It is important to be aware of the prestashop versions that are coming out to the market, since many times, upgrading to the latest one can imply many improvements for our ecommerce. Such as upgrading PrestaShop 1.6 to 1.7.
The release of version 1.7 has been around for a long time, and it has been improved and optimized. Beyond the changes that can be seen at a glance if you are used to working with PrestaShop in your store, there have been structural changes that you should be aware of, as they have been designed to make your day to day life easier.
However, it is also normal to have many doubts: is it safe? is it easy? how is it done? what if I need help installing or upgrading to PrestaShop 1.7? That’s why we wanted to write this post where we hope to answer all your questions.
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PrestaShop 1.6 vs PrestaShop 1.7
The first question to answer, which we consider crucial, is: why should I upgrade PrestaShop 1.6 to 1.7? We understand that you are familiar with the version you have installed in your store, so we are going to focus mainly on the features and innovations of PrestaShop 1.7. And we are going to do it based on the differences between the two versions with this comparative.
The Symfony framework was implemented, leaving Smarty behind. Why is this important? The updates in this regard have been to improve the security code, as well as the overall performance of the website. In addition, the fact that it is open source also makes the job easier for developers, who can code it more efficiently.
New payment screen
There is a dedicated payment screen, where the customer has at a glance all the data he needs to consider whether or not to complete the purchase, such as the amount and the shipping costs. So, when he has to validate the order, he can clearly see the total amount.
In addition, PrestaShop 1.7 has the “Guest Checkout” option, which is enabled by default and allows the customer to make the purchase as a guest but at the end of it all, you can register if you want.
Another improvement to take into account is that in version 1.7 there is a new API to make the payment that shows the general conditions of sale depending on the country where the purchase is being made. This makes everything much clearer for the user.
Important difference between PrestaShop 1.7 and 1.6
To avoid confusion or last minute regrets, the 5-step checkout in 1.6 has been changed to the single payment screen we mentioned before. That is great, because by making the checkout process simpler and without having to fill out 5 screens, it makes it easier to have a lower cart abandonment rate.
New default home theme
The new home theme has a template that is much more customizable, it can be much better adapted to the look and feel you want to give to your store. This helps you to build the store much faster hand in hand with a customization and updating of the layouts.
But you have to be careful with one thing: if you have used the template design that comes by default with version 1.6, it will not work in Prestashop 1.7 version, you have to make a new one.
Important difference of PrestaShop 1.7 with 1.6
We emphasize that this PrestaShop 1.7 home page template is much simpler than in 1.6. But it is also better in responsive, as it is more focused on mobile ecommerce. If you have a store and you have looked at Analytics data, you will have noticed that with some exceptions, most of the traffic comes from mobile. So this improvement is essential.
More themes selection in PrestaShop 1.7
Not only the home template has improved, the 1.7 version of PrestaShop comes with new themes, much more modern and versatile than in 1.6. And if that wasn’t enough, in its backend it has introduced new hooks that allow developers to create much more customized pages.
So you see, even though upgrading to PrestaShop 1.7 from 1.6 requires you to change the template, it will be well worth the flexibility it will give you.
Create a product is simpler
Basically because it has a new interface, where the number of tabs has been reduced to only six. This means that it is now possible to configure practically all the relevant parameters, such as description, photos, stock, price, in a single tab: the “Basic Settings” tab. This means that you don’t have to go from one tab to another, as before.
Moreover, the shortcuts are better and allow products to be included in the categories in a new, much faster and simpler way.
Overall, the improvement has made managing the product catalog faster and more efficient.
Difference between PrestaShop 1.7 and 1.6
PrestaShop version 1.6 had 12 tabs to check and fill in to create a product. Therefore, it has changed substantially in this regard, making it much more manageable now than in the previous version.
In PrestaShop 1.7, browsing between sections of installed modules, uninstalled modules, etc. has been improved. This makes your daily management more manageable, as it is now easier to see which ones are installed or which ones can be installed.
In addition, all modules can now be automatically updated with a single click, thanks to the new “Update All” button.
Another difference between PrestaShop version 1.6 and 1.7 is the contact form. In version 1.7 it is handled as a widget, which makes it very easy to place it anywhere on your page. And also, the form being a widget allows it to be very configurable and customizable.
Prestashop 1.7 Backoffice
In this case, better than telling you about it, is to see it for yourself, comparing what you currently have in PrestaShop 1.6 with what you can get in PrestaShop 1.7. Just go to the URL https://demo.prestashop.com/#/en/back and see their demo.
As we can see, there are quite a few differences between Prestashop 1.6 vs 1.7 that make it worth the change. So how do we do it?
How to upgrade PrestaShop 1.6 to PrestaShop 1.7?
Now that we know the features of the new version of PrestaShop, let’s solve the next question: How to upgrade to PrestaShop 1.7?
We would love to give you a step-by-step, but as you can imagine, it is a process that can involve certain difficulties and has to be done carefully, following an exact methodology for it to be completed successfully.
Especially if you’ve got your website ranked in Google (a must if it’s ranking moderately well). Or if you have a large number of products, because in this case a correct migration of the catalog is mandatory, mistakes are not allowed.
You must also take into account the design of your current store in version 1.6. If you have it very customized, remember that we have told you before that the templates of the previous version are not valid for 1.7. You have to make the upgrade carefully not to lose important features when you move to the new version and see that third-party modules work properly.
To sum up, and to recap, why should you upgrade to the latest version of PrestaShop?
Let’s briefly review the advantages and new features of PrestaShop 1.7 compared to PrestaShop 1.6: it improves module management, optimizes the checkout process, uses the Symfony framework, brings new templates, – whose layout is more easily customizable, – products are created more quickly, catalogs are handled more easily and your backoffice has a much more fluid navigation.
Of course, if you have any questions and need help, do not hesitate to contact us. A whole team of professionals will be at your service.