What is the best about PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is from that group and it’s actually very special, it’s a lot different from the others, otherwise, it won’t be so popular. For example, the first major thing about PrestaShop is that it’s free. This means you may download the PrestaShop engine from the provider and you may install it on your own hosting. You actually will need hosting for that. You install it and then install the PrestaShop theme, the design theme, then you add the products and you actually manage your online store.
Why should you pay attention to this engine
Actually, there’s a lot of options that are free on the market, however, there’s a combination of the other factors, that makes PrestaShop so special. For example, one of the major differences and advantages of PrestaShop is that it’s very light-weight and fast. That’s very good for your store, that’s very good for the user experience. That’s actually very good for search engine rankings because search engines love websites that are fast, that perform well so that’s one of the major reasons why PrestaShop became so popular.
Is it easy enough for a beginner to use PrestaShop?
The other reason is that PrestaShop is very, very beginner-friendly, it’s very hard to break something, and it’s very easy to set things up on your own, without ever using a programmer’s assistance or some sort of developers. It’s very easy to install it on your hosting by yourself, so that’s another major reason, and last not least is that PrestaShop has a very active community and active PrestaShop foundation. I mean, the official developers of the software. And, with the community it’s pretty much clear the community builds design themes and functional modules for PrestaShop. With the foundation, this is less obvious, however, it’s also very important, because you really want to work with the software, provided by the company who takes a good care of it and who invests time and resources into building up the community, into the development of the product itself, so that’s actually a very important thing.
What are the new features in PrestaShop 188.8.131.52 release?
One of the members of the large PrestaShop community, Lathanao, together with the core development team has built an advanced mechanism for search called “Fuzzy search”. It gives online store owners an opportunity to improve website navigation and consequently user experience.
Fuzzy search implements the Levenshtein algorithm in the front office to allow error inputs or misspellings. Basically, this algorithm compares the differences between relevant strings and sorts them by distance (where the difference equals distance). It means that when a user makes a misspelling when searching for an item, approximate string matching leaves the system fewer words to consider. It puts less pressure on a server and makes the results load faster.
Email translation in the Back office & New languages
A merchant can now get email translation directly in the back office without accessing third-party translation programs or services. Together with the email theme feature from PrestaShop 1.7.6, this function can be turned on in Design -> Email theme. It speeds up the communication with international customers and prevents misunderstandings.
PrestaShop 184.108.40.206 release also introduces new languages available to the store administrator and end users. As PrestaShop is becoming more and more popular worldwide, during the installation, a merchant can use one of the 89 localization packs to make sure that there won’t be a language misunderstanding when the store is being set up.
In PrestaShop 220.127.116.11 release, emojis can be used both in front and back offices as all the database tables are encoded in utf8bm4 by default. It has been a while since emojis got into everyday life of most of the people so it is an important step in making PrestaShop a more up-to-date solution.
Manufacturer Part Number
This feature is needed to identify whether a product belongs to a certain manufacturer or not. It improves not only searching but also contributes to SEO as it allows search engines to demonstrate your product to a customer looking up products of a given producer or by using the product number.
New features in Order Pages
Several new features were added to improve order pages. One of the main goals here was to change the outdated design and improve efficiency with the help of more innovative solutions. First of all, the PrestaShop team carried out a survey among the users to discover the weak points. It demonstrated that order list page and order detail page are the ones that require improvement most. As a result, order pages were migrated to Symfony and redesigned.
The following features were added to upgrade the PrestaShop order list page:
- Order’s preview. Now, any merchant with a PrestaShop 18.104.22.168 based store can preview significant information about the order just by clicking on the special icon. There is no need to open the order itself as it used to be in the previous versions. Order’s Preview function provides the list of products ordered, customer info, the invoice and shipping addresses, the info about the carrier and tracking ID when there is one.
- Statuses’ color. This function allows merchants to group orders depending on their status. There are several colors which are set by default but it is possible to customize them in settings. By default, dark blue color means the orders require action from a customer. Light blue color means that the customer payment was accepted and now this order requires an action from the merchant. Green color orders do not require any action. Usually, it shows that the product is being delivered. Red or black in most cases demonstrate an error.
- Editable order’s statuses. This feature contributes to order fulfillment efficiency. A merchant can update or change order status directly from the order list page just by clicking on a label.
- Direct link to a customer’s profile. In the previous PrestaShop versions, merchants could access customers’ profiles at related order pages. Now, it is possible to get a link directly at the list of orders.
Besides the improvements listed above, bulk action which allows handling several orders at the same time was redesigned and the “open in new tabs” function allows opening several orders at once. You can learn more about it at the PrestaShop website.
The following improved features touched upon the page with order details:
- Customized products display. Now, all the changes can be checked directly from the order details page.
- Hooks replacement. Hooks were relocated mainly due to the changes in layout. Their new location is meant to improve backend user experience and increase efficiency.
- Product list pagination. This new feature sufficiently improves merchant user experience as it allows to decrease the time spent on navigating in the order product list. Pagination makes this list more structured and there is no need to scroll down the whole list to find the needed product.
- Pop-in with customer conversation. It allows a merchant to see the latest 4 messages and if necessary, the whole conversation as a pop-in. This function is a notable interface improvement as multiple users before complained about the absence of this feature.
Some PrestaShop merchants used to complain about the generic function in older versions that controlled the display of brands in the front office. Now, store administrators can separately configure individual suppliers to be demonstrated or not.
As it was reported in the previous PrestaShop versions that some users experience the lack of currencies available, the development team took care of it in the current release. Now, it is possible to add not only some new official currencies but also local ones or even custom. The PrestaShop store can be configured to display a currency in accordance with the language chosen.
New Insightful Error Page
In the older PrestaShop versions, online merchants used to face a blank page when there is an error in production mode in the back office. Now, this page provides the information about the error together with the possible ways to fix it. It helps to understand what is going on and the reason why the error occurred in the first place to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Core module enhancements
Besides the improved stability and performance by fixing over 160 notable bugs, several features were added to boost module productivity, including the following:
- Blockreassurance. Now, it is available everywhere, including above the header or below the footer and on all pages. In the previous PrestaShop versions, the backend users experienced the lack of customization opportunities as this option was available on product pages and checkout page only. This module also makes it possible to change icon colors, add description or links.
- Theme customization. This in-built module used to be available for homepage only. PrestaShop 22.214.171.124 release opens it for product pages and category pages. Core modules and the theme can be customized on these pages without difficulties.
- jQuery 3.4.1 With a new release, PrestaShop’s back office and core theme support the newest jQuery version everywhere. Learn more about jQuery migration here.
- Tabs with Symfony routes support and opportunity to enable/disable it. When working on previous versions, developers often had to use a fake legacy controller and the core team decided to eliminate this problem, enriching PrestaShop 126.96.36.199 with an advanced tab management module. If you disable it, it won’t be displayed.
- PHP 7.3 To increase PrestaShop performance, after 188.8.131.52 release, PHP 7.1.2 version and earlier are no longer supported as it was announced earlier.
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