In this tutorial I will provide you with detailed instructions on how to install OpenCart on any hosting account. It’s very simple and straightforward, you won’t need any special IT or coding skills – just a basic computer knowledge.
There are only 5 steps to install OpenCart on your host:
- Download OpenCart installation package.
- Download and install FileZilla to your computer.
- Login to your hosting account and get database and ftp login information.
- Upload OpenCart installation package with FileZilla to your host.
- Go through the installation process.
OpenCart system requirements
Here you can find server requirements for OpenCart installation. Most of the hosting companies have affordable plans that have all the required specifications for an OpenCart store:
- Web Server (Apache suggested)
- PHP 5.3+
- Database (MySQLi suggested, but MySQL would be also fine)
Even the most affordable hosting plans like ECONOMY in GoDaddy or Basic in Bluehost will work just fine. If you’re worried how much space you’ll need for your store, I can say that OpenCart installation with demo files takes less than 100MB. If you’ll have 1000-3000 products with web optimized images in your store, you’ll need less that 10GB of storage.
Download OpenCart installation package
That’s easy – just go to Download page in OpenCart.com – click here.
My personal recommendation – if you’re new to OpenCart, download not the latest version, but the one before. Like in this example – download 22.214.171.124 . I recommend this because lots of extensions and themes have a bit of delay to support the latest versions so if you’ll use one before, you’ll have much more themes and modules that fully support the version of your OpenCart store.
Download and install FileZilla
FileZilla is one of the most popular FTP solutions. You’ll use it only to upload OpenCart files to your host. You can get FileZilla here.
You’ll need to download FileZilla Client to install OpenCart in your host. Install it after downloading it – you’ll need it in a moment.
Get database and ftp login information
To make the store visible to you and your clients, you need to order domain and hosting for your store (like I mentioned before in server requirements).
To get the database and ftp login information, you’ll need to login to your hosting account. Some hosting providers create ftp logins and database for you, otherwise you’ll need to create them yourself. It’s no big deal – just look up for Databases and FTP users in hosting admin panel. I won’t show you the exact screenshots because all of them have slightly different admin panels, but the basics are the same.
Upload OpenCart installation package with FileZilla to server
Now when you have your FTP login details, open FileZilla. To make it as fast as possible to upload the OpenCart files, enter your FTP login information to the Quickconnect form as in the example:
I highlighted the Quickconnect form. Enter host, username and password here and click Quickconnect. You’ll be connected to your ftp and you’ll see server catalogs on the right side like you see in the example (public_ftp, public_html etc…). Catalogs might differ in your hosting account, but most of the time you’ll see public_html folder somewhere there. Double click to open it – here you’ll upload the OpenCart files. By the way, if you’ll find any files in public_html folder, like images, index.html or index.php file, delete them, you won’t need them anymore.
Now after you opened public_html folder, extract your OpenCart download in your computer and open it’s Upload folder. You’ll see folders like admin, catalog, image, etc, and some files like index.php in it. Select all of them and drag them to public_html folder in FileZilla as you see in the picture below.
One more thing. When you download OpenCart installation files and upload them as is to your FTP, you need to rename couple of files. There are 2 config-dist.php files – one in the main catalog, one in admin catalog. Rename them both to config.php . Just click right mouse button on them, select Rename, and remove the -dist part from both of these files. It does not matter if you do it before uploading to ftp or after.
Go through the OpenCart installation process
After you uploaded the files, open your browser and go to your domain. You’ll be automatically redirected to OpenCart installation process.
Step 1 – just click Continue.
Step 2. If you renamed the config files, you’ll see status Writable right to them. If all the required server settings are met, you’ll be able to hit Continue.
Step 3. Enter your database name (database), username and password to the form at the top. If you’re database is in the same server as the files (most of the times they are), leave the hostname value localhost. Port and prefix don’t need to be changed also.
At the bottom – create an administrator username and password for your store. Make sure to use safe password that no one could guess. Use capital letters, numbers in it, and make ir at least 8 characters long. Also, enter email address for your admin account. You could get password reminders and order notifications. You could change email later if needed. Click Continue.
If the database information was correct, you’ll see Installation complete message in the step 4.
One more, and the final task – delete the install folder from public_html via FileZilla (just right click on the folder and click Delete).
That’s it – you successfully installed OpenCart to your host.
Now you can go to your domain and see how your store looks like to the customer, or go to Administration (http://yourdomain.com/admin/) to start adding products, setting up shipping and payment methods, and start selling!
Have any questions? Feel free to ask in comments or write me to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help with OpenCart setup.