19 Biggest PrestaShop Weaknesses
It does not matter what online ecommerce platform you choose (Shopify, Wix, Magento, or WooCommerce) - with each, you can find a massive list of drawbacks they deliver. But that is expected as those systems are made to be universal: to suit large and small businesses, to suit beginner and advanced site owners, to suit various types of online presences.
When I started in the PrestaShop ecommerce ecosystem in 2012, there were already many systems to choose from. And PrestaShop was not that big yet to read about its weaknesses. But, when I look into this topic again, I still find that there are no excellent online resources to list all the issues you can expect when choosing PrestaShop.
For this reason, I decided to list all PrestaShop weaknesses I experienced in 9+ years of working in a PrestaShop agency. Please don’t get me wrong - PrestaShop is a fantastic platform. However, you will find such complaints with every single system you choose anyway.
I want to show what you can expect (and how to avoid some things).
Table of Contents
- No Official PrestaShop Support (Or They Won’t Reply You)
- Big PrestaShop Community, But Not Active Enough
- Expensive PrestaShop Addons and Themes
- Poor PrestaShop Addons Quality In Official Marketplace
- Default PrestaShop Theme Is Not Modern Enough
- PrestaShop Has Clumsy Back Office
- PrestaShop Not Suitable For Booking Stores
- PrestaShop Has Limit Of Addons and Themes
- PrestaShop Limit On SEO Addons
- Poor PrestaShop Documentation
- PrestaShop v1.6 and v1.7 War
- Poor Mobile Back Office Support In PrestaShop
- Most Common PrestaShop Technical Issues
- PrestaShop Integrations Lack
- PrestaShop Is Hard To Scale And Host Sometimes
- PrestaShop Does Lots Of Tracking (But This Can Be Disabled)
- Is PrestaShop Slow
- No PrestaShop Demo for v1.6 And v1.7 (But We Have A Fix)
No Official PrestaShop Support (Or They Won’t Reply You)
It might be surprising at first that PrestaShop does not offer official support. However, if you jumped to PrestaShop support page, you would see that they have a contact form there.
Usually, they won’t respond unless you are their paid partner paying a subscription fee.
This is the number one most reported complaint about PrestaShop.
We sometimes do PrestaShop support - email us (see contacts page), and maybe we will be able to help you.
Big PrestaShop Community, But Not Active Enough
You might expect to jump into PrestaShop official forum and ask a question there. Community is huge, but they will only answer your question if you have some general questions (for default PrestaShop or modules installation).
Most of the questions in the forum are in French, so you might find it tricky to read even if you found something related to your problem.
If you have problems with custom plugins or plugins you have purchased, you have a big problem.
Expensive PrestaShop Addons and Themes
PrestaShop is fully accessible, but any customizations (that’s, addons and themes) are not.
You might see a lot of advice in the EShopAddons blog that you might not need to be paid addons to start and work with ecommerce. And there are free themes for you to use. Then, later, when you succeed with your online store - there should be no issue buying one addon or another.
|Type||Price range||Common Price Range|
|PrestaShop Addon||from free to up to 800 USD||50-150 USD|
|PrestaShop Theme||from free to up to 800 USD||50-100 USD|
Poor PrestaShop Addons Quality In Official Marketplace
The problem with the official PrestaShop Addons marketplace is that addons from thousands of various developers and agencies.
PrestaShop can’t guarantee you consistent quality.
To make it worse, I had seen many times before where PrestaShop was accepting poorly working addons to their marketplace or was delaying shipping security fixes to some addons (that happened to EShopAddons a few times!).
This is why it is essential to buy addons from agencies or online platforms (like EShopAddons) where addons are implemented from the same developer group. This guarantees that addons won’t interfere with another.
Sometimes it is the case that two addons can’t work together because different developers implemented them. For example, one addon changes another addon behavior.
Default PrestaShop Theme Is Not Modern Enough
Usually, online platforms offer a pleasant default experience. Unfortunately, that’s not true about PrestaShop - most online polls showed that users typically don’t like the default PrestaShop look. It’s not a 2021 look.
So you might want to search for some theme instead.
PrestaShop Has Clumsy Back Office
When you get used to PrestaShop - everything will be easy enough. But when you are just setting up things - you might find to navigate a back office.
Or if you will take some break from PrestaShop - it might be tricky to get used to it. The problem is that PrestaShop has lots and lots of pages to tweak the content.
PrestaShop Not Suitable For Booking Stores
By default, PrestaShop does not offer you to run any booking or events management online store. For this, you will need to search for some additional addons.
Here are a few areas where you might find PrestaShop not suitable by default: Reservation systems. Public events management. Private events (communities or groups). Tickets selling platforms.
PrestaShop Has Limit Of Addons and Themes
From other articles, you might know that PrestaShop has 4k addons and 3k themes in their official marketplace. That is an impressive number, but nothing compared to a list of WordPress addons (almost 60k).
But WordPress is a different system - blog system. While PrestaShop is a big ecommerce solution. So the number is legit for ecommerce.
PrestaShop Limit On SEO Addons
There aren’t that many SEO addons in the marketplace. The most popular addon, “Clean URLs for PrestaShop,” only removes IDs from store URLs, that’s all.
SEO is usually managed at a theme level in a PrestaShop.
Here are few more addons (that exists in the PrestaShop ecosystem) and you might consider checking out:
Breadcrumbs generator Sitemap generator Schema generator Caching and speed addons
Poor PrestaShop Documentation
PrestaShop has official user documentation, but you rarely find answers there. It also has a search feature, but if you type into it “phone” willing to find the answer “where to change phone number,” - you won’t find it.
Search functionality there is very far from Google’s search experience.
PrestaShop v1.6 and v1.7 War
PrestaShop v1.6 is still super popular. About 60% of support questions EShopAddons is receiving are for mentioned PrestaShop version.
But v1.6 is no longer supported, so why is it still so active in the PrestaShop community?
The answer to that is simple - it is tough to migrate the major PrestaShop version from v1.6 to v1.7. For non-problematic migration, you will need to reinstall addons and themes. That is one challenge. Another challenge is theme migration.
So if you are running PrestaShop v1.6, you most likely never upgrade to v1.7, so expect to recreate the store to a new version. That might cost you time and money.
PrestaShop is introducing a new core framework to their platform source code (Symfony). Community expecting it might be tricky to migrate to v1.8 in the future too!
Poor Mobile Back Office Support In PrestaShop
PrestaShop offers responsive design (where website resolution adapts to a desktop, tablet, and mobile device). But in the back office, you can still find many places where buttons are too close to each other, or you have to scroll/swipe to see the content.
But PrestaShop is fixing this, and with every minor version update, they are shipping tweaks to improve responsiveness.
Most Common PrestaShop Technical Issues
There are a few of them.
First on the list would be poor error messages. Many users complain that error messages are cryptic (too technical), and developers usually needed to translate them to “human language”. So figuring what is wrong and what to fix is tricky.
If your store contains complex workflows - programming knowledge would be needed to solve the issue. But that is something to expect even if you will take another system.
You will discover that you can manage emails PrestaShop sends to your customers. But it might be a surprise that there is no ability to control the look of email designs.
Lack of reporting tools in the back office might also be a pain if your site is enormous. It has some reports, but you will need to add or export your metrics to Excel and do measurements there to get some advanced sales funnels metrics.
PrestaShop Integrations Lack
The few most common PrestaShop addon searches are related to Shopify and Amazon. Unfortunately, there are no free plugins to make integrations to each, and you will be forced to pay a bit more than 100 USD to achieve that.
The same is with integrations to CRM systems like Salesforce or any prominent email marketing provider.
PrestaShop Is Hard To Scale And Host Sometimes
Not all cheap hosting providers will accept PrestaShop as it contains a lot of files. And servers have limitations to “inodes” (file numbers) sometimes. So you might run into a problem that when you upload your store to hosting using FTP - it will raise an error that disk quota is full. Meaning your server plan can’t serve PrestaShop.
To fix that upgrade to a bigger plan or change hosting provider.
Scaling is another problem. The only possible solution to scale is to buy a better server plan. PrestaShop can’t be scaled split into a few servers. Most of the platforms mentioned in the introduction can’t scale.
PrestaShop Does Lots Of Tracking (But This Can Be Disabled)
If you head down to your back office, you will notice lots of stats there. These stats are gathered with PrestaShop plugins (ten of them).
We have an article about how to disabled PrestaShop stats and how to track data in a better way.
Is PrestaShop Slow
You might find some complaints about PrestaShop speed. Over nine years, I hit into this question a lot. PrestaShop is not slow. Usually, the quiet store is misconfigured.
Suppose you enable caching correctly on your store and configure images compressing/resizing. In that case, you can have a 90% Google PageSpeed score just with these two options.
No PrestaShop Demo for v1.6 And v1.7 (But We Have A Fix)
A few years ago community complained a lot that there were no demo stores for users to explore. And the official demo was most of the time crashing.
PrestaShop is a great platform. However, the reason it has so many weaknesses does not prove that it is a terrible system - you would find with any other medium the same size list, only with different items.
I want to be transparent about PrestaShop and what you can expect from it. Then, with following expectations and some solutions, you can prepare for proper action in advance.
Read more about PrestaShop features and possibilities in our blog.