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What is PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is free, open source software for the development of e-commerce websites. By facilitating a reliable and straightforward transaction process, the program makes is easier for merchants to focus on and grow their businesses.

Getting ready to open up shop online? If you’re planning to sell products from your website, you’ll need e-commerce software to build an online catalog, manage orders and inventory, and allow customers to buy and pay online.

There are many ecommerce software solutions available today, but PrestaShop is one of the most popular. Completely free and open-source, PrestaShop was first released in 2007 and continues to be developed today. PrestaShop has headquarters in Paris and Miami, and is also supported by a dedicated community of hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors from around the world.

PrestaShop Features

One reason for PrestaShop’s popularity is that the software is free and open-source, but just because it’s free doesn’t mean it can’t compete with pricier e-commerce software. The winner of two Best Open-source Business Application awards in 2010 and 2011, PrestaShop comes packed with basic to advanced features, and can be expanded with free and premium add-ons.

PrestaShop’s features include:

  • Complex catalog and inventory management, including Excel import and export capabilities, bulk discounts, and other features
  • Available in 63 different languages, with full support available in 9 languages
  • Easy one-page checkout for guests or logged-in customers
  • Automatically saved shopping carts with email reminders
  • Analytics to track customer actions, demographics, orders, and more
  • Flexible shipping options including fees by price or weight, discounts, and unlimited carriers and destinations
  • Options to process payments via credit card, check, wire transfer and more

With all its features, PrestaShop concentrates on increasing your sales. You can customize the software for a small shop with one product, or a complex inventory containing thousands of items. Your commercial presence can be made more dynamic with exports to third parties like eBay, and by cross selling related items in a tidy bundle.

With minimal limitations, you can include as much detail as you wish about merchandise organization and attributes like color, size, and style. PrestaShop can adjust prices and weights to reflect customers' choices. Downloadable products, like pictures and television shows, may be displayed within the product description, and made available as email links after purchase.

Is PrestaShop Right for You?

PrestaShop software is ideal for those new to e-commerce, as well as for more experienced users. PrestaShop does require a bit of basic technical knowledge to install and set up with your chosen web hosting plan. If you have the budget and prefer not to handle the details of setting up your store yourself, PrestaShop may not be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if your budget is small, but your want a professional-looking, fully-featured store and you don’t mind handling the setup yourself, PrestaShop is an excellent choice for your ecommerce website.

If you get stuck in setting up your store, the PrestaShop site includes extensive guides for merchants, as well as developers and designers. On the official site you’ll find documentation and tips for optimization, and an online forum that perpetuates the spirit of an open source community.

Choosing a PrestaShop Web Host

The first step in setting up your online store with PrestaShop is to select a host. The PrestaShop software is partnered with several hosting companies based all over the world, including InMotion Hosting, 1&1, and WebHostingHub. It also maintains its own in-house Web servers, PrestaBox. Alternately, you may want to look into a non-affiliated host.

PrestaShop strives to place few technical constraints on users, and so supports Linux, Windows,and Mac operating systems. Most hosts will be able to support a PrestaShop installation, but first be sure to check that your hosts meets the minimum requirements for the software.

PrestaShop Frequently Asked Questions

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