In our work is essential to stay as up to date as possible on everything that the web offers, but it is equally important to be able to evaluate what is found and considered interesting, over the years we have used various methods to do so, to evaluate developers, communities and products. This is particularly important when we talk about forks of open source projects that you want to use in a production environment.
For some time I had heard about THIRTYBEES a fork of PRESTASHOP, famous and widespread eCommerce system that we use and know from years, I promised myself to "deepen the topic", which I was able to do in these hot summer days, the results we have obtained have been fabulous and exciting and have prompted me to write this article and propose THIRTYBEES as an alternative eCommerce solution to PRESTASHOP for my customers, but let's go step by step:
First test, installation from scratch.
Like any modern CMS the installation is simple and fast, you download the compressed file from the site THIRTYBEES and reload the content on your web space, you create the db and through a web interface step by step you enter the administration data, everything is clear, fast and "standard".
The first thing we notice is the speed, both of Back Office and Front End, this is one of the peculiarities of THIRTYBEES, many CMS need plug-ins or additional modules for proper cache management and specifically PRESTASHOP not only needs them (for decent performance) but those available are also quite expensive, to have some data to evaluate better just go on Google Page Speed Insights, the tool of big G to evaluate the speed of a site and then the user experience, a site in PRESTASHOP with a basic configuration barely totals from 40 to 49 points, THIRTYBEES just installed with the demo content reaches 89 points...
Third fundamental aspect is the compatibility with most recent versions of PHP, THIRTYBEES version 1.2 ( the last at the moment in which I write ) is compatible with PHP 7.4 which makes it a secure environment, performing and modern, keep in mind that it is a fork of PRESTASHOP 1.6...This makes me think a lot about the development of the software and how instead of a deep optimization we tend to increase "functionality" for most of the times useless ( to the average user ).
To continue I move on to the second test:
Second test, conversion of a site based on PRESTASHOP 1.6.1.x to THIRTYBEES 1.2.
I took the backup of a customer's site based on PRESTAHSOP 184.108.40.206, a site with 170 products of which the customer did not want to face the costs of migration, but that over time, inevitably went to meet various issues, primarily the version of PHP now obsolete, after taking courage I did a first update to version 220.127.116.11 luckily went well, then I installed the module to "transform" PRESTASHOP in THIRTYBEES, you can download it at this link.
As described on GitHub the module: "... allows you to migrate any version of PrestaShop 1.6 to ThirtyBees quickly and easily. The module installs like a regular PrestaShop module and converts your existing store to ThirtyBees , making all the necessary changes and applying the 2000+ bug fixes and speed optimizations to your store..
And in a few minutes, completed the operation, I find myself with the eCommerce updated and totally intact apart from a few images to regenerate through the menu, with amazing performance, I go now to change the settings of PHP activating version 7.3, this is because the module has brought me to THIRTYBEES 1.0.8 and not 1.2 which is the latest version available but just download and install CoreUpdater, to update THIRTYBEES to 1.2 and switch PHP to version 7.4.
The only problem found after all these steps was because of the installed template, I tried to change it with NIARA, the default template of ThirtyBees 1.2 and clearly some blocks were not seen, then I wanted to reactivate TRANSFORMER and I was no longer able to get the initial graphics and not only that, error 5oo during checkout (one page, the one in five steps worked), this is because the template is NOT for ThirtyBees, should be purchased again for him (it is available).
But going back to NIARA ( it's simple and elegant ) and fixing the homepage blocks everything was working fine again and in line with the expected performance.
Third test, migration of a site based on PRESTASHOP 1.7.x to THIRTYBEES 1.2.
I was with a customer to whom I had recently made a migration of PRESTASHOP from 1.6.x to 1.7.7.x, he complained about the lack of rationality of the new product sheets and the slowness of the Back Office (he has a dedicated VPS) I told him about THIRTYBEES and I had a doubt, can you switch in some way from PRESTASHOP 1.7 to THIRTYBEES 1.2?
After some research I had the answer, yes, you can do it through a component available on the marketplace of THIRTYBEES at €69 and checking the developer it was the same of the component I had previously used for the migration of PRESTASHOP from 1.6.x to 1.7.7.x, so actually I already had it, I just had to try...
I created a subdomain and installed THIRTYBEES 1.2 from scratch, from PRESTASHOP marketplace downloaded the migration module but for version 1.6.1 and installed it on THIRTYBEES, from the module setup I downloaded the connector and installed it on the customer site, PRESTASHOP 1. 7.7.x I went back to THIRTYBEES, I configured the module selecting EVERYTHING I wanted to migrate ( Products, categories, orders, messages, etc... ) and started the migration, everything worked fine, I had the eCommerce perfectly working./p>
Once I fixed the menu and homepage I did some tests on Google Page Speed Insights I went from 45 points for the version 1.7.7.x of PRESTASHOP to 89 for the version on THIRTYBEES 1.2, without active compression!
To conclude, THIRTYBEES is a way to keep the investment made with the realization of an eCommerce developed on PRESTASHOP 1.6.1 without having to deprive yourself of anything, many components are compatible ( almost all ), it is much more flexible ( I'll talk about it in another article ), much faster ( SEO and sales will benefit ), stable and fully compatible with PHP 7.4.
If you want more information I refer you to official website.