Last Tuesday, after many months of hard work, we were thrilled to announce that our latest project, a revolutionary cloud ecommerce solution, was made available for Beta testing.
What’s so special about this cloud ecommerce solution? Well, for starters, it’s completely free. That’s right folks, it’s pure unequivocal ecommerce freedom. We’ll never ask for your credit card to power your online store, ever. Not just for this Beta version, but all versions, forever! Just provide your email address and create your online store in minutes.
So many of you have already signed up to test the Beta version. The amount of feedback we’ve received so far is amazing and we’re happy you love it as much as we do.
We know there are still many questions surrounding this upcoming release. We’ve made a quick list of the most common questions we’ve received so far, along with our answers. Here we go!
How can we make our cloud solution totally free?
The same way PrestaShop is completely free, through our trusted partnerships with industry leaders and the thousands of Addons extra features. These partnerships and Addons give you access to an arsenal of tools aimed at making your online store successful. It also allows PrestaShop to always remain free forever.
The hosting is free… but is it efficient?
We know that site speed and performance is key to maintaining a successful online store. That’s why we’ve teamed up with a powerhouse in quality hosting, OVH. You’re in good hands, OVH has over 700,000 customers worldwide, and their servers are equipped with the latest Intel processors and high performance SSD hard drives to ensure your store will be quick to take orders and make sales.
Is it a different software or version?
Nope, it’s the same software and same version. PrestaShop is PrestaShop! Same engine, two ways to fire it up.
Our cloud solution is already running off of the latest version of PrestaShop you know and love. When we update the downloadable version, we will also update our cloud solution. You will still be able to download PrestaShop and contributions made by developers from the Community on our Github branches will show on the PrestaShop software regardless of whether it was downloaded, hosted and installed manually, or set up in the cloud in one click!
How can I test too?
For now, our Beta site is available to a select number of users. However, we’ll open more slots in the upcoming days. Register on www.prestashop.com/en/beta and share on social networks to access the beta quicker.
Can I create a real store on this Beta?
Yes! This new PrestaShop program is live and fully functional to start selling online. This new website is still in Beta in order to improve your experience as a user of PrestaShop. But the E-commerce software that will power your new online store is the PrestaShop 1.6 version you all know so well for already powering tens of thousands of online stores around the world. Knock yourself out! Create a real store and put it into production. Customize it, add modules and experiment! Your store will still be available even after the Beta phase. We are at your service to address any malfunctions on our feedback page.
What’s the catch?
There’s no catch! It’s completely free. PrestaShop is a very complete ecommerce solution with hundreds of online store features, available straight out of the box. You can add paid features and get premium paid support only if you want. Our mission is to give anyone, in any country around the world, the ability to open up a successful online store. We break the barriers to ecommerce!
What are the customization possibilities of this cloud platform?
Because you have access to template files, modules and overrides, you can fully customize a store, whether in terms of graphics or features. You can also personalize a store by using the modules and templates available through PrestaShop Addons.
Does this move towards the cloud mean you’ll end being open source?
Absolutely not! PrestaShop is and always has been a free Open source project. This new program is another way to access PrestaShop. Open source is what our developers work on to make the PrestaShop solution available to everyone and PrestaShop’s code will always be Open source. Whether the software is hosted by you or in PrestaShop’s cloud, the code is the same. The PrestaShop Cloud solution reflects our ongoing desire to make e-commerce available to everyone by removing technical and financial barriers.
The downloadable version of the solution will greatly benefit from the dynamic expansion of PrestaShop: like WordPress did for blogs, we put at the disposal of e-merchants and developers one unique software and two solutions to access it that meet different needs, without giving up on our core values: being free and Open source.
What about Addons? Why does my module not show up in my Beta store?
For the sake of simplicity, security and best practices, modules that can be installed in the hosted version of PrestaShop must be validated and marketed through PrestaShop Addons. This will make it easy for users to find all the extensions they want in one place. It is also a "mark of trust" that guarantees the modules work properly. In addition, it allows seamless modifications of your PrestaShop in the cloud for updates and so forth.
For developers, it’s also a good thing to offer their modules on Addons: it’s a seal of quality, and they definitely gain in visibility and sales being available on the official marketplace. If you usually develop for PrestaShop by following the guidelines in our documentation, your modules will work with our hosted solution. Remember to follow the module development rules to be sure they will be fully compatible with all PrestaShop stores.
What about web agencies and freelancers?
Our hosted solution is not only great for merchants, but also for web agencies and freelancers. Indeed, you can extend your offer to smaller merchants and have a new package ready to sell.
PrestaShop’s hosted solution opens the door to e-commerce for merchants who have little or no technical knowledge because it allows them to get started in few minutes.
This translates into a mass potential new clients in need of design, development, technical support and assistance services. As a skilled technician, you will be able to access the template files, modules and overrides.
Additionally, the unique nature of this groundbreaking ecommerce-in-the-cloud solution will boost PrestaShop's brand image and, by extension, your status as an expert in the solution.
Thank you for being a part our amazing open-source community. You’ve made it possible for us to make it happen! Through your ongoing support and loyalty we’ve grown to nearly 700,000 community members. You think we would ever forget our commitment to Open source? Never.
"Since day one, Open source has been part of PrestaShop’s DNA. Together with our remarkable community, we have built PrestaShop on a strong commitment to the accessibility, flexibility and lower cost benefits of Open source. As we continue to grow and innovate, we reaffirm that collaboration and openness remains at the core of every company endeavor." – Bruno Lévêque, Founder.
This is just a taste of what’s to come. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us through our Uservoice page. Stay tuned for more updates when we reveal more about this revolutionary ecommerce in the cloud.