Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PrestaShop now available in BitNami

We are happy to announce that PrestaShop is now part of the BitNami library. PrestaShop is a free and open source e-commerce solution with innovative features that engage shoppers such as multi-store, customizable URL’s, full Ajax compatibility, instant guest checkout, abandoned cart reminders and automated email marketing.

Thanks to the community votes, PrestaShop was selected to be packaged as part of the BitNami Library. BitNami makes it easy to install and manage PrestaShop on Windows, OS X or Linux. Each stack includes all of the software necessary to run PrestaShop out of the box, including a web server and a database.

You can now download free, ready to run native installers, virtual machines and Windows Azure and Amazon EC2 cloud images.

If you want to check out this new version, you can instantly launch a free cloud demo server with the BitNami Cloud Launchpad by clicking the button below.

Benjamin Utterback, Lead Community Manager of PrestaShop, was kind enough to share with us some details about the project.

1. What is the goal of the PrestaShop application?

The merchant is at the heart of PrestaShop. Our goal is to give every person in the world the opportunity to create a professional online store by providing them with completely free, easy to use e-commerce software. Regardless of an individual's technical skill, language, or country of business, we strive to ensure our merchants’ success by offering a fast, flexible and global e-commerce solution that exceeds the highest standards of functionality, support and security. In short, our heart is solely on the merchants by providing the best possible, and most profitable, e-commerce experience.

PrestaShop frontpage

2. What are some of the main features of PrestaShop?

First and foremost, our main feature is the easy user experience (UI/UX) for our merchants. When you look at the industry, on one side you see some powerful solutions that are unfortunately extremely complicated to learn and profit from, on the other side we have the apparent “simple” solutions that  don’t pack too big of a punch in terms of software features and merchant support. On each side you’ll find paid solutions that have monthly fees, commission off sales and limitations on products and customers.  We’ve been dedicated in making PrestaShop the most powerful and easy to use e-commerce solution. We did that; the difference is that we are a 100% free-forever e-commerce software with absolutely zero limitations.

With PrestaShop, and our dedication to the UI/UX, you can easily open up a truly global shop. Of course we have multi-store and B2B features by default; you can set up multiple stores with unique domains and manage them all in one back-office. That said, in this day and age, merchants are looking for more! That’s why we included multi-language, real-time currency conversion, international tax laws and translations that are all easily configurable for use in multi-store. Combined with an innumerable amount of global payment gateways and shipping providers, you end up with a complete international store that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to sell and profit with.

PrestaShop also provides complete control of your store SEO prowess. With meta-fields for .php files, products and categories, you are Google’s friend by just using our software. Furthermore, our customized URL routing feature allows merchants to target visitors as they search. We also provide the super powerful Layered Navigation Module that will not only simplify your customers’ navigation for products, but it also exponentially increases your SEO references when customers select different combinations. An SEO aficionado would feel at home with the adaptability we offer.

I can’t forget that we are completely mobile ready with HTML5 and CSS3 compatible. We are also on the forefront of Bootstrap 3 development for our default framework, coming this winter, 2013. It’s an extremely exciting time for PrestaShop.

Lastly, one of the most overlooked “features” of PrestaShop is our Community Forum. With nearly 600,000 members and forum-board communities in over 30 different languages, the community support is always active. No matter how small or large your project is, you will always find the community support, experience, and advice you need.

We continue our open-source commitment by placing the entire source-code on Github. The development of the software and modules are now directly connected to our community like never before.

Already, hundreds of pull requests and development improvements for the software have been submitted by our Community, reviewed by the PrestaShop team and included into the software. It’s really amazing. We always look for new ways to involve the merchant’s community, from Guest Expert Blog Posts, Community Interviews, Success Stories and Developer Training sessions, we always showcase our users’ breadth of knowledge and expertise to better the software.

PrestaShop comes complete with over 310 features that have been carefully developed to assist business owners in increasing sales with virtually little effort. All features are integrated in the software and are 100% free. Take a look at our PrestaShop Features page for further information.

3. Which projects or organizations are using PrestaShop currently?

We power over 150,000 online stores right now. From the enterprise corporations, to the small business entrepreneurs, our software has consistently shown to be as flexible, powerful and adaptable for any ecommerce needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the Enterprise customers.

- We power the online B2B  Operations for Office Depot in France.
- Official International X-Games Shop.
- We are the preferred solution by one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with Home by SFR, ranked as one of Alexa’s Top 600 websites in the world.
- Spain's top Human Rights and Charity Organizations choose PrestaShop to power their Ecommerce stores, with Oxfam, Amnesty International, and GreenPeace.
- We also power America’s most famous vintage boutique with What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA). With nearly 1-Million Facebook Likes, PrestaShop was paramount in WGACA’s online success. They are now recognized as one of the leading authorities on vintage and have been covered in every major fashion publication.
- The last example I want to present wholeheartedly embodies the vision of PrestaShop. In 2008, we built a small ecommerce store for a young and ambitious children's accessories company called Smallable. Over the next 5 years, Smallable expanded and grew their business as PrestaShop grew with them. Now, in 2013, Smallable is still using PrestaShop, updated to the latest version. As I’ve said before, the merchant is at the heart of PrestaShop, Smallable can attest to that. It’s extremely rare to find such loyalty to a single ecommerce software. With PrestaShop, Smallable’s story represents just one of many.

This is just a tiny glimpse of the overall influence that PrestaShop continues to have in the global ecommerce industry. I invite you to take a look at our Showcase to see more prime examples of PrestaShop stores and the merchants we love to watch succeed and grow.

4.-What do you expect will be the main benefits of having BitNami packages available for PrestaShop?

From the amount of votes we amassed in only 4 days during your bi-weekly competition, you can clearly tell that our community is tremendously excited to be included as part of the BitNami library.

It’s valuable to have the BitNami PrestaShop stack because it gives new users another outlet to get easily get started. They can simply download the Stack and install PrestaShop without having to worry about the system set-up. We all can admit it; there are some less “techy” users that are intimidated by even installing a local host. Although we have step by step guides online in our forum, and free technical phone support, having BitNami makes this process even easier for them.

Even for the advanced user, they will benefit by having an easy way to test new versions. I also expect that this stack will be used heavily for merchants to test upgrades to their store and optimize speed, without ever having to touch their live store. This decreases downtime and increases efficiency. That sounds good to us!