The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher handles URL redirections.

For instance, instead of using multiple files in the root folder like product.php, order.php or category.php, PrestaShop only uses one file: index.php.

Starting with PrestaShop 1.5, front office URLs look like this:

  • /index.php?id_category=3&controller=category
  • /index.php?id_product=7&controller=product
  • /index.php?id_cms=4&controller=cms
  • etc.

Likewise, back office URLs look like this:

  • /admin-dev/index.php?controller=AdminDashboard
  • /admin-dev/index.php?controller=AdminProducts
  • /admin-dev/index.php?controller=AdminCmsContent
  • etc.

Additionally, the Dispatcher is built to support URL rewriting (or “Friendly URLs”). Therefore, PrestaShop URLs which look like this when URL-rewriting is off:

…will look like this when URL-rewriting is on:

There are several advantages to this system:

  • It is easier to add a controller.
  • You can use custom routes to change your friendly URLs (which is really better for SEO!)
  • There is only one single entry point into the software, which improves PrestaShop’s reliability, and facilitates future developments.

The Dispatcher makes use of three abstract classes: Controller, FrontController and AdminController (the last two inheriting from the first one).

New routes can be created by overriding the loadRoutes() method.
The store’s administrator can change a controller’s URL using the “SEO & URLs” page in the back office’s “Preferences” menu.