September 20, 2017
Unless it’s abandoned, all web software is continually under development and being improved. Sometimes we might wish developers would keep some of their “improvements” to themselves, but that is a topic for another blog!
It’s incredibly difficult to talk version numbers without sounding terminally geeky - but that’s the situation we find ourselves in. Please indulge me…
Already running Prestashop?
Then it’s highly likely you’ll be running the 1.6 series. At the time of writing the latest version in this series is 1.6.17. If your online shop isn’t updated to this version then it’s highly recommended that you update as soon as possible for the usual triplet of reasons: security, bug-fixes and performance.
Thinking about installing Prestashop?
When you visit the Prestashop download page you’ll be guided by default to download the latest version in the 1.7 series. To find the older versions you’ll have to scroll down the page and navigate a few links.
What’s the problem?
Version 1.7 looks to be a welcome step on the evolution of Prestashop. Mainly for the things going on under the hood with the framework upon which it’s built. When the first “stable” 1.7 version was released there were the twin problems of bugs always endemic in the first release of any software, and lack of compatibility with the templates and some modules used in the previous version.
It’s safe to assume, several releases on, that the initial crop of bugs which have bitten the early adopters will have been ironed out.
Template incompatibility is a big barrier. It’s quite usual to adapt the standard page templates to display product or other information in a different way from the “out of the box” program. There are many pages and templates to consider. The difference between 1.6 and 1.7 templates is non-trivial.
Which should I choose?
If you’re looking to start on your Prestashop adventure, provided the modules you need for the functionality you require for your online shop can be found and will work with 1.7, I’d say go for the latest version of 1.7.
If you’re already on the 1.6 track then I’d say stick with that unless there is a compelling reason to move to 1.7. That advice would hold good until it’s announced that 1.6 will no longer receive updates.