6 Reasons why we should (and will) keep using PrestaShop 1.6

With the upcoming release of PrestaShop 1.7, you might think it’s time to drop 1.6 and focus on the new version. Wrong! Let’s see why PrestaShop 1.6 will still be the best choice to start your e-commerce business for the next couple of years.

1. PrestaShop 1.6 is stable and Thoroughly tested

While PrestaShop 1.7, with its all-new architecture, will initially be full of bugs and missing features, 1.6 is now a playful two year old kid who is finally getting comfortable and fluent when talking. Most of the bugs have been fixed (the critical ones, for sure) and it’s now ready to be called “stable” with its 1.6.1.4 release.

2. Countless addons and templates

At the time I am writing this article, the official PrestaShop Addons marketplace counts more than five thousand modules and themes. If you also consider most of the developers have their own site (Like my modules store), this expands the choice to double that number, if not more!
Given that plenty of the available modules (and all themes) will not be compatible with 1.7, PrestaShop 1.6 will remain unbeaten on the side of customization for years, allowing us to find almost any kind of extra feature we might need, without having a developer craft it specifically for us (you can imagine the extra cost it would mean).

3. Plenty of Tutorials and guides

In two years of life of PrestaShop 1.6, we, contributors, have published a number of articles and guides that help merchants and other developers to manage and customize their stores. Apart from my own PrestaShop Tutorials and my PrestaShop Modules Course, there are a number of resources like Dh42 and MyPresta, only to mention a couple.

 4. Qualified developers and agencies

PrestaShop 1.6’s architecture is pretty much the same as 1.5. This means all developers (including me) have gained great experience with it, having fixed bugs and extended the same software for four years.

5. PrestaShop 1.6’s default theme looks better

Let’s face it. At the current state of development, the “classic” (that is, default) template for PrestaShop 1.7 looks totally cheap and unprofessional.

6. You know what to expect

Development-wise, PrestaShop 1.6 is a lot more reliable than 1.7. You can develop a module for 1.6 and you are sure it will keep working on 1.6. However, PrestaShop 1.7’s mixed architecture (Symfony+Twig/Smarty) puts a big question mark on whether our modifications will keep working in the next subversions (1.7.2, 1.7.3, and so on)

 

The Bottom Line

No PrestaShop developer (that I know) is currently enthusiast of the changes 1.7 will bring, and the effort that will be required to make all of our extensions compatible with it. However, considering some users are still using PrestaShop 1.4, and many (including me) 1.5, I bet PrestaShop 1.6 will sit on its high throne for another good couple of years at least. If you want to make money with PrestaShop by developing and selling extensions, there is no better time than now.
On the other side, if you are a merchant, given that 1.7 will remain unstable for at least one year, you should still consider using 1.6 for your business.

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  • http://www.podemski.info/ Krystian Podemski

    I’ve to agree with most of your points, I’m worried a most about point 6, we all know that on Symfony 2 will have only 2 main pages, Products/Modules – and this is weird, this is really tricky, I wrote it on my blog (hope you read it!) and I’m worried that there will be changes in 1.7.1, 1.7.2 where we’ll have to make things different for each version… it is a real problem…

    About #4 – 1.7 will definitely need higher skills to work with it so I guess we can expect higher quality in this matter :)

    • NemoPS

      About #4, yes, it does need higher skills, but that is why it would be harder to find someone who does the job, and does it well, I am afraid. Also, it’s gonna be mixed (messed) up for God knows how many subversions (the current one is horrible to be honest)

  • Chris

    Hello Nemo, I too agree with all of your points. As a module developer myself I am worried with the upcoming release of 1.7. I’ve spent the last two years developing and improving my 1.6 modules and to think my work soon will be obsolete is crazy. As a developer supporting clients + module development it’s overwhelming trying to keep up. It almost feels like a marathon….

  • VEKIA

    I’m a little woried about these upcoming changes in PrestaShop.
    Idea of developing software, extending is indisputably great, but not in the way where module/theme project life is so short, like in PrestaShop.

    Well, we will have a lot of work, and i suppose that it will be a nightmare ;) mainly because of variety of solutions used in new prestashop (few template engines, no overrides etc.)

    • NemoPS

      You got a point there: we’ll have to release different versions of the same modules in order to have them uploadable from the back office (otherwise we should include 2 folders in each zip file, one for 1.4-1.6, the other for 1.7)

  • http://www.prestarocket.com/ Prestarocket

    Hello,

    i don t agree with all your points :
    – countless addons and themes : a lot of developers are currently working on addons and themes
    – default theme look better : the 1.6 theme is a shame, you can t update twitter bootstrap
    – Qualified developers and agencies : the new Prestashop require more experience in coding so you will find more good dev. for working on 1.7

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