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August 5, 2010


Opencart Basics – Installation

by Ian

Opencart is one of the leading opensource ecommerce platforms available. It is simple, fast and easy to use whilst still being as full featured as a modern ecommerce platform is required to be. In this tutorial we will go through the installation process in the simplest manner.

You will need to have the following information to complete this tutorial:-

  1. A hosting account with PHP, MySQL.
  2. Your cPanel username and password.

Step #1: Download Opencart

Goto and grab a copy the latest version of Opencart.

Step #2: Log in to CPanel

Log into your hosting site using the link to cPanel that your hosting company has sent you. Generally it will be something like

Step #3: Create Database

Now before we start uploading files and beginning the actual Opencart installation process we will need to create our MySQL database to store all of our Opencart information. Note that at this stage Opencart only supports MySQL as the data storage method.

Ok, so look for the database section in cPanel and click on the MySQL Databases application. Here we are we are prompted to choose to either create a database, create a user or add a user to a database. This may vary slightly between versions of cPanel but the basic options are the same. So, first of we need to create the database. We do this by entering the name of the database we would like to create.

Next we need to create a user and give them the permissions needed to install Opencart and work with the data. So create a user and give them a password (Be sure to write down the database name, user name and password for later). Once we have done this the last step is to grant the user we have just created access to the database and set their permissions. As a rule until you understand permissions better it is best to just give the user all permissions.

Step #4: Upload Opencart

Now that we have downloaded the Opencart packaged, create a database and created a user with the correct permissions to access our database we need to upload the Opencart zip file and begin the installation process.

There are two ways to accomplish uploading the Opencart package and the easiest way is to use the file manager application within the cPanel script. Once we open up the file manager application we need to navigate our way to the installation directory (folder) on our server that we want to install Opencart in. For simplicity we will say that our Opencart store is going to be installed in the root directory of our host (/home/user/public_html/ or similar).We need to goto the directory public_html/ and click on the upload file button.

Once there it is now time to upload the Opencart zip file that we downloaded in step 1. We do this by clicking on the browse button, selecting our file and uploading it.

Now we can see that in the public_html/ directory we have the Opencart zip file. To extract the file we simply select the file and click extract.

After the file has finished extracting we should be left with a few text files that contain install instructions, licenses and some technical jargon known as the changelog but also we should be left with a folder called Upload. What we need to do is click into the Upload directory and then select the contents (Select All button) and copy the content back into the public_html/ directory which we do by dragging those files over to the left had side folder (public_html/).

Step #5: Run Opencart Install

Now that we have created our databased and user, uploaded and extracted our Opencart zip file to the correct place on our server we can now run the Opencart install script. Remember you will need the name of the database you created as well as the username and password to access the database.

By opening a web browser and typing in the domain name of our shop such as we will be automatically taken to the start of the Opencart install script. Here we are presented with a license agreement that we need to agree to followed by an automated test of our hosting enviroment to make sure that our hosting package has all the basic requirements for Opencart to run. Most hosting packages should mee all the requirements but if you see that your hosting package does not meet the requirements you have two options. Either use another hosting company or contact your existing hosting company and ask if they can upgrade your hosting package to meet the minimum requirements of Opencart.

Now that we have met all the requirements and have clicked next we are presented with our settings page in which we will need to enter our database information and the name of our admin user, their password and email address.

Enter the database name, the database username and password that we created in Step 3. Finally type in the name of the admin user give them a password and type in the admin users email address and click next.

Step #6: Delete Install Directory

Before we log into our brand new Opencart store we need to make sure that we have deleted the install directory. We do this by using the same cPanel file manager application that we used previously and going to t=our install directory (public_html). From here we need to select and delete the public_html/install directory.

Step #7: Finish

That’s it! Congratulations! We have now successfully install our Opencart ecommerce shop. We can see what our store looks like by visiting our domain such as or we can log in and start running our shop by visiting

If you have any question about this posts or have seen something that we need to correct feel free to leave a comment.

  • Serdar Irmak

    Would open cart work with Mac OS. How can I install open cart to Mac ?

    • oliseo

      You would install Opencart on a server, not on your Mac.

      If you wanted to install it locally (for testing purposes) you would need a LAMP server installation. (Linux Apache MySql Php).

      On the Mac this is known as a MAMP.

      (Don’t ask why)

      Anyway, here is the link

  • Pj

    Do u know the minimum requirements for the mysql database user rights?
    I’d rather not grant ALL if it isn’t required.

  • Junkstopshere

    When OpenCart is installed on the cart username and password are “Non-Secure” (i.e. http://). Also during Checkout, all of the information is “Non-Secure” which means customer credit-cards are exposed to theft. And no one with a reasonable mind is going to shop at my store.

    Set up static IP
    Set up site Security Certificates

    I flipped the

    However, no changes occurred; still non-secure.

    Please include in your article how to make the cart https:// secure

  • Kevin

    Is there a way to install opencart with an empty store? The installation process injects products, categories, etc, into the store, and I didn’t see an option to ask it not to do so.

    • ScottyMack

      It takes seconds to delete the entire catalog they install, so I don’t see why it is such a problem. They put those fake products and categories there so that people new to OpenCart can see how they should be setting their products up.

  • Al Rosado

    Hey guys i have a problem, i dont know hot to migrate the opencart installation themed from my localhost into a live host, i cant connect the databases.

    If anyone have a suggestion will be very appreciated.

    • David

      You can also move data using Cart2Cart , actually , it is not free, but this way you will move mostly all data pretty fast. It would only take a couple of hours, so it is up to you

  • Theshopsatelkriver

    Thank you SO much for this post! I was ready to dump opencart and find something else!

  • Rebecca

    I am trying to install Open Cart on my MAMP before transferring to my web server however I need to set up a temp mysql database. I have created one using PHPmyAdmin however I do not know how to link it to Open Cart as there is no code in the config.php file.

    Please help! I am new at this stuff : (

  • Thai Nguyen

    First impression: sleek and Web 2.0 look and feel.

  • Jstyle

    what if you’ve been changing the downloaded version using localhost and now have it to where you’re ready to upload to your real host. are the instructions different???

  • Guest

    Beatiful post
    Opencart kurulum

  • Phalak Girish

    we have a open cart website… we need to run this on our local machine can you help me…..please mail us thanks in advance…

  • ScottyMack

    When I drag the files from the OpenCart directory over to the public_html directory, then what? All of those files still remain in the OpenCart directory, which still exists in public_html. Am I supposed to delete the OpenCart directory now that all of its important files have been, in essence, copied to the public_html directory but still remain in the OpenCart directory as well?