How to install an Opencart template

Opencart is a well known ecommerce engine with loads of fantastic features. However to build a very attractive Opencart website you may need to install a premium OpenCart template.. In this tutorial we will go through the steps that will guide you on how to install an Opencart template on localhost, on an existing store running a live website and through a new Quickstart installation. But before we examine the installation process let us look at why Opencart is good for ecommerce.

Also read: Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation
Also read: How to install OpenCart on a live server

Installing an Opencart template on Localhost

Let us now go the process of how to install OpenCart 2 engine and template on localhost.

    Copy the themeXXX(full).zip from themeXXX folder to your localhost folder.

    Next, unzip the archive.

    Create a new database with your database management tool for OpenCart installation. It’s usually accessible via PHPMyAdmin tool within your local hosting software. In windows, you do not need to create a database password for the user..

    Then, open your website url: localhost/yourwebsitefolder and proceed with installation.

    Check an OpenCart license agreement and click the Continue button if you accept the terms.

    On the second step OpenCart is going to check if your hosting settings match the required ones and if the files and folders permissions are correct.

    On the Configuration step you’ll need to input your database and administrator user details. Click the Continue button to complete installation.

    For security reasons make sure to delete or rename ‘install’ folder in the root folder of OpenCart installation.

    When ‘install’ folder is deleted or renamed, installation is completed. You can enter site admin panel by adding /admin to your site address.

That is the end of the tutorial. Now you know how to install OpenCart 2.0 engine and template on localhost.

Also read: Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation
Also read: How to install OpenCart on a live server

How to install a template over the existing store (using “update” package)

To install theme over existing site, you should use the themeXXX(update).zip and the themeXXX(extensions).zip files.

    Connect to you server via FTP or log into cPanel file manager. Open OpenCart root folder, upload and extract the themeXXX(update).zip file into it.

    With that done add /install to your site link, e.g. Click the Continue button on the theme installation page.

    Next, install extensions: unzip the themeXXX(extensions).zip file and navigate to the Extensions -> Extensions Installer tab in OpenCart admin panel.

    Upload files from the themeXXX(extensions) folder one by one using the Upload button:

OpenCart 2. How to install a template over the existing store (using update package)-1

    When all the extensions are uploaded, activate them via Extensions -> Modifications, click the Refresh button in the top right corner.

    Refresh Home page with Ctrl/Cmd+F5 to check theme installation.

Also read: Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation
Also read: How to install OpenCart on a live server

How to install OpenCart engine and a template (using fullpackage)

When template is downloaded and unzipped, open the themeXXX folder. You will find the themeXXX(full).zip and unzip.php files which should be uploaded on server. Upload files on server using cPanel file manager or FTP mananger.

Extract files using unzip.php file: add /unzip.php to your domain name. Choose themeXXX(full).zip from the drop-down link and click the Unzip button:

With that done, open domain name in your browser to start installation. Make sure to check License agreement and if you agree with terms, click the Continue button.

Next, you will see the Database Configuration page. Create database name, user and password for OpenCart site.

Fill out Username, Password and Database fields with details of the database you’ve just created. Make sure to use oc_ prefix in the Prefix field. In case you use other than oc_ prefix, sample content won’t appear on the site after installation. Type in Username, Password and Email address you’re going to use for OpenCart site. Click the Continue button to complete installation:

For security reasons make sure to delete or rename install folder in the root folder of OpenCart installation.

When install folder is completed or renamed, installation is completed. You can enter site admin panel by adding /admin to your site address.

Next Steps, now look again at Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation

Back to the Basics: What is Opencart

OpenCart is an online store management system. It is PHP-based, using a MySQL database and HTML components. Support is provided for numerous languages and currencies, and it is freely available under the GNU General Public License.

Why Go For Opencart

Several reasons account for why many will choose Opencart for their ecommerce store. We eamine a few:

  • It is Easy For Development

OpenCart is a system based on the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern. It’s easy to develop extensions or customize OpenCart if you know PHP and MySQL. To make a new extension, create four files: Controller, Model (or use an existing Model), View, and a language file.

  • Opencart is easy to use

OpenCart has a very friendly administrative dashboard which maes it reallyy easy to use. All of the menus are very straightforward and user-friendly. With OpenCart 2, you’ll also get a mobile-first interface and the ability to use your admin panel on a tablet or smartphone.

  • Making Changes to Your Store is Easy

Customiing an Opencart installaion is easy and does not require a good nowledge of coding with PHP, MySQL, and HTML with CSS. If you find issues with your work, there are loads of developers who are willing to provide help through various latforms including Quora and other platforms.

  • Lots of documentation, forums, and articles.

Opencart is a very famous Content Management System (CMS) for e-commerce and has well-discussed tools. A lot of information exists on various platforms including and

There are well over 539,304 posts in the Opencart forum, with 126,046 topics and over 90,000 members. If you have any issues with your OpenCart site, you can always search for a fix or advice in official forum. Chances are, you’ll find the help you’re looking for.

  • Thousands of extensions and modules

There’s no reason to develop your own module until you’ve checked the forums and store for existing OpenCart modules. You’ll find modifications, new features, parsers, marketing tools, etc. Some of the modules you'll find are even free. The official OpenCart website sells 12,325 extensions, modules, and templates:

  • Opencart Has Virtual File Structure: VQMOD AND OCMOD.

Making changes to the core of the CMS is a bad idea, but sometimes in a custom coding project it’s unavoidable. The reason why it’s tricky is that editing the core will cause it to be impossible to update, or an update will cause some of the important changes to be erased. And you can’t not update!

Because there are a lot of bugs or back doors inside every CMS that are easily fixed by updating the core. To make this easier, OpenCart has adopted a version of vQmod created by Google. It can help you edit files in the core of the CMS… without any changes! Special files store instructions for changes which are carried out inside core (or any other files, like extensions or language files). Original files are not changed; rather, vQmod creates a virtual copy of them and they’re overwritten by the vQmod instructions PHP file. You can read more about vQmod here.

  • It has ready-to-use templates.

The availability of readyto-use templates make it easy to run a good Opencart website with an impressive look despite a slim budget. If you don’t have a big budget or even time to develop individual designs for your store, you can leverage ready-to-use templates. Many famous online web content stores like that sell hundreds of themes for OpenCart.

  • It's Easy to Make Your Site Multi-Language

OpenCart can be translated to any language in the world—it doesn’t matter if it’s right-to-left (RTL) or left-to-right (LTR), hieroglyph, or even Galactic Basic Language. OpenCart is a language-neutral CMS thanks to UTF-8. Inside the admin panel folder under “Catalog,” you’ll find “language” folders that store translations. Translation files are just .php files with text variable values.

Here’s a sample file translated into Bulgarian.


// Heading 
$_['heading_title']          = 'Регистрация';

// Text
$_['text_account']           = 'Профил';
$_['text_register']          = 'Регистрация';
$_['text_your_details']      = 'Вашите данни';
$_['text_private']           = 'Частно лице';
$_['text_company']           = 'Фирма';
$_['text_your_details']      = 'Вашите данни';
$_['text_company_details']   = 'Данни на фирмата';

Every store can have an unlimited number of languages!

  • Multi-store mode

OpenCart’s multi-store mode is very useful. It makes it easy to manage several online stores even if they have different design, products, modules, customer databases and languages

You manage all of your stores from one admin panel, similar to Magento’s dashboard that allows you to manage multiple stores from one place.

Also read: Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation
Also read: How to install OpenCart on a live server

  • Opencart is SEO-friendly.

Google likes OpenCart it is very search engine friendly. With Oencart you can boost your search engine rankings in Google. Create an SEO URL from scratch ( and you can even choose the suffix (like “.html” or “/”), <Title>, <H1>, meta description, good PageSpeed and YSlow scores, robots.txt, and an XML sitemap generator. There’s a Google Analytics dashboard extension inside the admin panel and more to help you boost your site’s visibility to shoppers. While you may want to work with an SEO specialist for off-page SEO, you should have no trouble with on-page SEO when you using OpenCart.

Also read: Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation
Also read: How to install OpenCart on a live server


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