PrestaShop vs. Magento – 2021 Comparison

PrestaShop vs. Magento – 2021 Comparison

Magento is probably the biggest PrestaShop competitor out there because of the similarities between the two.

There are several articles online comparing the stats or UI of both systems. Still, there are none so far to compare essential things you should consider and focus on.

So instead of doing a “this has better x, but this one has better y” type article, I have decided to group pros/cons into silos and compare below based on my own web development experience on what matters when comparing two.

Read on

PrestaShop Stats vs. Magento Stats

Feature PrestaShop Magento
First release year 2007 2008
Sites using it over 250k over 180k
Open source Yes Yes
Free license for personal use Yes Yes
Free license for commercial use Yes Yes
Community forum Yes Yes
Documentation Yes Yes
Support Only paid No
Constant updates Yes Yes
Quick security patches Yes Yes
PCI compliance Yes Yes
Various payment options Yes Yes
Reports Yes Yes

Which is faster? PrestaShop and Magento will have the same speed and resources usage (CPU, RAM) when installed. But later on, Magento is designed to deal with load a little better.

For the past five years, the popularity of both platforms has been decreasing. The leading cause for this is that there are many SAAS (Software As A Service) alternatives online like Shopify or Wix that allow building ecommerce businesses with zero tech knowledge.

PrestaShop (blue) and Magento (red) five year trends
PrestaShop (blue) and Magento (red) five year trends

Such SAAS services do not allow customizations even if you would have any developers to do them.

PrestaShop and Magento Addons

Feature PrestaShop Magento
Addons count almost 4k almost 4k
Price range from free to up to 800 USD from free to up to 1200 USD
Common price range 50-150 USD free to 150 USD

It is worth mentioning that Magento has SEO support out of the box, while PrestaShop has minimal support for SEO when installed. PrestaShop needs some (usually paid) addons to get clean URLs, sitemap, and google analytics tracking code install.

PrestaShop and Magento Themes

Feature PrestaShop Magento
Themes count almost 3k 11
Price range from free to up to 800 USD from free to up to 500 USD
Common price range 50-100 USD 30 to 150 USD

With 11 themes, this is super bad for Magento. But there are 400 Magento themes on the ThemeForest project (and almost 1k themes for PrestaShop).

Biggest Differences Between Magento And PrestaShop

Magento search uses ElasticSearch technology. For this reason, search is not only a few times faster than PrestaShop, but it is closer to Google a-like search. On the other hand, PrestaShop search is just a full-table-scan search in the database comparing each entry for keyword and filter matching.

Magento requires tech skills. It is a very rare case when you can run your Magento store without a developer. At the same time, there are dozen of online stores that never had developers modifying them.

PrestaShop is more user and budget-friendly. PrestaShop hosting is cheap (5-20 USD/month) to start, and set up a store with payment processing does not require your tech skills.

Magento can be scaled because of their great nodes infrastructure. Unfortunately, scaling can only be done by an experienced developer or agency. PrestaShop can only be scaled “vertically” by buying bigger/faster servers. More on PrestaShop scaling can be found in PrestaShop weaknesses article.

Big Lies About PrestaShop and Magento Hosting

There are two very big lies on the internet related to hosting.

Magento has cloud hosting, and it is super expensive. The fact is that Adobe provides hosting, and you don’t have to choose one. Official hosting from Magento does not offer any technical benefits - the setup of such infrastructure would need you to delegate this job to developers, so your costs are even higher.

In short: PrestaShop and Magento hosting prices are very similar. They are 5-50 USD/month for a typical ecommerce store.

Many hosting companies (a2, BlueHost, etc.) provide one-click-install solutions so that you don’t need to configure things like the database yourself.

Conclusion

What to choose: PrestaShop or Magento? Magento is more popular, but loses in lots of other areas where you might want to choose PrestaShop, which is user and budget-friendly; has more themes and addons; has support; bigger community, and you can run store quickly without the need of a developer.