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I have been asked by my friend who is starting a new webshop to find the best and cheapest way to get a webshop up and running. Since my skills with php, html, css, mysql etc. are limited, and since I don't really know anything about security of webpages, I started looking for complete solutions.

There are a lot of companies selling webshops with domain and everything, but they are very expensive (about 40 euro a month) , and I'm sure that it can be done cheaper.

I looked at PrestaShop, and it looks quite good for a free webpage. This solution would only cost about 1 euro a month, which is a lot cheaper than a complete solution.

The thing is that I don't want responsibility if something goes wrong, and therefore I want to ask you Webmasters if you have any experience with PrestaShop?

  • Is it secure to use for a small webshop?
  • Does it need a lot maintenance?
  • Compared to a ready made solution like ScanNet (Danish webshop hosting company), what are its weaknesses?
  • What are your opinions and experiences?
  • If I chose PrestaShop as a solution, would it work well with www.one.com (using the 5Gb webhotel)?

I hope you can help me and I appreciate the time you took to read this.

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Is it secure to use for a small webshop?

Absolutely. There are thousands of sites using PrestaShop - the main consideration is to keep it updated as security updates are released. PrestaShop has documentation that makes the update process fairly easy.

Does it need a lot maintenance?

It's not bad. The main trick here is in the configuration - you want to be sure you turn on caching and compiling, which will keep the site running fairly smooth.

Compared to a ready made solution like ScanNet (Danish webshop hosting company), what are its weaknesses?

There will be a little more maintenance, but the benefit is you will be able to make it do whatever you want. When you host with a pre-built, hosted platform like ScanNet or Volusion, you are limited to the functionality the company has put into the software. With PrestaShop, you can install third-party themes and extensions to increase the functionality of the platform, or if you are so inclined and capable, you may code and implement your own extensions.

What are your opinions and experiences?

I've used PrestaShop to build several sites and it's a decent platform, once you get past the learning curve. It's very flexible and one of the better open-source carts in my opinion.

If I chose PrestaShop as a solution, would it work well with www.one.com (using the 5Gb webhotel)?

I can't speak to that specific plan, but any decent shared hosting plan that supports SSL should work.

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I really appreciate someone that have experience with PrestoShop to answer my question! Thanks! –  Janman Feb 5 '13 at 21:16
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