How to create an online store on OpenCart: step by step instructions

In this article you will learn how to create an online store on the CMS OpenCart.

Why it is worth working with OpenCart

Buyers do not care which engine you use. They want to quickly find a suitable product, make sure that the price is acceptable and the seller’s reliability, place an order, pay for it in a convenient way and get it quickly. With the help of CMS OpenCart, these needs of the audience can be met.

You do not care which engine to use. CMS online store must meet the following characteristics:

  • Free distribution. Why pay for the engine if there are quality free products?

  • Simple and intuitive admin panel. Your brother, who will help with the development of the site during school holidays, must deal with the online store’s admin area for half an hour.

  • Built-in sales monitoring system. Of course, you will monitor the main performance metrics using Yandex.Metrics or Google Analytics. But some data is useful to receive at each entrance to the admin panel.

  • Customization and functionality extensions with the help of ready-made free templates, modules and plug-ins. A beginner internet marketer is not out of the hands of spending money on designers and web developers.

  • SEO friendly. Russian assembly CMS OpenCart supports the CNC function. And with the help of additional extensions and settings, the engine can be aligned with the requirements of search engines to promote the site.

  • Security. With the help of payment modules and security modules you can protect customers.

The listed characteristics correspond to the CMS OpenCart. Below you will find instructions for creating an online store on this engine.

Step 1: Install OpenCart

You can install OpenCart after registering a domain and paying for the services of the hosting provider. If you have chosen hosting with support for auto-installation of engines, proceed as follows.

In the control panel in the list of available settings, select the current version of OpenCart. For example, in cPanel you can install CMS using Softaculos. Run the automatic installation.

Run the auto installer.

If you chose hosting without the support of automatic installation of CMS, proceed as follows:

  • Download the distribution of the current version of CMS OpenCart.

  • In the hosting control cabinet, create a database. Specify the name, login and password.

  • Unzip the archive and upload files to the server using an FTP client, for example, SmartFTP or FileZilla. The data for accessing the server via FTP will be obtained from your hosting provider.

  • Enter the site URL in the address bar of the browser. Accept the license agreement, specify the database access data and install the CMS.

See step-by-step instructions for installing on a CMS WordPress server. It will help to understand the principle of working with the office to manage hosting.

If done correctly, the site will be available at the selected URL. The administrative panel is available at

Step 2: set up a CMS OpenCart

Configuring OpenCart includes setting the template and specifying the optimal general settings. Start by choosing a store look.

How to select and install an OpenCart template

You can choose a suitable template in the official catalog, as well as on the websites of developers and third-party resources. To search for English-language resources, use the query "opencart themes". If necessary, add the characteristics of the theme you need: adaptive, free, responsive.

The official OpenCart catalog has filters. For example, you can find a free theme with a high user rating.

Choose a theme with responsive layout. This solves the problem of adapting a resource to mobile traffic. In English-language directories such topics are usually tagged responsive, adaptive, mobile-friendly.

To install the theme, download the archive with the distribution kit to the computer. Unzip the distribution and upload it to the server using an FTP client, for example, FileZilla. Download the folder with the theme files in the root directory of the site on the server.

Enter the System - Settings menu. Click the edit icon next to the store name.

In the settings in the Theme field, use the drop-down menu to select the downloaded template.

Using the icon with the image of a floppy disk, save the changes. Make sure the theme of the store has changed.

Go from the admin panel to the site to verify the installation theme.

You can also install a theme through the administrative panel in the menu "Modules and Extensions - Install Extensions."

How to Russify CMS OpenCart

There are two ways to Russify OpenCart. You can russify the international assembly or immediately install the Russian assembly. The second option is simpler, so I recommend using it. But with the first option, you also need to be able to work. The help given below will help to understand.

To Russify the site, download the Russification package from the official OpenCart catalog. Unzip the crack. Using an FTP client, upload the Russification folders to the server. Place the package from the Admin - Language - Russian folder into the Admin - Language folder on the server. Catalog - Language - Russian folder in the Catalog - Language folder on the server.

In the administrative console, select the menu System - Localization - Languages. Click the icon with the "+" sign.

In the drop-down menu, select Russian. In the Locale field, enter ru_ru.UTF-8, ru_ru, en-ru, russian. Save the changes.

In the online store settings, select the Local tab. Using the drop-down menu, select the language of the site and the administrative panel. Save the changes.

If everything is done correctly, the language of the administrative panel will change to Russian. A menu will appear on the site language selection.

A more convenient way to Russify OpenCart is to install the Russian assembly. It takes into account the requirements of the Russian legislation on the use of personal data, adapted geographical settings, methods of payment and delivery.

How to choose the optimal basic settings of CMS OpenCart

Enter the online store edit mode. To do this, select the "System - Settings" menu in the admin panel, then go to the store's edit menu. On the "General" tab, specify the Title, Description, optional Keywords.

On the "Store" tab, enter information about the store: name, owner, physical and email address. On the "Localization" tab, select the country and region, currency of calculations, units of measurement. Leave the daily rate update option enabled if visitors can pay in multiple currencies.

On the Localization tab, enter geographic data. Other settings do not change if you choose the Russian assembly of OpenCart. Change the settings to suitable, if you work with an international assembly.

Select the appropriate settings on the "Options" tab. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Turn on customer search requests.

  • Return status change to "Viewed".

  • Include a warning about a limited number of items in stock.

The remaining settings can not be changed.

On the Images tab, change the default logo. Click on the "View Files" link and use the "Download" option. Upload your logo. Replace the site icon (favicone). Save the default photo display size. They can be changed later.

Check if notifications are sent to the administrator’s email address. To do this, write yourself a letter through the feedback form, which is available on the page "Contacts". If notifications arrive, leave the default "Mail" tab. If notifications do not come, change the protocol to SMTP. For SMTP server information, check with your email provider.

On the Server tab, turn on the CNC. To do this, first rename the htaccess.txt file on the server to .htaccess. Using FileZilla, locate the file in the root directory of the site and change the name.

Check the corresponding item in the administrative panel.

Save the changes. Check if the display URL has changed. By default, they look like this (see illustration).

If everything is done correctly, the URL will look like this (see illustration).

On the Server tab, also enable SSL certificate support and GZIP compression. Other settings can not be changed.

To add a new user or group of users, use the menu "System - Users". For example, to assign a user as an administrator, click the Add button.

On the page that opens, specify the registration data. Use the drop-down menu to select the Administrator user group. Check the status "Enabled" and save the changes.

After choosing the basic settings, pay attention to the OpenCart modules.

Step 3: Extend the functionality of CMS OpenCart using modules

OpenCart modules are combined into two groups: basic and additional. The first ones provide the basic functionality of the engine, and the second ones help to customize the site and solve additional tasks.

How to work with basic modules OpenCart

In the admin panel, select the menu "Modules - Extensions". On the page that opens, you will see a list of the modules installed and available for installation in the Russian assembly of OpenCart.

By default, the "Account" module is enabled. To learn how to work with modules, add the "Account" block to the search page.

Go to the admin section "Design - Layouts". Select the Search layout and enter the edit menu. Click the "+" button to add a module to the layout.

Using the drop-down menu, select the module "Account". Save the changes. Refresh your search results page. Now it displays a new module.

To configure the module, enter the edit menu of the corresponding block.

Select the desired settings. For example, in the carousel on the main page, instead of HP manufacturer products, you can display links to all manufacturers whose products are in the store.

On the module settings page, use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate display option. In this case, the option Manufactures. Save the changes. Check if the carousel module has changed.

In a similar way, you can customize the display of the remaining modules that are included in the Russian assembly of OpenCart.

After configuring the base modules, install additional extensions.

How to extend the functionality of OpenCart using additional modules

With the help of additional modules you can ensure that the resource meets the requirements of search engines, as well as the safety of users and the site.

Start by installing an SEO module. Pay attention to paid integrated solutions, for example, SeoPro, SEO Mega Kit Plus, All in One SEO for OpenCart and others. If you are not yet ready to pay for complex modules, find free extensions. Unlike commercial products, they usually solve one problem.

Here are some free SEO modules:

  • Simple SEO Friendly URL. The plugin makes the site URL friendly to users and search engines. If you work with the Russian assembly of OpenCart, this module is not needed.

  • Simple SEO. The module allows you to edit the title and meta tags description and keywords. Relevant for CMS versions up to 1.5.4. In the Russian assembly editing meta-data is available by default.

  • Google Rich Snippets. Using the module, you can mark the product pages to display advanced descriptions in search results. Relevant for engine versions up to 1.5.4. Here are paid alternatives for the implementation of micro-markup, which provides advanced snippets: SEO Rich Snippets for OpenCart, SEO Rich Snippet Reviews Microdata for Product page, SEO Rich Products

  • SEO Facebook OpenGraph Tags. Provides extended page descriptions for social networks.

  • Yandex Sitemap. Using the plugin, you can manage an XML sitemap.

To install the module, download the archive with the distribution kit to the hard disk of the computer. Install the package on the website in the admin section "Modules - Install Extensions".

Go to the admin section "Modules - Modifiers", click the "Update" button.

Check the display links to the site in social networks. Before the implementation of the Open Graph protocol, they look like this (see illustration).

After connecting the module, the snippet becomes visually attractive.

After installing a paid integrated SEO module or several free solutions, find the extension for automatic backup of the site. The most interesting solutions are distributed on a commercial basis. Pay attention to the following paid modules:

  • OpenCart BackUp to Google Drive. The plugin automatically saves the archive to Google Drive.

  • Backup / Restore Plus. The tool creates backups on schedule and on demand.

  • BackUp Pro. The module automatically creates backup copies of the site.

You can also use the standard CMS OpenCart backup tool and create backup copies manually. Enter the menu "System - Maintenance - Backup". Click the "Backup" button. The system will create and upload a backup copy to the hard disk of the computer.

To protect the administration panel from being hacked, use one of the following modules:

  • Simple Login Security.

  • Admin Rename (paid).

  • Admin Key (paid).

Take care of convenient and safe methods of calculation. Most payment modules are paid. Pay attention to such:

  • Yandeks.Kassa.

  • Robokassa

  • Wallet One.

Install a free security module, for example, OpenCart Total Security. The add-in protects the site from the actions of intruders.

How to connect a website to analytics and monitoring systems

To connect Google Analytics, activate the inline module. To do this, go to the admin menu "Modules - Extensions", use the drop-down menu to select "Analytics" and click the "Add" button next to the Google Analytics option.

In the module’s edit menu, add the analytics code and change the status to “Enabled”.

Wait a few minutes and see if the data is coming to Google Analytics.

To connect the Yandex.Metrika analytics system, add the tracking code in the field of the Google Analytics module.

Connect the site to the Google Search Console and Yandex.Webmaster services. To do this, register the resource in the systems and select the method for confirming management rights. For example, using an FTP client, upload an HTML file to the site.

Place the file in the root directory of the resource.

Follow the link suggested on the verification page in the Webmaster.

To complete verification, click the "Check" button.

In the same way, confirm the rights to the site in the Search Console.

Step 4: edit site content

In the first step, create a site hierarchy and edit the menu. Then publish product cards and blog articles.

How to create a site hierarchy and edit the menu

To arrange categories in a hierarchical order, create parent categories. Enable for them the option to display in the main menu. After that create child categories.

In the administrative panel, select the menu "Directory - Categories". Select the category you want to edit. Click on the "Edit" link.

On the page that opens, specify or change the name of the category. Add description and keywords meta tags. Using a text editor, add a category description.

The default editor OpenCart allows you to format text in visual mode, add images and video.

On the "Data" tab, select the "Show in main menu" option and specify the sort order. The position of the category in the menu depends on it. If necessary, replace the category image. On the SEO tab, you can change the URL category. On the design tab, you can select the page layout. After selecting the desired options, save the changes.

To create a subcategory, it is sufficient to specify the parent category when creating or editing a section.

To create a subcategory of the second level, enter the name of the parent subcategory of the first level and use the pop-up help.

How to publish notes and fill product cards

In the Russian assembly of OpenCart there is a function of publishing articles. To create a publication, go to the admin section "Catalog - Articles" and click the "Add" button.

With the help of a visual editor, issue and publish an article. The link to the publication will be displayed in the footer in the "Information" section.

With the help of additional modules, you can create a full-fledged blog. Pay attention to such solutions:

  • Blog Module Free.

  • Mega Blog (paid).

  • Blog Module Pro (paid).

  • TLT Blog.

  • Easy Blog Simple.

  • Blog function lite.

Install and activate the Blog function lite module. A new section "CMS - Blog" will appear in the admin panel. Log in and click "Add."

Using the standard visual editor, add and publish a record.

After the publication of the first article in the footer, a link to the "Blog" section will appear. On the blog page displays previews of articles with photos and a short description.

To fill in the product card, in the administrative panel, select the menu "Catalog - Goods". Click the "Add" button in the upper right corner of the screen.

На вкладке "Основное" страницы редактирования карточки товара укажите название, описание и ключевые слова. Добавьте контент.

На вкладке "Данные" укажите информацию о товаре. На вкладке "Связи" укажите данные о производителе. Отметьте категории, в которых хотите опубликовать карточку товара. При необходимости укажите рекомендуемые товары.

На вкладке "Атрибут" укажите важные характеристики продукта. Это может быть диагональ экрана, объем оперативной памяти и т.п. Если у вас есть продукты, отличающиеся только цветом, размером, текстурой поверхности и т.п., отметьте это на вкладке "Опции".

При необходимости введите специальные условия продажи. On the "Discount" tab, specify the group of users who can take advantage of the offer, the preferential price and the period of the special conditions. You can also offer customers preferential terms of purchase by filling in the data on the "Promotions" tab.

On the "Images" tab you can add additional photos of the product. On the Bonus Points tab, enter the number of points that the product buyer receives. Use this option if you have implemented a bonus system in the store. On the Design tab, if necessary, change the page template. Save the changes.

Step 5: track sales

The effectiveness of an online store is conveniently monitored using Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica tools. Some parameters can be taken into account and analyzed using standard CMS OpenCart monitoring tools.

After logging into the admin panel, the "Status Panel" section opens. There is a brief summary of the number of orders, the amount of sales, the number of buyers and visitors to the site. The graph shows the number of buyers and orders. Also on the overview page is a map of orders and information on recent orders.

To view order data, select the Sales - Orders menu. Select the order you are interested in and use the "View" option.

On the page that opens, you will see the available information about the transaction, including the name of the buyer, the selected payment method, information about the purchased item. Using the "View Account" button you can display and print an account.

In the "Clients - Clients" menu you can view customer data. A menu "Customers - Customer Groups" allows you to create and edit user groups. For example, you can combine into groups of users who have purchased products of a certain manufacturer, who have taken advantage of the promotional offer or have bought several products for a certain period.

In the "Reports" menu, you can view sales reports. Displays summaries of orders, taxes, returns, shipping, and used coupons. Select the desired report group using the drop-down menu.

Creating an online store on CMS OpenCart: is the game worth the candle?

Worth it. At least, because with the help of OpenCart you can run an online store in just an hour. But get ready to spend more than one hour to adapt the functionality of the engine to the needs of your project.

OpenCart deserves attention due to a number of important advantages:

  • Free CMS. Moreover, it is free and adapted for ecommerce engine.

  • Adaptation to the RuNet. Available Russian assembly OpenCart, paid and free modules of payments and delivery.

  • Simple basic settings. You can deal with the OpenCart admin panel yourself.

  • Wide functionality out of the box. Immediately after installation and basic configuration of the engine, you can add and sell products.

Are there any pitfalls? Required. Here is the main one: CMS OpenCart is free only conditionally The engine can really be used freely. But for modules to extend the functionality and customization of the site get ready to pay.

Of course, you can use free extensions. But they do not always solve actual problems. Here is an example: for CMS WordPress, there is a free SEO plugin All in One SEO Pack. It solves almost all the problems associated with the adaptation of the engine to the requirements of search engines. For OpenCart, there are also integrated SEO plug-ins for the All in One SEO Pack. But they are paid.

We'll have to choose: buy one integrated module or install a dozen of free, each of which solves one problem. By the way, a similar situation with the design templates: most of the good themes for OpenCart are sold.

In the comments share your experience with OpenCart. Compare it with other CMS for online stores with which you worked. You can also ask questions, leave comments and suggestions.

Watch the video: How To Set Up A Fashion Shop On Opencart Part 1: Viva Installation (April 2020).


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