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How to set up PrestaShop

PrestaShop is a relative newcomer in the eCommerce industry. However, it is already powering over 150,000 online stores for everyone from small retailers to big chains such as Office Depot.

With over 310 features available out of the box, and 3,500+ modules and templates available for download, it is not surprising that PrestaShop is making big waves in the industry. The best part of all is that PrestaShop remains completely free and open source.

Setting up an online store may seem like an intimidating and daunting task, but it’s actually easier than you might think. Here we will guide you step-by-step through setting up a standard installation of PrestaShop, so it’s all ready for you to start uploading items and, more importantly, making sales!

What You Need

Before you install PrestaShop, you will need a domain name and Web hosting service, so your online store has somewhere to “live.”

If you have yet to arrange all of this, check out our step by step tutorial on how to register your own domain and hosting account at HostGator. The guide will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this tutorial easily afterwards.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we are working on the assumption that you are using HostGator for hosting services. If you are not, don’t worry. HostGator uses cPanel, which is the most popular Web hosting control panel in the world. Many other Web hosting services use it too, so there is every chance that you’ll still be able to follow this guide.

Let’s get started!

1. Login to your cPanel account using the admin login credentials from HostGator (or your chosen hosting service provider). This information is usually in the welcome email the hosting company sends when you first sign up.

Main panel

Even though the wealth of cPanel options can seem initially daunting to novices, it is actually very easy to use. Stay tuned on Make a Website for a comprehensive tutorial on cPanel that will follow soon.

2. Locate the “Software/Services” group of icons on the right. You will have to scroll down a fair way to find it.

3. Look for QuickInstall and Fantastico De Luxe, both of which are excellent automated installers for Web applications. The only trouble is that some applications available on QuickInstall aren’t available via Fantastico De Luxe, and vice versa.

At HostGator, the most modern applications seem to all be available via the QuickInstall option – and that is where you will find PrestaShop


3. Click into QuickInstall, and locate PrestaShop – you should find it in the “eCommerce” section of the left-hand menu. Click on it, and then click “Continue.”

QuickInstall - Prestashop

4. Assuming that your domain is correctly configured within your hosting account, you will see it in the drop down list. Ensure the correct domain is selected.

The blank field afterwards allows you to install PrestaShop into a subdirectory of your domain (such as www.yourdomain.com/shop). However, you will probably want people to arrive directly at your online store as soon as they arrive at your domain – therefore, the chances are that you will want to leave this field blank.

QuickInstall - PrestaShop Install

5. Leave the “Enable Auto Upgrades” box checked, as this will help you to keep your site up to date and secure. Then, fill in the rest of the information, making sure you provide a valid email address. Finally, click “Install Now.”

5. After a brief pause, you should find that PrestaShop is set up on your domain. You will see a login URL, and confirmation of your admin username and password. You should also receive the information by email. Whatever you do, ensure you keep the information safe somewhere.

QuickInstall - Prestashop Finished

You should be able to click directly on the URL to go to your new store’s admin interface. However, If you’ve installed PrestaShop very shortly after arranging your registration and hosting, you may receive a “page not found” error when you try to access the site. Don’t be alarmed. Your domain registration needs time to propagate across all the global DNS servers. The process can take anything from few hours to 48 hours. If you want to learn more about this, click on this link.

Once you can access your PrestaShop admin page, key in your admin username and password. You will be greeted by PrestaShop administration dashboard.

Prestashop Dashboard

Congratulations! Your PrestaShop store is now ready for configuration. Good luck!

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Author Picture Written by Pete Zaborszky
Pete runs Make a website and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+