Looking for the best ecommerce platform for your online store? Find in and outs of two most popular ecommerce systems. PrestaShop and Joomla have both been on ecommerce market for over a decade. But which one will be a better solution for your future online store? A specialized online platform or a flexible content management system?
Below you will find a comprehensive comparison of an ecommerce software PrestaShop vs Joomla – an open source CMS for digital content management. Read this article that will explore the essence of the solutions, their technical stack and customization capabilities, features for online retail and store security, and, last but not the least, how much PrestaShop and Joomla cost.
Table of contents:
In order to conduct an earnest comparison of Joomla and PrestaShop, let us first have a brief but informative overview of what these two solutions actually are in terms of an ecommerce solution.
What is Joomla?
Joomla! is a free content management system, released by Open Source Matters, Inc. in 2005. Over the years, Joomla has gained wide recognition as a comprehensive and empowering software application for managing digital content. In terms of global popularity, Joomla is the second-most popular CMS solution, inferior to WordPress only. Currently, the overall number of downloads exceeds a whopping one million, with more than 9% of known enterprise websites empowered by Joomla.
Why did Joomla win such popularity among the business owners of all industries? The reason roots in its outstanding scalability and ample customization opportunities, supported by a robust and secure code base and a helpful global community. Choosing Joomla to run their ecommerce, one can count on endless possibilities.
What is PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is a free ecommerce platform, developed in 2005 by a French company. What used to be a local solution for running online stores has now grown into a widely-acknowledged ecommerce tool that powers up over 270.000 stores around the world. Although PrestaShop can not be compared in numbers to such ecommerce platforms as Magento, Shopify and BigCommerce, the share of its users is growing steadily.
Since PrestaShop was initially developed as an ecommerce platform, it by default contains all the features and functionalities to successfully conduct business online. In addition to this, PrestaShop is highly customizable, both programmatically and with Prestashop modules, extensions and themes, allowing to scale it up or down and make individual configurations. Another competitive advantage of PrestaShop is the capability to create multiple stores and manage them from one back office. With PrestaShop, you get a wholesome ecommerce solution to get your online store up and running without lengthy setup and configuration.
The tech stack is the complex of products and programming languages that power up your software. It is important to be aware of the technical requirements of the platform or solution you are planning to commit to, for the consequences of choosing the frameworks or technologies that you will be unable to work properly are grave and serious.
Joomla technical requirements
Joomla CMS is an open source solution, written in PHP programming language and built on a Model–View–Controller architecture. With each new Joomla version, developers offered the improved technical stack and extended capabilities. The Joomla current version, Joomla! 3.x, has the following technical requirements.
Source code: PHP – minimum PHP 5.3.10 version, recommended PHP 7+.
Supported databases: MySQL (minimum 5.1, recommended 5.5.3 +), SQL Server (minimum 10.50.1600.1, recommended 10.50.1600.1 +) and PostgreSQL(minimum 8.3.18, recommended 9.1 +).
Supported web servers: Apache (minimum 2.0, recommended 2.4 +), Nginx (minimum 1.0, recommended 1.8 +) and Microsoft IIS (minimum 7).
Supported browsers: Internet Explorer 8, Opera 11.6, Firefox 13, Chrome XY, Yandex 14.10, Safari 5.1 (please note that MS Windows Safari compatibility is not guaranteed).
Hosting: self-hosted; compatible with all the common hosting providers like SiteGround, BlueHost, iPage, and so on.
There is another notable technical feature of PHP Joomla worth mentioning in this section – a configuration.php file, located in the root of solution installation. It serves to control various settings, including database connection, and simplifies the process of server-to-server migration.
PrestaShop technical requirements
PrestaShop is an open source ecommerce platform, published under Open Software License (OSL). From version to version, PrestaShop ecommerce platform also evolved in the technical aspect. The latest version, PrestaShop 1.7, supports the server configurations listed below.
Source code: PHP 7.1 or newer.
Supported databases: MySQL (minimum 5.0 version, recommended – 5.6 or newer).
Supported web server: Apache Web Server (recommended 2.2 or newer).
Supported operating system: Windows, Mac and Linux
Supported browsers: no official information available. Browser support in PrestaShop mainly depends on the installed theme.
Hosting: self-hosted and is as well compatible with the most popular hosting providers like A2, BlueHost, SiteGround, and so on.
Instead of downloading and configuring database and web server separately, with PrestaShop it is possible to install an already prepared Apache+PHP+MySQL package: WampServer or EasyPHP for Windows, XAMPP or Bitnami for Windows and OS X.
Due to the open source architecture of PrestaShop and Joomla CRM, a developer with enough technical knowledge can modify and enhance PHP source code, creating individual configurations for your online store. Yet if you do not possess enough technical knowledge or are short of time to make the necessary changes, it is possible to extend PrestaShop and Joomla functionalities with the help of pre-made solutions, commonly known as extensions or modules.
Joomla extensions and templates
The official Joomla library, extensions.joomla.org, has around 8.000 listed extensions. To simplify the marketplace search and navigation, the extensions were divided into the related categories: Photos & Images, Site Management, Style & Design, Structure & Navigation and so on.
There is also a separate category for Joomla Ecommerce, containing 250+ extensions for online retail. In this category you can find integration solutions for payment gateways, shopping carts, billing and invoices, etc.
At this marketplace, one can find both free and paid Joomla extensions, yet their price is not listed directly at the plugin page. Instead, one will be redirected to the Joomla plugin developer page, where they learn the precise price and make a purchase.
Unfortunately, Joomla templates are not listed at this marketplace or at any other website. Instead, they are scattered around, but can be easily found via Google search.
PrestaShop modules and templates
At the official PrestaShop marketplace one finds both modules and design templates for all versions of the platform. Clean, simple menu and detailed filter sidebar assist the process of webstore search and navigation, allowing to both narrow down the search scope or see all the available extensions in the category.
Approximately four thousand PrestaShop modules are divided into ten categories; one can also apply various filters like Objective, Developer, Deals, E-merchants reviews and sort by popularity, rating, price and update. There are both free PrestaShop modules and paid ones at the addons.prestashop, but be prepared that they are not so numerous and often unsupported by their developers.
As for PrestaShop templates, there are 1300+ of them, free and paid, available at this official marketplace. One can filter PrestaShop designs by not only category, but also theme color, rating, extended functionalities, style and platform version.
PrestaShop 1.6 - 1.7 Themes
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Apart from the official marketplace, PrestaShop modules and templates can also be found at third-party stores, like TemplateMonsters, or directly at the third-party developers’ stores.
A multilingual online store takes your business to the next level and opens many doors and exciting opportunities for you. Therefore, the in-built multi-language functionality is a can be a determining factor while selecting an ecommerce solution.
As a content management system initially, Joomla is lacking certain out-of-the-box functionalities for online commerce, like product or inventory management. Yet in the aspect of multi-language Joomla is up to par with the leading ecommerce solution providers. There are 76 language packs available in the latest Joomla! 3.x version, with Esperanto, Hindi, Welsch and regional varieties of such languages as English, German, Norwegian and Portuguese among them.
PrestaShop is a French platform, and initially, it was solely in the French language, which majorly hindered its to win popularity around the world. As the PrestaShop audience grew, the developers added more and more languages to their translation repository, relying heavily on the community contributors help, who volunteered to translate the software into their native languages. At the moment, there are 75 languages available at the PrestaShop back office; yet the community work is still in progress, which means the new language packs are soon to be added to the 75 existing.
Search engine optimization
Webstore promotion greatly hinges on what search engine optimization features its ecommerce platform yields.
Joomla has no outstanding SEO capabilities out-of-the-box; it allows to set up keywords and meta descriptions for articles, and this is, by and large, the limit of Joomla’s possibilities. However, if you need to enhance SEO capabilities for your own online store, there is a wide selection of SEO & Metadata Joomla extensions at the official marketplace, including such popular ones as Yoast and SEOFLI.
Since PrestaShop is a natively ecommerce solution, its developers paid more effort to enhance it with native search engine optimization capabilities. PrestaShop admin panel has a designated tab named Traffic & SEO with basic and more advanced web store promotion configurations.
For instance, in SEO & URLs group of settings, one can edit a page title and a friendly URL for every page in the online store.
In the Set up URLs section one will find more advanced SEO configurations that a professional marketing specialist will find extremely useful.
Apart from that, you can customize Search Engine Settings and manage referrers to your store.
All in all, this wholesome SEO package can be extended with SEO PrestaShop plugins that can be found both at the official marketplace and at third-party developers’ websites.
Security & Community Support
An online store is a coveted price for all sorts of hackers and online fraudsters, so the choice of an ecommerce solution should rely on how safe the platform will be and sound the security support will be in the worst-case scenario.
Joomla treats security very seriously and dedicates a lot of resources to maintaining and improving the solution’s safety for their users. Joomla developer team vigilantly monitors for security issues, bugs and weak spots in the system security. Also, they have separate teams for running commit Joomla reviews and safe-proofing the Joomla extensions submitted at the official marketplace.
For their customers, Joomla composed a security checklist, where one can find the requirements to follow in order to prevent any security breach or attack on their website.
Apart from this, you can visit a solid Joomla help portal in case you faced the unknown issue. The Joomla forums community is comparatively small, but always helpful, so one can count on receiving help from more experienced users.
As a popular ecommerce platform, PrestaShop has over the years faced hundreds of security breaches and attacks. This allowed the developers to learn from their insecurities and strengthen the platform against all kinds of vulnerabilities. At the moment, PrestaShop is a safe ecommerce platform the business owner can entrust their money and data with.
PrestaShop provides its customers with paid expert assistance. The support plan pricing begins from $335 for three hours of assistance per month. The most expensive plan costs around $1900 for 20 hours a year and 30 minutes of support via phone every month.
PrestaShop has a large and friendly community, consisting of all kinds of PrestaShop enthusiasts, from business owners to developers and from marketing specialists to store admins. One can turn to them for help and is guaranteed to receive professional assistance on any matter.
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Solutions Prestashop & Joomla Cost
Any business, no matter how large or small, inevitably has its budgetary limitations. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of ecommerce solution pricing before opting for it.
You can download and install free Joomla, yet in order to create a solid online store with it, one will at least need to pay for domain and hosting provider plan. If you choose to customize Joomla online store further, the pricing will depend on whether you will turn to a specialized Joomla agency for development work or rely on a pre-made solution like a design template or an extension.
Joomla website maintenance services will cost you from $100 to $1000 monthly, while the price for design and development work cost can run up to the price range of $500 – $5000, depending on the scope and complexity of work as well as your choice of the agency.
PrestaShop is a free solution, but in order to set up an online store from scratch, a business owner will have to pay additional costs, like for hosting plan and domain registration. However, the choice of a PrestaShop hosting provider and whether it will be expensive or not is up to the entrepreneur.
The average cost of additional pre-made customizations, like PrestaShop modules and themes, is between $50 to $150 at the official marketplace, ranging from free of charge to costing thousands of dollars.
The price of custom development and design services will root in your choice of agency and the scope of the work needed, yet the average hourly rate for a good PrestaShop development agency is $20-35 per hour.
How to hire PrestaShop developer? If you are looking for a freelancer, then the best choice is Upwork platform. In case you require agency assistance, search for them at the resources like Clutch.
It is clear that both solutions have the potential to become the base for greatly functional ecommerce stores. We hope the extensive and multi-faceted information on Joomla and PrestaShop we provided above will help you make up your mind about which software suits your vision and goals the best.
If you are looking for a platform a solid set of out-of-the-box ecommerce capabilities like product and inventory management, a checkout and payment gateways integrations, then it is PrestaShop that you need. In case you are looking for a flexible system that can easily become whatever you make of it, and an online store among all, then you’d better opt for Joomla.
All in all, we wish you good luck with making your choice, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down below.
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