How to manage extensions and themes in OpenCart

In this tutorial on  how to manage payments and shipping in OpenCart we will cover the following:

How to Install vQmod Extension

How to Install new Language in OpenCart

 

Further reading:

 How to Manage Products and Categories in OpenCart

 How to install OpenCart on a live server

 How to install an Opencart template

 How to manage extensions and themes in OpenCart

 How to manage payments and shipping in OpenCart

 Important Steps After an OpenCart Installation

 

How to Install vQmod Extension

 

This tutorial will guide you how to install the vQmod on an existing OpenCart installation. If you host your website on our OpenCart Hosting package, you can request a free vQmod installation.

Before installing additional modules, generate a full backup of your OpenCart website. This way, if something goes wrong with OpenCart, you will have a working copy of your website that can be restored.

 

Further reading:

 OpenCart Configuration Tutorial

 OpenCart Maintenance Tutorial

Best Practices for OpenCart Website Security

How to Recover Abandoned Cart Purchases

10 Things to Consider When Starting an Online Shop

 

To extend your OpenCart with vQmod, you will need to:

 

Further reading:

Top 10 Ecommerce Platforms Recommended for Small Businesses

Useful Tips on How to Use Google Analytics on eCommerce Websites

Top Nigerian Website Payment Gateways

3 Important SEO Considerations Good for E-Commerce Websites

 

Download vQmod

You can download the module via the official vQmod website. Make sure that you download the latest version and it has opencart suffix in the package name.

 

Extract and Upload Files

Extract the contents of the vQmod archive on your local computer. This will create a folder called vQmod. You will need to upload that folder to the main directory of your website. For the purpose of this tutorial, we assume that your OpenCart website is accessible directly via your domain name ex: http://www.example.com, where example.com is your actual domain name. This means that the OpenCart installation is located uder the main public directory of your account:

/home/user/public_html/

Where user is the cPanel username of your account. You can upload the vQmod folder to the public_html directory, using your favorite FTP client.

 

Install and Activate vQmod

To activate the newly uploaded module open the following address via your browser:

www.example.com/vqmod/install/

where you need to change example.com to your actual domain name. You should receive a successful message to confirm the installation of vQmod on your OpenCart website.

This will finalize the vQmod module installation on your OpenCart website.

 

How to Install OpenCart extensions developed on vQmod


 OpenCart is one of the popular ecommerce frameworks. It has numerous extensions available, ranging from payment gateway, order management, language, shipping methods, reports, product feeds and so on. Installing these will quickly ramp up the functionality of your Opencart shop.

However unlike Magento and WordPress, the extensions need to be manually installed.( A slightly boring part)
vQmod a preferred framework for developing Extensions.

vQmod stands for Virtual Quick Mod.

"vQmod" is an override system designed to avoid having to change core files.

The concept is quite simple. Instead of making changes to the core files directly, the changes are created as xml search/replace script files. The advantage of using Vqmod is keeping the core functionalities of OpenCart untouched.

As the things stand more than 70% of OpenCart extensions are built on Vqmod. Here is a practical guide to install Vqmod based extensions.
Installing vQmod is one time effort; once the vQmod is installed on your server you can install any number of vQmod based extensions.

STEP 1 : Download vQmod


 We have treated that above.

Preferably download latest version available for opencart (not the stand alone version), unzip it then  upload vQmod to root directory of your hosting account through FTP.

STEP 2 : Install vQmod


    After upload run the installation by running install file through :http://www.yoursite.com/vQmod/install.

    You will see vQmod INSTALLED message


Identifing a vQmod based Extension



    One of the dilemma is to know if extension is based on vQmod or non-vQmod. No where in extension listing it is mentioned if it is a vQmod extension or not. So check the folders of the extension after unzip.  A typical vQmod based extension will have folders like vQmod/catalog/admin or vQmod or combinations alternatively check the installation documentation which comes along with extension.

Extension Installation


Your vQmod is installed and you are ready to install a vQmod based extension.

STEP 3 : Download the extension

Visit OpenCart Extension listing page to download extensions required.

STEP 4 : Extract the file and upload the content in your root directory.

STEP 5 : Go to your admin Extensions>Modules you will see the module in the list.

All vQmod based extensions will have vQmod folder. This folder will add new extension files within vQmod folder already present on the server. You have to simply dump the extension files on FTP.

STEP 6 :

    Within admin go to Extensions. You will find the extension listed. You will also find Install link. Click install link to install the module.

STEP 7 :

    After installation, click on the edit link and set the setting for a module.


STEP 8 :

    Go to frontend to see the module working.


Common Issues faced

 

Installing vQmod with custom Opencart theme. Installation of VAMOD on customized opencart with customized theme will require manual installation of vQmod please refer to installation guide: http://code.google.com/p/vQmod/wiki/Install_OpenCart

Installing Extensions with custom Opencart theme.


    vQmod extensions work on the concept of overriding. That is search replace-override. If your web-site has custom theme; extension will not find what it is looking for as all extensions are based on default theme.In that case things become complicated. Check the tpl files and accordingly write the code in vQmod extension xml to find and replace.

For non-English OpenCart websites

    If the language is not default i.e. English then upload the extension language file in the selected language folder.

In case your files paths are different than default Opencart paths.

    If file path is different then the default paths in OpenCart (this may happen due to customization) make changes accordingly in vQmod xml Eg catalog/view/theme/default/template/common/home.tpl (opencart default path) you have to change the above path then mention in extension vQmod xml file.

Html tags not properly closed

    if the html tags are not properly closed for eg <div> <span> then the design get distorted because vQmod is unable to identify the tags.

Opencart Support

    In case you have customized themes we would strongly suggest to hire a developer with vQmod experience. TransPacific Software extensively specializes in OpenCart and vQmod .For more info contact connect@transpacific.in

STEP 3 : Download the extension

    Visit OpenCart Extension listing page to download extensions required.


STEP 4 : Extract the file and upload the content in your root directory.


STEP 5 : Go to your admin Extensions>Modules you will see the module in the list.

    All vQmod based extensions will have vQmod folder. This folder will add new extension files within vQmod folder already present on the server. You have to simply dump the extension files on FTP.


STEP 6 :

    Within admin go to Extensions.
    You will find the extension listed. You will also find Install link. Click install link to install the module.


STEP 7 :

    After installation, click on the edit link and set the setting for a module.


STEP 8 :

    Go to frontend to see the module working.

Common Issues faced


Installing vQmod with custom Opencart theme.

  •    Installation of VAMOD on customized opencart with customized theme will require manual installation of vQmod please refer to installation guide: http://code.google.com/p/vQmod/wiki/Install_OpenCart

Installing Extensions with custom Opencart theme.

  •   vQmod extensions work on the concept of overriding. That is search replace-override. If your web-site has custom theme; extension will not find what it is looking for as all extensions are based on default theme.In that case things become complicated. Check the tpl files and accordingly write the code in vQmod extension xml to find and replace.

 

For non-English OpenCart websites

 

  •     If the language is not default i.e. English then upload the extension language file in the selected language folder.

In case your files paths are different than default Opencart paths.


    If file path is different then the default paths in OpenCart (this may happen due to customization) make changes accordingly in vQmod xml Eg catalog/view/theme/default/template/common/home.tpl (opencart default path) you have to change the above path then mention in extension vQmod xml file.

Html tags not properly closed

 

  •     if the html tags are not properly closed for eg <div> <span> then the design get distorted because vQmod is unable to identify the tags.

 

How to Install new Language in OpenCart

 

In this tutorial we will show you how to install and configure a new language for your OpenCart store. By default, OpenCart comes with the English language pack pre-installed. For any additional language you will need to download and install an additional language pack. OpenCart language packs can be downloaded via the official OpenCart Marketplace.

From the OpenCart Language page click on the link to browse the different languages available.

In the search field input the desired language name and click on the Go button.

From the search results on the next page review all the available packages and make sure you select the package suitable for your OpenCart version. On the language pack page you will find additional instructions on how to activate your language pack in OpenCart and a download link to obtain the installation package of the desired language.

After you download and unzip the language pack you should see a folder called upload which contains the language pack files. Under the upload/ directory there should be two folders called admin and catalog. To make the desired language pack available to your OpenCart you should upload these folders using your favorite FTP client.

You need to upload the admin/ and catalog/ directories to the installation directory of your OpenCart store. If your website is accessible via www.example.com, where example.com is your actual domain, this means that your OpenCart installation is located within the public_html/ directory of your account. If your website is accessible via a subdomain or a subdirectory such as www.example.com/store/, this means that you will find your OpenCart installation within public_html/store/ folder of your account.

The upload of the language pack contents will not overwrite any of your existing files so you do not need to worry about that. Simply drag and drop the files from your local computer into your OpenCart folder under your hosting account. This will place all the necessary files to setup your language pack.

When the upload process is completed you will need to activate the newly uploaded language pack via your OpenCart administrative dashboard. This can be done via the System → Localization → Languages.

Click on the Insert button to add the newly uploaded language pack to your OpenCart store. Fill in all the information required considering the installation instructions provided on the language pack download page. For the purpose of this tutorial we are using the German Language pack which details are:

  • Language Name: Deutsch
  • Code: de
  • Locale: de_DE.UTF-8,de_DE,de-de,german
  • Image: de.png
  • Directory: de_DE
  • Filename: de_DE
  • Status: Enabled
  • SortOrder: 1

Save your settings to complete the configuration of the new language for your OpenCart store.

Now when we have the new language added let's activate the new language. To achieve this, please refer to System → Settings tab from the main navigation menu.

From the Settings page click on the Edit link for your store and navigate to the Local tab on the new page.

From the Language drop down menu you can select the desired language for your OpenCart store. In case you would like to translate the OpenCart admin dashboard as well, you can select the new language via the Administration Language drop down.

Remember that despite your default language settings your visitors will still be able to change the store language if any additional languages are enabled for your store. All enabled languages are displayed on your OpenCart front end.

If you would like to disable or enable any additional language you can do this in your OpenCart admin dashboard via the System → Localization → Languages menu.

 

Opencart Support

    In case you have customized themes we would strongly suggest to hire a developer with vQmod experience.

 

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