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E-commerce websites built with Prestashop

By: Ronen Hirsch

As a developer, I always tend to look for how much freedom I would have to customize any type of platform that is theme-based. I want the freedom to edit the theme templates and to improve specific aspects of the code so that the site works exactly as I would want and looks exactly as the intended design. I also want to make sure that there are enough options for installing add-ons (aka modules or plugins) to apply desired functionality and which is also relatively easy to include.

For whoever works on custom designed websites, as opposed to theme-based, those aspects are a must. If I can’t get into and manipulate the code, then my client hears many “not possible’s” when asking for specific features, which becomes frustrating both everyone.

There are lots of different options in building e-commerce websites. Each of them have their pros and cons. Some of them are outdated and don’t (or can’t) keep up with the trends, requirements and necessities of the current online store markets. There are many options out there: Shopify, Magento, Prestashop, Woo-commerce (for WordPress platforms) and many more. But let’s concentrate on one of them right now.

 

Prestashop e-commerce

Prestashop is a free, open-source platform which launched in 2007 and has grown to include more than 250,000 online stores. They have offices in Paris and Miami, with over 100 employees and a huge online community and marketplace for add-on “modules” (ie plugins) to enhance your store.

Since this is an open-source platform, all of the files are downloadable and you can install them on any server (of course, compatible ones) and customize anything you want in order to make it function exactly as you need. It’s similar to Magento, the market leader and built for very large scale stores, but is much easier to work with - by both the developer and the site admin, and also doesn’t require such a great amount of server resources and configurations.

What’s great about it, is that you aren’t limited to the possibilities of unique pages that aren’t included. For instance, my client, Peleg Design, wanted a “press” page where they could display articles from around the world that they have been featured in. This is obviously not something that would be a part of a typical online store, so I created a custom page, and by integrating my “Raincoat CMS”, they can add or remove anything that they want.

Peleg Design also wanted a special feature that allows physical store owners that sell their products to have special access to extra information, tips, high resolution images and more, as well as signing up to be displayed on the “store finder”. So we did it! A complete manipulation of the code allowed this functionality. Visit Peleg Design’s site here.

Another store that we built is for Go Raw. This site is also packed with extras that are controlled through Raincoat. The homepage is a complete manipulation, although the products section there does use the original product database. We added a complete “recipes” section, “news”, “FAQs”, “newsroom” and more. So although there are 2 different CMSs to use (Prestashop to manage the shop itself and Raincoat for most of the sites other content), we aren’t limited to anything!  Visit Go Raw here.

With Prestashop, you can create small websites, but also expand into very large ones, so it’s definitely a great choice. There are lots of addons to choose from and a great community that is always helpful and friendly.

Talk to us about your next online store. We can create a great site that you will be very proud of and will lead you to success. If you don’t need such a robust platform, we also work on Shopify, which is also a great option to choose from. Contact us and we’ll help you choose!