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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 PrestaShop on your hosting server.

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:

  • Unix, Linux 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, see below.)
  • MySQL 5.0 or later

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.

Activating PHP5

Oftentimes, dedicated or shared servers have both PHP4 and PHP5 available, but only PHP4 is available by default.

To install PrestaShop, PHP 5 must be activated. If you attempt to run PrestaShop using PHP 4 or older, you will receive numerous errors, including this very common message:

Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_STATIC, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in php file on line X.

Please don’t hesitate to post a bug report concerning the tips needed to make PrestaShop run on your hosting service. We will continually to add them to this post.

The following is a list of procedures of which we are aware:


Create an .htaccess file and add this line:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

Otherwise, you can try renaming the PHP files to be executed in PHP 5 by changing the extention to “.php”.

For URL re-writing, add these lines:

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

Create an .htaccess file and simply add this line:

php 1


Create a .htaccess file and add this line:

SetEnv PHP_VER 5

To deactivate global registers:



To View Your PHP Version:

  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. From the Products section, click Web Hosting.
  3. Next to the hosting account you want to use, click Launch.

In the Server section, your PHP Version displays.

To Change Your PHP Version:

  1. From the Content menu, select Programming Languages.
  2. Select the PHP version you want to use, and then click Continue.
  3. Click Update.

Changes can take up to 24 hours to complete.

Lunarpages shared hosting

  1. Enter the cpanel. Many times this will be at http://www.(your_domain).(com/net/org/etc)/cpanel
  2. Enter your account username and password in the box that appears.
  3. A new page appears. Go to the bottom row of icons in the page and click the icon titled “Enable/Disable PHP 5”
  4. A new page appears. Click "Add PHP 5 To Your Account!".

Your language change is submitted. Please allow up to 24 hours for the change to be processed by the hosting server.

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, to /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.

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.)

Updating PrestaShop

We have a dedicated guide for that: Updating PrestaShop.

Uninstall PrestaShop

PrestaShop is very easy to uninstall:

  1. Delete the /prestaShop (or the name you gave it after the installation, if you renamed it) from the current directory of your Web server (generally /www).
  2. Delete your PrestaShop database, using phpMyAdmin.

You will lose all information related to your customers, orders, invoices, and products.

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