Either you have installed PrestaShop through your hosting auto-installer or installing manually, you must be excited to proceed further. In this tutorial, I will show you some basic actions you should perform just after installing PrestaShop. A lot can be done before you launch your shop, but these are the most important steps of any PrestaShop.
Deactivate your shop
The first thing just after installing you should do is to deactivate your shop. Yes you read it correctly, deactivate your shop. Deactivating your shop, to make sure that no one else can access your shop except you. This is called “maintenance mode” in PrestaShop.
Put your shop in maintenance mode while you are busy creating products, settings prices and taxes, installing payment modules etc.
In PrestaShop’s back office, go to “Shop Parameters / General” page, maintenance options tab, it will show a page like below
To activate maintenance mode simply set “No” to “Enable Shop”, and your front-end will display the maintenance page to your visitors like below.
Put your own IP address in “Maintenance IP” field, so that you can still get access to your front page, so that you can still get access to your store front-end. Simply click on the “Add my IP” button, you can add more than one IP addresses by separating them with commas.
In PrestaShop 1.7, you can also display a message of your own choice on the maintenance page, by editing the “Custom Maintenance Text”.
Delete the content of the default shop
The default installation of PrestaShop features a handful of products used for demo purpose only. Their only use is to help you understand the PrestaShop in a better way. After you’ve learned basic functions of PrestaShop like adding products, adding categories etc, then you should delete all these items in order to start your fresh store.
You must therefore delete all the default data like products, categories, attributes, orders, customers, payments settings, contact & stores etc. This would mean browsing through various screens of back office and deleting content one page after the other manually, but there is much easier way through module.
To do so go to the “Modules > Modules & Services” page and search for “PrestaShop Cleaner” module and click its “Install” button, then click its “Configure” button.
Read and Accept warning by clicking “YES”, then click the “Delete Catalog” button. it will delete all your products, features, categories, tags, images, prices, attachments, scenes, stocks, attribute groups and values, manufacturers, suppliers etc.
Read and Accept warning by clicking “YES”, then click the “Delete Orders & Customers” button. It will delete all your customers, carts, orders, connections, guests, messages, stats etc
Click “Check & fix” button to refine your database functional integrity constraints. Click “Clean & optimize” button to reduce storage space and improve I/O efficiency by cleaning database.
Remember there is no way back. So be sure to click these buttons, if you intend to clean and wipe out your database.
Configure your shop’s information
Now as the shop is cleaned, you can start making your own shop, with your own information, products and categories etc.
First of all you need to the basic settings of the shop as per your store details like shop name, shop logo, your default currency and other shop information etc.
Most of these settings can be changed from PrestaShop’s preferences but Some of these settings require you to configure a module. Configuring a module is an easy task, just go to the “Installed Modules” page under the “Modules” menu and search the module name is search box. When the module is found then just click on configure to change its settings.
PrestaShop supports many languages, both in the front office and the back office. When more than one language is enabled in your back office, each back office text-field shows a language code selector. This indicates the current language, and which you can click to choose another language enabled in your back office to write that field’s content.
PrestaShop is installed with two languages by default: the one used to installed the software, and the other one default the country of installation(if different). To manage installed languages, go to the “Localization / Languages” tab from the “International” menu. This page display a table of the currently available languages.
You can import additional languages on “International / Translation” page from “Add/update a language” section, and then enable the imported language in the “Localization / Languages” page.
If you are hiring people or taking help of your friend for your shop, you should make sure to create an employee account for each one of them. The advantage of this is that you can give them specific profiles and specific access rights to the administration pages.
To create a new employee account, navigate to the “Advanced Parameters / Team” page, and click the “Add new employee” button. Fill all the fields like First name, Last Name, Email address and permission profile and hit save.
Configure Your Payment Methods
To earn money from your shop, you will need to setup at least one payment module. Numerous modules are already available in the default setup of the PrestaShop, which you need to install and configure. You can configure a module from the “Installed Modules” page under the “Modules” menu, in the “Payments & Gateways” category.
You can also install other payment modules, available in the PrestaShop Addons marketplace.
Configure Shipping Methods
Products that a customer buy on your store must be shipped to them – unless you sell digital products, in that case the products will be downloaded.
You should have a contract with a shipping carrier and you must configure the shipping methods within PrestaShop with carrier information. Like Payments module several shipping modules are also available in PrestaShop.
These modules lets you set your shipping preferences and set shipping prices for the product shipped based on either total price or weight of the products.
Choose your theme
You can choose your own distinctive theme for your store. giving it a unique style and separating it from other online shops. You can choose any of the theme from numerous theme available on PrestaShop Addons marketplace. You can also create your own theme, or hire a developer to create it for you.
You should customize your theme as per your requirement, like your store logo in various places like header, mail, invoice, etc. You can do this on “Theme & Logo” page, under the “Design” menu.
Choose your modules
Default PrestaShop installation comes with more than a hundred modules. There are various modules for various purpose like analytics, front office features, payment, shipping etc. You should examine all the available modules in order to know which ones you should enable, and which you’d rather keep disabled.
You can also find many other modules on the PrestaShop Addons marketplace.
Populate your products and Static Contents
Obviously, you need to create your products and categories before selling them on your store. You should also take time to write content for the various static pages like “About Us”, “Delivery”, “Terms and Conditions of use” etc. Most of these pages are already available in your PrestaShop installation, you only need to edit their contents.
To edit these pages, go to the “Design / Pages” page, then choose the static page you want to edit, or create new ones.
Build your Top Menu
After creating pages and categories, you can create menu for you store, to let customers navigate to your site easily.
You can do it using “Main menu” module. Go to the “Modules / Installed Modules” page, type “menu” in the module search form, and you should find the module. Enable it if it is disabled, then configure it as per you site navigation requirements.
Activate your shop
Every thing is done and now you are ready to sell online, so you should finally open your shop to the public.
Go to “Shop Parameters / General” page, and in maintenance options set the “Enable Shop” to “YES” and remove your IP from the “Maintenance IP” list.
You are now ready to take your first order. Hope you liked this tutorial, do share your views in comments below.