If you’re currently shopping around for the e-commerce platform that’s right for you, OpenCart might be a good option for you to consider. In this article, Igor walks you through 10 reasons why OpenCart is a powerful but easy-to-use platform for creating your online store.
With lots of e-commerce platforms on the market like WooCommerce for WordPress, Magento, or VirtueMart for Joomla, why should you go with OpenCart?
1. IT’S 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.
See below for an example:
2. IT’S EASY TO USE.
Similar to other platforms like Shopify and PrestaShop, OpenCart has a very friendly administrative dashboard. All of the menus are very straightforward and user-friendly: Catalog, Sales, Extensions, System.
If you choose OpenCart 2, you’ll also get a mobile-first interface and the ability to use your admin panel on a tablet or smartphone.
3. IT’S EASY TO MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR OPENCART STORE.
You should definitely hire someone who knows PHP, MySQL, and HTML with CSS. This is a similar stack to e-commerce platforms like Magento, Bigcommerce and PrestaShop and there are many developers on Upwork who are PHP and can help you with OpenCart customization.
4. It has a lot of documentation, forums, and articles.
As a famous CMS for e-commerce, OpenCart has well-discussed tools. A lot of information exists on Stackoverflow.com and opencart.com.
As of today, there are a total of 539,304 posts in the 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.
5. There are 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. Prices start from $10 per module, while some are even free. The official OpenCart website sells 1,2325 extensions, modules, and templates:
6. IT HAS VIRTUAL FILE STRUCTURES: 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!
Why? 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.
7. It has ready-to-use templates.
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 Templatemonster.com or themeforest.com sell hundreds of themes for OpenCart.
8. IT’S EASY AND FAST TO MAKE YOUR SITE MULTI-LANGUAGE.
You can translate OpenCart 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 from Star Wars. 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.
Every store can have an unlimited number of languages!
9. There’s one more “multi”: 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:
- Customer databases
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.
10. It’s SEO-friendly.
Google likes OpenCart. I have helped dozens of OpenCart e-commerce stores boost their 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 use OpenCart.