OpenCart vs PrestaShop. Facts And Real-life Users Experience

OpenCart vs PrestaShop. Facts And Real-life Users Experience

This article is about two free, opensource eCommerce platforms – OpenCart vs PrestaShop. Which one to choose is up to you, but the facts given in this article might help you make up your mind.

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional costs to you.

I have to confess. Honestly, I am not a big fan of X vs. Y comparisons, especially if the subject are an eCommerce platforms or Payment processing solutions.

Usually, there are only two possible outcomes – the winner is the one with the most monetization options (the platform on which recommending a blogger can earn the most) or the platform of the blogger’s personal affection.

Still, even more, I hate the fact that most of the blog posts about this topic revealed in top 10 google searches are outdated. Or written by incompetent, clueless authors without any personal real-life experience with these eCommerce systems. Or even misleading due the authors affiliation with one or another…

So, allow me to illuminate you. Here is updated, unbiased OpenCart Vs. PrestaShop comparison.

Reasons behind this OpenCart vs PrestaShop comparison

I used to think that today’s crop of niche bloggers are some of the best, most unbiased, and trustworthy individuals you could ever wish to meet, especially if you are searching for some information about eCommerce platforms.

No matter what, these fearless seekers of truth will always deliver hard-hitting impartial, and unprejudiced answers no matter how uncomfortable they may be for monetization.

These paragons of wisdom and knowledge are the first port of call for any self-respecting merchant looking to broaden their knowledge of the eCommerce industry, obtain deep and insightful reviews of the latest trends, or generally educate themselves on how to create an online shop.

And it got me to thinking, what exactly do I have to do, say or be in order to join their hallowed ranks?!?

You see, for starters, you might assume that you have to be passionate about the stuff you are writing, well versed in the history of eCommerce development, and definitely with broad personal experience of use of these eCommerce platforms you are writing about.

But that’s just not the case. During my research for this comparison I came to the realization that, your incompetence and lackluster interest is no longer a barrier to success.

All you need is basic, often outdated information about these eCommerce platforms, a clear goal of what you want to accomplish with your article or which agenda you wanna push through, and strong skills in search engine optimization.

So please, take this OpenCart vs. PrestaShop comparison like a fresh air breeze in this topic. The article is without bias or hidden agenda, backed with latest statistics and personal real-life experience.

My expertise in OpenCart and PrestaShop

“But who are you?” you might ask, “And what do you know about eCommerce building platforms?”.

It’s no secret; I am a big fan of open-source software. Although I can appreciate a fairly priced SaaS eCommerce platform, I have not seen one, which brings to the table something impossible to achieve with opensource.

My journey in eCommerce began back in 2008. Back then, both of these platforms were rising stars of the free, open-source segment.

Since then, I have created and managed online shops of all sizes – big, small, and everything in between.

Even after the advance of WooCommerce, I have kept an eye on the development of these two platforms and I use both of them in daily basis.

What is OpenCart

OpenCart is a free, open-source eCommerce platform for online merchants. It provides a complex, easy-to-use, and reliable foundation from which to build a successful online store. Because of that, OpenCart is appealing to a wide variety of users, ranging from professional web developers looking for a user-friendly interface to use to small shop owners just starting their business online for the first time. OpenCart has an immense amount of customization features that give you full control over your store. Whether you are a small brick-and-mortar boutique owner, making your first steps online, a drop-shipper working out of your basement, or a large eCommerce wholesaler, OpenCart can fulfill your online sales needs.

Read also: How To Set Up OpenCart Store Fast! Step-by-Step Beginners Guide

What is PrestaShop

Also, PrestaShop is a free, open-source platform, and since the beginning, it is the closest OpenCart competitor. It is an immensely feature-rich eCommerce building platform that offers a fairly easy to use backend and powerfully responsive store interface with a comprehensive set of features.

It is a simple, useful, and light e-commerce solution for all kinds of merchants, from small startups to large enterprise businesses. Because of its freemium business model, PrestaShop eCommerce platform is also widely used by third party developers. PrestaShop is fairly called one of the best open-source eCommerce platforms with the most complete set of out-of-the-box features.

For more information read this overview: Prestashop, An Honest Opinion About Installation, Configuration, And Usability.

Comparison chart OpenCart vs PrestaShop

Software typeOpensourceOpensource
RequirementsPHP 5.4 or later;
MySQL 5.0 or later minimum 500MB of free space (store size is dependent on the number of categories, products, and images);
Must-have PHP extensions (in the php.ini file);
PHP libraries/modules: PDO_MySQL, cURL, SimpleXML, mcrypt, GD, OpenSSL, DOM, SOAP, Zip, fileinfo.
At least 128 Mb of RAM dedicated to PHP. The more, the better.
PHP 5.4 or above,
MySQL database, minimum 500MB of free space (store size is dependent on the number of categories, products, and images),
Apache Server mod_rewrite module.
PHP libraries/modules: Curl, ZIP, Zlib, GD Library, Mcrypt, Mbstrings, and XML.
Optimal shop size1 – 1000+ products1 – 10,000 + products
Recomended hosting partnerA2Hosting, SiteGround1&1 IONOS
PricingFree / FreemiumFree / Freemium
Features• Easy-to-use interface
• Unlimited listings,
• The ability to create and manage unlimited products, both physical and virtual
• Simple export and import of data in CSV format,
• Advanced SEO capabilities – management of meta titles and descriptions and URLs
• Large selection of payment options: PayPal Standard and Pro, Skrill, Stripe, WorldPay, etc.
• Personalization and extra features through free and paid plugins
• A way to manage several stores from the same backend
• Multi-currency and multi-language options
• Advanced navigation and search,
• Visitors statistics,
• Sales and orders statistics,
• Multi-language via free and paid plugins,
• Detailed SEO options and responsiveness out of the box
• A wide range of marketing tools
• Compatibility with a large number of add-ons and third-party integrations
• Easy-to-use interface
• Unlimited listings,
• Inventory management features like item tracking and out-of-stock alerts,
• Simple export and import of data in CSV format,
• Advanced SEO capabilities – management of meta titles and descriptions and URLs,
• Large selection of payment options: PayPal Standard and Pro, Skrill, Stripe, WorldPay, etc.
• Personalization and extra features through paid plugins
• Creation of custom promotions,
• Customer emails automation,
• Advanced navigation and search,
• Visitors statistics,
• Sales and orders statistics,
• Multiple store management,
• Multi-language: default support of 75 languages,
• Customizable checkout process,
• Cart abandonment notifications,
• Compatibility with a large number of add-ons and third-party integrations.
Payment Gateway PluginsPayPal Commerce Platform integration by default + 1887 pluginsPrestaShop Checkout by default + 269 modules
ThemesFree and PremiumPremium
ProsEasyto setup and work with.
Well-Designed Admin Interface.
It is light weight and thus faster than closest competitors other.
It offers users a good set of features.
Self hosted, full control on server files.
OpenCart has a lot of free modules and themes.
Opencart wide number of pro developers and Opencart Development cost is comparatively cheaper than others
Large and active community
Easy to install
User-friendly storefront and Admin interface
Easy Customization
It offers users a good set of features
Premium support
Active community support
Self hosted, full control on server files.
ConsIt is very difficult to customize some features on OpenCart and you are forced to use the theme.
Many outdated themes/templates.
Add-on modules are often necessary, and you need to purchase them separately.
Hard to update it to new versions, and it is constantly updating.
Resource hungry.
Premium plugins and themes are expencive.
It is difficult to customize the appearance of the software.
Difficult to customize if writing code is needed.
Performance and load time is not good compared to closest competition.
Rating (generated from multiple sources)8.5/108/10

OpenCart vs PrestaShop: which is the best eCommerce platform?

There always has been strong competition between these two eCommerce platforms. 

OpenCart Vs. PrestaShop diagram
Embed on your website:  <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="OpenCart Vs. PrestaShop diagram" class="wp-image-3074"/></a></figure>

According to surveys portal W3Tech, at the moment OpenCart eCommerce platform is more popular than PrestaShop.

This is also is backed by web technology information profiler BuiltWith. Their records show that currently, 411,116 live websites are built with the OpenCart platform. PrestaShop, as an eCommerce builder, is used only by 308,263 live websites. BuiltWith calculates that these numbers correspond 4% and 3% of all websites that use eCommerce platforms.

eCommerce Usage Distribution on the Entire Internet

Both eCommerce platforms have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific needs, shop size, as well as the knowledge and investment capacity of those in charge of it.

Both have easy installation and configuration in common. One as well as the other provide their users with all the necessary features to create a modern and responsive online shop.

And both OpenCart and PrestaShop have good scalability. It is possible to add new products continuously – therefore, these two eCommerce platforms can perfectly accompany your business’s growth.

In my opinion, OpenCart is more intuitive and easier to customize, even without programming skills. It has vQmoda simple modification system that lets users make changes in OpenCart core files (main files) without actually editing them.

PrestaShop’s base code is a little more complicated but still allows you to create professional online shopping sites, with good levels of customization and marketing tools to boost sales, relatively easily.

OpenCart offers many free modules, while for PrestaShop only a few of them are free. In addition, paid modules for OpenCart are much cheaper than similar ones for PrestaShop. I think in this field, these two eCommerce platforms differ most.


So, let’s draw some conclusions from this OpenCart vs. PrestaShop comparison.

Deciding which eCommerce Platform is best for your site is a delicate task. The most obvious option is not always the most suitable for your business profile.

OpenCart and PrestaShop are pretty similar eCommerce platforms. Both are open – source, and both can be used as “out of the box” solutions. In the same time, both are also extremely flexible and completely customizable.

In my opinion, OpenCart might be the best choice for those who are starting out in the world of eCommerce without having a large investment capacity. On the other hand, PrestaShop will be the best solution for those who can make a slightly larger investment.