Creating an online store is a great way to generate additional income or start your own business. PrestaShop is a free and open source e-commerce platform that allows you to easily create your own store.
To use PrestaShop, you’ll need web hosting, which will provide you with the server infrastructure and software you need to power your online store. In this guide, we explain how to set up your eCommerce store with PrestaShop and provide important information to help you get started.
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Run your own eCommerce platform with PrestaShop: Preparation
Before you start building your online retail empire, you need to purchase hosting. We use Hostinger (opens in a new tab) for this how-to guide, an industry-leading host that offers affordable yet powerful hosting solutions. A powerful hosting subscription is a good idea if you plan to build a large online store.
Once your hosting plan is ready, install the PrestaShop software on your hosting server. If you’re using Hostinger, you have access to a simple and easy to use automatic installer that allows you to install PrestaShop (and many other scripts) with one mouse click.
You will find the automatic installation tool in the Hostinger hPanel control panel. Click on it, search for PrestaShop and follow the instructions to install it. You can manage your installation and access the PrestaShop control panel easily from the automatic installer.
If you need more help, Hostinger has posted a comprehensive guide to install and configure PrestaShop (opens in a new tab).
Step 1 – Choose a theme
First of all, you need to choose a theme for your store. You can start from scratch and design your own site from scratch, but we recommend starting with a theme from the PrestaShop Addons Marketplace. This is where you’ll find over 2,000 designs that are carefully categorized by primary use. Sell fashion items? Take a look at the templates for fashion and footwear. You can also filter by theme language, included functionality, design, and customer rating.
All PrestaShop Marketplace templates are available with a one-time license fee. However, there are free template options elsewhere on the web if you’re on a tight budget.
Step 2: Add and customize pages
For the next step, head over to the Pages menu on the Design tab from your main panel. Here you can add and customize the pages you need. The default PrestaShop theme includes some pre-added pages, such as About and Legal, but you may need to add others.
To customize your pages, select the edit button and follow the prompts.
Step 3: Protect your store
The next step is security. Since you will be dealing with sensitive personal data and customer payment information, it is crucial to maintain a high level of security. We suggest checking your hosting’s security settings to make sure it’s airtight and adding a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate (opens in a new tab) to your store. This is accomplished through your hosting account rather than through PrestaShop.
Step 4: Set up payment methods
Before you can start accepting payments, you must set up at least one payment gateway. Bank transfer and check payment are the only default methods, and you’ll need to install modules for other gateways like Stripe and Amazon Pay.
Go to the Catalog of modules to install them, before configuring them through the Payment menu.
Step 5: Add products
Your online store should be starting to come together, so it’s time to add your products. Go to the Product menu in the Catalog tab. This is where you add new products and manage existing listings. Your inventory and pricing information is clearly listed, and you can unpublish items with a click of your mouse.
Selecting the Add New Product button will bring up a set of useful tools to help you create a new product listing. You can configure everything from pricing and shipping options, to SEO settings and your general information.
In the International > Localization menu, you will find a Currencies tab that allows you to add additional currencies if necessary. Selling in USD is usually an acceptable method, but adding local currencies like EUR, AUD or CAD could help you attract more international customers.
To add a new currency, select Add New Currency, choose the currency you want, and then click Save. There is a useful option to add live exchange rates, which requires an additional module to install.
Step 7: Test, test, and test some more!
At this point, your store should be almost ready to launch. However, you should put it through rigorous testing to make sure there are no bugs or glitches that could detract from the customer experience.
Spend time clicking through to your site using different devices with different web browsers. It’s often a good idea to ask friends or family members to try it too. Every once in a while, an extra set of eyes will pick up on something you may have missed.
Anyone can create an online store with PrestaShop. It’s easy to set up and use, and you shouldn’t have to pay more than a few dollars a month to get started. In this how-to guide, we outline everything you need to know about setting up your store, so jump right in!
Consult our guide to best prestashop hosting (opens in a new tab) if you are still looking for a host, and give our PrestaShop Website Builder Review (opens in a new tab) a read to learn more about this versatile platform.
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