Hosting for Ecommerce: Installation Tips for Prestashop

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Before Installing Prestashop
The first step ought to be choosing a way to established your web site environment.  Almost all massive e-commerce (and other) sites produce three totally different environments.

1. Development - The starting point for any modification / addition to the site such as new modules, new themes, new options, new pages, new payment strategies, and just about something except easy text change.

2). Testing - once a development cycle ends, the changes are moved to this environment and undergo a thorough testing to make sure the new changes are working properly, which nothing else was plagued by them. It's extremely recommended to perpetually check the vital features of the site: registration/login, cart functionality, and checkout / payment. Any bug or issues that are found ought to be fixed on the development environment before restarting the testing cycle.

3. Production - once a testing cycle is complete, the changes will be captive to the production (live) web site where another testing cycle ought to take place to make sure all the changes were properly copied and nothing else was broken in the process.

This may seem to be an extended and redundant process, however it's considered the quality by most professionals for good reason. Following this process will reduce the chance of any bugs and problems that can disrupt the operation of your web site and cause you to lose time and cash.

If your web site is small/medium, you'll be able to use only two environments: development/testing and production. However, no matter however little your web site, it's never a decent plan to solely have a production environment.

You can also install Prestashop on your local computer as your development/testing environment using a free program referred to as WAMP (download at, that simulates a web-server with PHP and a MySQL database. If you use Skype, you must disable it from using port 80 before installing WAMP (Tools -> Options -> Advanced Settings -> Connection -> uncheck the box for "Use port 80 and 443....").

After WAMP is installed and running, you'll be able to copy the Prestashop installation folder to C:/wamp/www/ (which is that the root folder), open a browser window, and enter http://localhost/. If WAMP was put in properly, you must see two folders: the Prestashop folder you only copied and a phpMyAdmin folder, which can allow you to produce and manage your databases.

You can also produce a development / testing environment in a subfolder on your web server.

Pick a Good Web Hosting

Depending on how big your shop is and how many visitors you get, you may need a dedicated host, however, almost all sites (especially small / medium) can use shared hosting.There are many different hosting companies offering different plans and deals. You should pick one that offers at least 8GB of Ram, at least 1GB of database space, and at least 5GB of hard drive space, this will leave you enough room to grow your site.

We use and recommend HostForLIFEASP.NET for all the sites we develop, they offer unlimited database space, unlimited hard drive space, and unlimited bandwidth (traffic). Their team are standing by to respond to your queries around the clock, big or small, and they’ll be there for you - 24x7, 365 days a year. You can contact us via all standard communication channels - by e-mail, through the ticketing system, or via an online form - should you have any pre-sales questions.

Whichever host you decide to go with, do a quick search in the Prestashop forum to see if anyone had any problems using them, it can save you a lot of time later on.

Installing Prestashop

  1. Download the latest STABLE version of Prestashop (NOT an alpha, beta, or anything other than a stable version) and extract the files in your local computer.
  2. Use an FTP client, such as Filezilla (, to copy the contents of the Prestashop folder into your web server.
  3. You will need to create a new database for Prestashop. To do this, login to your hosting company's cPanel interface and look for the database link. Create a new database and assign a new username and password for it; make sure to write them down, since you will need to enter them during the Prestashop installation process.
  4. You also need to make sure the proper file/folder permissions are set. Most modern hosting companies (especially ones using cPanel) will not work properly with permission levels higher than 755; the reason is that 777 (which is instructed in the Prestashop installation guide) is extremely insecure and even a novice hacker can use it to exploit your site.
  5. For example, if you try to set the permissions of the modules folder to 777, your host will block any .php file on it from running. If you try to access any of those files, you will get an "Error 500" making the module unusable.
  6. Some old hosts or ones that were not configured properly will not be able to work with 755 and will require 777; it is highly recommended to stay away from such hosts.
  7. Once the database is created and permissions are set, you can start the installation process and follow all the steps (replacing any 777 permission with 755). 
prestashop hosting

After the Installation and In the Long Run

  • Now that Prestashop is installed and your site is up and running, it is important to keep it that way.
  • The most important, yet often neglected part is proper backup. It is often compared with going to the dentist- no one wants to do it, until it's too late.
  • Most hosts offer a file / database backup. Some may even let you schedule an automatic file backup, but more often than not, it is a complete backup of everything in your site and not just of Prestashop files / databases.
  • We have created an Automatic Prestashop Backup module that lets you backup the Database and Files as frequently as you wish. It also lets you email a copy of the backup to your mailbox and save a copy on your server.
  • Whether you choose to use our module, your host's backup option, or a different method, you need to make sure that backups are done frequently and that you know how to restore them in case your site gets corrupted.
  • A good backup system will allow you to quickly restore your site, saving you a lot of stress, time, and money.
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