Exploring PrestaShop's Tools
PrestaShop's "Tools" tab provides access to various tools that enhance your PrestaShop experience, and that of your customers. Many of these tools are not simply helpers, but do provide an important service to your shop, which you should not overlook. Take the time to learn all the possibilities they offer, as you will certainly find that PrestaShop can do much more than what you first thought it did.
PrestaShop comes multilingual out of the box: there are 5 default languages (English, French, Spanish, Deutsch and Italian), and many more are available to download.
The "Language" tab manages the languages you'll see in your back office and your shop. When you click on this tab the page below is displayed.
This screen displays the languages already installed on your shop. You can enable or disable a language by clicking on the icon in the "Enables" column.
In the "Language options" section, you can select which language will be displayed by default, both in the back office and the front office.
If you want to add a language to your store, click the “Add New” to reach the form below.
In order to add a new language:
- Enter the Name.
- Enter the adequate ISO 639-1 code.
- Enter an image of the flag of the language you want to add: upload a very small sized picture that does not exceed the resolution of 16*11 pixels.)
- Then upload an image that will appear when an image is missing from your store, in the new language. In French, this image contains the words "Aucune image", for example.
- Click "Save".
- Go to the "Translations" sub-tab to finalize the installation of the new language.
- In that sub-tab's "Import a language pack" section, click on "Browse" to select the language pack that was already
downloaded to your computer.
- Select it, and click on "Import". The "Translations added" notification then tells you that the import was successful.
You can click on the flags at the top of your shop (front-office) to verify this operation. Similarly, visitors to your shop can now select an additional language by using the icons at the top of the page.
PrestaShop provides you with full translation tool for your shop. This helps you add and edit the current translations. This way, you are the master of your shop, and can handle your translated strings without having to wait for translators to publish their corrections.
Even if you do not want to correct the translators' work, you might want to change the wording they chose to use (less formal, less wordy, etc.), and customize the various available text, thus tailoring your website to your audience (for instance, a hip-hop clothing shop might be better off using expressions different from that of a luxury watches shop).
"Translation exchange" section
The "Translation" sub-tab provides a few tools for your translation needs.
Add / Update a language
Many languages are available for you to download and install, directly from the PrestaShop servers. Your PrestaShop install will take care of downloading the language pack, unpacking it and create the correct sub-folder in your installation's
You can also update the currently installed languages, likewise directly from the PrestaShop servers. But be reminded that any change that you might have made to a language pack will be lost if you update it.
Import a language pack manually
In the case where you do not want to use an official PrestaShop translation pack, but rather a custom one (either provided by someone you know, or one that you exported from another PrestaShop install), then this form is for you. Select the Zip file, click the "Import" button, and it will install the pack in the
/translation+ folder. Warning: if there already exists a language folder with the same ISO 639-1 code, it will be replaced by the files from the archive you are importing.
Export a language
Either as a way of making a backup of your customizations, or of sharing them with other PrestaShop installs, you can create your own language pack using this form.
Note that the pack will contain the theme that your translation is supposed to support.
You can copy the content of one language to another. This is especially useful when you wish to replace a theme language with the same language from another theme.
Modifying a Translation
The most important tool of the "Translation" sub-tab is in the "Modify translations" section. This is where you can choose to edit a translation, and completely customize each and every sentence if you wish.
Select the part of the current translation that you wish to edit:
- Front Office translations. Text visible to your customers about your shop.
- Back Office translations. The texts accessible from your store's admin panel
- Error message translations. The error message translations that may appear.
- Fields Names translations. The name of the fields in the front office or back office.
- Module translations. The terms used by the installed and activated modules.
- PDF translations. The terms used in the generated PDF files.
- E-mail template Translations. The terms used in default e-mail templates.
Once done, click the flag of the language that you wish to edit that translation in.
A long form then appears. It contains, split in tens of section, the hundreds of available strings.
Click on a section title to open or close it, edit at will, and click on the "Update Translation" button at the top of the page when you are done.
At the right of each text field is an icon:
- Hover the mouse cursor over it to display the Google Translate suggestion.
- Click it to apply the suggestion.
PrestaShop has handy shortcuts to your most important pages, which can be accessed through the "Quick Access" menu, at the top of every page of the PrestaShop back-office.
The "Quick Access" sub-tab enables you to create customized shortcuts in order to make your navigation within the admin area even easier.
The page displays all the shortcuts that have already been created. You can create as many shortcuts as needed – just don't overdo it, obviously.
Click "Add New" to access the creation form.
Let's create a shortcut the "Tracking" sub-tab of the "Catalog" tab:
- Give the shortcut a unique name.
- Indicate the page's address.
- Go to the "Tracking" sub-tab.
- Copy it's address; for instance, http://www.myprestashop.com/admin42/index.php?tab=AdminTracking&token=6ebfba8b18a50168a20a97fb9614d750
- Paste the important bits (i.e., not the domain and admin folder, and not the token): index.php?tab=AdminTracking
- Indicate whether you want to have this tab open in a new window or not.
The import function enables you to easily fill your product catalog when you have a very large amount of products. When clicking the "Import" tab, the page below appears.
PrestaShop enables you to quickly import seven types of data:
Have a good look at the example displayed on the page. You will have to create a relationship between the content of your columns, and the location of the data in the PrestaShop catalog.
Imported data file must be in text-file, using a CSV-based format (Coma Separated Value), and the accompanying
.cvs file extension. We recommend using a semicolon ";" as a separator.
You can create such a file using any text editor (we recommend Notepad++), but we do advise you to use a spreadsheet program, such as the commercial Microsoft Excel or the free software OpenOffice.org Calc, then save your work in the CSV format. Using a spreadsheet program enables you to have an easier and more visual grasp of your data, in comparison to the plain text file.
Here is a sample import file, for a list of products:
The first row should be a descriptive name for the data column (you will be able to skip it during the import process). There must be the same number of columns on each row.
You will note that:
- The price column will use your store's default currency.
- Categories are to be specified using their existing IDs (so you should have imported them first), and separated with a comma.
- The URL of the image must be specified in full. In other words, the link that may
be used in a web browser to display the image. Example: http://www.myprestashop/images/productXXX.gif
- File encoding should be UTF-8, or ISO-8859-1 at worst.
Uploading the file
Once you have all your data in CSV format, you can upload them to your store's database using the form in the "Import" sub-tab of the "Tools" tab. Load your file from your computer by clicking "Browse", confirm by clicking "Upload".
The page is updated, and a form appears:
The name of your file will appear in the drop-down menu named "Select your .CSV file". Then:
- Select the type of data contained in your file, using the drop-down menu named "Select which entity to import". In our case, we are importing products. Once you have selected the type of data, a list of the available fields will appear on the right, which could help you refine your CSV file – at least for the order of the columns, which will soon prove handy.
- Select the language of the imported content. If the target language is not available, you must install it first, in Tools > Languages.
- Select the file encoding. Simply indicate if the file is iso-8859-1 or not. If not, then it is assumed the files used UTF-8.
- Select the field separators. We suggest that you leave the default values ("field separator" with a semicolon ";", "multiple value separators" with a comma ","). But obviously, if your CSV file is built differently, you should change these values accordingly.
- If you want to remove all the products in your catalog before importing, select the appropriate option.
- Once all your choices have been made, click "Next step".
Note that all import files are uploaded directly in the admin folder's
/import sub-folder. If the CSV File drop-down menu gets too crowded, you can delete old imports directly using your FTP client.
The next steps will be worked out on the screen that then loads.
Presented in this table are the rows from your CSV file, placed under arbitrary columns matched to PrestaShop's database needs. It is up to you to make sure that all the columns from your CSV file are matched with the correct column header, using each header's drop-down menu, so as to import your content correctly.
For instance, in the above screen capture:
- First column. We marked it as "Enabled", PrestaShop presents "ID" as a header. Click on the header's drop-down menu, and select "Active (0/1)".
- Second column. Marked "Name", header indicates "Active (0/1)". Let's change the header for "Name *".
- Third column. You get the idea...
The screen cannot contain all of your data's columns, so click the ">>" and "<<" buttons to move around the columns, and match them all correctly.
In our example, we used the first row for columns indicators. Since we don't we these imported, enter "1" in the "Skip X lines" text-field.
Once you are done match your columns, click the "Import CSV data" button, and you're done!
The matching process can be a tedious task if you cannot customize your CSV file's columns order according to that used by the PrestaShop importer, and even more so if you have to do that repeatedly or frequently. That is why PrestaShop includes a small tool to save the current matching order that you have set up using all the headers drop-down menus:
- Saving. Enter a descriptive name in the field, and click "Save".
- Loading. Select a matching configuration in the drop-down menu, and click "Load".
- Deleting. Select a matching configuration in the drop-down menu, and click "Delete".
Authentication on PrestaShop is partly based on HTTP cookies, which are very small files stored by your browser to remember crucial parts of your login credentials, or of your navigation state. By design, cookies are limited to a single domain (or sub-domain): a cookie created on www.myprestashop.com will not work for www.myprestashop2.com or www2.myprestashop.com.
A solution to this is to have PrestaShop cater for all of your shop's sub-domains, in order to create coherent cookies on each. That is exactly what you can do with this sub-tab.
Add a new sub-domain is trivial.
You must perform regular backups of your shop, so that in case of a crash, you can reboot your shop quickly and in the best conditions. The database contains all the information in your shop. To create database backups of your shop, you have several solutions. You can use tools such as phpMyAdmin (reserved for advanced users) or use the tool integrated into PrestaShop, such as the one available on the "DB Backup" tab displayed below.
The table above lists all backups that have already been made, specifying the date of creation, age, file name and size.
To create a new backup of the database, click on "Create a new backup". The process starts, and you then receive a notification.
You are then prompted to click on the link "download the backup file" to save your database in the SQL format (and
.sql file extension), archived in BZip2 format (.bz2). Put your backup in a safe place, for you might need it at any given time. Furthermore, you can find these backups directly on your server, in the
/backup folder, under the custom-named
CMS - Creating a Text Page
PrestaShop enables you create content pages just like you create product pages, using its CMS tool. The pages will appear to customers in the "Information" block on your homepage.
The "CMS sub-tab presents you all the content pages that were previously created on your shop, for the currently selected category (by default, the home page).
Do not forget to create one version of each page for each of your supported languages! Click on the flag for each field in order to change language.
Creating a New CMS Page
Clicking the "Add a New Page" link takes you to a form.
Here we find the usual fields:
- CMS Category. You must have first created at least one category, otherwise you will be limited to the home-page.
- Meta title. The name of the link to access the page.
- Meta description. Used to describe the content of this page for search engines.
- Meta Keywords. Used by search engines to understand what types of information the page is composed of.
- Friendly URL. Appears in the browser; also, make it easier for search engines.
- Page content. Must be entered to submit your information.
- Enable. You can choose to have you page public only once you are done proofreading it, in which case you page is saved as draft.
Once all the fields are filled out, click on "Save." If activated, you can then view the result directly on your online
Creating a New CMS Category
Click the usual link to create a CMS category – actually, a sub-category of the root category, "Home". You can create as many categories as needed.
- Name. The category title.
- Displayed. Whether the category (and its page) is available to the public, or hidden.
- Parent CMS category. The category under which this category is placed. By default, "Home". You can have an unlimited number of levels of categories.
- Description. Describes the category content.
- Meta title. The name of the link to access its pages.
- *Meta description *. Used to describe the content of this page for search engines.
- Meta keywords. Used by search engines to understand what types of information the category is composed of.
- Friendly URL. Appears in the browser; also, make it easier for search engines. This field is automatically filled as you enter the category name.
Click "Save and back to parents CMS category" to keep on configuring your CMS content.
This sub-tab contains two tools that generate complex server files, so that you don't have to create them by hand – and risk breaking your shop.
.htaccess file generation
A .htaccess file (short for "hypertext access") is a server configuration file, mostly found on the Apache line of servers, and few others. It is commonly used to control folder authorization, URL rewriting, blocking, directory listing and cache control. Contrary to global configuration files, such as Apache's
httpd.conf file, it can act locally, as its rules apply to the directory it is in, and its sub-directories.
Warning: since a
.htaccess file only works with servers that support it (Apache, iPlanet, Zeus), DO NOT use this tool if your shop runs on any other server (Microsoft IIS, nginx, lighttpd...).
This tool is mostly useful when you choose to use friendly URLs: it will generate the correct rules. It also adds a few optimization rules.
All fields are optional.
- Check the optimization box.
- Check the friendly URL box.
- Check the "Disable apache multiviews" if you have issues with friendly URLs.
- Put your specific rules in the adequate text field.
- Click the "Generate .htaccess file" button
Warning: your current
.htaccess will be delete and replaced by the one generated by PrestaShop! Be sure to copy/paste your specific configuration rules in the text-field!
Robots file generation
A robots.txt file enables you to block specific automated bots and web spiders, which crawls the web in order to find more web pages to add to their company's servers. Some bots you want to have full access to your website, such as Google's or Yahoo's, and some others you'd rather not, such as spam bots, content stealers, e-mail collectors, etc. Note that the worst of bots do not respect this files directive, as it is purely advisory.
robots.txt generation tools simply create a file with exclusion directives for files and directories that are not meant to be public, and should not be indexed.
These rules apply to all bots (note the "User-agent: *" string).
If you want to add your own rules, do it after PrestaShop has generated this file, as it will delete any existing version of it.
PrestaShop provides a complete store-locating tool for your customers.
They can reach form by clicking on the box on the front-office.
You can choose how these stores are displayed in the front-office.
All your stores are listed in a handy list.
As usual, click "Add New" to reach the creation form.
Fill-in as many of the fields as possible, as it will be displayed to your customers within the map.
This sub-tab serves as a handy reminder of your PrestaShop configuration: version, server info, PHP version, MySQL version. All these prove really useful when you need to report an issue to the PrestaShop developers, or simply your webmaster.
A Web service is a method of communication between two electronic devices over a network. It relies on a known set of methods, formats and access rights, so as be able to use the webservice's content on any other authorized tool, and build upon the original content.
You can enable your PrestaShop install's webservice, so that third-party tools can access your data. This potentially makes it possible for interesting tools to help you or your customers make better use your shop (such as mobile applications).
The configuration is pretty basic: if you don't want anyone to access your shop through third-party tools and apps, just keep it disabled.
Warning: For security reasons, make sure your shop supports secure SSL connection!
Not any app can access your store through the PrestaShop webservice: you decide which can, and what they can do. Every app has a unique connection key, with specific access rights.
You can add more apps with the usual "Add New" link and form:
- Key. A unique key. You can either create your own, or choose to use a generated one.
- Key description. A reminder of who that key is for, and what it gives access to
- Status. You can disable a key anytime.
- Permissions. You can choose among a wide array of permissions, either by section or by type of access. Some apps you'll want to only be able to view a handful of items, some others (for instance, ones that you would use to manage the shop remotely) to be able to edit and delete just about everything. Choose wisely.
Developers: here is the link to the tutorial for PrestaShop's webservice.
Errors happen. Most of the time, you are not aware of them because the system handles them silently. But you might want to know about them, in order to be able to correct the most regular ones, and insure a better stability for your shop.
The "Logs" sub-tab is where you can have a look at the PHP errors that happen. They are logged in the sub-tab's central table, and are presented in 4 types (here with original explanations from PHP.net):
- Informative only. Run-time notices. Indicate that the script encountered something that could indicate an error, but could also happen in the normal course of running a script.
- Warning. Run-time warnings (non-fatal errors). Execution of the script is not halted.
- Major issue (crash). Fatal run-time errors. These indicate errors that cannot be recovered from, such as a memory allocation problem. The execution of the script is halted.
You can also receive a notification about the latest error. Notifications are sent to the shop owner's e-mail address, and you can configure the degree of importance at which you should start receiving such e-mails: use "3" if you only want to know about major issues, "1" if you want to know about everything, even the smallest notice. The default is "5", meaning that no notification is sent.
Choose the level, and click "Save".
This sub-tab features a feature introduced with version 1.4.4 of PrestaShop, and which is still considered experimental: the One-Click Upgrade, which makes it incredible easier to upgrade your PrestaShop install to the latest version... provided you already have PrestaShop 1.4.4 installed.
PrestaShop versions below 1.4.4 still need to be upgraded manually. Refer to our Updating PrestaShop guide.
The One-Click Upgrade feature is natively available in versions 1.4.4 and 220.127.116.11, and through a module for all others versions of PrestaShop, starting with PrestaShop 1.3. You can download the module on Addons: http://www.prestashop.com/download/autoupgrade.zip .
If you have the latest version already, the tool will simply display "You currently don't need to use this feature." Starting with the release of PrestaShop 18.104.22.168, users can upgrade their shop at the click of a button.
IMPORTANT: you should make sure to properly backup both your files and your database before attempting an automatic upgrade.
The "Current configuration" section gives you useful information on your current PrestaShop install, and how it might interact with the automatic upgrade:
- Root directory: indicates where PrestaShop is located in your current install.
- Root directory status: indicates if the read/write permissions are correctly set. If not, you will have to change them, using your FTP client. See the Getting Started guide for a quick explanation of how to perform a CHMOD.
- Autoupgrade allowed: indicates whether your install can be upgrade using this tool or not.
- Shop status: indicates if your shop is active or in maintenance mode. It is good practice to put your shop in maintenance mode during the whole process (file backup, database backup, automatic upgrade, verification), so as to prevent customers from losing orders...
- PHP time limit: the automatic upgrade can be a lengthy process, as it needs to download the archive from prestashop.com, unzip it on the server, replace the currently installed files, then trigger the update itself. Hence, the PHP settings might be too low, and break the upgrade altogether, mid-process at worse. In this row, PrestaShop gives you an indication of the current PHP settings. Ideally, it should indicate "disabled".
- Root directory: indicates whether the current access permissions for the root directory are correct. If not, the process will not be able to delete sub-folders and files.
The "Modify your options" button at the bottom of the section is in fact a link to the "Options" section, at the bottom of the page.
These options enable you to have some control on the upgrade process:
- Don't save images: the upgrade process normally doesn't touch your images folder. If you have made a proper back of all your files, you might wish to let the process take care of that folder too, in order to have a clean install again and re-upload your files. Nevertheless, it not recommended doing this.
- Keep theme "prestashop": the upgrade process overwrites the default theme with its latest incarnation. If you have made changes to the theme directly, you can protect these changes by choosing "Yes". As a reminder, it is NOT recommended to edit the default theme! You should make a copy of the theme, and make changes to that copy.
- Keep translations: same as for the default theme, if you have made changes to the PrestaShop translation files, you can protect these changes by choosing "Yes".
The Upgrade process
The update button itself is at the center of the page.
It gives you an indication of your version number, and the number for the latest version available on the PrestaShop servers. If there's a difference, you can click the "Upgrade PrestaShop Now!" button in order to start the upgrade process. A status upgrade then appears at the right, while the process is running.
The area below the "Update" section will then scroll with a list of the various changes brought to your PrestaShop install: removed files (normally, the ones for the default theme), location of the backup archive (normally in the
/[admin]/autoupgrade folder), files added to said archive, files copied from the new version (and therefore marked as upgraded). A lot of files are thus mentioned, and you do not need to read it all!
You'll know the upgrade is over when the message "upgrade complete. Please check your front-office (try to make an order, check theme)" appears in green, along with the following status update: "Upgrade process done. Congratulations! You can now reactive your shop."
Indeed, the auto-update does deactivate your shop, but does not re-activate it automatically. Until you have checked that everything is okay in your back-office (everything is functioning correctly, all your products and images are there...), it is better to keep your shop from the public eye.
Once you have made sure your install is still correct, active your shop using the option in the "Preferences" tab, at the top of the options list, then make tests on your front-office: browse products, sort them, try to order one, etc. In short, go through the entire buying process, in order to make sure that you won't miss a sale.
Is everything working fine? Congratulations, you know have successfully upgraded your PrestaShop install!
Sadly, not all upgrades are successful – which is the very reason why you should always backup all your files and data, and why PrestaShop performs an additional backup of said files and data itself (which you should not always count on, obviously. Make your own backup first).
PrestaShop's own backup files are saved on your server, and if it turns out your update has gone badly, you can find them in the "Rollback" section of the "Upgrade" sub-tab.
There are three available options:
- restoreFiles. Takes the files from the latest backup, and re-installs them in place of those from the current installed version.
- restoreDb. Takes the data from the latest backup, and re-installs it in place of that from the current database.
- Rollback. Triggers both restoreFile's and restoreDb's actions
The rollback's status is indicated at the same location as the upgrade process'.