How to Install OpenCart: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

How to Install OpenCart: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

When it comes to building an online store, OpenCart is a platform worth trying. Many well-known businesses use it to create an eCommerce website that can cater to an audience of any size. 

What’s more, the OpenCart installation process doesn’t require the skills of a web developer. You can do it yourself with the help of an excellent tutorial to guide you through. 

This article will teach you how to install OpenCart step by step, no matter what operating system you have or web host you use.

What is OpenCart? 

Screenshot showing OpenCart website

OpenCart is a content management system (CMS) designed for building online stores. It’s open-source and free to use and offers advanced features enough to support small businesses and large corporations alike.

With OpenCart, creating an eCommerce website is quick and easy. The admin dashboard is very intuitive, and there are many pre-made and highly customizable themes to choose from as well.  

It lets users upload unlimited amounts of products, set up convenient payment gateways, add a multi-store, and manage discounts and affiliates. Furthermore, the platform’s functionality is extendable with PHP modules too.  

It’s important to note that OpenCart is self-hosted, which means you will need web hosting and a domain name to make your online store accessible online. 

You will also be fully responsible for the development and maintenance of your OpenCart store. Be sure to check out their community forum if you need help. Also, consider picking up the dedicated support plan starting from $99/month.

What Are OpenCart Installation Requirements? 

Here are the pre-installation requirements that you need to take note of:

Software: 

  • MySQL version 5 or higher
  • PHP version 7.3 or higher

Web server:

  • Microsoft: IIS 7, or
  • Apache 2.x, or
  • Nginx: 1.0 

Disk space:

  • A minimum of 90 MB 

Make sure your hosting account meets the above system requirements for smooth OpenCart installation. 

If you’re still looking for the best web hosting solution, Hostinger’s shared hosting and cloud hosting plans come with plentiful resources and storage to get your online store running.

3 Ways to Install OpenCart 

Now that we covered the requirements, it’s time to discuss the different methods of the OpenCart installation process.

How to Install OpenCart With Auto Installer?

One of the easiest and quickest ways to install OpenCart is by using a one-click installer. Most hosting providers come with this feature built-in. 

In this tutorial, we will show you the process of setting up OpenCart with Hostinger’s hPanel

1. Create a MySQL database  

  1. Login to the hPanel. Go to Databases -> MySQL DatabasesScreenshot showing MySql option in hPanel
  1. Under Create a New MySQL Database and Database User, fill in the database details:
  • MySQL database name
  • MySQL username
  • Password Screenshot showing how to fill in database details
  1. Click Create.

2. Install OpenCart with Hostinger’s Auto Installer

  1. From your hPanel Dashboard, find the Website section and click Auto Installer.
    Screenshot showing Auto Installer option on hPanel
  2. Choose Other. Type in OpenCart on the search bar, then press Select.
    Screenshot showing how to search for OpenCart
  3. Fill in the required fields and click Install.
    Screenshot showing how to install OpenCart on hPanel
  4. Go to YourStore.com/admin. Enter your Administrator Username plus Password, and you’ll be directed to OpenCart’s admin dashboard interface.
    Screenshot showing OpenCart admin dashboard interface

How to Install OpenCart Manually?

If the automatic installer is unavailable, you can install OpenCart manually. For this tutorial, we’ll be using cPanel and FileZilla FTP client.

1. Create a MySQL database

  1. Log in to your cPanel. Go to Databases -> MySQL Database Wizard.
    Screenshot showing how to get to MySql database wizard on cPanel
  2. Name the new database, then enter a username and password before clicking on Create User.
    Screenshot showing how to create new user on cPanel
  3. Check the box for ALL PRIVILEGES, then press Next Step.
    Screenshot showing how to check All Privileges box

2. Download the OpenCart installation files

Visit the official download page, and choose the latest version of OpenCart.

Screenshot showing how to downlaod opencart

3. Extract the compressed archive

  1. If you use Windows, simply right-click the ZIP file and select Extract to opencart-3.x.x.x.
    Screenshot showing how to extract zip file on windows
  2. For Mac users, double-click on the ZIP file, and it will automatically be extracted to a new folder with the same name. Access opencart-3.x.x.x, then the upload folder.
  3. Change the config-dist.php file to just config.php.
    Screenshot showing how to change file name
  4. Access the admin folder and repeat the action above.

4. Upload the files via an FTP client

  1. For this step, download and install FileZilla if you haven’t already.
  2. Open FileZilla, click File -> Site Manager
  3. Press New Site, then enter your web server information. Next to Host, type in the name of your domain. 
  4. Leave the Protocol at FTP – File Transfer Protocol and the Logon Type as Normal.
    Screenshot showing how to upload files via FTP client
  5. Enter your username and password of your hosting account given by your hosting provider. Then, click Connect.
  6. Once connected, access the public_html folder and create a new folder for the OpenCart files.Screenshot showing how to access public_html folder
  7. Go back to the opencart-3.x.x.x folder, and select all the files and folders stored in upload. Proceed to dragging and dropping them into the Empty directory listing. Then, wait until the moving process is complete.Screenshot showing how to drag and drop files into Empty Directory Listing

5. Proceed with the installation

  1. After everything is uploaded, go to YourStore.com/install, and you will see OpenCart’s installation wizard.
  2. Feel free to read the License Agreement before pressing Continue.
    Screenshot showing license agreement
  3. On the Pre-Installation page, make sure the Status is all green, then click Continue.
    Screenshot showing post-installation page
  4. Fill in the database and administration details with the MySQL information that you created earlier.
  5. Next, enter a username and password. They will be used to access OpenCart’s back-end admin. Type in your email address, then click Continue.
    Screenshot showing how to fill in information
  6. The installation is complete. You should soon get a message to delete your installation directory.
  7. Go back to FileZilla, navigate to OpenCart’s directory, and delete the install folder.
    Screenshot showing how to install filezilla

You can now access your OpenCart website. Simply enter the URL YourStore.com/admin in your web browser and log in.

How to Install OpenCart on a VPS?

For those using VPS hosting, we will only show the general steps you need to follow. Configurations might be slightly different depending on the OS and the control panel you’re using. 

As an example, some of the available OS and control panel options for Hostinger’s VPS plans include:

  • CentOS 7 64bit with CentOS Panel.
  • Debian 8 64bit with Webmin.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 64bit with VestaCP Control Panel.

Feel free to check the full list for more details.

Before proceeding with the installation process, make sure you are a non-root user and have sudo privileges. Then, follow the steps below using the proper command prompts:

  1. Update the server package repository.
  2. Install the most recent release of Apache.
  3. Install MariaDB or any other open-source database application, then create a new database and user for OpenCart.
  4. Install PHP modules as it will be the scripting language for your OpenCart website.
  5. Download OpenCart files and unzip them.
  6. Copy OpenCart’s config files.
  7. Modify the directory ownership.
  8. Enable the rewrite module.
  9. Visit YourStore.com/opencart to finalize the setup.

Conclusion

OpenCart is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a CMS explicitly designed for an eCommerce store. It’s free, highly customizable, and relatively easy-to-use. 

Make sure your hosting plan meets the requirements before you download OpenCart. Then, depending on the type of hosting account you have, choose one of the three methods below to install OpenCart:

  1. Installing OpenCart on Hostinger – one of the quickest ways as it uses an Auto Installer.
  2. Manually installing OpenCart – the files are uploaded via Filezilla to your hosting account.
  3. Installing OpenCart on a VPS – the steps are similar to installing OpenCart manually but through command prompts. Keep in mind that commands may be different depending on the OS and control panel you’re using.

We hope you enjoy your newly installed OpenCart and good luck with your online store. 

Author
The author

Ratna Siti N.

Ratna is a web hosting expert and content writer at Hostinger. With her experience with all things tech and SEO, she is ever-ready to share. In her spare time, Ratna likes to read a good book or resume her cross-stitch project.