In this edition we have the pleasure of speaking with Polish native, Milos Myszczuk. He is a forum Moderator vekia and PrestaShop expert. Read on as Milos shares his experiences, history and expertise with this PrestaShop interview.
#Could you please Introduce yourself?
Hello, My name is Milos Myszczuk (aka vekia on PrestaShop forum) and I live in Poland. I'm a company owner which develops web applications and I'm also a PrestaShop modules developer. I intensively participate in the life and growth of the Official PrestaShop Community.
# What do you think about Ecommerce in Poland?
Reports published by many institutions are clear; Ecommerce in Poland is the fastest and most aggressively growing country in Europe. E-commerce in Poland in 2012 rose to 5.85 billion € from 4.36 billion € in the previous year - this huge growth is connected to the continued increase of the number of e-shops in Poland.
# How about PrestaShop in Poland?
I must admit that PrestaShop engine is one of the most popular e-store engine in Poland. Many people give up other systems, and then migrate with their shops on PrestaShop. As you can see on one of PrestaShop's infographics, in terms of shops based on PrestaShop engine Poland is in third place (and this is the data from the beginning of 2012). An interesting fact is that in Poland we have many active and quite large communities that gather Polish people interested in PrestaShop. This is the main reason why the Polish community in the official forum is so small. That said, I’ve also watch the rapid growth of the official Polish community. I enjoy it very much and it really motivates me to continue to work hard for all members :)
# And what about the official PrestaShop Community?
The Official community notes the constant increase in the number of members. In my opinion, this is the result of two factors. The first factor is the fact that PrestaShop still gaining in popularity. The second factor is the fact that members of the community are also professionals who offer their help. Many people decide to join to the community mainly because of this. Everyone who posts on forum threads can be assured that their problem, sooner or later, will be resolved by experts. Many of us lead an in-depth analysis of the problem, test the sample solutions and offer and advice on difficult cases. I think that it is worth being a member of such a great community
#How did you hear about PrestaShop?
My experience with PrestaShop began in middle of 2008. I remember the day. One of my clients asked me to move his shop to another platform that is more efficient and easier to use. We were looking for a new e-commerce solution together, and we found a PrestaShop 1.0. At first I did not believe that the store in 1.0 version can be perfect. I was wrong. Even in those days it was really a very good solution. It was then I knew that PrestaShop is a major player in Ecommerce software. Thus began my fascination with PrestaShop.
#How long have you worked with PrestaShop?
It's been 5 years! It is hard to believe how quickly the time flies. During this time a lot has changed, e-commerce business continues to grow. I am glad that the PrestaShop community is constantly growing too. Sometimes I feel that PrestaShop sets trends related to Ecommerce. Many of my customers who don't have stores based on PrestaShop want to have the features that are available in PrestaShop. There is only one choice, abandon the old project and create a new store based on PrestaShop :-)
#Do you use other Ecommerce Software?
Frankly, I had contact with a huge number of Ecommerce software including the individual solutions. None of the engines did provide me the flexibility that PrestaShop offers. Because of this, I decided to focus exclusively on PrestaShop and have been for 2 years.
#What do you consider to be PrestaShop’s main assets?
- A particular advantage of the shop is that it is very easy to use & configure. From a person who is has coding experience, it is not so important. However, for those who do not have programming skills etc., the fact that the store is very easy to use is very important. In this way, everyone is able to run their own online shop without any advanced knowledge.
- A large number of default & additional features that are available with the default installation gives you an ability to personalize almost every aspect of your store. This is amazing, just install the standard package - and you can run a shop in every country you want. This is important because of the large differences between countries such as the tax, legal, linguistic, etc.
#What tips and best practices can you share to save time in development/integration?
From the start, take a look at the official PrestaShop documentation. Many of beginners skip documentation - it is in my opinion a mistake. The perfect solution is an empirical experience which is supported by reading the official docs.
#Why has PrestaShop become such a successful solution?
As I mentioned, the main reason is the flexibility of engine. With remarkable ease, you can customize store to suit your needs. In addition, it doesn't matter if you run a small shop with a few products, or huge warehouses where there are thousands of products - your store will work well and without problems - you only need to configure your shop well. It is worth mentioning about a huge number of modules, and excellent community support.
#How long does it take you on average to develop a module?
It usually takes a few weeks. Many of the modules are tested in “production mode” before they are published. This is the best way to eliminate vulnerabilities. As a result, I am confident that the published module will work without problems.
#To date, how many modules have you developed for PrestaShop?
I created a lot of modules; It's hard to count - Mainly due to the fact that many of the modules were made for individual customers. Sometimes customers need custom solutions; I’ve done it for them successfully for several years. In addition to individual orders I also create universal solutions - there are currently about 40 modules available to get both for free and paid.
#Which project are you most proud of and how long did you work on it?
Each new project I consider it my favorite ;-) As soon as I'll come up with something new, it automatically completely absorbs me to improve the features and add new ones.
It's my hobby; I love to develop the new features for the PrestaShop.
Moreover, it’s very uplifting and I am ecstatic when I see that my solutions help someone at work.
#What are the technical improvements that make your module/site so successful?
I focus on usability. I believe that creating a solution that is easy to use is the key to success. I think that we developers need to remember that we are creating software for people, not nerds and geeks who browse websites in the lynx haha :-)
#What you want to say at the end of this interview?
I wish all online store owners a huge increase in income. For all those people who hesitate I must say that making money on the Internet with PrestaShop is really easy. I also want to invite you all to the upcoming PrestaShop event in Poland:
- 2 March in Warsaw will be the first Polish Meet-up! (http://meetup-prestashop-warszawie.eventbrite.com/)
I hope to see you there! Bye!