Prestashop has been used by thousands of online e-commerce stores in order to create a powerful, usable and reliable shopping experience for their customers. PrestaShop, released in 2007, is a fully open-source and free shopping cart platform for your eCommerce website. With fewer shops using this software, it may not be as popular as some other carts, but it definitely has a full list of features that say it is here to stay. The software claims to run without major headaches for shoppers, even for those on slower connections due because of its incredibly small size. This cart is generally good for small to medium-sized endeavours.

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Why PrestaShop?

While there are many great shopping carts available, PrestaShop is becoming very popular and for good reason, the shopping cart not only looks great straight out of the box, but it is packed with many features and relatively easy to use. Some of PrestaShop features include:

  • Unlimited categories, subcategories and products
  • Coupons, quantity discounts, loyalty system (points), customer referral program & promotions
  • PDF invoices, slips and delivery slips
  • Payment methods including Paypal, Google Checkout, Bank Deposit, Cheque & More
  • Visitor statistics and complete integration with Google Analytics
  • Unlimited currencies
  • Three standard languages: English, French, Spanish
  • SEO Optimized – Meta tags, Google Sitemap, URL rewriting
  • Multiple user management and permissions
  • Easy template customisation

PrestaShop is said to be the fastest, lightest, and most progressive Open Source e-commerce software and won the 2010 Open-Source Award in the E-commerce category.

Styling your PrestaShop Site

Personalise your PrestaShop website by installing different templates. Templates allow you to easily skin your website, giving it the look and feel that web users see when visiting. A great place to start searching for themes is the addons area of the PrestaShop website. More customised templates may require you to consult a web designer. PrestaShop also has a live showcase of people around the world using the software, this allows you to see many examples of PrestaShop in action.

Keeping PrestaShop Updated

Keeping PrestaShop updated needs to be a priority if you do decide to use this software. If you do not update PrestaShop you can leave your website open to security attacks and vulnerabilities which can be detrimental to your website and business. Beyond keeping the site safe, completing updates will leave you with not only better running software, but often additional features as well.

The PrestaShop Release News section provides notices on the latest version of PrestaShop, along with a list of all the additional features and links to update instructions.

PrestaShop Modules

PrestaShop Modules allow you to extend your shop with new features. For instance, there are extensions that help you pull your Twitter tweets into your pages or create amazing photo slide shows.

Browse through all of them in the PrestaShop Extensions Directory.

Support for PrestaShop

The PrestaShop community Support Forums is composed of nearly 200,000 members. Since the software is open source, the community and volunteers are those that manage and support it. Most people will find that answers to common questions and errors will be responded to quickly.

PrestaShop Demo

A Demo is available via the PrestaShop website allowing you to see and experiment with both the front and back end (admin area) of the shopping cart.

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