Like many e-commerce systems and content management systems, OpenCart allows you to change the appearance of the store layout using themes.  The following tutorial will take you through the process of loading a new theme and activating it in OpenCart 1.5.

Adding Themes in OpenCart 1.5

  1. OpenCart themes are typically found online at this URL: OpenCart Extensions. However, you can find them in many other locations by simply running a search engine to look for OpenCart themes.  Select the theme you wish to use and download it to your computer. Make sure that the theme version matches the version of OpenCart that you are using.
  2. When you download the installation file, it will normally be using the ZIP file compression format. Review the installation instructions of the theme developer. These instructions will normally be on the website from where you obtained the theme, or inside the the theme ZIP file as a text file.  To find out how to extract or uncompress a ZIP file go to How to Compress or Extract Zip file.
  3. If you are using Web Hosting Hub's hosting service, then you will need to login to the Cpanel and go to the File Manager.  Otherwise, use your hosting service's application or an FTP client in order to do the next step which involves transferring the files.
  4. In File Manager, go to the path required by the theme's instructions.  This path will typically be where you installed OpenCart and may resemble this path:

    /yourdomainnamerootfolder/catalog/view/theme

  5. Here is a screenshot of the Cpanel File Manager. The file uploaded for the theme is t5.zip:
    opencart15-theme-uploading-install-file


    NOTE: When working with files on the server, the file names are capitalization sensitive. This means that a file that is named "ALPHA.ZIP" is different from one that is named "alpha.zip." The server would consider them two different files.


  6. Once the ZIP file is in the File manager, click on it once to highlight it, then click on EXTRACT as per the screenshot below:

    opencart15-theme-uploading-extract


  7. The files will be extracted into a separate folder named per the the theme name.  This completes the steps for moving the theme files onto your server.
  8. In order to activate your new theme in OpenCart you will need to login to the Administrator Dashboard as an Administrator
  9. Go to the menu bar in the Administration Dashboard and hover over SYSTEM. Click on SETTINGS (the first entry at the top) and you will see the following screen:

    opencart15-theme-loading-general

  10. Click on the STORE tab and search for TEMPLATE (towards the bottom of the sceen):

    opencart15-theme-loading-store-final


    As per the illustration above, click on the drop-drop down menu and then select your new theme.  The new theme in the example above is 'T5'.  Once you have selected the new theme, click on SAVE to complete its installation and activation.

Themes can give your store a new look and feel that helps add appeal to your customers or potential customers.  Keeping everything fresh with a theme change can keep your site interesting and bring you even more business.  Using new themes may also help you re-organize your store for better efficiency and increase traffic where it is needed.  Consider using new themes as an essential part of your store's maturity into a successful e-commerce business website.


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