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  • #995344
    Chrispro
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    Just wondering if there are any Prestashop users here and how do you find it? Is it pretty simple to setup decent shop? And have you installed on your own web-space or gone with a hosted version?

    I have spent the last 13 years in IT (mostly hardware stuff rather than programming) so I can navigate my way around most programs just fine. However I also don’t want to be spending ages building it or working around bugs/issues when that time could be better spent on actually running the business. Comments appreciated.

    As an aside, what I do love about Prestashop already is that (being OpenSource) it is easy to find a document that actually lists all of its features. I find it phenomenal how so many of the hosted eCommerce solutions list about 10 features and if you want to find out anything else you need to setup a trial and see what it does. I’d prefer to build my shop once than have to try 5 different platforms and waste a chunk of time in the process.

    #1201274
    John Debrincat
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    Hello Chrispro,

    You never really know how any software works until you try it. So documents that list features are pretty useless in reality and mostly there for competitive reasons. Unfortunately it is not unlike cars. There are great glossy brochures and websites but it is a matter of getting behind the wheel and driving them to know how they feel and operate.

    Often that “special feature” listed is more of an annoyance than an assistance.

    Most software these days change continuously so the concept of maintaining a manual or feature list has changed and hosted platforms now put more effort into FAQs, help systems, guides and training webinars.

    If you find that Prestashop works for you then great you have found the right solution for your business but don’t base that decision on a features document that was probably out of date the day it was saved.

    John

    #1201275
    Chrispro
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    Thanks for the comments John. You’ll be pleased to know that eCorner is already on my shortlist should I not go with Prestashop.
    Any Prestashop users care to comment?

    #1201276
    aaron.miller
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    My brother uses Prestashop, he has had to engage a developer several times to get functionality added which really should have been built in.

    #1201277
    Chrispro
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    Thanks. This sounds a little concerning, though I guess it depends what that functionality is (and when this was). I’ve heard at various times that several of the eCommerce systems don’t have one or another certain piece of functionality (which seemed like a no-brainer to the user). I guess the advantage here with Prestashop is that you can engage a developer to build it in. With some of the other systems this may not be possible.

    #1201278
    ChiggenWingz
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    I’m a prestashop user for my business, and honestly, I’m over it; when I feel motivated again I’m getting rid of the entire system.

    WAYYYY to complicated to do simple stuff, the interface has its own style which is different from everything else out there. When I tried to update the software it broke the entire site by loading on all its demo crap.

    Its basically far too over-engineered for a small to medium webshop in my opinion. Thus you end up fighting its procedure to do simple things like change a position of a picture or update a style.

    #1201279
    Chrispro
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    Great, thanks for the feedback ChiggenWingz. Much appreciated. Must admit I did have that concern. Some OpenSource stuff suffers from exactly what you describe. I haven’t quite got around to signing up for anything yet so I’ll have to make a decision soon as to which way I go.

    #1201280
    Mischelle
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    Hi ChrisPro,

    I used Prestashop for about 18 months for one of my Document Stores (digital downloads), on my own VPS, with on click install for the software.

    To start it was fairly easy, I purchased a theme and installed it, one click install again and then made changes using the built in CMS. It wasn’t too hard, and with your background you won’t find it difficult, I did it easily.

    It has SO MANY features it’s insane the number of features it has and that is why I chose it, BUT I am not an IT person, and maintaining it became a chore for me. All the eCommerce platforms out there Shopify etc do all the maintenance.

    The reasons I changed – the site I had was simply a small store for extra income, and I did not have the time to maintain the updates and due to the huge number of features there are a lot of them.

    If you are considering this take into account time spent on maintenance, and make sure you use the optimization addons they make a huge difference to the speed, it goes super fast.

    Would I go back to Prestashop – YES 100% I would – for a bigger store that sold a range of products for sure, EG: If my primary business was an online shop for sure I would go back. I loved the features BUT I would only do it self hosted so I control the resources.

    I wish I could show you the store, but I have moved it, but this is sort of what it looked like based on the theme I purchased.:

    [ATTACH]1277[/ATTACH]

    #1201281
    Chrispro
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    Brilliant, thanks for the feedback Mischelle.

    I’m stuck a bit between a rock and a hard place at the minute. This store will be just for a side-line business which I am looking to get off the ground in the next couple of months. So (just like yours) it’s for a bit of extra income (which hopefully will grow) but is not a primary source of income it is therefore definitely not something I don’t want to spend heaps of time on. It will be a store with around 50 products and no variations. So I need something simple to maintain.

    But with that said I know that I will be keen to have the option of various features and there are a number that are pretty much a must-have. The web host I am moving to has a one-click install feature and this allows for automatic updates. This may be good but of course things still need to be tested after an update. There’s also the fact that if this store goes OK I intend to add a couple more down the track. The appeal here is that extra stores won’t cost me a cent whereas with any SaaS platform like Shopify I suspect I am subscribing for a new service everytime I want another store.

    Did you end up moving your store to Shopify?

    #1201282
    Mischelle
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    Hi ChrisPro,

    Yes I moved it to shopify for now :) It is something I want to grow at a later date and I will then be moving back to PS, but for now I need simple, low maintenance.

    If you plan on multi stores the costs of a platform like Shopify will out weight the benefits.

    Once you get more stores running I would suggest using the “multistore function” in Prestashop, meaning manage multiple shops from the same back-office. (http://doc.prestashop.com/display/PS15/Managing Multiple Shops)

    The web host I am moving to has a one-click install feature and this allows for automatic updates

    Who are you planning on using?

    Also, the auto updates might just be the overall platform and you may need to update the Modules separately (sorry I called them addons before, they are called modules in PS).

    Testing after Updates – I never once had a problem after an update of either the platform or modules, but like you said you still need to test everything. Updates will come through thick and fast, on average about every 4 weeks for the platform, and dependent on the number of modules you have installed this could mean there is something that needs updating each week. Not that you have to update immediately, it still runs if you don’t.

    Cheers
    Schelle

    #1201283
    Chrispro
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    Hi Mischelle.

    Yes, that was one of the big reasons that Prestashop appealed (multi-store). Of course it is always difficult to know the future and whether it will come off. But I do think there is a decent chance of success (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it clearly), and thus with the possible requirement of adding another store or 2 within the next 12 months that has Presta at the top of the list. I am certain it will take me a bit more time at the outset (especially since I am quite particular), but the hope is that the time I spend up-front I will save at the back end.

    Looking at using Panthur for this one. They come highly recommended.

    Yes – my assumption is that modules would require a separate update – hence I am going to try to minimise the use of extra modules (though it remains to be seen how doable this is). Have you ever had to purchase any modules to do what you wanted, or there was always a freebie for the job? And do you recall how many modules you needed for your store?

    Glad to hear you’ve not had any problems after updates. Having been a user of OpenSource software for, hmm 15 – 20 years, that was certainly one of my concerns. I would plan to run updates on a schedule. Just update everything that needs to be done every 2 – 4 weeks (depending what comes through) as it is much more economical (time-wise) to try and plan these things for a certain time-frame than to do them each as they come through.

    #1201284
    Mischelle
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    Panthur, Panthur, Panthur, YES YES YES, I use them for all my sites now and they are awesome…….. :)

    Have you ever had to purchase any modules to do what you wanted?

    I only purchased the eWay module, as most of the other features come built into the platform, but a lot of those features are free modules built in, so they require updates as well.

    #1201285
    Chrispro
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    Cool, thanks. That’s what I’m hearing and so far they have been extremely responsive to my pre-sales enquiries and it is nice to be able to email someone who clearly has English as a first language rather than the alternative these days! I have a reseller account elsewhere and Panthur is in the box seat to get all those domain/hosting accounts too. I have been giving way too much money to my other host for over a decade for what is really sub-par performance.

    Got it – I thought that might be the case (the included models), but that’s fine – hopefully if the updates always work I will be happy enough doing them. Thanks again for your assistance.

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