Articles › Upgrading Prestashop Advisories

Prestashop was first launched in 2007 with over 165,000 online shops currently using the software it has become a popular choice for selling products online. Prestashop have released over 90 developer versions and a couple of major releases to its software which is currently (v1.6.0.9) as of July 31st 2014 which is great news for new shop owners but for those running anything older than 1.4 you might want to re-consider that update.

Theme Compatibility

Does your shop have a custom theme ? have you modified the original theme if you have answered yes to any of these questions you could loose your shop design as your current theme will probably be using Smarty 2 syntax as opposed to Smarty 3 which is a now a requirement for any shop running 1.5+ and some later versions of 1.4.

You might wish to use the default theme from the upgrade and make some modifications to look like your old theme but this can be a complicated task as the theme styles and templates will have changed significantly.

Module Compatibility

Prestashop comes bundled with a big selection of modules which almost most of them are not required for the shop to function but again if you have modified a module you will need to check that the class functions still work with the updated core.

If you have any custom modules  you will need to check with the original authors to see if they are compatible with the newer versions , if they are not compatible or you need to update the version you could end up paying for the module again as most module developers charge for this.

Product Image Paths

If you have just updated your shop and cannot see any product images its because Prestashop have implemented a new method of storing product and category images. There is a function within Prestashop to switch back to the legacy file system method but just remember to have a back-up of your /img/ directory before attempting this.

Upgrade Process Tips

  • Disable your shop before doing anything , as you are about to make a back-up you need to make sure no customers have altered your tables while you were making a back-up.
  • Make a copy of your entire database via phpMyAdmin by exporting the database as a SQL file. You will notice that the file size is considerable large for a database so we would suggest you drop some of the data from tables such as ps_connections as this will save you a few Mb.
  • Check to make sure you can re-upload the SQL file if something goes wrong as some hosting companies have a maximum SQL upload limit within phpMyAdmin. If you find you cannot upload the file as it is too big , open the SQL file in a text editor and cut and paste the SQL data back into the database either a couple of tables at once or half of the data depending how big it is , this is a last resort process but the only one if you need to restore your old shop.
  • Download your entire shop via FTP this could take some time as we have seen some shops have over 20,000 files. Use a solid FTP program like YummyFTP or FileZilla.
  • If possible do a test upgrade by setting up your own local server by using MAMP or WAMP and use the same PHP version if possible.

Should I use Prestashop ?

Our opinions on Prestashop are now slightly different since the newer versions have been released , our only negative points to using Prestashop are:

  • The software is a bit overweight , before the shop is installed the core number of files is  7,348 which is mostly modules that will never be used. After a few months you will notice your shop has over 15,000 files which makes it time consuming to back up and monitor.
  • The software is thirsty for memory  , almost all Prestashop owners encounter the famous typical allowed memory size exhausted problem and if your on a cheap hosting package your shop could run very slow and possibly crash if you have to many visitors.
  • Too many updates , it appears almost every month there are new software releases fixing bugs and installing new modules which you will never use. It would become a full time job updating your shop to the new version on each release but you could be faced with no option if your PHP version is no longer compatible.

Prestashop is a impressive piece of e-commerce software and we have enjoyed working with the older versions and do currently support technical support and maintenance if needed.