You don’t have to upgrade your store just for the sake of having the latest PrestaShop version. But thinking long term – do you believe PrestaShop v1.6 will be well supported after 3-5 years from now?
Probably not. Even now, PrestaShop v1.6 world struggle with plugins and themes for that version. I believe the earlier you upgrade your store – the better.
I have helped lots of stores to upgrade and am willing to share some tips around that topic. Let us discuss the following:
- Understand Key Differences
- What to Know Before PrestaShop Upgrade
- How to Upgrade PrestaShop v1.6 to v1.7
Understand Key Differences
There are some significant differences between older and newer PrestaShop versions you might want to consider upgrading.
Addons. There are 3k modules for v1.6 and over 4k for PrestaShop v1.7. While numbers might still increase for v1.7 as addons are still developed, you should not expect any new addons for the earlier version as that one is officially discontinued.
Themes. There are just 200+ themes for PrestaShop v1.6 and almost 1700 for the recent PrestaShop version.
Mobile friendly back office and default theme are present in the recent PrestaShop version. It is difficult to imagine an online business that does not have a mobile device support which drives the most significant traffic.
Drastic technology change shifting gears a lot because PrestaShop changed their Smarty engine (which is still supported but will be deprecated) to a Symfony framework which increases security and easy to develop new things.
Guest checkout feature is fantastic and is only available in PrestaShop v1.7.
Contact form is a widget in PrestaShop v1.7. You can add it to any page in your store. This is very different from the older version, where the contact form is a separate page that can’t be moved or adjusted.
Better user experience lives in the latest PrestaShop. Starting from a more straightforward product creation process, user-friendly onboarding, addons search, better admin interface, more straightforward checkout process.
What to Know Before PrestaShop Upgrade
If you have custom addons or themes – they most likely won’t work.
PrestaShop v1.6 and v1.7 are incompatible versions. If you ever purchased development services for v1.6 – changes won’t’ be present after you upgrade.
Contact your store developers to check the integrity and possibly ship expected changes to a recent PrestaShop version.
How to Upgrade PrestaShop v1.6 to v1.7
I always advise having a staging environment for the clients. In this private (known only to you and your staff) environment, only you have a full copy of your store (with images, products, and entire database). Test migration there and see if everything is fine afterward – migrate production.
Doing all the work directly in production can lead to corruption. If you can’t do otherwise – have a file and database backup. Then, it will be easy to restore it later.
As the first step to migration, enable Maintenance mode in PrestaShop v1.6 by going to Shop parameters -> Maintenance.
Download recent PrestaShop source code and upload into your store file. When the file manager asks what to do about files present in the file-system already – click Overwrite.
Now execute the upgrade script by opening the URL in your browser https://example.org/install/upgrade/upgrade.php and following steps there.
After the upgrade, remove the install folder.
Upgrade plugins to the latest versions by going to Modules Manager and clicking the Update icon near every addon that asks about the update.
Review your store integrity and tweak things accordingly: theme, settings, design.
Upgrade to the latest PrestaShop version as soon as possible. Read on how to customize it in the PrestaShop customization blog.