so lets have a look at the pros of OpenCart and it's features and benefits:
It's OpenSource - What does this mean?
Well when we look at online web applications or software we see a lot of vendors out there most are using a model of pay monthly/weekly or annually, with OpenCart the model used is free and the only costs involved are the additional plugins or add on scripts and templates that extend the core functionality of the base system.
The code is also accessible this can allow you to modify the look and layout of the template files easily yourself or if you hire a designer or developer to do it for you. The layout system is easily understood as they template files in organised folders and these are known as TPL files which is of course short for template.
This means you have no up front costs from the outset unless you need to modify the core code, the good thing is if you do not want to go down the route of hiring a developer or designer to do it for you, if you have confidence and time it is completely possible to do all manner of modifications if you understand even a little PHP.
Don't worry though if you get stuck their forum and it's users are very helpful and searching the internet can help with a lot of modifications that can be carried out on the application.
The Dashboard/Admin section
Let's now look at the most useful functions of the software/application, it's very comprehensive dashboard tracks a lot of the activity on the site managed by the software.
If we look at some of these features like the amount of registered users, tracking visitors and pages they visit the obvious section that is most sought after is the sales, returns and refunds section not only is this accessible from the dashboard but you get a very comprehensive overview which is essential in any online store.
Products, when we look at the products section or when adding products you have a good base for basic stores with functions like:
1) standard products
2) Variable products
3) Digital products
4) Sizes/colours or other attributes of some products
Add on scripts or plugins can extend the base functionality of the products in the store depending on your needs.
Theme the store!
So when a lot of shopping cat software users look for software they look for the ease of creating your own look so your store can be unique.
Well! OpenCart is so simple to theme once you get your head round the Template system, it can be a small learning curve but once you spend a little time on this you reap the rewards and can give yourself a pat on the back. You can create a great store out of the box or go for a unique store of your own.
Hey! but what if I want to use a bought template?
This is simple too, you can buy from their template section of their website some really good templates that are easily added if you can use FTP or Cpanel or something similar by uploading it to your server in the correct folder, this may seem daunting but is usually documented with the template you buy or instructions given in their user doc's.
I have been using OpenCart for shopping cart design for over 8 years and have used it since the early days of inception, I would highly reccomend this software for it's ease of use and simplicity to setup. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.