By Tunbosun Ayinla

Your First E-Commerce Store with OpenCart, Part 2

By Tunbosun Ayinla

Your First E-Commerce Store with OpenCart

In the first part of this series I talked about how to install OpenCart. I also talked about some of the basic configuration needed when you first set up your OpenCart store, and how to create new product and manufacturer categories.

In this part I’ll be digging deeper into OpenCart and talking about adding options, attributes, attribute groups, and most importantly adding categories and products. Kindly enjoy.

Creating Options

When ordering a product, after selecting the product you are usually given the opportunity to specify which color and size you want. These are exactly what options are – choices that you make to personalize a product before checkout. OpenCart gives you the ability to associate different options with a product.

To set up an option, go to the “Catalog” tab and select “Options” from the drop down box. To create an option you have to enter the name of the option, the type (such as a select list, radio option, a check box, etc.), and sort order. Sort orders allow you to change the order in which options are presented when you have multiple options associated with a product.

Creating Attributes and Attribute Groups

Attributes are properties that can be used to compare the similarities and differences between products. A perfect example is when you are trying to compare the weight, color, and storage space of two IPhones like the IPhone 4 and IPhone 4S.

To create an attribute, go to Catalog > Attributes > Attributes and click Insert. You’ll need to provide the attribute’s name, group, and sort order.

An attribute group is just a name for a collection of related attributes. Attributes such as black, red, and yellow can all be classified under the attribute group “Color”.

To create an attribute group, go to Catalog > Attributes > Attributes Group and click Insert.


Adding Products

And now for the most important part of setting up your OpenCart store… adding products! IPhone 5, Apple MacBook Pro, polo shrits, etc. are all examples of products; products are the main part of your store.

To create a product, go to Catalog > Products and click Insert. You’ll be presented with ten tabs, the most important of which are: General, Data, Links, Attribute, Option, Discount, and Image. It is mandatory for you to have detailed information about a product so your customers can be informed about what they are purchasing.

Under the General tab is where you enter basic information about the product, such as it’s name, meta tag description, keywords, and description.

Under the Data tab, you specify the product’s model, SKU (store keeping units), UPC (universal product code), price, minimum purchase amount, stock status, size and weight information, etc.

The Links tab consists of fields to set the manufacturer, categories, and related products.

The Attribute tab enables you to set the various attributes available for the product, and the option tab enables you to set the various Options that are available for the product.

The Discount tab lets you to set any discount pricing information that might be available when your customers purchase the product.

The Image tab allows you to upload various images of the product so customers know what it looks like.

Once all this information has been set, click on the Save button to save the product.

A screenshot of the “Products” screen is shown below. Go ahead and try entering a few products of your own.

To later edit the properties of any product, go to Catalog > Product and click the Edit link under the Action column of the product you want.


This brings us to the end of the series of “Creating your first E-Commerce store using OpenCart.”
Now you know how to install OpenCart, create categories and other attributes and groupings to keep your store organized, and most importantly how to add products.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and wish you luck with your very own OpenCart powered e-commerce store!

Image via Fotolia

  • mark

    Wow what a complete waste of my time! Yes I love opencart, it tends to be my number one choice when starting a new e-commerce project, but what has this article(s) got to do with PHP? Other than opencart using PHP these articles simply show you how to use the GUI any end user uses and none of the information here isn’t listed on the opencart website.

    Nothing is mentioned about the PHP code used, where/how to makes changes, nothing is mentioned about its MVC structure and how to expand on it and inherit from its built in classes.

    What a total waste of time. I thought this website was called PHPmaster? Not how to install a script and set it up using a WYSIWYG interface, this article has nothing to do with PHP.

    • himanshu

      Hi, Mark, i agree with your point here,
      i am new to php (making my first php store) and want to use opencart for that project. of-course this post doesn’t help at all cause there is nothing about intrinsic working of the opencart. i don’t want any fancy images and cart, i want to use it’s framework to build a basic tool for sales along with a record of all transactions maintained.

      Can anyone please guide me to a place where i can learn the details about opencart or there are some better tools for this task which i don’t know about.

      Please help :)

  • I think mark has a great point. I also use OpenCart a lot for e-commerce. It’s probably the best choice if you need a full featured online store, but I find it requires a few modifications which you can accomplish with a few extensions.

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