I’ve been a long-time fan of an e-commerce system that’s very popular but quite painful to use. There’s a very short feature list that comes with the standard installation. If you want to add more themes and modules(add-ons), the only way is to “hack” through tons of codes and if you’re lucky it works. If not, you’re left with not so “virgin” codes and and a little confused. To say it in one word – messy!
Basically, you don’t have the liberty to plug and unplug any of the add-ons. Once you modified a section of the code, you’re literally stuck with it. In some cases, you’ll need to enter the changes directly into the database which is a no-go area to some people.
So my search for a “better” e-commerce platform continues..
I’ve looked at Magento but there were mixed reviews about it which leave me a bit reserved. I eventually stumbled upon PrestaShop and fell in love with it at an instant.
Prestashop has rather a big set of standard features and some that I like include: multi-language, multi-currency, translation, data import, payment methods, image auto watermark, customer groups, shipping options, stats, themes, modules, multi-image per product and SEO.
More themes and modules are also available for free and for sale at the marketplace but the basic installation is enough to get you started.
So as I was moving from another system, it’s good to save a lot of trouble by importing existing data as much as I can. Here are some tips that I observed while doing the imports and setting up of Prestashop.
Everything mentioned in this article refers to PrestaShop 1.2.5 version.
This option is located at Tools > Import.
If you started from scratch, import categories first before doing it for products.
The only compulsory input here is the name(s) of your categories – it’s marked with an asterisk(*). If you can also provide meta-title, meta-keyword and meta-description while importing, this will speed things up by not having to do it one by one in the admin panel.
Next you can import the product details. Similarly the only must-have field is the name(s) of your products. Set Active (0/1) to 1 to enable display of the product. Entering product image info is quite tricky so get more info about it here. Other info are optional but good to have as it will help you get up to speed very fast compared with doing product definition manually.
Products that you want to display on the homepage(something like featured products), assign them to the “Home” category in addition to other categories you may have.
I also found the Import feature is the the hardest beast to tame of all especially when you want to import the customers. I spent days to figure out how to properly import my existing customers and yet I only managed to keep around 60% of them. The rest just didn’t import correctly.
The minimum word length for indexing was 3 at default. At this level, searching for a 1 or 2 words item will not produce any result. If this is not what you want, change the word length at Admin > Preferences > Search. Then click Re-build entire index.
This is good for Search Engines. It’s done in Preferences > Friendly url. At first I was getting 404 error. You have to generate .htaccess at Tools > Generators > htaccess.
Prestashop standard installation comes with a big image on the homepage which links back to Prestashop.
You’re most likely want to change this. You can do it by going to Modules > Home text editor.
If you want change the position, go to Modules > Positions.
This is quite a tricky subject among all.
Say, you’re charging by weight. The final shipping charge is also determined by the courier in use and destination. Therefore you need to first define the courier, the zone(s) and the weight ranges. If you want to use States, enable Contain States under Countries first.
Next, assign fee to each weight range for the courier and zone.
There’s a good tutorial here.
While Prestashop deserves to appear on your site, you’ll have to decide if it fits to be so in your case. You can remove it from the webpages as well as the emails. As for the webpage, you’ll have to edit the source code as shown in the former link. Edit files in mails folder to customize your messages. Note that this hack will go away when you upgrade.
For users of Prestashop 1.4+, there is now a less messy way of doing this! Just go to Modules > Front Office Features > Block CMS Configuration. Then untick "Powered by Prestashop". So elegant!
Whenever a product goes out of stock, your visitors will see a notification message.
If you don’t like the notice for whatever reason, disable it by going to Modules > Mail Alerts and tick off the option.
If you’ve been wondering how to reposition for e.g. the Most Popular block from right column to the left and had searched high and low in the module tab but found nothing then you’re not alone.
Moving a block can’t be done in Positions. I tried and tried and tried to no avail.
It has to be initiated by clicking the Transplant a module button:
Say we wanted to move the Newsletter block from left column to the right, just do as shown here:
Defining meta tags for title, description and keywords are still important even in these days as they show up in search engine results and can greatly influence your click through rate.
First page that you need to pay attention is the index.php. So go to Preferences >> Meta Tags and select index.php. Make sure you update all languages if there are more than one.
In Prestashop these two words mean as shown in this shot from user sign-up screen:
Newsletter is your own notices and opt-in is for promotions, news etc from third parties. Still not clear? See this thread.
It is created and managed in Tool > CMS
but the display is controlled in Module > Info.
This is important if you rely on Google Webmaster Tools as default sitemap in PS just doesn’t do it.
Get yourself a free sitemap module from Presto-Changeo, install and configure it by pressing “update sitemap file”.
If you wanted to add or delete certain fields from the pdf invoice, it can be done via the dashboard:
Shipping > Countries > Edit
Under "Address Layout" place the cursor where you wanted the field to appear.
Towards the right side there are several available fields you can choose from. Click the label and you'll see choices displayed beneath it. Choose the one you like and click "use my current modified layout".
Sometime we need to change the order id running number for new installed prestashop. The reason probably to make transaction on our website shop is more trusted for new customer. For new online shop, it is hard to get trust at the beginning except we do branding a lot at launch. There is probably another reason to change order id running number, one that come to my mind is hiding our statistic data from competitor.
In my opinion we need to change order id running number and customer id running number. This way the customer are trust us as a popular web shop. So how do i change running number for order id on prestashop?
It is easy, but you need to have access to database, specifically phpmyadmin interface. And then run this query on prestashop database
ALTER TABLE `ps_orders` AUTO_INCREMENT =255344;
255344 is the next order id.
And then for customer running number also same. Change through phpmyadmin by running this query
ALTER TABLE `ps_customer` AUTO_INCREMENT =104;
104 is the next customer id
Please make sure to backup database first before running query and after query run please test once again the website order flow.
I recommend to use new logical running number, nowdays people are able to check if your website new or not.
Ok now, if you have any tips or anything to say about PrestaShop, please don’t mind sharing it with us here..