- Written by Constantin Oesterling
PrestaShop eCommerce Hosting in the Cloud
PrestaShop is a popular ecommerce solution these days. Around 9% of all ecommerce websites worldwide are running Prestashop. It is an open source software written in PHP which mostly uses MySQL databases for its backend storage.
Prestashop had its origin in 2005. It was initially designed as a student project in Paris. Being designed in PHP, it was then named phpOpenStore and was released in two languages - English and French. Prestashop soon became very popular and the authors released the software in multiple languages soon, which extended its popularity by many folds. It became a company in the year 2007 and since then they never had to look back.
Recently they also released a self-hosted version of the software for free named PrestaShop Cloud. The latest stable version of Prestashop available as of this writing is Prestashop 1, more precisely PrestaShop v126.96.36.199. The major competitors of Prestashop are Magento, Joomla!, and OpenCart.
Who Uses PrestaShop?
Prestashop, as mentioned above, is an ecommerce software and these are the days of online shopping. Prestashop is mainly used by:
- Business owners who sell products online. It could be a big online market or a small baker's store or a flower mart or a textile business. It can be any product which can be sold online.
- Service providers who list their services online and lets customers choose from them
- Providers of downloadable products like antivirus, e-books etc
- Online newspapers, magazines, publications, reservation systems etc
What is PrestaShop Hosting?
A hosting platform which is specifically intended for and has configured their servers to run Prestashop is known as Prestashop Hosting. There are many hosting companies who have packages specialized for Prestashop Hosting. Just like any other ecommerce hosting, Prestashop Hosting also is gaining popularity these days.
Prestashop is basically a platform independent software. It can run on both Linux and windows platforms, although Linux is highly recommended. The other two major system requirements are PHP version 5.2 or later and MySQL version 5.0 or later. Prestashop is a lightweight application and does not drain server resources. As such, pretty much any decent shared hosting company can run Prestashop on its server.
A hosting company offering managed Prestashop Hosting would take up the entire responsibility of managing the Prestashop store on their server. Their hosting packages will come with Prestashop preinstalled. Their servers will have all configuration necessary for hosting Prestashop sites. The preinstalled Prestashop store lets customers to easily start working on their store rather than wasting time with installation.
Managed Prestashop Hosting also has the advantage that Prestashop features will be well utilized, and they will have good knowledge on how to handle the various Prestashop templates, Prestashop themes and modules etc. Some hosts also provide ssh access to their customers so that they can work directly on the shell rather than through GUI. They will advertise high uptime and will try to maintain it. They are also responsible for managing proper backups, just in case any disaster recovery is needed. Updates and all security patches will be taken care of by the hosting team to make things at ease for customers.
PrestaShop Cloud Hosting at JavaPipe
JavaPipe, though not a Prestashop specific host, has its servers well-tailored for Prestashop Hosting. Our shared hosting plans known as PHP Cloud Hosting packages are the best choices for hosting Prestashop sites. The specialty of our PHP Cloud Hosting package is that the websites reside on a cloud stack environment backed by superior SSD drives. The reliability and scalability of cloud platform along with the speed and performance enhancement of SSD drives make it the favorite choice for CMS and online store hosting.
We believe only good hardware can render good performance and hence we never compromise on the quality of hardware and network we use. SSD hard disk always outperform normal disks when it comes to performance.
For easier management of websites, we provide a control panel named SiteWorx for our customers. While we are aware cPanel is the most common control panel in the industry, we opted Siteworx as against cPanel due to its simple design and abundant feature lists. Siteworx is equally good as cPanel and customers can easily create and manage domains, emails, databases and all other aspects of a website. In addition, we have also integrated Cloudflare CDN to SiteWorx which lets customers enable or disable CDN as they wish.
Another feature which makes our PHP Cloud Hosting packages more popular is the availability of multiple PHP versions. PHP versions from the older 4.4 to the latest 7.0 are supported, which lets customers run any older versions of code without issues. This also makes migrations easier and trouble less. We offer databases unlimited and hence the customers can test any number of software and compare between hosting WordPress or hosting Prestashop or any other software.
The knowledgeable and courteous 24x7 support staff at JavaPipe is always on board to assist customers with any issues they face and maintain high uptime on servers. High uptime is a great factor we uphold. We also offer ssh access to our customers, so that they can login and check the issues directly.
As for Prestashop Hosting is considered, JavaPipe is committed to help users in all ways - right from the installation of the packages to any server issues that they may come across throughout their business with JavaPipe. To make installation easier, JavaPipe offers the 1 click installation software called Softaculous. It is indeed a wonder software which bags around 350+ software in its store and lets customers install any script at 1 click. We offer the latest version - Prestashop 1 - for our customers.
How to Install PrestaShop on JavaPipe's PHP Hosting
In this section, we will see how Softaculous makes Prestashop installation easier on JavaPipe's shared hosting servers.
Step 2: Inside the control panel, search for 'Softaculous' on the left search bar. You can also find the same under the 'Hosting Features' section. Click on it to be taken to the Softaculous Interface.
Step 3: Inside the Softaculous interface, search for Prestashop on the left search bar. Alternatively, it can be found under Ecommerce section or on the main screen itself.
Step 4: Clicking on the name or the icon will take you to the Prestashop main page. It provides a small description of the software as well as the space requirements. Go through the requirements and if you meet it, click on the 'Install Now' button to start with the installation.
Step 5: This is the most important and relevant step of the installation process. This process asks you a few details which you need to enter, and based on it Softaculous will install Prestashop for you. Following are the details required.
- Choose the version you want to install - The latest stable version currently is Prestashop 188.8.131.52. I am choosing that because any third party software you use should always be of the latest version to reduce security risks.
- Choose Protocol - Here you can decide whether you want the store to be installed on javapipe.demo, say for example, or www.javapipe.demo. You can also choose between https and http based on whether you want the store to be accessible over SSL or not.
- Choose Domain - The domains you have created through your control panel will be listed here and you can choose the one on which you want the store installed. I choose javapipe.demo
- In Directory - If you want the store to be accessible when you type in your website name in the browser, say http://javapipe.demo, just leave this field blank. If you want the store to be accessible as http://javapipe.demo/shop then enter 'shop' in the text box.
- Store Name - The name you would like to assign to your store. I would set it as 'My First Shop'
- Admin Folder - The folder name you would like to set for admin scripts. For security reasons, it is always recommended to set it to a different name than the common 'admin'. I will set it as 'manage'
- Admin Email - Email address of the admin user. This will be the username as well
- Admin Password - Password to be set for the admin user. It is recommended to set a strong password by clicking on the key icon which is a random password generator.
- First Name - First Name of the admin user
- Last Name - Last Name of the admin user Next, you will see a heading named 'Advanced Options'. Click on the + (plus) sign to its right and you will see further options to customize the database details. There would already be randomly generated data and it is okay to leave it as such, however, if you want to customize you are free to do so
- Database Name - The name of the database which will be used by the store. The installation will create the database automatically and there is no need to manually create it.
- Table Prefix - The prefix to be attached to the database tables.
- Disable Update Notifications - It is strongly recommended that you do not check the box here as it will disable the notifications. Any software you install should always be kept updated to the latest stable version and for that, you should receive notifications when new updates are available
- Auto Upgrade - It is your wish to check it or not. If you check the box here, your software will be automatically upgraded when new versions are available. If you didn't check it, then you will have to manually upgrade it from the admin panel
- Automated Backups - Backups are a must for any website, hence I set 'Once a Day' here
- Backup Rotation - The number of days to retain backups. I set 2 here so that after 2 days, the oldest backup will be deleted to make space for new.
- Email Installation Details to: - Enter the email address which would like to receive the installation details
Once you have entered all details, double check everything is correct and then click 'Install' button.
Step 6: This marks the end of the installation and if everything goes well, then you will be provided with a confirmation message on the successful installation of Prestashop. If anything goes wrong, the error will be displayed.
The image above displays the important URLs in the installation. My store can be accessed as http://javapipe.demo/shop which will display the default store installation as follows.
What you see above is a basic Prestashop template. A premium Prestashop template can be purchased online and applied to your online store. Premium Prestashop templates will have more features and will also make your website designing much easier.
The admin area can be accessed as http://javapipe.demo/shop/manage. Enter the admin email and password you provided at the time of installation.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Choosing Prestashop for Your Online Store
Like any software or product, Prestashop store also has its advantages and disadvantages. We are listing both below so that you can read and decide for yourself before choosing Prestashop.Advantages:
- Free of Cost - The product is fully free as it is based on open source technology. This lets you download, install and use the software as long as you wish without spending a penny.
- Easy to Use - Prestashop's panel is extremely easy to use. It greatly helps beginners and non-technical people to start their own store without hiring anyone. The user-friendly build of Prestashop makes it very easy to learn and master it.
- Prestashop Features - Prestashop features are worth mentioning when it comes to meeting website requirements. If any of the features are found to be missing, you can easily find a free version of it which can be added.
- Modules & Prestashop Themes - Free and paid versions of thousands of modules and Prestashop themes are available which can be integrated into Prestashop store for making it look and perform better. Prestashop themes can be easily upgraded from the old version to new without issues.
- Huge Community - Prestashop community is too big, which includes developers and Prestashop experts. Help is available to anyone looking for assistance through discussion boards, forums etc.
- Responsive Design - Responsive Prestashop designs are another plus point of Prestashop store. Responsive Prestashop store looks good in any machine irrespective of whether you access it on a computer, a smart phone or a tablet. It is also a very SEO friendly software. Responsive Prestashop theme has great demands.
- Low on resource usage - Prestashop is a lightweight platform which is small in size. It also does not put too much load on the server and takes up very little CPU and memory resources, thereby leading to smooth performance. Hosting plans can be easily customized for hosting Prestashop sites.
- Multilingual Platform - One among the greatest Prestashop features is its ability to handle multiple languages, making it a perfect choice for any country. Prestashop themes are designed with this multilingual capability in mind which makes integrations and translations easier.
Prestashop, though has a lot of positives, also has a few negatives. Here we will see what the disadvantages of Prestashop are as reported by users.
- Difficult to Extend - Though Prestashop is scalable, it is difficult to extend it beyond a limit. If any modules are available, it can be done easily, however, if no modules are there, then the Prestashop architecture makes it difficult for someone to modify the code and make modifications as they like.
- Costly Modules - Many times, the modules which you require to fulfill your website requirements are costlier than similar modules provided by other online store software. Sometimes other scripts provide the same functionalities as inbuilt modules for free which make you think whether it is worth dealing with Prestashop.
- Intended for Small business - Prestashop supports a large number of products but they are not really supportive for large scale businesses. Corporates will have to add a large number of modules to make a good website. As for small to medium businesses, Prestashop is considered fine.
Hosting Prestashop sites are comparatively easier compared to many other ecommerce software. It does not require any unlimited resources, though many companies hosting Prestashop advertise unlimited resources like unlimited websites, unlimited disk space, unmetered bandwidth etc. JavaPipe knows well from our experience that unlimited websites and unlimited resources are just a marketing trick to attract customers.
Our hosting plans are all limited but perform better than any unlimited packages. Our shared PHP hosting packages in the cloud can be well utilized for hosting Prestashop. VPS hosting is in thoughts for Prestashop Hosting and are expected to be released soon. In addition to Prestashop, JavaPipe hosting packages are also well suited for WordPress Hosting, Joomla Hosting and much more.