One of the great features of the PrestaShop e-commerce platform is the ability to create and manage multiple stores within a single installation of the software. Obviously from an admin side of things it’s much easier to update one instance of the core software and any modules you’re using rather than having to backup, upgrade and test multiple versions and trying to keep them all aligned with each other in terms of data and file versions. The reason(s) behind wanting to use the multi-store functionality in PrestaShop depends entirely on your business model, but we’ve listed below some of the main reasons why we would would recommend setting up a PrestaShop multi-store installation…

The top reasons for setting up PrestaShop multi-store

  1. You want to run both retail and trade stores, selling products at different prices for both trade and retail customers. The trade store can be hidden from search engines and/or users unless they are logged in if necessary – ideal if you’re looking to keep your trade pricing secret!
  2. Your products are available in multiple countries but at different prices. If you’re looking to offer your products at different prices depending on country/customer group etc you should really be doing it via a multi-store setup and not just through catalog discounts.
  3. You wish to have multiple stores with different branding and layouts. Prestashop multi-store allows you to install and run totally different themes/modules and content depending on which store you are in. So you could have two stores selling entirely different products or having two totally different target audiences all managed within one installation.
  4. You want to have a discount clearance store along side a full price store.

We’re going to cover the process for both PrestaShop 1.6 and 1.7 versions in this guide so make sure you choose the version that’s appropriate for you. A lot of the options are so similar though that we’ve used 1.6 for display purposes only.

How to enable multi-store in PrestaShop

Before you are able create new stores you need to enable the PrestaShop multi-store mode. It’s not turned on by default when you install PrestaShop but turning it on is very simple…

Version 1.6.x.x

  • Log-in to your Prestashop admin area.
  • Go to the “Preferences” menu tab and select the “General” tab page
  • For the “Enable multi-store” option, select “Yes” – (see screenshot below)
  • Save your changes

Version 1.7.x.x

  • Log-in to your Prestashop admin area.
  • Go to the “Shop Parameters” menu tab and select the “General” tab page
  • For the “Enable multi-store” option, select “Yes” – (see screenshot below)
  • Save your changes

Once you enabled the multi-store mode you can now go ahead and create the actual stores. You’ll find a new ‘multi-store’ option in the “Advanced Parameters” menu item – it’s the same for both 1.6 and 1.7 versions. Click on it to start creating your multi-stores

The Prestashop multi-store interface

The “Multi-store” page comprises three mains sections: (see image below)

  • Multi-store tree – Displays a tree layout of your shop groups, their respective shops, and even various URLs associated to a single shop. By default, there is only one shop (located in the default group) – the “master shop”, which is the one you have been using up until now.
  • Shop groups table – Lists the your available shop groups. If you are looking to share your customers, products, orders etc between any new stores you create, you need to make sure the settings for your shop group(s) are correct as it’s almost impossible to go back from some of them once enabled. You are able to have as many groups as necessary but bear in mind that a shop group is kind of like ring fencing any shops within it from shops within another group – The group’s settings only apply to the shops that are inside it, and you can only have a shop associated with one group. You can edit them by click on the ‘edit’ icon on the right to rename them.
  • €Multi-store options – Lists the available options for the existing shops. The ‘Default Shop’ is the one which will serve as the master for all the other shops you create, shares (you can import all or some of the details from the master shop to your other stores) its details with other shops (such as products, carriers, customers, categories etc.) and is the one that appears by default when you log in the administration dashboard.

*Tip: You can manage all your stores from the drop down menu within each page of the Administration window – see image below.

Adding a new shop to PrestaShop in multi-store mode

To add a new shop, find and click on the “Add a new shop” button to the top right of the PrestaShop multi-store interface. You’ll be taken to a new screen to add the shop details…

  • Shop name – enter your new shop name here.
  • Shop group – choose the “default” group shop you wish to associate your new shop with i.e. associate products, categories, etc.
  • Category root – By default it will be PrestaShop’s default ‘Home’ category. If you have a need to use another category you can change that here provided it’s been created already, if not you’ll need to create one. Most of the time the default category is fine.
  • Associated categories – choose which categories you wish to include/associate with your new shop from the master/default store.
  • Theme – choose which theme from the one(s) already installed that you wish to associate and use with your new shop.
  • Import Data – here you need to choose whether or not to import data from an existing shop, and if you have more than one already, which one you want use as the source shop to import the data from into your new shop. Tick each option to include them in the import. Please note – Even if you import the default data at this stage you can change it on a shop by shop basis at a later date.
  • Save your details.
  • Wait for the new store to be created – Once this process has been completed you should be able to select your different shops/shop groups in the drop down option in the main menu at the top of the screen.

And now the good bit!

With PrestaShop’s multi-store functionality, you can create new shops that run inside a subfolder/subdomain setup or they could be an independent site with a totally separate domain name. For example, you can have the following shop URL’s running in the same PrestaShop multi-store install…

  • https://www.example.com (main site)
  • https://www.example.com/red-widgets (shop 2)
  • https://www.example.com/blue-widgets (shop 3)
  • https://www.example.co.uk (shop 4)
  • https://www.anotherexample.com (shop 5)
  • https://www.anotherexample.com/green-widgets (shop 6)

All the above shops can be setup inside the same shop group to use the same products, settings and catalogue or within separate groups if you want to create separate content within them.

The best thing, is that all the above stores are managed from the same PrestaShop installation, which means you can perform one PrestaShop core/theme and/or module upgrade and all other stores are automatically upgraded too… marvellous!

Setting up the URL’s for your PrestaShop multi-store

To setup/define the URL of a new store you need to create the store itself first using the information above.

Once the new store is created you’ll be taken to the group page for the store you’ve just created and you should see your new store at the bottom of the Shops list, along with a link to ‘Click here to set a URL for this shop’ – click on the link and you’ll be taken to a new page where you can change the URL settings for the new shop.

All of the below information is assuming you have installed PrestaShop inside the public_html folder in your hosting account.

Please note: You don’t need to add http:// or https:// to any of the URL’s you might setup as Prestashop will do that for you, depending on whether or not you’re using SSL on your PrestaShop site.

1 – Subfolder

If your new store is simply running in a sub folder on your current domain name leave all settings as they are here except for the Virtual URL – you need to add the name of the folder you want to use here, remembering to include the forward slashes.

e.g. to use example.com/trade/ as your URL simply put /trade/ in the Virtual URL field and click save.

2 – Subdomain

If you want to use a subdomain for your new store you’ll need to change the Domain and SSL Domain to your subdomain URL and leave all other settings the same.

Please note – you need to make sure you’ve setup a subdomain alias inside your hosting admin area (such as cPanel or Plesk) for this to work.

3 – New Domain

To use a different TLD with your new multi-store shop, you’ll need to make sure you’ve parked the domain correctly on your hosting admin area (such as cPanel or Plesk) and that you’ve configured the domain’s DNS to point to your hosting account.

Once you’ve done that, simply edit both the Domain and SSL domain fields and input the domain name here. If you’re using www. At the beginning of your URL don’t forget to add it in these fields too.

Hopefully that’s helped you understand the process of enabling and setting up PrestaShop multi-store in versions 1.6 and 1.7. If you have any queries please let us know via the contact form.

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