Self Hosted Shopping Carts: Prestashop vs. OpenCart

Self-Hosted Shopping carts

After comparing WooCommerce and Magento, it is now time for Prestashop and OpenCart to be compared. WooCommerce and Magento were like David and Goliath, but Prestashop and OpenCart seem to be more equal when it comes to features and complexity. If that’s true, I’ll find out by putting them head-to-head in a Prezi comparison.

Comparison metrics

I will be putting them up for a test in the following areas:

  1. Hosting: What are the requirements?
  2. Setting up: How long does it take before they are up and running?
  3. Features: Do they offer the important e-commerce features, and maybe more?
  4. Admin: Very important, how easy is it to manage your store?
  5. Coding: A look behind the scenes, how easy is it to change the templates?

For demonstration purposes I set up a demo store for both of them, which are used in the Prezi.

Prezi: Prestashop vs. OpenCart
Viewing instructions: Full screen and audio on (for the screencast).

Conclusion

While choosing webshop software can be just as hard as buying a new car, I do feel Prestashop has better cards in this game:

  • All the basic (and proven) commercial features are there (cross-selling, layered navigation, coupons etc.), where with OpenCart you need to use a paid extension.
  • There are lots of useful but – best of all – free extensions available. OpenCart wins on numbers, though.
  • There aren’t many free themes, but the paid ones look great and you can find about 100 themes for under $50. And the mobile theme is free and very professional.
  • The template engine makes more sense to me, but that’s of course really personal. It is better documented, though.
  • The higher degree of hosting requirements means more optimization possibilities, and that’s something I personally like.

OpenCart might be easier to start with, since more features can easily turn into a higher learning curve. My suggestion is to check out the demo stores, and install them for yourself as well. I’m very interested in your opinion.

Resources

Prestashop

Live shop: Prestashop demo
Prestashop theming guide: Coding a theme
Official site: Prestashop

OpenCart

Live shop: OpenCart demo
OpenCart Developer Guide: Guide
Community guide: Forum
Official site : OpenCart