Are there any good PrestaShop forks?

Are there any good PrestaShop forks?

Not everyone agrees with what and how PrestaShop is doing, so it makes sense that forks were created for this ecommerce platform.

What is PrestaShop fork? Open source products like PrestaShop can be modified by anyone as long as you respect licensing terms (not removing brand name, copyright, or author names from the code). Because it is open-source, communities can create code duplicates and modify them - those are “forks”.

What are some good/bad PrestaShop forks to explore?

Thirty Bees PrestaShop Fork

The number one most popular PrestaShop fork is thirty bees. Agency created this fork after they got annoyed by the speed and focus shift PrestaShop company has.

Thirty Bees Website
Thirty Bees Website

It is a very successful PrestaShop fork, but it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Great Things About Thirty Bees PrestaShop Fork

This fork started with PrestaShop 1.6 version and released a few significant changes that PrestaShop was unable to:

  • Responsive design (admin is browsable by the mobile device)
  • Speed optimizations in lots of places
  • Cloud hosting
  • Multi-store support
  • Some SEO improvements
  • Cleaner admin interface

They started in 2017 and have been very competitive when comparing features to the official PrestaShop version.

But in 5 years, I think official PrestaShop has backported almost all features from their extensive 500+ features list they advertise.

Biggest Issues Around Thirty Bees PrestaShop Fork

Thirty Bees fork is still PrestaShop v1.6 with some backported features from v1.7. However, for me, there are a few significant issues with this fork you can’t simply avoid.

User Interface. If you logged into the back office, you would see PrestaShop v1.6 with just some changed colors. Only minor design details were improved overall. This is where PrestaShop v1.7 has its advantage - the admin interface is responsive, faster, and with lots of user experience tweaks.

Thirty Bees back office
Thirty Bees back office

Addons. There are a dozen reports about addons not working on Thirty Bees. And suppose you are thinking of purchasing some addons. In that case, you might run into an issue that the addon is incompatible (mostly because it is still old PrestaShop v1.6).

Themes. It is hard to find a good theme for PrestaShop, but it is almost impossible to find it for the Thirty Bees fork. But most pieces for v1.6 probably would work.

Should You Use Thirty Bees PrestaShop Fork

No.

A few years ago, in 2018-2020, I recommended customers give it a try. Still, I think that the current version of this fork is not something that you would name as a better alternative to PrestaShop v1.7:

Thirty Bees won’t be upgraded to PrestaShop v1.7 or v1.8 PrestaShop v1.7 has tons of features and things fixed that were present in the fork All new addons and themes won’t be compatible with Thirty Bees as PrestaShop is trying to kill v1.6 popularity Thirty Bees is too small to outplay PrestaShop latest version

Thirty Bees is no longer in active development:

Thirty Bees development activity
Thirty Bees development activity

While PrestaShop is always in active contribution state:

PrestaShop development activity
PrestaShop development activity

Other PrestaShop Forks To Consider

There are 4200+ PrestaShop source code forks.

Unfortunately, I could not spot any maintainer with an active contribution or lots of changes added to the source.

Conclusion

After looking into some PrestaShop forks, my decision is straightforward - just use the latest PrestaShop v1.7 version and constantly update.

More great ideas you can find in PrestaShop blog.

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