Our top e-commerce platform review series is getting to the last part. So far, we have learned about the difference between PrestaShop and Shopify, OpenCart, Magento. Each offers a unique way to build your own e-commerce store.On this article, we will discover the most serious competitor to PrestaShop – WooCommerce. Let’s get down to business![toc]

An introduction to PrestaShop and WooCommerce

WooCommerce was released by WooThemes back in 2011. In 2015, it was acquired by Automattic - WordPress owner. By far, WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform in the world that empowers millions of online stores. WooCommerce makes it super simple to add an online store to your WordPress website just by installing the plugin.PrestaShop is an open source e-commerce platform created back in 2005 in France. It is completely free to download and use. Currently, there are over 270,000 live stores using it and it originally gained popularity because of an intuitive dashboard and rich default functionality.The main difference between PrestaShop and WooCommerce is that PrestaShop is an independent e-commerce platform, while WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress.

Speed performance

The PrestaShop built-in file system cache doesn’t have an excellent quality. It slows down the websites each time users try to access. But fortunately, PrestaShop code minify feature is very simple.About WooCommerce, you may have some issues with the W3 Total Cache – mostly with the minify engines (Common errors are blank pages – the minimization breaks the CSS or the JS).

Design

Themes

You can select between over 1300 themes on PrestaShop official Add-ons marketplace. Furthermore, Theme Forest and Template Monster are also offering 1000+ templates.Not every theme is designed to work with WooCommerce, but with the possible help of some plugins, you can easily make them compatible with this e-commerce platform. There are about 6000 themes built for WordPress and you can modify almost every one of these to work with WooCommerce.

Implementation

PrestaShop is built with the implementation of Smarty framework. So, if you have some coding knowledge about HTML and CSS, you can crack the design on your own.Interested in Smarty framework? Read more about it here.You can edit WooCommerce design from within the theme itself, by overriding the plugin's templates. There usually is a “/woocommerce/” folder placed within your theme, adjust or create your custom design on this folder.

Mobile friendliness

On PrestaShop, you have multiple options: using a responsive or mobile theme. So what if the user wants to use the desktop version of the site from his mobile phone? In this case, you must use a separate mobile template.Almost all the WordPress/WooCommerce themes are responsive now. If you would like to have an m.yoursite.com version, this can be done through a plugin like WP Mobile Edition or WPtouch.

Layered navigation

PrestaShop built in Layered Navigation filter is pretty substantial. If you have more than a few hundred products per category, it will slow your website considerably.By contrast, the WooCommerce Layered Navigation plugin is very useful. WooCommerce also has a built-in price slider, even though it is not ajax-powered.

Stock management

PrestaShop comes with an advanced stock management section that can help you manage supplies from multiple warehouses. You can keep track of your products by UPC or EAN13, and you can even send purchase orders right from the back office.WooCommerce does not provide advanced inventory management options. However, you can use some plugins to integrate with well-known software such as TradeGecko, StitchLabs.

Multi-store

PrestaShop supports multi-store mode and you can manage your different stores from the back office with a few clicks. This could be a very attractive option for some business owners.With WooCommerce, WordPress multisite can be quite tricky, especially if you want it to be multilingual.

Security

First of all, you SHOULD use a PrestaShop version newer than 1.6.1.0 because earlier ones are vulnerable to an exploit. If you meet some troubles when update your store, you can use this module to upgrade/migrate PrestaShop 1.6 to 1.7.Woocommerce security can be ensured if you:
  • Don’t install nulled themes or plugins
  • Don’t use old themes and plugins

Costs

You can download and use PrestaShop for free, but a paid web hosting is required to launch your shop.WooCommerce is a free e-commerce plugin and it offers free updates. But if you want more than just basic options, WooCommerce offers priced extensions for SEO, more payment gateways and others.

Limitations

PrestaShop is a platform that can support thousands of products. Of course, issues could arise with more items you add, such as:
  • if you apply product filters, large categories will load slower
  • if you have too many product images, you will have to use a Content Delivery Network
  • Your site attracts more than one or two thousand visitors a day? You may need to store your database on a private server or on a VPS
WooCommerce can work smoothly with a large number of products. You can even try to push it to 10 or 20 thousand items. Some real issues may appear in the admin section.
  • Sorting products from the product list will be quite troublesome
  • Searching for images will turn into a burden
  • Editing products in bulk will be hard to perform if you select more than 50 – 100 products at once