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.
PrestaShop Stats vs. Magento Stats
|First release year||2007||2008|
|Sites using it||over 250k||over 180k|
|Free license for personal use||Yes||Yes|
|Free license for commercial use||Yes||Yes|
|Quick security patches||Yes||Yes|
|Various payment options||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.
PrestaShop and Magento Trends
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.
Such SAAS services do not allow customizations even if you would have any developers to do them.
PrestaShop and Magento Addons
|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
|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.
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.