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Getting started with PrestaShop 1.4

Whether you are a computer expert or novice, the PrestaShop™ e-Commerce solution lets you take any business online.

Because PrestaShop is accessed via any standard Web browser, you can manage it from any computer in the world that has Internet access. Update your homepage, add new products, check on order status---all you need is your PrestaShop username and password.

This Getting Started guide will show you how to:

  1. Verify that you can meet all system requirements.
  2. Install or update PrestaShop on your hosting server.
  3. Configure the PrestaShop Back Office:
    1. Create your own graphical theme and make changes to logos and other images.
    2. Build your product catalog : Import a product database, create categories and subcategories, register your products and their images, attributes, and features.
    3. Install and configure your payment module(s). (Contact us directly for information on purchasing payment modules for specific banks.)
    4. Configure other elements such as shipping costs, currencies, taxes, notification e-mails, and languages.
    5. Select which products to display on the homepage as New Products, Top Sellers, and Featured Products.
  4. Open your Web store!

System Requirements

Before downloading or installing anything, you need to provide a home for your PrestaShop online store. This means it needs to reside on a Web server. You might have a Web server of your own, but it is more likely that you have or will have your shop hosted by an Internet hosting service.

PrestaShop can host your online business on its in-house Web servers; please consult our corporate Website for details on our low-priced, secure Website hosting service. This is highly recommended for businesses with little or no experience with the Internet or computers. Naturally, we install PrestaShop for you.

Whichever hosting service you use must have the following components installed on your server space:

  • Linux, Unix, or Windows. Unix is highly recommended.
  • Apache Web server 1.3 or later.
  • PHP 5.2 or later. (You may have to activate PHP 5 on your hosting service.)
  • MySQL 5.0 or later

Please note that PrestaShop can work with PHP 5.1 or later, but that versions inferior to 5.2 have bugs that might prevent some functionalities to work well (such as invalid date timezone).
Also, PrestaShop can also work IIS Web server 6.0 or later, and nginx 1.0 or later.

Install PrestaShop

Now that you have made sure that the necessary components are installed on your hosting server, there are a few things to check before installing the PrestaShop e-Commerce software.

  1. Create a database for your store, or use the database designated by your hosting company.
  2. Make sure the GD Library is enalbled. On a default installation of PHP, the GD Library should be turned on, but if that's not the case for your install, here is the standard Windows instructions are:
    1. In the root directory of your PHP folder, open the php.ini file.
    2. Uncomment the line extension=php_gd2.dll (about half-way through the file, in the middle of a long list of extensions) by deleting the ;
    3. Restart the PHP services.
  3. Download the PrestaShop e-Commerce solution software.
  4. Unzip the PrestaShop ZIP archive anywhere on your hard drive.
  5. Upload the contents (not the folder itself) of the /prestashop folder to the root directory (e.g., of your hosting server via FTP. You can also upload the files to a subdirectory you’ve created (e.g., if you wish to keep your root homepage separate.
  6. While you are connected to your Web hosting FTP server, make sure the following PrestaShop folders have "write" permissions (also known as "CHMOD 775", or "CHMOD 777" depending on your host – you can find an explanation of file permissions here) but do not apply these permissions recursively (ie., to their subfolders): /config, /upload, /download, /tools/smarty/compile. Then, make sure the following folders have "write" permissions: /img, /mails, /modules, /themes/prestashop/lang, /translations
  7. In a Web browser, launch the Installer by going to your shop's root address: you will be redirected to the install (e.g.,
  8. Upon completing the PrestaShop Installer wizard, use your FTP software to navigate to your /prestashop folder. There, delete the /install folder and rename the /admin folder (for example, /admin123 or, even better, /xyz789). This is for security reasons. If later you forget the name you gave the /admin folder, you can confirm its name via your FTP browser.

Congratulations! Installation is now complete.

Log in to the PrestaShop back-office and start filling out your product catalog and configuring the many settings to suit your tastes and needs.

Note: Regularly back up your database, ideally on different computers, in case of problems related to hardware or security.

Keep a test version handy!

After you have completed setting up your shop to get it just the way you want it, but before officially opening it to the buying public, we strongly recommend that you install a local test version on your personal computer (using WAMP for Windows, MAMP for Mac, or LAMP) for Linux), or elsewhere on your hosting server.

This second version will be useful as a pre-production environment in which you can carry out all future changes to your PrestaShop online store without affecting the live version. This way, if an error should occur, your live store remains unchanged.

Note: This method is for modifying PrestaShop application files only. Do not use a test version of the SQL database.

After you have confirmed that your test version works as it should, copy the test version over the live version. (It is best to do this after peak usage hours, and with your store properly and temporarily disabled from within the PrestaShop back-office.)

Update PrestaShop

Done well, the whole update process described within these steps should not take more than half an hour. Do not try to skip a step in order to be done with it faster, as they all are crucial.

Our support team is at your disposition for all technical problems related to the upgrade of your PrestaShop store.

Step 1: Save and Backup Your Current Shop

This step consists of backing up your database and your files. This step is not avoidable for success and should never ever be ignored or skipped. Do not proceed to step two without completing this step.

A. Backing Up Your Files

You must save all of the files related to your PrestaShop store.

There are two main ways of backing up your files:

  • Ask your hosting company to back up your files.
    Make sure that this backup is fully functional, recent, and more importantly that it reflects the content of your current store. 
  • Or, copy all of your FTP files from your server to your local computer
    This method is only possible if your hosting provider has provided you with an FTP access to your server. Create a “Backup” folder on your computer, then, using an FTP client (such as FileZilla), select all the PrestaShop files and folders on your server (use the Ctrl-A command) and copy them to your “Backup” folder.

B. Deactivating Your Store

Go to your store’s back-office, click on the “Preference” tab, then select “No” for the “Enable Shop” option.

In the “Maintenance IP” field, located just below the “Enable Shop” one, enter your own IP address, so that you can keep on using your store during the update. This will allow you to test the store, while still making sure visitors cannot access the website.
In order to find out your IP address, visit this page:

C. Backing Up Your Database

You must absolutely back up the whole database in conjunction to your PrestaShop store.

There are three different ways to back up your database:

  • Ask you hosting provider to back up your database
    Be sure that your database backup is functional, recent, and especially that it contains all of your data for your PrestaShop Store.
  • Or, download a copy of your database via phpMyAdmin
    Be sure that your database backup is functional, recent, and especially that it contains all of your data for your PrestaShop Store. If your database is too big, you might receive an error. If that is the case, you will need to contact your hosting provider.
  • Or, download a Database Backup from your PrestaShop Back-Office
    Visit the “Tools tab, then the “DB backup” sub-tab. This process will take between 1 and 20 minutes depending on the size of your database. Make sure this backup is functional, recent, and especially that it contains of all the data of your website. Open the zip file and make sure that there are absolutely NO ERRORS before proceeding to the next step.

D. Backing up Your Customized Translation

If you did not add any personalized translation at the root of your modules, please proceed to step 2.

Navigate to the “Tools” tab, then the “Translations” sub-tab of your back-office.

In the section “Export a Language” select the language to which you have made any modifications, then select your current theme, and click “Export”.

Save the downloaded file into a backup folder of your choice, on your local computer…

E. Before going to the next step

Verify your Backup folder, does it contain…

  •  …a complete copy of all of your files?
  • …a complete and errorless copy of your database?
  • …a copy of your customized translations (optional)?

You have checked the entire backup above, and made sure that they are all correct and that you would be able to return to your current version / restore all of your data.

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, then proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Getting Ready for the New Version

This step consists of preparing the files that you will need to copy into the new version of PrestaShop.

A. Downloading and Unzipping of the Latest PrestaShop Version

Visit and download the latest version of PrestaShop (click the “Download” button on the homepage). You now should have a file: (where “x” represents the version number).
Unzip the file to your computer. If you do not yet have an unzipping tool, you can download a free one here: .
Once unzipped, open the “prestashop” folder that it contained.

In that “prestashop” folder, select the “admin” folder and rename it to something unique to you (for instance, “admin436”. Your online store currently also has a unique “admin” folder, from its original installation; you can use that unique name if you wish. If you do not know the unique name of your online store’s “admin” folder, use whichever name you want.

B. Copy the files backed up during Step 1 to the “prestashop” folder

Some of the folders that you have backed up will need to be copied to your "prestashop" folder.

The following folders must be copied from your backup towards the recently unzipped “prestashop” folder:

  • “mails” folder has all the mails that you have modified.
    If you have never made any modification there, do not worry about this folder.
  • “img” folder contains your logo and all the pictures of your store (categories, products…)
  • “modules” folder, only copy the modules that you have added.
  • “themes/yourtheme” folder, only copy your current theme. If you use the default theme from PrestaShop, do not copy it, you must use the one from the new version.
  • “download” and “upload” folders, which contain all the downloadable products, the attached files and the customizable products. If you do no use any of these functionalities, do not copy these folders.
  • “classes” folder: in case you have added customized classes to this folder, copy them to the new “classes” folder. Then open each and every one of them, and rename their name, adding the “Core” suffix. For intance, “MyClasse” becomes “MyClasseCore”. Only change the name in the PHP class within file, not the name of the file itself.
  • “config” folders, only copy the file, then modify the following lines:
    • The line that contains “PS_BASE_URI” must contain the name of the subfolder where you are going to do your update. For instance, “/prestashop/” instead of “/”, or of the name of current folder for your current store.
    • If you modified your database credentials (you should not have had to do that normally), update all the lines that contain “DB_NAME”, “DB_USER” et “DB_PASSWD” too.

C. Moving the "prestashop" folder to your FTP server

The “prestashop” folder that you have unzipped, now contains all the modifications from your “Backup” folder (and therefore, from your currently live store). This next step will have you upload that folder on your FTP server.

If you renamed the “prestashop” folder, do not forget to update the config/ file accordingly, as explained in step 2-B.

Using your FTP client, upload the “prestashop” folder to your server.

D. Checking before going further

Let’s say your store is at the following URL:

  1. To test the update, you first downloaded the latest version of PrestaShop.
  2. You unzipped this version, which contained a folder called “prestashop”
  3. You copied your customized files from your backup to this new “prestashop” folder.
  4. You modified the file config/ on line “PS_BASE_URI” so that it has the name of the folder on your server (should be “prestashop”)
    For instance:define('_PS_BASE_URI_', '/');

...was replaced by...define('_PS_BASE_URI_', '/prestashop/');

  1. You uploaded your “prestashop” folder to your FTP server, and it can be accessed at:

E. Before going to the next step

Did you follow these 5 steps?

  • Downloaded and extracted PrestaShop
  • Unzipping the downloaded .zip file
  • Manual copy of the folder of step 2.B
  • Transfer the whole directory “prestashop” onto your FTP
  • The line PS_BASE_URI of the files config/ should show the name of the transferred folder FTP (should be “prestashop”)

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, then proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Starting the Update

This step consists of starting the upgrade script which will upgrade your database.

A. Launching the update script

Visit the following URL:
(Replace "" with the actual URL of your store, and “prestashop” with the name of the folder that you have just transferred to your FTP)

  1. Select "Update"
  2. Read the license agreement, then select the option “I agree to the above terms and conditions”
  3. Click on the “Next” button

If you did follow the first step of this guide concerning back-ups, you can click “I certify that I backed up my database and application files. I assume all responsibility for any data loss or damage related to this upgrade.” If you did not do the required back-ups or if you did not have a chance to verify the data’s integrity and that these backups are functional and recent, please go back to step 1 of this guide.

B. Verification of all parameters before the update

The parameters of your hosting provider should show on the screen, as well as more details about the operation about to be launched.

  • max_execution_time shows the maximum time in seconds authorized by your hosting provider for the update to take place. If this number is smaller than the estimated time of installation, we recommend that you notify your hosting provider so that he can increase this limit.
  • memory_limit is the maximum memory that you’re hosting provider will set aside for you to complete the upgrade. If this value is smaller than “32M”, you should contact your hosting company to request an increase of this value.

If any of these two parameters does not meet the requirements, you are taking the risk of receiving an error message or a blank page after clicking the “Next”.
Otherwise, click the “Next” button at the bottom of the page.

If sufficient rights are assigned to your files and folders, a page displaying that all is well is shown.

If not, make sure that the folders are properly configured: change their permissions of the folders in red on your FTP server (CHMOD 777 or 775, depending on your hosting provider) then click the “Refresh these settings” button.
In order to perform a CHMOD, using your FTP client, find the folders that have the wrong permission settings, right-click on each of them in order to display their properties (or even better, their access rights), and tick the boxes that are not yet ticked, until a refresh of the “System and Permissions” page gives you only green folder.

Once you’re done, click “Next” at the bottom of the page, the update will start and probably last a few minutes.

C. Finishing the update

Once the update is finished, you should see the a screen saying "Your update is completed!"

On your FTP server, inside the “prestashop” folder, you should delete:

  • The “install” folder (this subfolder contains the update tools)
  • The README files (contain information about the installation)
  • The CHANGELOG file (contains information about the latest changes in PrestaShop)

You can now access your store’s front-office at (change the URL accordingly).

D. Before going to the next step

Did you fellow these 3 steps?

  • Launching the Update tool
  • Verifying the parameters and started the update
  • Finishing the installation and removing the unneeded folders and files.

If you answered yes to all of these questions, proceed to step 4.

Step 4: QA and Testing

This step consists of doing various checks to make sure that the store has been properly updated to the latest version.

A. Import your Translation that you saved in Step 1

If you did export your own translations during step 1 (Backups), import them back into your new store by going to the “Tools” tab, then the “Translations” sub-tab.

B. Verification of the main Domain Name and regeneration of your .htaccess

You should verify that the domain name assigned in the database is indeed the one that you are working with. To do so, visit the “Preferences” tab, then the “SEO & URLs” sub-tab.

You must check the following information:

  • “PS directory”: this folder should be the one that you have transferred onto your FTP server; in this tutorial, it would be “/prestashop/”
  • “Domain Name”: This should be the domain name to which you are currently connected. Otherwise, all your links will be invalid and will use an incorrect domain name.

C. Verifying your theme’s compatibility

You can verify your theme’s compatibility with the updated version by visiting the “theme validator” developed by Prestashop.
This tools is available at the following address:
If you use an unmodified copy of the default theme of PrestaShop, this step is not necessary.

D. Tests to be done on your new store.

To make sure that everything is working properly on your updated store, you should perform a few tests:

Testing To-Do List (this is not a complete list, you should do as much testing as possible):

  • All pages load properly (Home, Categories, Products…)
  • Create a customer account
  • Place an order (add to cart and order)
  • Verify that payments work properly (credit card, Paypal, etc.)
  • In the Back Office , check that the order was properly placed and received
  • Send an email from the contact page or “Forgot my password”
  • Check the resulting invoice
  • Check all the modules that you have activated

If every test is successful, congratulations! Proceed to step 5.

Step 5: Going Live with the New Website

This step will accompany you in going live with the latest update.

A. Swapping your updated store and your production store.

Congratulations, you have achieved all the essential steps to update your store!

You now need to swap your updated store with your production store.

You have two options to do so:

  • On your FTP Server, select the entire content of the “prestashop” folder and drag’n’drop it to the folder of your production store. This option is fast. If your FTP client offers to do it, ask to have it overwrite all existing files
  • Or, you can also download you whole updated store directory (“prestashop”) from the FTP server into your local computer, and then upload all the files back onto your production folder. This option will take a little bit longer, and you should again select the option to overwrite all the files.

At the end of the operation, edit the file config/ look for the line containing _PS_BASE_URI_, and replace “/prestashop/” by “/”. If you don’t do that, your images and theme will not appear correctly.
> For more information, look at the end of the Paragraph D.4 step 2.

B. Activating your store

Visit the “Preference” tab in the back-office of your production store and click “Yes” for the option “Enable Shop”.

You're done! Enjoy your update shop!

In case of issues

In some rare cases, some modules are not compatible with new version of PrestaShop. You should contact the company / person that provided you with this module to request a few code changes to bring it up to date.

A. Rolling back your database. (Only proceed to this step if you have no other way out)

If your update went bad and you do not see any other fix than to roll back to the previous version of your database, there are two mains way of doing so:

  • Ask your hosting provider to restore the back up for you.
    Make sure to provide them with the latest backup that you have done during Step 1!
  • Import your backed up data via phpMyAdmin
    If the size of your database is too big, you might encounter an error message. If so, you might need to ask your hosting provider for help by changing the size of the database maximum upload. This is typically done by the tools provided to you by your provider, most often phpMyAdmin. You will find the backup data under the /admin/backups folder. You can also download the database from within your back office. Visit “Tools” then “DBBackup”. Select your latest database and download it to your computer by clicking on it. It should typically take between 1 and 20 minutes to download.
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