07/25/2018 00:00:00     Presta Fabrique Blog    Comments 0
Virtual product combination enabler for Prestashop - name says it all

The problem: for virtual products, Prestashop inactivates combinations.The solution: we've written a module that re-activates combinations for virtual products and lets you upload a separate file for each.

As it was said in a blog post before, yes, all modules are born from a necessity. No, not bare (bear) necessities, it’s more like shop owner needs. Usually they serve our customers' needs, but this time it will be about something that has been developed in our own interest, and that's no other than Virtual product combinations enabler for Prestashop.

The bare necessities

When we wanted to upgrade to Prestashop 1.7, we found out about 60% of the way, that there’s no Prestashop 1.7 version for the module we used before to enable and validate the combinations for virtual products. Of course, we did not jumped right into this, and looked around on Prestashop Addons first, but one product did not support the ability to upload separate files, in another case the developer did not respond, the third was not updated since a while, so we were left with one option. Or two, if we include development. We chose the latter.

For the sake of clarity, let's see the basics

On this website you are currently on, Presta FABRIQUE sells virtual products, of course, relying on the Prestashop engine. To be more precise, software that assists Prestashop based webshop owners in the form of plugins and modules. With these products we are also present on Prestashop Addons, since a couple of years now as premium sellers, but this also means that we do have to follow some rules. Everywhere. One of these rules is, that you need to buy a new license for major module releases, which is not surprising, being the case with regular software too, regardless if huge or small, so that if the module has a separate version for Prestashop 1.6 and 1.7 it's all a separate license . Of course, the developer decides what counts for major upgrade and new version, but for us this is the foundation.

Now, there's a problem here that we encountered like 2 years ago, and it’s best shown with a direct situation.

Take the example of the "Ask for a quote" module, one of our best selling and oldest products. When Prestashop 1.6 appeared, contained a lot of interesting changes, and we also switched to version 4 from version 3, that was compatible with Prestashop 1.4 and 1.5, by completely rewriting the module. But these two versions, apart from a substantial difference, had the same features and served the same purpose, so it was impossible and pointless to create a separate sales page for each, so decided to release and sell these versions using the Prestashop product combination section.

And here's the aforementioned problem: for virtual products, Prestashop inactivates combinations. The reason for this is not known, but the restriction is there from the beginning, and forces you to create two or more sales-pages for the same virtual product. If we do not take any countermeasures, this can cause lots of problems. For example, clients may get confused or even purchase the wrong product, which leads to complications and uncomfortable situations. But the most serious is duplicate content, which will cause Google to ban you, what will be directly reflected in the exponential drop of your sales.

And this is what we solved with a simple and elegant move: we've written a module that re-activates combinations for virtual products and lets you upload a separate file for each. The module is called "Virtual combinations enabler for Prestashop". This is currently being used here on our website, and it enables you to download the right version for the quote module family. So actually, this is the real demo of the module: check out Ask for a quote module combinations.

Where can you buy this virtual product combination enabler?

Buy on Prestashop Addons

Buy it here on our website