Many of you may already have noticed, but at any rate, Prestashop 1.5 was released yesterday.
I didn’t have time yet to go through all of the new features. However, since this version is claimed to be “production ready” I’ll start analyzing it right now and I’ll post my first impressions as soon as I know enough about the new software.
The “new” template
I’ve put quotes around new just because it’s the very same design of the latest 1.4 template. The big difference is that it now comes as the default template with Prestashop 1.5. It has of course been improved to adapt to the new features. The Prestashop logo has been replaced by a “Your Logo” fancy text, and there finally is an image slider in the center of the homepage. Yes, Prestashop was kind of missing a basic slider!
Oh, it should also be mobile-friendly, but I haven’t tested this yet. Please comment and correct me if I am mistaken!
The new back office
This change will make a lot of people happy, and another whole lot really sad. Prestashop’s back office was simple to use, and most of the features were laid out in a pretty straightforward way. As always, it’s hard to adapt to a new interface after having had the same one for a lot of time, even with its problems!
With this new layout, it’s finally possible to list all categories or products (and filter these by category!). There is no more need to access a category to edit a product (or search). Just rollover the catalog in the top menu, then product, and filter the ones you want.. There is not yet a feature to bulk edit products, as a side note.
Overall, the blue style looks better than the pinkish-yellowish one, since it seems more professional. It looks like they tried to give the BO more of a Magento style. But as you might know, Magento’s Admin panel is a nighmare, and I have the strong impression that this new interface is far less intuitive than the previous one. It’s also liquid, making it a bit too stretched on large screens (especially if accessedat 1080p!).
“This change will make a lot of people happy, and another whole lot really sad”
By the way, what are the “Taxes” and “Tax Rules” doing under the Localization tab? And, as a final note, the crappy way of setting up a carrier is still the same. i think they should have worked on this!
Orders creation from back office!
Yeah, this really deserves an exclamation mark! I would say Finally! This is the answer to most of the shop owners requests, since it was so(so!) sad not to be able to create orders from the administration panel! It’s easy and quick, fully ajaxified. Should we ask for more?
Prestashop 1.5 biggest addition: The Multistore
The Multistore (or Multishop) feature is probably the biggest change in Prestashop 1.5 in regards of the previous versions, along with being the most advertised, too.
At any rate, we will now be able to manage different shops from a single prestashop installation.
This means that it is now possible to set up 2 different stores with a different configuration each. They’ll have their own logo, theme, products, categories, modules, orders and customers, if not specified that they should share some of these functionalities.
This, however, does not mean that we will be able to set up a ”totally” new shop from the back office. We will have to copy our Prestashop installation to the new server and folder if we plan to use the Multistore on different domains.
Let’s see an example:
I want to have my primary shop (Electronics) on www.coolelectronics.com. Then, I want to have another shop (SportsWear) and I want to be able to manage these 2 from the same admin. Of course, the sportswear shop will not be reached at the same domain as the first shop. Instead, I’d like it to be at www.coolsportswear.com. What Prestashop doesn’t tell you, is that you will have to physically copy your Prestashop installation to the other domain. Once that is done, you’ll be able to set up the Multistore by setting the new domain name in back office. There is, of course, no need of another database.
Now, let’s say I’m looking far, far away. As an example, let’s assume that I want to create a general store like Amazon, and sell any kind of stuff from garden arches to art supplies. The Multistore functionality would be perfect, since all of the shops would be inside my own domain: www.coolgeneralstore.com.
The Prestashop 1.5 Multistore allows me to do that without having to create subfolders in my domain and place new files there. There is an option, when a store is created, to set up a “Virtual URI”, that will trigger the new shop when reached. So, if my shop is www.coolgeneralstore.com, and I want a separate store for the “outdoors” department, I can set the Virtual URI of the corresponding store to outdoors/. It will then be possible to access that specific shop (again, with its own configuration, modules, catalog and so) by reaching www.coolgeneralstore.com/outdoors.
Anyway, to enable the Multistore let’s go to Preferences -> General and turn on Enable Multistore. Then, under “Advanced Parameters” a new link will appear: Multistore. Let’s click on it, and we’ll be able to add the new store. When doing that, keep in mind the above suggestions!
There would be a lot more to say about this new version, but since this is only an introduction to announce the release, I will stop at this point. I am planning to launch a whole series of tutorials to analyze all the new features in depth,so, as always, stay tuned!
p.s. Of course, DO NOT update your store right now, since there may be (and there shure are) tons of bugs. I think we’ll see 1.5.1 popping out soon enough.