After the COVID-19 pandemic, a new stage began where we had to adapt to a different way of living our day to day, and above all, to purchase products. Before it was very normal to go shopping to have new clothes, food and almost anything we can imagine. Sure, there was always Ebay, Amazon and so many other online stores that already facilitated all this.
But after this year, not only large businesses adapted to start selling online, small and medium businesses or companies that previously did not sell online have also had to do so, and were based 100% on reality.
Faced with this new challenge, many business owners have been forced to think about setting up their online store . But which ecommerce software to choose? What is the most reliable? How are they installed, and what security do they provide?
Among the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market we find OpenCart , an e-commerce software that we are sure will be to your liking. In today's article we will analyze what it is, what it is for, its main characteristics, as well as advantages and disadvantages and a guide on its installation.
What is Opencart and what is it for?
OpenCart is an open source e-commerce platform, written in PHP and used to sell online. In short, it is a robust solution for any merchant to set up their online store quickly and easily, allowing you to create your own virtual store at a very low price.
Daniel Kerr, its main developer, thought from the beginning to make it easy above all else, fast and offer an intuitive visual interface. The usage statistics put it today as one of the main free ecommerce systems.
If we talk about OpenCart features, we are going to find that there are many things that can be done with this electronic commerce system, both changing its visual form, as well as its functionality, and much more. Let's now see its main characteristics:
Free software: first of all, it is worth noting that OpenCart is open software, but above all free, you can use it without paying anything.
No restrictions: there is no type of limitation on its use, quantity of products or configurations that you can make.
Multi-store: like the PrestaShop Multi-store , OpenCart also allows you to install and configure many stores to unify them within a single central interface.
Languages and Currencies: allows the configuration of multiple currencies and languages, thus making the purchase easy for any visitor who is not a native of your country.
Multiple payment methods: allow your customers to pay using different ways such as bank transfer, Paypal, credit card and many others.
Product customization: you can add, edit and publish any product you want.
Advanced options: OpenCart allows you to customize almost any part of your installation, such as prices, payments, instructions, tracking, statistical reports, system users, purchases, and much more.
Discounts and coupons: another feature is that it allows the configuration of discount coupons, ideal for promoting your products and boosting sales.
Tracking and shipping method: your customers and you as the owner, will be able to track shipments, and customize these shipments easily at all times so that it is 100% transparent.
Multiplatform: ideal to work both on desktop computers, as well as on mobile devices, tablets and smart TVs, you can sell to any customer online.
Extensive documentation: you will be able to access a complete official documentation to solve your most common doubts, and also receive recommendations of tricks, tips and advice to optimize OpenCart.
Easy installation: installing OpenCart is easy, so much so, that a single mouse click is enough to be able to successfully install it on your hosting account.
Compatible with Apache and Nginx: It can be installed on these, which are the two most popular web servers on the market.
Scalable: allows its use from shared hosting plans , such as cloud servers, dedicated, and even server clusters.
Easy to use: from the beginning OpenCart was designed to be easy to use above all, both for experienced users and beginners.
Personalization: allows you to customize the look and feel of the online store, making it easy to adapt it to your tastes, with some themes and plugins as you need.
Multiple languages, currencies, and products - Allows unlimited number of products, currencies, and almost any language.
Let's tell the truth, OpenCart has few disadvantages but it is not a failsafe software, it has few shortcomings, but that can be critical for some.
Not so many templates: compared to other ecommerce CMS, we can say that it has few templates or themes to customize the online store.
Not so many plugins: another weak point is that you will not have as many add-ons available as if you set up an online store with Woocommerce or Prestashop.
Community not so big: since it is a software not as popular as other options, the community will not be as active and you will not find as many answers to the questions you have about the software.
Although we have seen that OpenCart has very few disadvantages, if after trying it you are not 100% convinced, then we can recommend an alternative: PrestaShop.
As we have seen, OpenCart is an easy, fast and free solution to be able to set up your own e-commerce store. Although it is not the most popular, it has everything you need so that you can successfully install and configure your online store, in order to finally start selling online easily and quickly.