopify is a hosted platform that includes hosting, a domain and all security certificates. PrestaShop is an open-source solution that requires the website owner to obtain hosting, pay for a domain and take responsibility for all SSL certificates.

Is PrestaShop free?

PrestaShop is free to download and use. There are no monthly fees and no commission on sales, but you have to pay for hosting and a domain, plus any add-ons you use to customize your store.

Is PrestaShop good for e-commerce?

Yes, PrestaShop has built-in e-commerce capabilities, such as product listings, inventory tracking, a one-page checkout, calculation of taxes, coupons and discounts, and much more.

Does Shopify have a free plan?

No, it doesn’t, but it does offer a two-week free trial, so prospective clients can experiment with the platform to help them with their decision.