Paul Parry's early goal saw Shrewsbury earn their first victory of the season.
Parry, making his home debut after three years with Preston, cracked a rising 20-yard drive high into the net.
Preston responded well, Town old boy Nicky Wroe almost hauling them level when his well-struck shot from outside the box was turned over by Chris Weale.
Michael Hector blocked a goalbound effort from Preston's Chris Beardsley while Wroe later went close with a free-kick as Shrewsbury held on to win.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner told BBC Radio Shropshire:
"Paul Parry is a great striker of the ball and he caught it as sweet as anything. You don't see many better-struck shots, but Paul'll get more like that.
"We looked a bit edgy at times. That I can understand, being the first home game at a new level, so it was a vital win.
"You need to get points on the board as soon as possible to take the pressure off. But we've got to be delighted with the workrate."
North End manager Graham Westley told BBC Radio Lancashire:
"You see one or two moments when things break down and the understanding isn't quite at the level that you want them to be at.
"Then there are times when our play has gone right and it doesn't quite happen because players have got a little bit advanced.
"We can understand the tactical and technical issues that are stopping us from being at our best right now."
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