If you want to develop your ecommerce site, OpenCart is the most easy-to-use and comfortable solution for you. OpenCart is designed feature rich, easy to use, search engine friendly and with a visually appealing interface.
Let us look upon some of the characteristic features which made OpenCart so smart to be an automatic choice.
Being written as open source you can lower your costs developing your ecommerce site in OpenCart with its non commercial vibes and free to use project codes and extensions, you can modify codes suites to your need and budget. It is well secured, allows less number of bugs to internal users and has several fast bug-fixing attributes. You can enjoy maximum flexibility and independence in OpenCart. Apart from that, there is always a forum of talented technical community members, OpenCart users and developers who can provide you best free service in requirement.
You can find numbers of free extension for opencart here
OpenCart has good documentation style for managing admin panel; it is easy enough to use & most logically designed to be compatible to non-technical admin. Opencart has its own MVC structure and it is very easy for a developer to understand its core files. You can check documentation here http://docs.opencart.com/display/opencart/OpenCart+1.5+Home. This documentation is also available as a PDF form http://opencart.hostjars.com/documentation. It has its own forum. If you have any problem you may post your topic and you surely get quick solution response.
OpenCart has its unique template system built in so you can easily switch between different templates or migrate from the current look of your site into OpenCart. You can create your own design and then convert it to OpenCart compatible template/theme. It is very easy to convert a HTML template into OpenCart theme. Even you will find several templates made for your business trade dedicated to your product(s). So you can enjoy multiple options for templating in OpenCart in your hand and can comfortably choose the best template for your online store.
Here are some examples of good-to-work and good-to-look design templates available in OpenCart Extensions even you can choose according to nature of your site/product (product/trade dedicated templates):
[VQMOD] Custom Templates 1.5.X, FloShop3 – 20 templates in one, Newsletter Enhancements – V3 – vQmod + Free Mega Template Pack, Oc-ThemeOne – Opencart 1.5x template, Oc-ThemeTwo – Opencart 1.5x template, Oc-ThemeThree – Opencart 1.5x template, Oc-ThemeFour – Opencart 1.5x template, Sidebar Search Module, Autumn – furniture opencart 1.5.x template, Medical Equipment responsive blue style etc
Backup & Restore Tools
One of the most devastating accident might happen to an online store is the loss of its database as important customer, product or deal information. It is difficult to a store to recover a database after losing and certainly it takes too much time to re-enter this necessary information to the corresponding database. You need to be very much aware of downloading updated backups of the store’s database if something accidental wouldn’t take place.
OpenCart lets you download a backup of the store’s current database and restore the database to the administration in System>Backup/Restore. The Backup section contains all the data tables in the MySQL database available for download. You can check the files to choose to download. If you click on the “Backup” button it will download the selected table to your computer keeping a restored copy.
If you need to restore a backup file that you previously saved to your computer, all you need to do is click “Choose File” from Restore Backup, select the .SQL file the corresponding database will be restored.
OpenCart ready extensions for data back-up and restore:
AnyPort – Backup / Automatic Restore to Cloud Storage Services, Tools Shop Opencart v1.5.3, Tools store responsive theme otp832, Working Tools – Responsive Theme, FTP Backup & Restore v1.5.7, Backup Pro, Responsive Tools Store, Tools Store OpenCart Template – OPC020045 and many more.
OpenCart has multi-store functions which allow you to manage multiple stores from one admin interface.
There are many advantages to set up multiple stores to expand business through online carts:
1. Stores with different themes can match unique products that are being sold.
2. Products could be set to appear on specific stores.
3. Store could be localized by setting a different languages, currencies and tax classes apart from/with default one.
4. You can set different prices for each store you have setup.
5. Setup a default customer group for each store allowing you to have some stores setup for retail customers and others as wholesale
Cart2Cart: H.H.G. Multistore to OpenCart Migration Module, Bulk Layout Editor (quick editor) for 1.5.0 and above, Multistore different price for each store, Module , Shipping ,Extensions, Payment Per Store, MultiStore Manager, Multistore Extensions Manager, Multistore meta keywords for home page + multistore Analytics etc.
Automatic Image Resize
OpenCart has facilities to add image for every unique category and product. You can also choose multiple images for a product. OpenCart settings menu provides you chances to resize your given image for particular category & products-array. When OpenCart shows the image in front end you can easily resize expectedly by mentioning height, width. When you want to display modules like featured product or best selling product, or recently viewed product, you will also get the chance to give your preferable image height, width.
Here are a few options you can choose from:
Admin Resize Images on Upload – FREE, Image resizer / scaler [vqmod], (VQMod) Stop Resize Small Images, Category-Based Product Image Size Module Pro – Image Resizer and many more.
OpenCart has several extensions to design your site’s category map. You can find a lot of options to design menu, sub-menu or sub-categories, modules to split products, places, deals, customers by different means by usage, make, hardware specification, price, region, language, currency, sex, color, availability, payment, shipping and many more. Each of these categories even may be split up to different sub categories to make the search and choice options to be more frequent, comfortable and user-friendly for your customer.
Almost being same with the above said feature in OpenCart, there are some specific options to categorize products by its different features as its usage, make, hardware specification, price, region, language, currency, sex, color, availability, payment, shipping and many more only to make the search easy and user-friendly to customer to save his time, lead him to the exact deal very quickly without being confused.
Same way, also find some specialized extension options for product sorting:
Featured Pro Module, Unlimited Featured Module Pro, Multiple Featured Module Pro – UNLIMITED Featured Products, Site statistics counters in footer, Product carousel, Multi Featured and many more.
OpenCart provides another important search filtering option for the products by their manufacturers. You can say this is nothing but the extended part of the above point. But OpenCart provides you with more options to filter products by manufacturers. This helps customers to end the search very quickly while they are looking for particular manufacturer or brand.
Below are a few names of extensions for manufacturer sorting:
Manufacturers Module: List menu, Scroll bar, Drop down, Images, Simple admin manufacturers filter, Manufacturers On Menu v1.0.3, Adnanced Manufacturers, Manufacturer Module with Description for OpenCart, Manufacturers block for OpenCart with images etc.
OpenCart has equipments ready to choose the deal with your currency as it automatically converts the amount, includes to a grand total for payment. This is helpful for the global business if a customer from the other countries used to with different currency can have the price of the estimated product on his own currency and can pay accordingly by simply clicking on options. He need not calculate everything by his own. This user-friendly option also may be designed in OpenCart very easily and you can deal with a customer from the other side of the world being in peace for the payment details.
Why not try one from many of the list?
Set default store frontend currency, CurrencyRates – Auto Update Currency Rates on Your Website, Country-to-Currency Autodetect, GeoCurrency, Select Payment Method For Each Currency [VQMOD], Different Product Price For Each Currency[VQMOD], Customer Country Currency Switcher, Select Shipping Method For Each Currency[VQMOD], Product Page & Modules Multi Currency etc.
Extending the above point, OpenCart developers also thought about the language diversity of the global business. What about a core German or Russian or Chinese customer if he does not know your site’s default language, may be, English? How will he understand you site’s descriptions, menus, features, product details and other related things? With the help of several multi language extensions customer, whatever language he may know can transform your default text details into his language within seconds with the help of a single click. OpenCart multi language extensions keep out the barrier of language from your online business.
You may choose from a lot of variations, get some names from here:
Multi-Language Banners, Sliders and Carousels, Image Captions Multi Language, Display Banner/Slideshow/Carousel Images Language Wise, Model Multi Language (vqmod), Gallery Photo Album, Multilanguage product description translate 1.5.X, Quick edit Product with multilanguage, Select Payment Method For Each Language [VQMOD], FAQ Frequently Asked Questions – Multi-languages – OpenCart 2.0, etc.
Does not it look more effective if a product, with its launching on an ecommerce site, is reviewed by technical or business experts to gain more accreditation for a prospected sale? Or reviewed by even real-life users to motivate further sale?
OpenCart provides some excellent extensions to create easy product review modules. These are such user friendly that even a non-technical admin or start-up developer can easily develop a wanted review cart using extensions. You can check from a few names mentioned below and it has a much bigger reserve:
After Purchase Review Invitation, Review Manager – Advanced Reviews, Advanced Product Review (Review manager), Review Animated Carousel, Review Booster | Order reviews, Anti Spam Reviews, Admin Products list Reviews, Enhanced review module add email and admin reply, OrderReviews – Email Clients to Rate and Review Products etc.
OpenCart also provides almost ready-to-make extensions to create the important module of product ratings to enhance the product’s promotional attributes. The aspired rating is created on the basis of the demand, supply, techno feedback, business feedback and most importantly customer/user feedback. Considering on these rating values, same that like of reviews, future or suspected customers take decision for the product. In OpenCart you need not design or develop anything about it, just download the ready extension according to your requirement and make your own module.
Here are some examples of product rating extensions in OpenCart:
ShowRatings, Ajax easy rating / SEO Rich snippets / Social Share Pro, Product Rating (Advanced), Seller Ratings for MultiMerch Marketplace, Google Product Rich Snippets for Reviews + Pinterest Rich pins, OpenCart Client etc.
20+ Payment Gateways
There is a list of payment gateways that are included as default set in OpenCart download to design your web-store according to requirement. If you require additional payment gateways you can try OpenCart extensions section and download extensions.
2Checkout, LiqPay, WorldPay, Authorize.Net, Moneybookers, Cheques / Money Orders, PayPal, PayPal Website Payment Pro, PayPal Website Payment Pro (UK), PayPoint, eWay (UK, AU, NZ), Klarna, Secure Trading (available in OpenCart 2.0 version), First Data Merchant Solutions (available in opencart 2.0 version), SagePay, SagePay Direct, SagePay (US), Authorize.Net (AIM), Paymate, AlertPay, Bank Transfer, Perpetual Payments, Cheque / Money Order, Cash On Delivery, Collect in store, Realex Payments (available in 2.0), BluePay (available in 2.0).
8+ Shipping Methods
Shipping methods, one of the most vital parts of an ecommerce site are also enriched with choose from several options in OpenCart as default. Several creative shipping methods, designed to utility functions could be easily assorted for your site.
Below are the examples available in default:
Australia Post, Citylink, Fedex, Flat Rate, Free Shipping, Per Item, Parcelforce 48, Pickup From Store, Royal Mail UPS, United States Postal Service, Weight Based Shipping etc.
OpenCart has a unique feature of guest checkout so that customers don’t require to sign up for an account but can simply enjoy shopping and place orders with minimum personal data required only to process the order. This gives a freedom and peace to customers to shop-on without advertising personal data or facing a block of creating an account before getting start.
I, myself, prefer OpenCart to develop an ecommerce site for my client. The reason, I believe, you have understood well as I have discussed above. It is easy, with several defaults free or minimum priced extension options with it to facilitate the ideal assorted development. It is cost saving and time saving to develop quickly even before the client expects the delivery. Moreover, as OpenCart equipments are SEO friendly, the online promotion for the site becomes much easier in future.
And, remember, I have discussed only a few important features that took my attention. There are several more features that may help you out in some other way.
If you find such a platform like OpenCart that provides you ready & quick-to-use, easy, almost free, SEO friendly extensions for every requirement to develop a critical ecommerce site with numerous contents why not start your own ecommerce development business keeping OpenCart as your partner?