OpenCart Configuration Tutorial

The OpenCart software is one of the most easy-to-use opensource applications providing all core functionalities required to start an online store. It is completely open-source which means you can download, install, use or modify OpenCart free of charge without any legal limitations and start your online business in just few minutes.

 

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OpenCart has hundreds of Payment gateways and Shipping modules integrations available so you can easily start receiving payments and handle your clients' orders. Additionally, OpenCart comes with a powerful, yet intuitive Administrative Dashboard through which you can easily manage your store, customers, orders and products without the need of any programming or technical knowledge.


General Settings

Before start selling your products on your newly installed OpenCart store you will want to configure the basic settings of your store such as your store name, address, logo and other basic configuration options. To do this you will need to login your OpenCart admin panel with the administrative username and password you have set during the installation process.

To access your OpenCart, please refer to http://yourdomain.com/admin -- you should replace 'yourdomain.com' with your actual domain name.

When you login your OpenCart Admin Dashboard you will be displayed with a general overview of your store. To access the General Settings menu, please refer to System → Settings from the main navigation on the top.

On the next page, please click on the Edit link next to your store name.

This will redirect you to the General Settings tab via which you can change your Store name, physical address, email and telephone/fax.

Next, click on the Store tab from the sub navigation menu to input your Store Title and Meta Tag Description. You can also change your OpenCart template via the Template drop down menu or select a different Default Layout.

To configure your OpenCart Store Local Settings, please click on the Local tab from the sub navigation menu. Here you can change your store country, region/state, store language, currency, length and weight class.

The rest of the tabs in this section will be reviewed in details in our following sections.

 

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How to enable Maintenance Mode

If you are performing some maintenance work on your OpenCart store you might want to temporary disable the public access to your store and allow only your administrative user to access your store frontend. This can be done by enabling the Maintenance mode for your OpenCart store via your Administrative Dashboard.

To activate teh Maintenance mode, please login into your OpenCart admin area and refer to the System → Settings menu from the main navigation.

Click on the Edit button next to your store name and refer to the Server tab on the new page.

From the Server tab options, please locate the Maintenance Mode option and set the desired mode.

A maintenance message should be displayed on your homepage now.

Be advised that if you are logged as administrator in your OpenCart store you will not be displayed with the Maintenance message. Still, any of your visitors that is not logged will see the message.

When you complete your maintenance work on your site, you can disable the Maintenance Mode to make your website available for public access once again.

 

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How to change OpenCart logo and favicon

In this tutorial we will show you how to change your OpenCart store logo and favicon. To achieve this, please login your OpenCart Admin panel using your administrative username and password.

From the OpenCart Administrative Dashboard, please access the System → Settings menu from the main navigation on the top.

Access the Settings → Image section of the admin panel.

From the Image tab you may change your OpenCart logo and favico by clicking on the Browse button under the default image. In case you would like to just clear the existing image to remove either the favico or the store logo.

 

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How to Add New Currency in OpenCart

In this tutorial we will show you how to add a new currency to your OpenCart store.

First, you will need to login your OpenCart administrative Dashboard and refer to the System → Localization → Currencies menu via the top navigation menu.

From the Currencies page click on the Insert button to add a new currency.

On the next page you will need to input the configuration values of the new currency:

    Currency Title - Enter the name of the desired new currency
    Currency Code - Enter the standard ISO code for your currency. For example: USD, EUR, GBP, etc. If you are not sure of the exact ISO code of your currency, please check the ISO 4217 Currency Codes.
    Symbol Left - This is for currencies that use a symbol displayed on the left side. For example: $, £,
    Symbol Right - This is for currencies that use a symbol displayed on the right side. For example: Rs.
    Decimal Places - Determines the number of decimal places after the decimal point. For example: $1.1, $1.11, $1.111, $1.1111
    Value - In case this will be your Default currency, please set the value number to 1.00000. Otherwise, this value should be the exchange rate of the newly added currency against your primary currency. For example, if the newly added currency exchange rate against your primary one is 2:1, you should input 0.5 as two units of the new currency equals 1 unit of your default store currency. Using this value, OpenCart will calculate the price tag of your products in the new currencies against the default currency price tag.

To set your newly created currency as default for your store, please refer to the System → Settings menu from the top navigation menu.

On the next page click on the Edit link next to your store name and proceed to the Local tab from the secondary menu on the Settings page.

Via the Local section you can change your OpenCart Default currency via the Currency drop down menu. When you are ready with your changes, please save your settings via the Save button. Now your new currency has been applied as default on your store.

 

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How to Configure OpenCart Main Menu

Configuring your OpenCart frontend main menu might be confusing at first as there is no special place to configure menus in the OpenCart Admin Dashboard.We will show you how to add product categories to your main menu and sort them into specific order.

To begin, please login into your OpenCart admin dashboard and navigate to Catalog → Categories section via the top navigation menu.

This will redirect you to your product categories list. Locate the desired category that you would like to be displayed in your OpenCart frontend main menu and click on the edit link next to its name.

From the tab navigation, please click on the Data tab and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Here you will see the available options to display the desired category in your frontend navigation menu. To do this, please check the Top checkbox and input a number into the Sort Order field. For example, if you would like to have this category displayed first, input 0 into the Sort Order field. You may set the second category sort order to 1 to have it set next and so on.

When you are ready click on the Save button on the top right corner of your screen.

Now you should see your category displayed in the main navigation menu on your store frontend.

 

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How to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs

By default OpenCart does not generate Search Engine Friendly URLs for your store. In this tutorial we will show you how to enable SEF URLs for your OpenCart website.

mod_rewrite and OpenCart SEO URLs are fully supported on all Todhost OpenCart Hosting plans. If you experience any difficulties in activating this feature for your store, please contact our technical support for assistance.

This can be easily activated via your OpenCart Admin dashboard by referring to the System → Settings menu via the main navigation and click on Edit link next to your store name.

On the new page, please click on the Server tab from the sub navigation.

On the Server settings tab you will need to find the Use SEO URLs option and set the radio button to Yes. Save your settings via the Save button on the top right corner of your screen.

Be advised that after activating the SEO URLs for your OpenCart store you will need to perform one additional final step to complete the activation. Access your hosting account via your favorite FTP client or using your cPanel → FileManager and navigate to your OpenCart installation directory. If you have installed your application under the root of your domain name (ex: http://yourdomain.com) usually this is your public_html directory.

In the OpenCart installation directory you should locate a file called .htaccess.txt. Please rename the file from

.htaccess.txt to: .htaccess (note the 'dot' prefix of the filename)

In case you cannot locate the .htaccess.txt file under your account, please create a new .htaccess file on your local computer with the following content and upload it under your OpenCart directory:

RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^sitemap.xml$ index.php?route=feed/google_sitemap [L]
RewriteRule ^googlebase.xml$ index.php?route=feed/google_base [L]
RewriteRule ^download/(.*) /index.php?route=error/not_found [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.*\.(ico|gif|jpg|jpeg|png|js|css)
RewriteRule ^([^?]*) index.php?_route_=$1 [L,QSA]

In case your OpenCart is installed under a subdirectory, please change the following line in the code above:

RewriteBase / - > RewriteBase /your-folder/

Save your file and make sure it is properly uploaded under your OpenCart directory. Now you should have your Search Engine Friendly URLs activated.

 

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How to configure SSL in OpenCart

SSL certificates are used to encrypt the connection between a website visitor and the hosting server. This provide an acceptable level of security for visitors so they can comfortably input and submit sensitive information over the Internet such as personal information and credit card data.

Most often SSL certificates are used by site owners to secure their check out and login pages. Having an SSL certificate will greatly improve your website credibility and will present your online store as a trustworthy business.

Prior activating the SSL option for your OpenCart you must have a valid SSL certificate issued and installed on your hosting account. If you do not have an SSL certificate yet you may review our SSL section and purchase a personal SSL certificate for your website.

Our OpenCart Hosting package includes free Let's Encript SSL Certificate as well as Free SSL setup and configuration.

As soon as you have your SSL purchased and installed you may proceed with the activation of the OpenCart SSL Support option by logging into your OpenCart Admin Dashboard. From the top navigation menu please refer to System → Settings section.

On the Settings page you can see a list of all stores configured in your OpenCart application. Click on the Edit button next to the name of the store for which you would like to enable SSL support. This will redirect you to the settings section for the specific store. From the tab navigation, please click on the Server tab to review the Server related settings for this particular store.

From the server tab, locate the Use SSL radio button and change the setting from No to Yes. When you are done, click on the Save button on the top right corner of your screen.

Now you have the SSL support activated and your OpenCart login and check out pages will be automatically processed via https which enables the SSL encryption. To further improve your webstore credibility and show your customers that you have SSL installed you may consider placing an SSL seal on your website.

SSL seals are dynamically generated images which verify that your store have SSL installed. For more information on how to generate an SSL seal for your website and set it up on your website, please contact our support team via your client area, get support section.

 

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How to configure OpenCart with SMTP

By default OpenCart is set to use the default PHP mail function to send all emails generated by your web store. Sometimes this might be a problem especially if you host your OpenCart store on a shared hosting server.

Due to the fact that the shared hosting server hostname is most probably different than your domain name the email sent via your OpenCart might have poor reputation due to hostname mismatch.

In case you would like to improve your OpenCart mail delivery or if you prefer to use a third party mail service provider for your outgoing mails you will need to configure your OpenCart to use SMTP service instead of the default mail function.

To do so, please login into your OpenCart admin dashboard and navigate to the System → Settings menu.

From the store list click on the Edit link next to the name of the store you would like to configure with SMTP. From the store settings page, please refer to the Mail tab from the tab navigation menu.

In this section you should change the Mail Protocol from Mail to SMTP by selecting the SMTP option from the drop down menu. When the SMTP is selected we need to configure our SMTP settings so your OpenCart application can authenticate properly.

You have to fill in your SMTP Host, SMTP User, Pass and the SMTP port.

In case you are hosting your OpenCart application with us, please use your domain name as SMTP host, your email account and password as SMTP authentication credentials. You may leave the SMTP port to 25 as this is the default SMTP port.

In case you are not sure what are your SMTP settings, please contact your mail service provider for the exact settings.

 

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How to Add Product Categories in OpenCart

We will now show you how to add product categories in your OpenCart store. Product categories are used to organize your products to make it easier for your customers and visitors to find the exact product they are looking for. You can categorize your products as you find it suitable for your product portfolio. Furthermore, a product can be added to more than one category in case you find it suitable.

In order to add a new product category in OpenCart you will need to login into your OpenCart admin panel and navigate to the Catalog dropdown from the main navigation menu.

This will redirect you to the OpenCart categories list. In case you have demo data installed on your OpenCart you should see some demo categories already created. You can easily remove these categories by selecting them via the check box row and clicking the Delete button on the top right corner of your screen.

To add a new category, please click on the Insert button located at the upper right corner of your screen.

On the next page you have a few fields to fill in with the characteristics of your product category. You are completely free to input the data that most suits your needs and best describe your products that will be added to this category later.

For this tutorial we will use some demo data to create a new category. First, we should input the Category Name as well as some data for the search engines such as the meta tags and meta keywords. You can leave the last 2 empty or fill them later.

Next, you can input some category description. This information is used to help your customers to get better idea of the products organized in this section. If you believe your category name is self-explanatory you may leave this field empty or fill it later.

When you are done on this page you should refer to the next tab from the tabs navigation called Data. Here you can specify if this is a subcategory by setting a parent category. If a parent category is set the newly created category will be set as a child category. You can select a parent category by start typing an already existing category name in the Parent field.

Additionally, you should select the store for which your category will be added. OpenCart support a multi-store configuration which makes this field mandatory. If you have a single store configuration you should check the "Default" store to make the category active for your store.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will be able to set an image for the category and the sort number of the category. If you would like this category to be your first one in any list on your website you should set this to zero. Make sure your category status is set to Enabled to have this category active when created.

From the last tab in the tab navigation of this page you may choose the layout of the category. Leave this unchanged if you do not have any custom category layout for this section.

When you are ready with your new category settings, please click Save at the upper right corner of your screen to create your product category.

 

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