Released in 2007, PrestaShop has become one of Europe and Latin America’s most popular ecommerce platforms because of its flexibility and wide range of out-of-the-box features. It’s currently being used by over 265,000 sites worldwide.
2022 became a milestone year in this platform’s history: a major version update, PrestaShop 8, was released. The previous version, PrestaShop 1.7, came up in 2016.
PrestaShop 8.0 has many new features and updates. We have gathered all the crucial information to guide you through its specifics and merged it into this article.
In our article, we provide an overview of the new features and updates in PrestaShop 8.0, compare it with its previous versions, and help you determine if it’s worth upgrading to the latest version.
If you’re considering upgrading to the latest version or just curious about what’s new in this PrestaShop release, read on!
Table of Сontents:
In December 2021, PrestaShop announced in their official blog that a new version is coming soon. PrestaShop 8 Beta was released in August 2022. And in October 2022, the creators notified that PS 8 is now officially available for download on GitHub.
The PS 8 release provided users with many significant improvements. Among them are the following:
- An updated version of Symfony 4.4
- PrestaShop compatibility with PHP 8.1
- A new password policy and session management features
- WebP support
And more, in addition to over 170 bug fixes.
PS 8 is also PrestaShop’s first company-neutral version, which means it’s free from built-in commercial products and services. Addons Marketplace is no longer a part of the project, but it’s possible to install it independently.
Now, let’s take a closer look into the reasons for upgrading your online store from PrestaShop 1.7 to version 8.0.
PS 8 brought many bug fixes, a better user experience, and a faster loading speed.
BelVG developers have already had a chance to evaluate all the advantages of the new PrestaShop edition. Below are the main benefits of upgrading to PS 8.
You can see a complete list of implemented features here.
PHP 8.0 and 8.1 Support
PrestaShop 8 requires at least PHP 7.2 and provides compatibility with the latest PHP 8.1 version supported until November 2024. Security and performance improvements come with each PHP version update, so running PrestaShop on the most recent version of PHP is vital.
Below we have listed the PrestaShop 8 compatibility chart with different PHP versions.
Symfony and Library Updates
Symfony 4.4 usage provides a high security level and improved performance.
The creators of PrestaShop 1.7 started a revolution when they switched to Symfony. It was followed by Symfony versions 2.8 and 3.4, and version 4.4 is now available in PrestaShop 8 and will be supported until November 2023. We can expect refinements to the Symfony framework along with upcoming PrestaShop versions.
PS 8 introduces a new password policy management feature.
- Users can now see their password strength when registering
- Administrators can configure the store’s password policy (from simple to complex)
- Store administrators can view users’ sessions history and disable their sessions remotely
These innovations assure store owners and clients that transaction processing is secure and the protection against external intrusion or hackers is high. Simplified checkout reduces the risk of credit card fraud or other malicious activity.
Modern Image Formats Support
The PS 8 version supports the popular WebP image format for products. WebP guarantees better compression at equal image quality compared to JPEGs and PNGs. And smaller file sizes speed up page loading.
These changes are available on the tab Design->Image Settings.
PrestaShop 8 developers have also added popular Svg image format support for the store logo (available on tab Design->Theme Logo).
Product Page Features
The product page has been upgraded compared to version 1.7.8. Besides, the combination management and bulk edition have been noticeably improved.
In PrestaShop 8.1, you can choose between the traditional product page and the revamped version. Here are some key updates concerning the product page:
- structure: clearer and more organized with a user-friendly approach.
- flexibility: it enables users to add products with combinations easily and change their type, replace, or add attributes for them.
- retail price: the pricing tab now has a tax calculator, which helps to calculate a retail price for a product.
- multistore mode: while using the multistore mode, attributes for all stores can be generated by checking the dedicated “Generate combinations for all stores” option.
Overall, the new product page feels more comfortable to work with.
The new edition includes several SEO features that PrestaShop didn’t have before.
- You can now add a block of SEO-optimized text at the bottom of category pages to increase their visibility in SERPs
- Administrators can use 410 Gone status for items discontinued from sale
- You can add the page number along with title meta tags
- Real-time character count is available to maintain the description limit
It’s supposed to help sites to rank higher in SERPs.
DKIM Signatures Support for Emails
This feature decreases the risk of your store’s e-mails being marked as spam. You can configure it under Advanced Parameters->E-mail.
This change is supposed to improve the code, reduce bugs, and enhance the long-term maintainability of the project.
PrestaShop 8.1 additional features
One of the latest versions of PrestaShop 8 is 8.1.1 (available for download here). It includes bug fixes for previous versions and provides additional stability for the 8.1 branch.
PrestaShop 8.1.1 was released on August 1, 2023. This new version includes several updates and improvements compared to PrestaShop 8.0.
Some of the key features and improvements in PrestaShop 8.1.1 include:
- Verifying if the product is available and can be ordered during the checkout
- Default availability of the new product page
- Registering frequently used outdated modifiers to the Smarty configuration to prevent warnings in the back office
- Experimental Avif image format together with webp.
- Admins’ opportunity to log into the front office even when the site’s support mode is enabled. Now the access can be given to all employees.
Here are a few bug fixes that are worth mentioning:
- Resolving the issue with the product editor not saving certain fields in a multi-shop setting
- Addressing the problem with translations in child themes and multi-shop themes
- Resolving the issue with PDF files always being in English when generated from the back office
Overall, PrestaShop 8.1.1 offers an enhanced and more robust e-commerce platform for businesses looking to create and manage their online stores.
PrestaShop 8 vs 1.7: which one is better? The differences between these two versions are significant, with the latter offering a more advanced and user-friendly experience for e-commerce businesses.
PrestaShop 8.0 supports newer versions of PHP and Symphony, offers the use of new image formats, and introduces a new product page with easier navigation. While PrestaShop 1.7 is still stable in that there are more ready-made modules and customizations for it because not everyone has been updated for the new one yet. It is important for businesses to carefully consider their specific needs and goals when deciding which version of Prestashop to use for their online store.
PrestaShop claims that transitioning from version 1.7.8 to version 8 will be much easier than from version 1.6 to 1.7. The 1.7 themes are supposed to remain compatible with the latest version, and many modules are expected to continue working as is. However, the module migration success depends on many factors.
Let’s see how our BelVG developers describe the experience of migrating to version 8.
The BelVG Team’s Experience: How to Update Your Site to Prestashop 8 Successfully
There’s an auto-upgrade available. However, after trying it on several projects, the BelVG developers realized that a manual PrestaShop download is better for highly customized sites. Here are some requirements for PrestaShop 8 download:
- First, it’s necessary to upgrade the PrestaShop under PHP 7.4 and then apply PHP 8.1.
- There may be compatibility issues with third-party modules and/or overrides and PrestaShop default classes with PHP 8. We recommend manually checking all modules and overrides before migrating to the newest version to ensure they work correctly in PS 8.
- There are very few changes on the level of the theme, but it’s necessary to check everything once you’ve applied the upgrade on a development copy.
- We recommend contacting your hosting provider first if you’re considering such an update. They can supply you with an environment compatible with PrestaShop 8 (one of the main prerequisites being PHP 8). You can move your site there, apply the upgrade, and then review the impact.
How long will it take to upgrade to version 8? It’s impossible to say for sure because the complexity of the process depends on the store’s specifics. Creating a copy of your site on a new server and checking the update’s impact will take 4-8 hours.
The final cost of migrating to a new PrestaShop version will depend on how customized your site is, which theme you use, and how expensive your developer’s hour is.
The future of PrestaShop is around the corner: the release is expected by the end of 2023 or at the beginning of 2024. Here the compatibility of versions issue may occur: this significant update needs to adapt to the changes in the PHP ecosystem, which means it will no longer support outdated PHP versions. Here are a few more important updates to come:
- The support for PHP 8.1, PHP 8.2 and versions <8.1 will be dropped
- Symfony 6.4 will be supported until 2027
- New API / Web Services architecture
- Migration of Legacy layout to Symfony layout
- Availability of a new theme, The Hummingbird theme, initially as a secondary theme.
Take your online store to the next level with BelVG PrestaShop DevelopmentVISIT THE PAGE
If your web store runs on an older version of the PrestaShop platform, it’s time for the latest PrestaShop 8.1 download. However, don’t rush too much with the upgrade.
As with any new version, not all providers have upgraded their modules and customizations for it. Before making any changes, you should consult with a developer experienced in PrestaShop, who can analyze whether all needed PrestaShop 8.1 requirements are met, and whether they will work well on the new version. That way, you can be sure that you have taken all necessary steps and can resolve any potential problems quickly if they arise.