Your product inventory’s ready, your brand identity looks great, and your team is raring to go: now all that’s left for your ecommerce business to take off, is setting up your online storefront. OpenCart is a popular choice for the job, as it offers a wide range of features, supports extensions for increased functionality, and can integrate pre-built themes for a fully customized look and feel that suits your brand.
Plus, OpenCart is free and open-source, and is available as a quick-install app with several reputed web hosting services. Today, we’re going to take you through the process of setting up your own OpenCart store in five minutes with a simple quick installation process, using inMotion Hosting as an example. You can follow along with a number of other web hosting services that offer quick-installs or 1-click installs for OpenCart, like A2 Hosting or Arvixe.
All you need to get started is a hosting plan, and a valid domain name to use along with your site. Let’s begin!
Log Into Your Account Management Panel
Log in to your inMotion Account Management Panel (AMP) with your inMotion Hosting username (your full registered email address) and password.
Under your preferred domain (ours is sampleopencartstore.com), click Softaculous to view a range of open source software and scripts that you can install on your inMotion site.
You’ll find OpenCart on the first page: hover over its logo and click Install.
Fill out the details on the installation page
- Choose Protocol: Select http:// unless you have an SSL certificate for your site (in which case you should select https://).
- Choose Domain: Select one of your domain names registered and set up with your hosting account to use for this site. In our case, we chose sampleopencartstore.com.
- In Directory: Leave this blank if you’d like for visitors to find your store at yourdomainname.com. If you’d like to have them find it at yourdomainname.com/store, enter the name for that folder (‘store‘ in this case) in this field.
- Database Name: This is prefilled, so you don’t really need to change it unless you’re planning to tinker with the installation much.
- Store Name: Enter the name of your store, such as George’s Fine Leather Goods or StyleOnline.
- Store Description: Give a brief description of your store, which will serve as a meta description for search engines to index your site with.
- Store Owner: Enter the name of the business owner for your online store.
- Store Address: Enter the full postal address for your business, along with street, city, pin code, country and phone number.
- Table Prefix: Leave this alone unless you’re planning to play around with the store database.
- Admin Username: Create a username for the administrator of your OpenCart store.
- Admin Password: Create a strong password, using letters, numbers and symbols.
- Admin Email: Enter an email address to which OpenCart’s system can send messages.
- First Name and Last Name: Enter your administrator’s name for the OpenCart system to address him/her correctly.
Click Install at the bottom of the page
And that’s it! Your OpenCart installation will then complete in a few seconds (or a few minutes if servers are slow), and you’ll be good to go. OpenCart will set up a sample store for you, pre-populated with dummy products so you can login to the backend and see everything works.
Customize your store
ThemeForest offers 300+ unique OpenCart themes, built to function out of the box. Every theme is reviewed for functionality and design too. If you want to add some extra features to your store, such as fancy displays or search engine optimizers, check out the 200+ OpenCart extensions available at CodeCanyon.