I’ve seen that a lot of businesses here in North America are already using the open source Prestashop platform. Even though I discarded its use, as well as many others, in favour of OXID CE during my initial due diligence about a year ago I decided to go back and see just what it’s about. This seemed valuable given that I’ll soon be trying to convince many to switch from it. Below are the main pros/cons I found. I hope the OXID team is also aware of some of this when considering areas for future improvement.
I found the code in Prestashop to be of lesser quality and less intelligent than in OXID. Code in OXID is also documented much better. For Prestashop, I see this leading to higher maintenance overhead and also foresee much time lost doing customizations. Extremely important to me, as a coder, but all transparent to the average shop owner.
I think this is where Prestashop excels the most. Their back-end is very user-friendly and also very capable. Some major advantages I saw here include the ease of adding extensions, the ease of dealing with multiple languages, a WYSIWYG for content, and more comprehensive stats. This makes life much simpler for the average shop owner, who I’m sure knows very little (more like nothing) about language files, class extensions, HTML, or SQL data-mining. I think OXID CE needs to play some catch up on this front.
The default theme (Azure) for OXID easily wins over Prestashop. However, Prestashop has multitudes of themes available for online purchase, most from 3rd parties. OXID doesn’t really seem to have much of a 3rd party theme base at all (not that I could find). I personally am going to try to make some theme alternatives for OXID and I hope others will too because this is something many shop owners like to have as an option.
A good comparison here would take too long to do. However, just wanted to mention a few things:
- Prestashop supports PayPal by default. This is a big advantage but I’m working on offering something similar (and also free) for OXID.
- Prestashop supports North American transactions (taxes). Again, I’m working on offering something similar (and also free) for OXID.
- OXID supports Facebook by default. A big advantage for OXID.
I otherwise found the two platforms offer more or less the same major front-end features, but the flexibility for any given feature is often greater in OXID.
I’ve always felt that OXID CE is much more powerful and intelligent than any open-source competitor. However, a look at Prestashop brings to mind a certain analogy. In an O/S world, OXID would be the Linux and Prestashop would be the Windows. Linux being powerful but requiring people to get their hands dirty to make changes. Window being friendly, easier to find things for, but ultimately less powerful and (IMO) leading to headaches. Personally, I’d like to see OXID, at least in terms of the admin area, mature from [I]Linux-like[/I] to more [I]Mac-like[/I], as this would go over well with shop owners that know very little about inner workings of e-commerce software. Maybe I’ll start a thread to recommend improvements to the back-end…