skip to Main Content

I’m considering Prestashop for a new project. It seems to be younger than Zen-Cart and osCommerce. Since I just found it by Google, I’d like to gather comments and experience and comparison of Prestashop to established “brands” like Zen-Cart and osCommerce



  1. As one that love working with Magento i just wanted to show you this article.

    If i were in the works of setting up an site for online commerce, i wouldn’t choose ZenCart or OSC. They are both old and doesnt update at all. But thats just an personal opinion. And i work a lot with these things.

    My Prestashop knowledge is limited though, but if its anything like Magento i would recommend it. Cuz Magento is by far the leading commerce platform atm. Also just my 2 cents.

    Magento vs Prestashop

    More reading OSC vs ZenCart

    Login or Signup to reply.
  2. We install and review all open source eCommerce solutions as a matter of course. So we have looked in depth at all the one mentioned here. I prefer osCommerce to Prestashop. Prestashop is too immature and simply does not have the in-built functionality or breadth of Add Ons. It is not a “lite” version of Magento by any means.

    As to the other poster’s comment about osCommerce and Magento. Magento is an out of the box solution which is very difficult to customize. You need to be a programmer to work with it and even then the learning curve is steep. And if you do customize, you then are buying out of their upgrade path. Which is why the average site does not customize and why so many Magento stores look so much alike.

    Unlike Magento, osCommerce has and always will be intended as a core eCommerce solution on which you build you own unique eCommerce solution.

    Two different approaches to building an eCommerce site. One is cookie cutter then other is fast track to custom solution.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  3. PrestaShop is an impressive new entry to the field, with a very attractive user interface and impressive product option/variant capabilities (like Zen Cart attributes). One downside is that it’s much harder to modify; there is nothing like the Zen Cart “templating ” capability so you’re always changing core files. This gets hard to manage with the frequent release schedule PrestaShop is using. But you should definitely install it and spend some time testing it and evaluating its suitability for your shop.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  4. The prestashop as good as it looks has still very little or no documentation and or ridicilously complex written smarty templ. stuff, driving us “open source” fanatics, like cattle into bottleneck traps forced to buy our way out.

    Don’t forget it’s a company! they are even hiring at the moment. and we will be caught.

    and imho, “open source” by a company?
    reaping all the benefits of community development, organising predators and game refuge paths for a nice game hunting season.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  5. I found prestashop more powerful but to customize it you must have knoeledge on CSS , smarty template and php. For me it is better than Zen and Os

    Login or Signup to reply.
  6. Having used oscommerce, zen cart and more recently prestashop I would say prestashop is probably one of the easier solutions for building a relatively simple, attractive looking site. My main site is zen cart but I’m considering changing to prestashop. Unless you are an experienced designer / developer then I’d stay clear of oscommerce and go for zen cart or presta. Zen Cart is in a way a simpler version of oscommerce. Prestashop just looks more tidy and less like an “out of the box” solution to the untrained eye than os and zen. Some of the free templates are pretty tidy, and with the odd change to a few images it’s relatively easy to customize the feel. Function is another story. As stated before there’s limited documentation and community with presta – which i’m sure will grow steadily over the next year or so, which might make a beginer go with another solution.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  7. Prestashop has been growing and improving extremely fast, both in number of users / forum members, and in development / features added.

    A good resource to start with is the new book “[PrestaShop 1.3 Beginner’s Guide]”, it goes though all the important features in Prestashop and guide you towards getting your shop online and having your first sale in one week.

    In addition to doing technical review for the book, I am also an English Moderator on the Prestashop forum, and I see people with no programming or website development background manage to install and customize their own shops, add themes, modules and modification with little or no help.

    The [Prestashop forum] has been growing rapidly as well, it reached nearly 90,000 members, and is by far the best place to get help or questions answered, usually within a short period of time.
    Make sure you search the forum first, because many questions have already been answered…

    Login or Signup to reply.
  8. prestashop is much easier than zen cart, oscommerce and magento. the easiest thing to do is try to install them as they are all free.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  9. I work daily with PrestaShop. I think that it’s the perfect solution for an average project. If you need something extremely fancy (but also extremely difficult to configure/use) you should go for Magento. I’m a programmer and I’ve had difficulties setting it up like I wanted. The learning curve is too steep. Of course it brings other advantages, but the project has to be big enough to make up for the time lost in learning to use the the platform.

    The thing I like the most about PrestaShop it’s the ease of use (for both the developer and the shop admin). Its modular system completely demolishes osCommerce. Everytime I have to work on an osCommerce shop, I cringe. It’s outdated and it’s not a good option, by any means. If you need to change the layout of the store, you just drag modules around in the Back Office. There’s no cutting and pasting code in PHP files. The same for installing new modules.

    In my opinion, PrestaShop is mature enough at this point. There are hundreds of modules you can use to customize it to your liking (just do a google search or try their forum). The template system is also top-notch and easy to use. Take a look at what you can do:

    I also messed around with VirtueMart. It’s not a bad solution if you want to integrate your shop with a CMS (Joomla). There’s also TomatoCart, a new-comer (they still don’t have documentation for developers) that’s based on osCommerce 3 alpha, but from what I’ve seen it’s a major improvement. The Back Office is amazing.

    Summing it up, I think PrestaShop is excellent if you need something that’s easy to use, easy to configure and flexible. Magento is better for LARGE projects because there’s a lot of overhead. If you are planning on configuring more stores in the future, the time lost learning Magento might be acceptable.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  10. Ive been using OSC these past few years and recently i started exploring Prestashop. I find presta harder to modify compared to OSC.

    I think if you are more of a visual designer, it is easier to use OSC. But if u are more of a businessman, u should go for presta. The interface can be customizable but it’d take more time compared to OSC.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  11. @Arta incorrectly stated, with regard to ZenCart,

    They are both old and doesn’t update at all.

    ZenCart IS maintained, IS updated frequently and DOES have a decent roadmap into the future along with a robust community.

    Here is a recent (March 2011) update from the ZenCart Team:

    Personally, I have installed, configured and maintained no less than 3 ZenCart shops, having found ZenCart subsequent to using “Selena Sol’s” and Gunther Birzniek’s Perl-based eCommerce app creatively named, “WebStore” for several years.

    I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I found ZenCart because I am not a programmer – I’m just a plugger who pushes hard enough on something to make it work.

    With ZenCart, the community help is excellent. The “Getting Started” documentation got me started and got my websites running.

    I’ve looked at Magento (too da*n complicated) and just about every shopping cart that’s out there.

    Maybe I’m just getting old but things that are shiny and new still do not compare to my OLD ZenCart for the key features I need:

    1. Secure.
    2. Integrates with & Paypal, among others.
    3. TRUE Quantity Pricing.
    4. Price based on Options.
    5. Categories.
    6. Fine, granular control over Product page Title and Keywords.
    7. Easy to update when updates are released because I don’t muck with CORE files (and I’ve never had to).
    8. Thriving, responsive community.
    9. Open-source. TRULY open-source.

    I do have one complaint, though. I WISH the folks at ZenCart would reorganize their add-ons page to make it easier for ppl to find an add-on and know when the add-on was last updated. But as you can see, this is not a complaint about the Shopping Cart software itself.

    Hope this helps.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  12. i have used Oscommerce and yesterday i have just installed prestashop….and i found presta a bit harder than osc because it is fully object oriented and uses smarty template.
    i think it is harder to modify presta than osc.

    Login or Signup to reply.
  13. I agree with Val booth. Zen cart is the best and easiest. It has just about any option you can imagine, the templating is easy to install and adjust, and help comes very quick for questions posted in the forum.

    My only beef with Zen cart is that the control panel the user logs into is a little complex for any changes if you are a computer newbie. This is only because setting are located in different places instead of one area only. There are many features in some cases located in multiple places. Say you want to add features to your homepage, you might have to go to one area to check a box to enable the features on the homepage, another area to defind the features, and another area to list the features. Meaning you have to bounce around. I have been using zen cart for several years and have it installed on many of my clients websites. The control panel always takes a little training for my clients. With that being said the reason for this is because this program has any feature imaginable. That means more complexity (Not it’s not that difficult you just have to bounce around to make big changes).

    As far as features this is the main reason why you should use Zen Cart. Let me give you a recent example. One of my clients charges tax for Ohio and California. Two different rates it wasn’t a problem (just a little help from the forum and a couple of changes in the control panel). Next, they wanted free shipping to the USA only. Not a problem worldwide shipping for a charge (USPS) and free shipping within the USA. They also have lots of options for each product. No problem. I tell my customers: “With Zen Cart you can grow into your carts features years down the road.” The structure is already there even if you don’t think you need certain features now. Instead of having to install a different cart, we just enable a new module or feature. It’s common for the needs of a business to change. As your website (business needs) change the zen cart features are already there waiting for you.

    Don’t overlook the fact that has been mentioned in these posts about zen cart updates. When you make changes to any core coding it goes in it’s own folder named after your template. When you update the cart it does not mess up any of your past changes. This is very powerful because updates are common and easy and you don’t need to re-modify your past changes! With other large programs this is not the case and puts a lot more work on you for each new update. Look in forums all over the web and you will see that Zen cart is the most flexible, the easiest to use, and has the most features.

    No I have no affilaite with Zen cart at all, I am just a regular webmaster who installs shopping carts onto my clients websites and has been asking questions in their forums for years. I can tell you from my experience Zen Cart is the bomb!

    Login or Signup to reply.
  14. Speaking as a representative of the company:

    For a small business or anyone without a massive dedicated server, PrestaShop is probably the best choice. Any of these options will have a steep learning curve, but I would have to say that PrestaShop is the easiest to get up and running compared to the rest.

    Also, we’ve really made a commitment to customer service, and the forums have become a much better place to get answers since we opened an office in the United States.

    Login or Signup to reply.
Please signup or login to give your own answer.
Back To Top