So, you’ve decided to start your own online store and the first question you ask yourself is “what should I begin with?” Is there any ready solution for my needs? And the answer is “YES”! Today there’s plenty of CMS to choose for shop. All of those can essentially ease your efforts for developing an online store. And the best thing is, that almost every of them are pretty handy and easy to manage.
The next question you’ll face is “which CMS to choose?” If you’re looking for a functional and user-friendly (and, what is more important, totally FREE) CMS systems for your future online store the search engine will helpfully offer you lots of variants. The most popular open source e-commerce platforms are Magento, Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, VirtueMart, OpenCart, osCommerce, Zen-Cart, FatFreeCart.
Any variant you choose shall be good. But if you want to make the best out of your online business you should study closer the strong and weak points of each system to pick the best possible variant for your store. Here are some useful notes.
The most important things when choosing the CMS system are its popularity, project support (fast bugs and security fixes), relevant updates and numerous community. According to these criteria, the most popular CMS systems are Magento, Prestashop and OpenCart.
WordPress is also popular when it comes to e-commerce, though it’s still remains more like a blog CMS system and hence is less functional for the online stores. WordPress is great choice to start a blog and small or medium online shop with additional modules like WooCommerce. But it’s still better to have CMS system for e-commerce with lots of useful features for online business. In my opinion, WordPress has one essential weakness and that is poor Back office Menu, not intuitive at all. It will give you a hard time to get used to the site structure.
Magento CMS is surely one of the most popular and rewarding e-commerce software today. It is user friendly, feature rich and flexible platform that gives you total control over your online store. The same goes for Prestashop though it’s still a bit less popular than Magento.
Google search statistics of Prestashop, Magento and OpenCart popularity
If you look into Google statistics, you’ll see the following results for search engine requests through six year period for Magento, Prestashop and OpenCart CMS for online shop:
It’s easy to see that Prestashop is stable rising and slowly catching up with Magento in terms of popularity. The gap between these two CMS systems is constantly decreasing and is expected almost to disappear in future years.
OpenCart is still quite raw if compared to the first two CMS systems and its community has a still long way to grow. Nevertheless, it can become nice and functional choice in establishing your e-commerce website.
Magento and Prestashop are both great e-commerce shopping cart software solutions. Which one to pick – depends only on your personal tastes. Our company found Prestashop more attractive and suitable for online shop needs, that’s why we’d like to consider it more closely.
Prestashop is really prosperous, open source, rich featured, user-friendly and flexible e-commerce software.
The incontestable advantages of Prestashop
- simple installation and use, no technical knowledge needed;
- intuitive Back office (not perfect, but really well done);
- excellent speed with all those nice add-ins made in JS and ajax that will help to ease, speed up and art up the work with an online store for customers and merchants;
- high-quality documentation (http://doc.prestashop.com/dashboard.action);
- huge online community (over 400 000 members), which is extremely important when there’s a need to find a solution to any problem or question;
- regular updates, the software constantly develops;
- more than 2500 plugins;
- easier in installation and customization than Magento.
One more important Prestashop advantage
While Magento may have somewhat more services and functionality, it also uses more resources than Prestashop. In other words, Magento is heavier and requires dedicated server while Prestashop will work fine on simple cheap hosting. This makes Prestashop the best choice for small and medium online shops.
But anyway, both Magento and Prestashop, just like many other CMS systems, are great platforms for online commerce. Every has its own pluses and minuses, so it’s up to you to decide which one to choose. But whatever your choice will be, you can be sure to receive great e-commerce solution.
Really hope this article will help you to make right decision and later to enjoy your online business!
One more thing to remember about your online shop
The appearance of your shop is the first thing a customer pays attention to, so you must be sure everything looks nicely and stylish, extremely intuitive and works without troubles.
We highly value the quality of our products and provide with lots of additional functions for your comfortable work. We work hard to guarantee our customers the best online shopping cart software solutions.