ultimate-prestashop-toolkit

Whether you’re looking to learn PrestaShop, or you’re already working with it, this is for you. We’re sharing over 50 PrestaShop tutorials, modules, themes, and resources for learning and using this shopping cart system.

For those who are unfamiliar with PrestaShop, it’s an up-and-coming open source e-commerce system.

PrestaShop is still relatively new, but it’s a nice alternative to Magento or Zen Cart for small to medium sized online shops.

What Sets PrestaShop Apart?

prestashop-logoOne of the notable features of PrestaShop is that its code is much less bloated than Magento–meaning shops run much faster. Your server’s also less likely to melt down.

PrestaShop also seems to be getting updated a lot more often than Zen Cart. The latest update was just a few days before writing this.

Another thing that sets PrestaShop apart from other e-commerce systems is that the backend is pretty simple. It provides lots of control, but doesn’t seem as overwhelming the 1st time you login (view PrestaShop backend demo)

You can also disable certain sections and menus for other users who don’t need access to some of the more advanced features.

When trying out a new system, finding information and gathering resources seems to take the longest. We’ll look at PrestaShop tutorials, guides, modules and themes to help get your shop up and running as fast as possible.

Contents of Our Toolkit

  • Getting Started With PrestaShop
    • Downloading
    • Installing
    • Setting up your online shop with PrestaShop
  • Tutorials, guides and where to go to find answers to your PrestaShop-related questions
  • PrestaShop Modules (shipping, payments, best practices, creating your own modules)
  • Themes for PrestaShop (download themes or learn how to make your own)
  • Hosted Option

Let’s dig in!

Getting Started With PrestaShop

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There are a few obvious things that need did before diving into PrestaShop.

Downloading PrestaShop

This is the easy part. You can find the latest version in the PrestaShop Download section.

PrestaShop also comes in 32 languages that can be downloaded as language packs from the download section.

Installing PrestaShop

Installing PrestaShop is fairly straightforward and takes maybe 5 minutes once you upload the files to your server.

The PrestaShop Wiki is an invaluable place to start and contains an easy-to-follow install guide. The install guide also provides a list of server requirements.

Advanced users may want to take a look at the System Administrator Guide. This covers setting up PHP and MySQL configuration and setting up extra security for the PrestaShop backend.

Setup Your Online Shop With PrestaShop

The Wiki has a user guide section that gives a set of step-by-step tutorials to help you setup and configure PrestaShop’s shipping, payment modules, currencies, taxes, adding products and categories, and other general configurations.

I recommend following the tutorials in order since they’ll help you learn where everything is in PrestaShop. By the time you finish the first 6 steps, you’ll know your way around PrestaShop and you’ll have most of your store setup.

Additional Resources

Tutorials, Guides and Forums—Finding Answers

guides

If you’re just starting out, you’re going to have questions, problems and issues that you won’t be able to figure out off the top of your head.

That’s okay because you can find answers and get help from others–here are a few official places to start:

Unofficial Resources

Beyond the official PrestaShop guides and forum, you can also search for answers on sites like:

PrestaPortal
PrestaShop news, tutorials, general questions/answer discussions, tips, modules and related resources.

Hints and Tips (@ Free PrestaShop Modules)
The Hints and Tips section provides many useful PrestaShop tidbits.

PrestaShop Modules

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Modules add additional features and functionality to your PrestaShop site–whether it’s on your store or in the backend. Installing modules in PrestaShop is very simple.

While PrestaShop comes with many modules by default, you can add modules created by others or create your own.

Finding New PrestaShop Modules

Here are a few places to find PrestaShop modules:

  • List of PrestaShop Modules (@ PrestaPortal)
    A mega list of PrestaShop modules.
  • Newly Released Modules (@ PrestaPortal)
    The place to look for announcements of new modules as they’re posted.
  • PrestaStore
    Commercial modules for just about every need (shipping, payment, backend, SEO, shop enhancements, etc).
  • eCartService.net
    Free PrestaShop modules as well as tips and tricks.
  • Free PrestaShop Modules
    A large collection of free PrestaShop modules. The majority of the modules on this site are free, but there are some other commercial modules as well.
  • PrestaShop Modules
    Nice collection of modules–some commercial, some free.
  • Presta Modules
    Commercial modules, including a 1-page checkout mod.
  • AGA Software
    Commercial modules: Price Adjustments, Blog Module, and Forum Module.

Shipping Modules

Here are some useful individual shipping modules for PrestaShop:

Payment Modules

Other PrestaShop Modules

  • Better Together
    A great cross-promotion/combination discount module from That Software Guy. Lets you suggest other products that would go well with an item plus offer a discount. This is a port of his flexible Zen Cart module.
  • Export Orders
    Exports orders to CSV.
  • AddStuff
    Add custom bits and blocks to your PrestaShop site. Very handy for adding custom code to your side while allowing you the flexibility to move the blocks location (think WordPress widgets).
  • AddHeader
    Works with AddStuff to let you add/remove stuff from your template without touching your actual theme files.
  • YouTube Module
    Easily add YouTube and DailyMotion videos to your PrestaShop site.
  • MailChimp E-Commerce 360 Integration Plugin
    Integrates MailChimp tracking and stats with PrestaShop and help you figure your ROI.

Writing Your Own PrestaShop Modules

eCartService.net has an excellent 5-part series of tutorials showing how to write your own PrestaShop modules:

Module Editing Best Practices

One important thing to remember about editing modules and using custom themes: Edit the core PrestaShop files and modules only as a last resort.

eCartService.net once again comes to the rescue with some important tips for editing modules and module templates within the safety of your custom theme.

PrestaShop Themes and Templates

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PrestaShop lets you change the look of your shop by applying visual themes.

You can also customize and create your own visual themes–transforming your e-commerce shop into whatever you can imagine.

Premade PrestaShop Themes

There several nice themes created by talented designers. Some are free, others paid, but at the most, you should be able to pick one of these up for $30-$40.

Here are a few places to go if you’re looking to download premade PrestaShop themes:

2 Link

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Just about the 4 nicest, most modern free PrestaShop themes I’ve ever seen.

PrestaShopThemes.net

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Some nice premium (commercial) PrestaShop themes starting at a reasonable $29. You won’t even recognize your shop with these themes.

I Love PrestaShop

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Nice collection of free themes. These themes are very simple, clean and uncluttered.

Other places to find ready-made themes:

Create Your Own PrestaShop Theme

Wanna roll your own design? These resources will help you get started:

Live PrestaShop Stores

PrestaShop has a section of their site dedicated to showcasing live online stores that use PrestaShop. If you’re wondering what can be done with PrestaShop, just take a look.

Hosted PrestaShop Stores

prestabox-screen

Do you just want to use PrestaShop and skip all the setup and maintenance?

PrestaBox might be just for you.

PrestaBox is a hosted version of PrestaShop that lets you start selling quickly.

Conclusion

PrestaShop is a nice, light-weight, fast open-source e-commerce shopping cart system.

While it’s still a bit young and may lack some of the more advanced features of Magento and others, it is a nice option for small to medium size online stores.

PrestaShop also has a great and supportive community that is continuing to grow.

Suggestions? Tips?

Do you use PrestaShop? Have you got a great tip or resource that we haven’t mentioned?

Share with us in the comments.

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Photo credits (in order of appearance): Red Toolbox by J. Helgason | Set of Vintage Tools by Timofeyev Alexander | Close Up of Old Books by Andrea Haase | Still-Life In a Studio of the Artist by S-BELOV | All stock photos from Shutterstock.

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