A case study on how we created large web store with opencart.
A myth circulating on ecommece forums is “Opencart” is only for small & mid size e-stores . It cannot be scaled up to the enterprise level; cannot handle thousands of products.. its a myth! Indeed
OpenCart can be scaled up to any level to enjoy dual benefit of simplicity and enterprise wide functionality.
When Blackheath ( a leading UK based Distributor of decorative laminate and kitchen products.) through its development agencies approached Transpacific to develop its new e-store on Opencart. It had its challenges.
It is a large storefront with 50,000 products 112 categories: 104 Sub categories and more than 1,50,000 images . Further It required an efficient Content Management System(CMS) to handle its ever growing number of technical documents , case studies & brochures. Blackheath required the CMS to be managed by its non-technical staff through intuitive backend interface.
It also required a connection to its ERP system to pull and push inventory seamlessly into website through automated cron jobs.
The Project Execution
Custom built content Management system for Opencart
Arguably the biggest shortcoming of Opencart is its feeble content management system.Rich informative content ( articles, guides etc) form the backbone of SEO : Say if you wish to create 50 page Educational section with topic- sub topic type structure; Its not possible in opencart.
OpenCart has basic information module wherein you may create individual pages but that’s about it. . One of the Top priority of TransPacific was to create a top quality intuitive CMS system.
Taking a cue from Joomla a complete custom made CMS system was developed.
The CMS was developed by improvising on Opencart layout block concept and further making it similar to Joomla . These blocks could be edited independently and assigned wherever required in any pages (left , Right or centre) and even the same block could be placed in multiple pages.
For regular article style CMS management the current OpenCart information page section was improvised to have hierarchical structure where in the admin can manage parent topic and sub-topic from backend.
Additional custom build modules in Backend
Technical document Module and Case Study Module
Blackheath had the requirement of regularly keep uploading new case studies , brochures and Technical documents. A customized module was created to upload these files and to get them associated with appropriate product. However these documents were in multiple formats like Cdr , PDF , PSD , various video format.By default OpenCart allow only few selected image formats like jpg. PNG. To overcome this issue TransPacific’s popular “All Files Type” extension was applied. Which permited the user to allow additional formats to be uploaded through Image Uploader.
1) Product total count in Menu
In Opencart by default in menu total number of product count is displayed. The site had more than 50,000 products and thus loading pages was slowing down pages. This functionality had to be removed for speed improvement.
2) Data insertion
Initial load of data insertion (more than a half a million records) was carried out by coding a parser script which read through ERP systems inventory XML files and inserted the data with images in Opencart.
Each data insertion cycle had to be checked for accuracy. If it failed to insert the data and image correctly it wrote a log file and moved on. Log File was examined atter to correct the missing images.
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