OpenCart 1.4: Beginner's Guide — Save 50%
Build and manage professional online shopping stores easily using OpenCart.
OpenCart is a popular open source shopping cart solution and provides elegantly written tools to establish a fully functional online store from scratch in a very short time with intuitive screens. On the other hand, it can be a difficult task for beginners to go beyond the basics and apply all the features which they will require for their business.
In this article we will cover some of the most frequently asked questions on OpenCart, such as;
- What are the system requirements for OpenCart?
- Where can we find the new modules of OpenCart?
- How do we choose a shipping method for our store?
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(For more resources on OpenCart, see here.)
Q: What are the system requirements for OpenCart?
A: The following screenshot shows the minimum system requirements for OpenCart for installation and running without problems. You should contact your hosting provider if you are not sure whether these settings are set or not.
Q: What are the methods to upload files to a web host?
A: There are two common methods for uploading files to a web host:
- Using cPanel File Manager Utility
- Using an FTP Client
Q: Can we run more than one store on a single OpenCart installation?
A: Yes. We can run more than one store on a single OpenCart installation.
Q: What are GeoZones?
A: Geo Zones represent the groups of countries or smaller geo sections under these countries. A Geo Zone can include countries, states, cities, and regions depending on the type of country. OpenCart uses Geo Zones to identify shipping and tax rate price regulations for a customer's order.
Here is an example:
Q: What if we want to edit anything in Geo Zones?
A: If we want to edit any Country and / or Zone definition in Geo Zones, we should visit System | Localisation | Zones menu in the administration pane.
Q: What is SEO?
A: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a group of processes which is applied for websites to increase their visibility in search engine results to get more qualified traffic. For an online store, it is very important to apply at least the basic SEO techniques.
Q: Where can we find the new modules of OpenCart?
A: www.OpenCart.com contributions and forum pages are the essential sources to find new modules and/or ask for new ones from developers.
Q: What do you mean by Payment Gateway?
A: A payment gateway is an online analogue of a physical credit card processing terminal that we can locate in retail shops. Its function is to process credit card information and return the results back to the store system.
You can imagine the payment gateway as an element in the middle of an online store and credit card network. The software part of this service is included in OpenCart but we will have to use one of the payment gateway services.
Q: What are the payment methods in OpenCart?
A: The current OpenCart version supports many established payment systems, including PayPal services, Authorize.net, Moneybookers, 2Checkout, and so on, as well as basic payment options such as Cash on Delivery, Bank Transfer, Check/money order, etc.
Q: In which currency is the total amount calculated?
A: PayPal automatically localizes the total amount according to the PayPal owner's account currency.
Q: Whats the difference between PayPal Website Payment Standard and PayPal Website Payment Pro?
A: PayPal Website Payment Standard is the easiest method to implement accepting credit card payments on an online store. There are no monthly fees or setup costs charged by PayPal.
PayPal Website Payment Pro is the paid PayPal solution for an online store as a payment gateway and merchant account. The biggest difference from PayPal Website Payment Standard is that customers do not leave the website for credit card processing. The credit card information is completely processed in the online store as it is the popular method of all established e-commerce websites.
Q: Which of the two PayPal products is recommended?
A: For a beginner OpenCart administrator who wants to use PayPal for the online store, it is recommended to get experience with the free Standard payment option and then upgrade to the Pro option.
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(For more resources on OpenCart, see here.)
Q: How do we choose a shipping method for our store?
A: The decision of which shipping method(s) we will use on our store is very important. OpenCart supports standard shipping methods including Free, Flat Rate, Per Item, and Weight Base Shipping and also enables us to use established shippers including UPS, USPS, and Royal Mail.
Q: Can we apply free shipping to an order?
A: In OpenCart, we can apply free shipping to an order. We can provide free shipping on all purchases without a minimum basket value or alternatively, a customer will see the free shipping option on the checkout page if his/her basket is bigger than our pre-defined value.
Q: Can free shipping be set for multiple zones?
A: OpenCart allows for activating more than one shipping option and customers can choose the most convenient one according to their needs. The following screenshot shows a sample checkout page with multiple shipping methods:
Q: What is the flow of the order status?
A: The order is kept in Pending status until the payment is made (manually or automatically). If payment is made, we change the status to Processing. It means that we are packaging/collecting the ordered items. When we ship the order, the status changes to Shipped, and finally, we set it to Completed only after successful delivery. This is from the administrative side.
Q: Can we edit the order statuses?
A: We can edit order statuses using System | Localisation | Order Statuses menu.
Q: Where can I find new language packs?
A: OpenCart language packs are free contributions from the user community. After major changes on the OpenCart system, users upload new language files to http://www.opencart.com/. We can browse this website to find latest language packs.
Q: From where does OpenCart get the currency exchange rates?
A: OpenCart gets this information from Yahoo Finance website at the backend each day, automatically.
Q: For which items the “Cash on delivery ” option is most suitable for?
A: By using the Cash on delivery option, the customer pays the money on delivery to the courier. We can use this option if we handle shipping with our own couriers. Some online stores also give the ability to customer to reject the order at the time of delivery. A common usage is with clothes and shoe stores. Customer tries the apparel and pays only for courier service if he/she doesn't like the product or it doesn't suit.
Q: What are the advantages of customer registration?
A: There are very important advantages of storing customer information in the store both for the store owner and the customer.
Advantages for customer:
- Once a customer orders from the store, it will be easy to track the status of the order on the website rather than contacting the store regularly.
- A registered customer can view all the details of the previous and current orders online.
- It will be easy to order in the future after a simple login to the system, since a customer can create multiple addresses and select the needed shipping address instead of typing it each time.
Advantages for the store:
- As a store administrator, we can analyze the customer behavior: find top paying customers, regular customers, and then apply coupons and discounts for them.
- We can send regular newsletters and news about the hot deals on the store. This builds up the customer relationship.
- We can group customers according to their behavior and shopping habits on the store
Q: Can we classify customers into Groups?
A: There are two built-in customer groups in OpenCart, Default and Wholesale. By default, all new customers are linked to the Default group. We are able to add and delete new customer groups. The following chart shows a sample customer organization:
Q: Which are the types of reports in OpenCart?
A: OpenCart currently provides very basic reporting functions under the Reports menu. These are as follows:
- Sales Report, which shows the total sales between selected dates.
- Products Purchased Report shows the best selling products with their quantity and total amount information.
- Products Viewed Report shows the most visited products by visitors in our store and their percentages compared to all visits.
Q: How do I backup my OpenCart files and database?
A: You can use the built-in OpenCart module in the administration panel to backup your OpenCart files and database.
- Open the System | Backup / Restore menu.
- In this screen, we should be sure that all modules are selected. If not, click on the Select All link first. Then, we will need to click on the Backup button.
- A backup.sql file will be generated for us automatically. We will save the file on our local computer.
In this article we took a look at some of the most frequently asked questions on OpenCart.
Resources for Article :
Opencart 1.4 Beginner's Guide by Murat Yilmaz