About Prestashop Shopping Cart
Are you looking for a shopping cart system to sell your product online or a product catalog to display your product, such that your offline physical visitors can look up products online first before they visit your shop?
There are many shopping cart systems on the market, Prestashop, Magento, Bigcommerce, and Shopify. Each of them has its own pros and cons. If you are a starter, and looking for a system that is easy to set up and operate, with minimum technical knowledge and cost-effective. Then you can try Prestashop.
Prestashop is a shopping cart system that started in Europe back in 2007. Since then it has become a very popular open-source online shopping cart system, it is secure and easy to operate.
About Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform provides $300 free credit to all new users. You can use the credit toward Google Compute Engine, which allows you to set up website hosting. Yes, you can get 12 months of free hosting this way. The following tutorial will walk you through step-by-step on how to set your Prestashop with Google Cloud Platform.
1. Domain Name
If you already have a domain name, you can skip to next step.
You can purchase a domain name via Name Cheap, GoDaddy, or Google Domain Name. It doesn’t matter, the price and service are more or less the same. We recommend Google Domain Name because all your hosting and domain can be managed under the same billing account. Keep it simple.
Make sure you choose a good domain name that is easy to remember and meaningful to your business. You can use Shopify Domain Name Generator for suggestions. A useful tool to help you choose a good domain name for your business.
2. Google Cloud Platform Registration
You can visit https://cloud.google.com/free to register a free account to get $300 free credit. You can use the credit toward different products provided by Google. In this case, we will be using the Compute Engine, which is the hosting server for our website.
Go ahead, and register the account.
3. Create a Google Cloud Platform Project
In order to create a Google Cloud Engine, you have to create a project and enable the billing for the project. Don’t worry, Google won’t charge you as you have the $300 credit in your account.
To create a project, you can follow this video,
Then, you can enable the billing for the project,
4. Create Google Cloud Compute Engine
As aforementioned, the Google Cloud Platform provides lots of products and services. We will be using the Compute Engine as our hosting server. You can follow the video below to create an instance/VM as the server.
5. Update the dynamic IP to static IP
Google Cloud Engine or instance can be started and stopped like your desktop. You can then install the server (i.e. Apache 2 server), MySQL, and PHP on the server. Once the instance is set up, an external IP will be assigned to the instance.
The external IP assigned to the instance is dynamic, so make sure you convert it to a static one, such that, it stays connect to our domain name.
To do that, you go to VPC Network, and convert the dynaic IP to a static one.
If the IP is dynamic, whenever you restart the instance, the IP will be updated to different one. And you domain name to IP linkage will break.
Once the IP is converted to static, you can start linking the IP and the domain name. There are 2 parts to this.
Go to Network Services, Cloud DNS, create a DNS zone.
A DNS will be automatically assigned to the domain, and you can fill in the rest of the filed as needed. The most important one is the A type value, which should be your IP. This link the domain name to your IP.
The second part is go to your domain name, and update the DNS to DNS value provided by Google. In this case, my DNS is ns-cloud-c1.googledomains.com.
Think of the IP address is the phone number, and nobody is going to remember your phone number (IP), so we assign a text name to it, which is the domain name. And DNS in this case works as the phone book for the visitor’s browser to check when it tries to visit your website. On the phone book, there are thousands of IP to domain name mapping record.
6. Install PHP, MySQL, and Apache2 on your instance
Google Compute Engine provides a web SSH tool for you to access the server. You can go to Compute Engine, then VM Instance, to see the instance you just created. https://console.cloud.google.com/compute/instances
A window will pop up,
You can set up the server in 10 mins by following the video.
Set up Apache server on Google Compute Engine
Or, you can following this apache setup tutorial from Digital Ocean.
7. Install phpMyAdmin to manage your MySql database
You can follow the phpMyAdmin setup steps here.
phpMyAdmin is a web based mysql database management tool will help you create and modify database easily.
Create a database for the Prestashop, i.e. prestashop_db. The database user name and password are set up on the previous step.
8. Prestashop Setup
Open the web SSH windown, and go to the website root folder, where you are going to download Prestashop files
Download the Prestashop file
sudo wget https://download.prestashop.com/download/releases/prestashop_188.8.131.52.zip
To unzipp the file, you can install the zip tool as following
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install zip
Extract the zip file
You will get
index.php Install_PrestaShop.html prestashop_184.108.40.206.zip prestashop.zip
Go ahead, open your browser and type in your domain name, the system will guide you through the installation steps. Or, you can follow this tutorial here.
A few notes:
- make sure you change your admin folder to something hard to guess, i.e. adminDFLKJDF.
- you can find a free Prestashop theme here and install the new theme by following the video below.
If you have any question, pleas feel free to leave your question below.