How to turn on force compilation in PrestaShop

Many times I get messages with questions from you, both on my mail and on official prestashop forum that you trying to edit own shop based on Prestashop engine, and after clicking on "save" button you don't see any changes in your PrestaShop front-office page. I guess it could be annoying for you so I'll try to help you with it by this article. For the first I must say something about how Prestashop works.


How does PrestaShop works?

Prestashop i based on SMARTY web template system. What does it mean in this case? It mean that if you want change something in your shop template - you must edit template files (.tpl). SMARTY allows you to combine plain HTML language with simple PHP-like commands in template files. Moreover, SMARTY is also based on "cache" system - caching can speed things up tremendously, especially templates with longer computation times. But caching is also the main problem with seeing changes in template files. So what we can do?

How to turn Force Compilation in PrestaShop?

All the problems with seeing changes in template files are related to Force Compilation. What is this? With this option turned to on your SMARTY engine will compile templates on every invocation. This is handy for development and debuging and this shouldn't be used in a production environment. 


How to turn on force compilation mode in PrestaShop?

For the first you must log in into your prestashop back office with your admin account. Go to the Advanced Parameters / Performance tab. Exactly as we show on picture attached below:


advanced parameters prestashop performance force compile


As you see - this is PrestaShop in version 1.5.2, but this tutorial also works with older versions of prestashop like 1.4.x / 1.3.x etc. In older versions you must go to the "Preferences" tab and  "Performance"  sub-tab.


Now you must change some parameteres, exactly as on picture below:


prestashop advanced parameters performance force compilation


That's all. Now you can refresh your webpage where you want to see changes. Now it works fine. Remember to turn on "Cache" and "Template cache" parameters after any work!


author milos myszczuk
Article by Milosz Myszczuk PrestaShop expert, official PrestaShop community moderator. PHP developer, specialist in relative and spatial databases management, GIS Analyst, CEO & founder of VEKIA interactive agency. Read more about VEKIA company
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