“It seems that perfection is attained, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There is probably no better quote to depict how we’ve achieved one of the most important improvement of PrestaShop 1.7: its new Theme structure. In previous versions of PrestaShop, creating a new theme was a developer task. It required a large technical skillset (HTML, CSS, Smarty and PrestaShop itself), and a lot of business logic was happening inside the templates. As a result, the Themes were only built on top of the default Theme.
That’s why we came up with a better solution to create and maintain a theme: a Starter Theme and a new Default Theme. Our goal is to enable anyone to create an awesome theme with only basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, in only half the time it took with PrestaShop 1.6.
We call Starter Theme our minimal PrestaShop 1.7 theme: it is feature-complete but has no styling, and thus nothing to take away… which is perfect for Theme designers because it saves a lot of time when implementing a new design. It also allows them to create a production-ready theme with any front-end technology upon a strong foundation.
The new Default Theme, called “Classic”, is the free theme you can use when starting off your business. It is classy and efficient, based on the Starter Theme, includes Bootstrap 4 framework, and has been designed to be visually light and neutral, while delivering the best web and e-commerce practices. Of course, it is mobile-responsive and still entirely adjustable and customizable, to allow every online shop to be singular. One of the highlights of “Classic” is a one-page checkout by default. It makes editing the order very easy, displays a cart recap always at customers’ sight and allows customers to anticipate the steps before payment. All of these user experience improvements help in turn your conversion rate.
Last but not least, the feature of Parent/Child inheritance will make it easy to modify a template without having to change the source file. Which then makes updating your theme (for bug fix, security…) completely seamless while leaving your customization untouched.