Table of content
First steps with PrestaShop 1.5
Now that you've installed PrestaShop and that your are properly logged-in into your administration area, take the time to survey the Dashboard – that is, the first page you see when logging into your back-office.
Not only does it present you with a summary of everything you need to know about your shop at any given time, along with quick links to the main action page, but as a first-timer in PrestaShop, it also gives you tips about what you should have a look at.
Overview of the interface
The Top Bar
At the top of the back-office is a black containing a handful of links:
- (name of your shop): from any page, takes you back to your Dashboard.
- Cart icon: opens a tooltip presenting the new orders since you clicked that icon. A red tooltip indicates the number of new orders. From there on, you can either display one of the new orders, or go to the list of orders.
- People icon: opens a tooltip presenting the last registered customers. A red tooltip indicates the number of new customers. From there on, you can either display one of the new customer, or go to the list of customers.
- Speech bubbles icon: opens a tooltip presenting the last customer service message. A red tooltip indicates the number of new messages. From there on, you can either display one of the new messages, or go to the list of messages.
- Search field with "Everywhere" dropdown list: allows you to search within the content of your shop – even within your administration page, if you can't remember where an option is set.
- Quick Access: this is the Quick Links menu, presenting the most useful links, as set in the
- (your name): a simple reminder of which account you are currently logged-in with.
- "My Preferences" link: takes you to your account's preferences page, where you can set some personal options (for instance, the back-office language or your password).
- "Logout" link: logs you out of the current user account.
- "View My Shop": opens a new browser tab with your shop's front-end.
All along your daily activities administrating your shop, you will have to browser through the many pages and options of the back-office. Each tab applies to a given set of tasks:
- Catalog: This is the heart of your shop, where you will add products, create categories, set up carriers and suppliers...
- Orders: Once a client starts adding products in his cart, you will start seeing his actions in this tab, with the resulting invoice. This is also where handle merchandise returns, credit slips and per-order customer service, among other things.
- Customers: Here you can access all the information about your clients, and edit their addresses, create groups of customers which you can apply special discounts to, handle customer service, and even manage genders if need be.
- Price Rules: A very specific tab, enabling you to easily create vouchers and price reductions through a set of rules.
- Shipping: Everything pertaining to carriers and shipping costs.
- Localization: Helps you localize your shop with local values, such as language and translation, currency, units, taxes and tax rules, and geographical entities (regions, countries, etc.)
- Modules: Extend the power and usefulness of your shop by adding and activating modules, a hundred of them being available by default, and many more to buy on the Addons marketplace. This is also where you handle themes, and where modules' blocks get positioned on the theme. One last tab option enables you to apply global settings to payment modules.
- Preferences: PrestaShop is a very configurable e-commerce solution, and you can edit just about any bit behavior using the full-featured preferences.
- Advanced Parameters: Contains sub-tabs for some tools and informational pages that are too specific to fit in other tabs, such as the Web service settings, the database backup tool, or the performance page, among other things.
- Administration: Here are the settings pertaining to the back-office itself; for instance, the content of the Quick Access menu, the employees list and permissions, or the tab order, among other things.
- Stats: Gives access to all the numerous stats and graphics that are gathered and generated by PrestaShop.
- Shops: PrestaShop 1.5 enables you to handle many shops with a single installation of the solution. You can create as many as needed, group them, and assign them to specific URLs on your domain.
These are the default tabs. Note that modules can add new tabs, or add options to the existing tabs.
Also, a new tab can be made available through the Preferences/Products tab: activating the "Enable advanced stock management" option (in the "Products stock" section) gives you access to a whole new feature of PrestaShop 1.5, where you can handle warehouses, stock movement and supply orders. Once activated, the new "Stock" tab appears on the right of the tab-bar, and you can use it as easily as the other standard tabs.
Each of the default standard tabs (along with the "Stock" tab) are explained in depth in this user guide.
Let's now explore the content of the Dashboard itself. It can feel crowded to first-time user, but you will find it gives an excellent summary your shop's daily at a glance.
The left column
The first element on the left is the introduction video and text. As a first-comer, we strongly advise you to watch the video, as it will serve as a quick visual guide to necessary steps to go through before opening your shop. We'll go into more details in the "Preparing your shop" section below. Once you have viewed the video, you can free some Dashboard real-estate by ticking the "Do not show again" checkbox.
Below the introductory video and text are a handful of quick links, which lead some of the most useful pages at this stage of your exploration of PrestaShop. These buttons should help you get going with your daily task quicker, as they are some of the most accessed features of PrestaShop.
Two partners banners close the section.
The left column ends with 4 boxes, two giving you information, the other two being links to external content.
The most interesting box at this stage is the "Configuration checklist" box, which displays seven key settings that should be taken care of for a healthy shop, written in color which indicates their status: green for "OK", yellow/orange for "advices", red for "must be done". We will explore this box in details in the "Preparing your shop" section below.
The "PrestaShop Links" box gives you useful links to this very user guide (online edition), its paper edition and the documentation site itself, along with links to the community forums and the Addons website, where you will be able to buy and sell modules and themes.
The "PrestaShop News" box gives you the latest news about PrestaShop, from the official blog.
Finally, a box is dedicated to a message from our partners.
The right column
The right column is where the term "dashboard" takes its importance: this side of the Dashboard presents the user with the most important numbers pertaining to his shop's daily activities, along with a graph of sales and a list of the latest orders. Every time you log into your shop's administration area, you will be first and foremost looking at the evolution these numbers take. This is where you see your shop live and breathe.
Preparing your shop
You are now getting a pretty good idea of how complete PrestaShop can be, and the number of possibilities can feel overwhelming. This first guide will therefore lead you through some basic actions to set up your shop before the big launch. A lot can be done before you launch your shop, but these steps are the essential configuration steps of any shop.
Deactivate your shop
We'll consider that you are still within the first hour following your installation of PrestaShop, in a single-shop instance.
Deactivating your shop means making sure that no one can access it while you are busy making changes, creating products, settings prices and taxes, installing payment modules and a new theme, setting carriers... This is called putting your shop in maintenance mode.
In your back-office, go the "Preferences / Maintenance" page. This page features two simple options:
- The "Enable Shop" option: simply set it to "No", and your front-page will display the maintenance page.
- The "Maintenance IP" is where you must put your own IP address, so that you can still get access to your front-page, and browse your shop as if it was available to all. This is a must-do every time you put your shop in maintenance mode, as you will always need to browser your front-end so as to make sure everything is in place as intended.
If you are already decided on your theme and products, you can simply put your shop in Catalog mode. This means that customers can browse your shop, but no price will be displayed, and they won't be able to add anything to their cart until you disable the Catalog mode.
You can activate the Catalog mode by going to the "Preferences / Products" page, where it is the first option.
Delete the content of the shop
The default installation features a handful of products – mainly Apple products, along with a couple third-party accessories. Their only use is to help you explore the set up of a functional store. After you've learned the intricacies of the ties between products, categories, orders and customers, you should delete all these items in order to start your shop with a clean slate.
You must therefore delete all the default date, which means:
- products and their...
- image mappings
- order messages
- customers shopping carts
- price ranges
- weight ranges
- contact & stores
The means browsing through the many various screens of the back-office and deleting content one page after the other.
Deleting the iPod Touch
The iPod Touch from the default installation is tied up in the sample order (made by sample customer John Doe), and thus cannot be deleted until the order is.
To delete it, you first need to delete this sample order.
While deleting all this data takes only a handful of minutes, you might prefer to not have to do it at all. In this case, you can install your shop again and chose not to install the sample data during the installation process: simply relaunch the installer, and in the "Shop Configuration" screen, choose "No" for the "Install demo products" option. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T CUSTOMIZED ANYTHING YET.
Note that you will also lose some useful content, such as default contacts and administration profiles, which you will have to recreate by yourself.
Configure your shop's information
Now that you have a clean shop, you can start making it your own, and that implies setting everything up to your likings, starting with your personal information and your preferences.
Shop basic settings
You should pay attention to the following settings, most of which are important to change because they are displayed on the front-office.
Configuring a module is easy:
- Go to the "Modules" menu.
- Type the name of the module (or part of it) in the module search box. It should display results as you type.
- When the module is found, click the "Configure" button, and follow the instructions.
Menu / option
Defines your brand, most notably on Google.
"Shops" menu, "Shops" option, then click the shop name.
Defines your brand, visually and on your invoices.
"Preferences" menu, "Themes" option, "Appearance" section, then change the various default images to your logo.
Customer service info
Displayed in the front-office, right column.
"Block contact" module.
Displayed in the front-office, footer.
"Block contact infos" module.
Image displayed in front-end
"Block advertising" module.
A slider usually placed front and center of the homepage, and therefore a visual signature for your shop and products.
"Image slider for your homepage" module.
The content of static pages, such as "About Us", "Delivery", "Legal Notice", "Terms and Conditions", and "Secure Payment". Some of them have default content, which you should update; some others are empty, and you should paste your own text.
"Preferences" menu, "CMS" options, then edit each page at will.
These are the most visible default settings on your front-end.
Should you have people helping you with your shop, be they your spouse, friends or paid employees, you should make sure to create an employee account for each of them, if only to know who is responsible for which action. The other advantage is that you can give them specific profiles, and specific access rights to the administration pages: you might not want everyone to have access to your statistics, your invoices or payment settings.
To create a new employee profile, go to the "Employees" menu, select "Profiles", and click the "Add new" button. Fill in a name, such as "Shipping handler", and save.
Now that you have a proper account, you should give it specific permissions, tailored to the profile's activity. A profile can be used for as many employees as needed.
To assign permissions to an employee profile, go to the "Employees" menu, select "Permissions", and select the profile you just created. A long list of permissions appear. By default, a new profile cannot do much. It is up to you to set exactly the parts of your shop which that employee profile should have access to. It can be a tedious task, but it is an important.
To create an employee account, go to the "Employees" menu, select "Employees", and click the "Add new" button. Fill in the details, and do not forget to select the employee profile at the bottom. Once done, click the "Save" button.