Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Start a Shopping Cart Site Using PrestaShop?

updated on Sep 14, 2014
How to Start a Shopping Cart Site Using PrestaShop? PrestaShop is an open source e-commerce solution that is designed to help people build an online business. To create an online shopping cart site with PrestaShop, you need to complete several steps.

Since some people have met troubles in the process, we have worked out this tutorial with which you can learn how to set up your own online store to sell goods step by step.

Step 1: Select a web hosting package

Before building your own shopping cart site, you need a web server, enough disk space, bandwidth, a domain name, a MySQL database, and an FTP account. It seems to be complicated to have all of these things prepared, but in fact, a rich-featured web hosting package can prepare all of them for you.

When selecting a package, you should choose one from a reliable and reputed company which provides you with sufficient resources, and is able to keep your website staying online and running fast all the time. It would be better if the company also offers a free domain name and some marketing credits.

If you are not a professional in web design and development, make sure that the web hosting package you choose includes security features like shared SSL, password protected directories and OpenPGP/GPG encryption, which will help you maintain the security of your website.

Another feature you should consider is the 1-click PrestaShop installer which can automate the installation so as to save you the time and efforts in downloading, uploading zip file, creating a database, or something else. Using a 1-click installer, PrestaShop will be installed properly in seconds.

There are thousands of web hosts supporting PrestaShop, but only a few of them are able to meet the requirements mentioned above. As we have reviewed 100+ web hosts before writing this tutorial, we recommend BlueHost, a company providing not only all of the features needed, but also an anytime money back guarantee.

If you have not decided which web host to go yet, you can take a look at our award of best e-commerce web hosting to see whether there is one company providing what you need.

Step 2: Install PrestaShop

There are 2 ways to get PrestaShop installed. If you are not familiar with technical knowledge, you'd better use an auto installer to do the installation for you. Or you can also choose to install the software manually.

Install PrestaShop with a 1-Click Installer

Once you have signed up with a web host who offers 1-click installer, the installation of PrestaShop can be more than easy. Let's take BlueHost as an example. This company has an auto installer named SimpleScripts. To install PrestaShop, you just need to complete the following simple steps.
  1. Log into cPanel, scroll down to SimpleScripts Installations section, and click on the SimpleScripts icon.
  2. In the new page, scroll the application list down to PrestaShop and click on it.
  3. In the Installation PrestaShop page, click on the Install button.
  4. Choose the version you prefer, and complete the box which requires the information about the place where you would like to install PrestaShop.
  5. When it comes to the Advanced Options, name your website and get a password.
  6. Check out the information and click on Complete.

Then, PrestaShop will be installed automatically, and all you need to do is to log in your new online store with the provided information, including site URL, login URL, username and password. Now your website is up and running.

Install PrestaShop Manually

In the case that your web host does not provide you with any 1-click installer, you have to install PrestaShop manually if you'd like to set up an online store with this software. The process might be a little bit confusing for newbies, but as long as you follow the following steps, you can still handle it by yourself.
  1. Log into the control panel and create a new database.
  2. Log into phpMyAdmin using the information provided by your web host.
  3. Download PrestaShop and then exact the zip file locally on your computer.
  4. Download FTP software like FileZilla.
  5. Transfer all of the PrestaShop files to the server using FTP (if you don't have the login information, check your email or contact your web host).
  6. Open your browser and go to //
  7. Select the language you prefer to use in your online shop and press the Next button.
  8. Confirm that the system configuration can meet PrestaShop requirements, then click on the Next button again.
  9. Fill out the needed information to configure your database and verify the database.
  10. Complete the shop settings and your contact information.

Now PrestaShop is properly installed. For security reasons, remember to delete the "install" folder. Now you can use the "admin" folder to log into PrestaShop store.

Step 3: Select a payment solution

As soon as your online store is up and running, you need to choose the method of payment you would like to accept online. PrestaShop comes with 18 integrated payment methods, including American Express, PayPal, First Data, Hipay, Klama, Kwixo, Merchant Warehouse, Ogone, PayU Latam, Stripe, Trustly, Wexpay, PagSeguro, BluePay, Bank Wire, Cash on Delivery, and Check.
  1. Choose as many methods as you would like.
  2. Click Install on the payment module(s) you have chosen to accept.
  3. Configure the module(s) according to the payment solutions' instructions, and then begin accepting payment online.

Step 4: Configure shipping options

The success of your online store, to some degree, depends on how you pick, pack and ship your products. In this case, PrestaShop provides multiple shipping options, so you can simply choose your preferred shipping methods and install them in one click.

According to your own preference, you can also add shipping discounts, set shipping fees by price or weight, and configure different carriers and destinations.

Step 5: Customize your shopping cart site built with PrestaShop

To make your online store easy to manage and good in look, you'd better do the following things.
  • Categorize your products. If you have different kinds of products, you should organize them using the catalogue builder in case you will make changes to them or even delete them one day.
  • Choose a responsive charming theme for your website. A responsive theme can help boost your sales on mobile devices, and an attractive appearance, on the other hand, makes it a pleasure to browse your products.
  • Select high performance modules for your online store. There are thousands of free and paid PrestaShop modules which can be used to enhance either the security or the performance of you website. You can take advantage of one or several of them to improve user experience and to stimulate sales.

Having done all of these steps, now you can just focus on the products and sales of your online business.