General

Overview

OpenCart (or Ocart) is a free, open-source online web-store software package. It is a popular web-store which many people use to sell goods online.

I have used it when building an web store for a friend. Below are some tips and tricks, mainly orientated to developers/development of the system rather than how to use the basic functions.

Folder Structure

OpenCart uses the MVC(+L) folder structure. This structure seperates the information stored in the database from the user interaction and display of it. OpenCart uses this to provide easier ways to ‘skin’ the store and also to upgrade the main code without losing any customisations you may have made. Helping this cause even further is vQmod (see below).

Plug-Ins Using vQmod

Don’t be fooled into purchasing plug-ins without first looking if a free version exists. Tons of people have released plug-ins for free, using the vQmod program to make installation easy and safe. Most can be downloaded from OpenCart Community Forums, under the ‘Free Contributions‘ section.

A list of vQmod’s I have personally found useful:

  • Better Search
  • Facebook Tweeter
  • Infopages In Menu
  • Simple Remove Product Count From Categories: Removes the product count from the list of categories, the main drop-down category menu, and search pages.
  • Sub-category Images
  • UKSB Filemanager Tree Expander
  • UKSB Grid View Default
  • VQMOD Opencart

Making OpenCart Extensions Using vQMod

The vQmod XML File Generator is a good way to make extensions.

Disabling vQmod Log File

The vQmod log file can end up taking up all of your spare server space if you are not careful. It has no automatic periodic delete function, and if there is any error at all occuring in vQmod, this file will just continue to grow and grow. Of course, I recommend you fix the error as the preferential way of preventing this problem, however, sometimes the error is not that important, and in those cases, you can disable the vQmod logging functionality by following the following steps.

  1. Open up the vqmod.php file in a text editor.
  2. Search for:
  3. And replace with: