Why i think 1.7 is ‘the must have migration

First at the time of this writing there is no autoupgrade path for pre 1.7 shops.  We see two things 1) autoupgrade being updated for use within 1.7 only and 2) 3rd party migration modules and service.  

Theme (templates)

We do not use default theme, ever.  This is for building your catalog but is not recommended for long term use.  There are to many high quality themes with right tool set that allow you to manage your content in great ways.  Using default/classic theme does not and it will hurt your presentation which hurts your sales.  So stop using default/classic!  

1.7 Introduces Template Inheritance:

Why is template inheritance really really important?  First you must understand without template inheritance front office modules could only ‘add’ content.  It could not directly change or remove existing content.

As developer I avoided front office module development as it was impossible to implement things like ‘hide price add cart’ with a module solution. 

Now with template inheritance front office modules can add, change, and remove front office content.  This is a ‘big deal’ as before again we could not really develop rich front office features. 

1.7 Templates have significantly smaller footprint. 

Historically front office templates contained a ‘lot’ of logic and were really computer programs using Smarty PHP syntax.  Really horrible to work with and few if any code editors was compatible with Smarty syntax.  Barbaric!

In 1.7 we see migration of template code back to native php functions which pass the result to the template for display.  Moving complex template code back into native PS functions is faster and cleaner.

Performance

First, PrestaShop historically has had performance features that no other open source software had.  I checked!  It was and still is a leader in providing built in performance.  PrestaShop made a gigantic leap when they implemented asset manager where modules/themes register their assets.  This building block improved existing performance but uses best in class standards so developers could define their assets in ‘smart’ ways.

Historical: In 1.6 we saw introduction of JavaScript load bottom which was a big deal even though it killed my JavaPro sales lol. 

Having written an experimental module for 1.6 JsSuprCache that created one CCC of .js for all pages I already knew the performance benefit, it was significant.  But alas I could not force a frame work for other developers so my code was just that, pretty cool, proved a point but would not work totally because of .js order.

So while I’m ahead of my time looking for performance improvements each time PrestaShop steps up and delivers.  I’d like to think my previous work helped inspire them but they are pretty smart group all on their own.

1.7 Introduces Supports 1 CCC of .js and .css files

This is managed within the new asset manager.  This is a big deal even for the non-CCC technique community.  Why?  In previous PS versions there was a different CCC file for each page type.  Depending on typical visitor navigation this created less than optimal performance.  1.7 supports CCC .js/.css files the 2nd and subsequent visitor page is ‘significantly’ faster. 

1.7 Support .js aysnc/defer

This is even a bigger deal because now developers can add their .js asset and can pass the .js load types.   If their .js file was not reqired for above the fold render they can  now select defer or async.  This will reduce those ugly waterfalls in your performance reports.

1.7 Themes

Ok, most of you all know we only use Leo Themes.  We have just finished 4th 1.7 client shop each with Leo Themes.  Early on it was a challenge (1706) but post (1710) it was much easier.  For 1.7.2.4 we had more issues with native ps features than we did with themes or modules.

Working in 1.7 back office and themes is dreamy compared to 1.6 which was pretty nice. 

We are very pleased with theme developer adoption of 1.7. 

1.7 Modules

Ok, great news this eco has ‘embraced’ 1.7 and most 3rd party upgrade modules you might require in upgrade scenario most likely exist.  Also this might be good time to look at alternate module feature that might offer your existing feature need in new cool way. 

What is missing in free feature module market?  I’m not going to name names but earlier PS marketing was to provide a basic feature to get you started.  There were two issues I saw with this, shop managers would use default features which were not as good as their competitor.  Now that those some of these base features have been dropped the use of higher quality paid solution is required.  This just makes a better shop.  For people starting out they can try their luck searching for 3rd party free modules

It’s called fremiun folks, PS and 3rd party developers need to put a roof over the heads and send kids to college like anyone else.  So we will see more non-core features moved into paid module solutions.  The good news as addon’s sales grow prices can be kept down.  Dis-advantage to countries with low purchasing power than Euro pricing.  PS announced in gitter that a price by country feature for addon’s was imminent but we have not heard more sense.  Note to self: kick that ball again.

Over the last several years we have seen an increase of quality modules.  This is because of improved PS best practices and in particular within the official PrestaShop addons. 

PrestaShop has invested heavily in quality control of their addon’s market and am myself becoming very confident to buy and install.   The can only win in addon’s when shop managers are confident in the module will work out of the box and if not that contact/response (measured by PS) is fast and efficient.  They have come a long way creating a very robust addon’s market place. 

Happy PrestaShoping,

el patron (aka Hero Fred)