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Opencart vs Prestashop vs Shopify

Justin V. | Sunday, 07 February 2016

It seems like a long time ago now that we made our first ecommerce store in Opencart. We chose Opencart because it was the best choice for the job amongst the platforms we looked at. In those days there were a good number of options for those who wanted to do it themselves, but Opencart offered the best looking solution out of the box. It had a cool javascript feature that let you watch a product's image fly from its place on the page into your cart when you clicked Add to cart. One of many nice little touches that made it an easy choice. We did find some missing functionality in terms of product import and export, but were quickly able to remedy that for ourselves and many others.

Fast forward a few years and what we used to love about Opencart became a bit tiresome. It was young when we first got involved and we thought a lot of the common problems like compatibility of themes, upgradability of stores, leadership of the project as a whole and curation of the extension store would be resolved as the project matured. In fact those same issues are still the challenges our clients face these days and one of the big reasons we have come to love Prestashop. Our modules port well to Prestashop and the team at Prestashop put a lot more effort in to supporting their customers and developers with the effect of having a superior ecosystem generally for store owners and developers alike.

Shopify made its entrance over this timeframe too, and in a lot of ways Shopify feels like the final solution for easy ecommerce for tiny to small businesses trying to get started selling online. Of course it costs a little more with a monthly subscription but the web is moving in the direction of doing much less yourself and having it all done for you by SaaS offerings like Shopify. If you don't need a myriad of extensions and modules, Shopify can get you up and running very fast for your early foray into online business.

There remains a decent market share for the likes of Opencart and Prestashop as requirements get more complex and custom, but I think if you just want to test a business idea or a market, then Shopify may help you do a quick proof of concept very easily.

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