OpenCart is one of the popular ecommerce frameworks. It has numerous extensions available, ranging from payment gateway, order management, language, shipping methods, reports, product feeds and so on. Installing these will quickly ramp up the functionality of your Opencart shop.
However unlike Magento and WordPress, the extensions need to be manually installed.( A slightly boring part)
vQmod a preferred framework for developing Extensions.
vQmod stands for Virtual Quick Mod.
"vQmod" is an override system designed to avoid having to change core files.
The concept is quite simple. Instead of making changes to the core files directly, the changes are created as xml search/replace script files. The advantage of using Vqmod is keeping the core functionalities of OpenCart untouched.
As the things stand more than 70% of OpenCart extensions are built on Vqmod. Here is a practical guide to install Vqmod based extensions.
Installing vQmod is one time effort; once the vQmod is installed on your server you can install any number of vQmod based extensions.
STEP 1 : Download vQmod
- Download vQmod
- Preferably download latest version available for opencart (not the stand alone version)
- Unzip it.
- Upload vQmod to root directory of your hosting account through FTP.
STEP 2 : Install vQmod
- After upload run the installation by running install file through :http://www.yoursite.com/vQmod/install.
- You will see vQmod INSTALLED message
Identifing a vQmod based Extension
- One of the dilemma is to know if extension is based on vQmod or non-vQmod.
- No where in extension listing it is mentioned if it is a vQmod extension or not. So check the folders of the extension after unzip.
- A typical vQmod based extension will have folders like vQmod/catalog/admin or vQmod or combinations alternatively check the installation documentation which comes along with extension.
Your vQmod is installed and you are ready to install a vQmod based extension.
STEP 3 : Download the extension
- Visit OpenCart Extension listing page to download extensions required.
STEP 4 : Extract the file and upload the content in your root directory.
STEP 5 : Go to your admin Extensions>Modules you will see the module in the list.
- All vQmod based extensions will have vQmod folder. This folder will add new extension files within vQmod folder already present on the server. You have to simply dump the extension files on FTP.
STEP 6 :
- Within admin go to Extensions.
- You will find the extension listed. You will also find Install link. Click install link to install the module.
STEP 7 :
- After installation, click on the edit link and set the setting for a module.
STEP 8 :
- Go to frontend to see the module working.
Common Issues faced
Installing vQmod with custom Opencart theme.
- Installation of VAMOD on customized opencart with customized theme will require manual installation of vQmod please refer to installation guide: http://code.google.com/p/vQmod/wiki/Install_OpenCart
Installing Extensions with custom Opencart theme.
- vQmod extensions work on the concept of overriding. That is search replace-override. If your web-site has custom theme; extension will not find what it is looking for as all extensions are based on default theme.In that case things become complicated. Check the tpl files and accordingly write the code in vQmod extension xml to find and replace.
For non-English OpenCart websites
- If the language is not default i.e. English then upload the extension language file in the selected language folder.
In case your files paths are different than default Opencart paths.
- If file path is different then the default paths in OpenCart (this may happen due to customization) make changes accordingly in vQmod xml Eg catalog/view/theme/default/template/common/home.tpl (opencart default path) you have to change the above path then mention in extension vQmod xml file.
Html tags not properly closed
- if the html tags are not properly closed for eg <div> <span> then the design get distorted because vQmod is unable to identify the tags.
- In case you have customized themes we would strongly suggest to hire a developer with vQmod experience. TransPacific Software extensively specializes in OpenCart and vQmod .For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org