View Full Version : Help setting up ZenCart-OpenCart

10-05-2010, 03:25 PM
Is anyone out there willing to help out a complete novice?

I have 2 websites on WestHost, very simple sites. www.spikescbradios.com and www.bertrands.us (personal site, gets neglected). The one for Spikes, we are ready to go online and start selling. I have never done this before and really know nothing about it.

I can do it through the WH web creator templates, which is fine, they just don't offer a lot of flexibility. From a little research I am reading that ZenCart and OpenCart are pretty user friendly, more so the OpenCart.

My WH plan is already set to go with the ecommerce options. I assume I would download either one of them through Softaculous. When I go to do that, it asks stuff on the software setup that I have no clue what to put.

Is this something that will be WAY over my head? Does anyone think its easy enough I could be shown/taught how without screwing up my whole site?

Currently I use DreamWeaver, but I also read these 2 carts are template based and that's probably what I'll be using. Right?

Any help from a very patient person would be greatly appreciated.

10-05-2010, 05:45 PM
Well I like to think that I am a patient person so let's see if I can help. I've worked a bit with ZenCart but not much with OpenCart. I am sure they are similar in many ways.

I would suggest that you first start by visiting the actual sites for each program. Check out their documentation to see which one makes the most sense to you. I think both have pretty good communities and forums and I would peruse those also to get a sense of the community support. Always best to go straight to these resources when you have questions about the program. :)

You are right that you are going to be using the templates for the programs. Make sure to check if the available templates via their sites and see if one is close to what you want to use for your site. Peruse the documentation for customizing the templates to fit your needs.

You shouldn't need to mess with your present site. Just make sure you install the cart of your choice in a directory below your main site. Something like example.com/cart or example.com/store, and then you can link to that in your main site. You could even install both and play with them then remove the one you decide you don't want to work.

There can be a bit of a learning curve with programs like this so just dig in and start playing with the installs. That is how I learn. Normally there is not much you can do that would mess up what you already have established if it is in it's own directory.

Just as a side note, I just checked out yoru CB radio site and you may end up wanting to have your cart installed in the main site directory. The pages you have there are pretty common type pages that can be integrated pretty easy into the e-commerce programs. Most well have a contact page you can add on or activate and even things like your about use page. The advantage of this would be that on all your pages you'll be able to promote your products since they are tied into your database and store. Maybe don't start that way just practice on the installs in their own directories and then when you are familiar with the program you could remove and then install in the main directory.

10-06-2010, 05:33 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions. And really good suggestions at that. I really do appreciate it, every little bit helps. Hopefully all goes well and I won't need to post any problems. Thanks again.

10-06-2010, 05:16 PM
If you do run across a specific question in the set up that you don't know what to answer please do ask. I am sure we can figure it out together.

10-07-2010, 02:09 PM
Will do!. Thanks. I'll be starting on it tomorrow...

11-02-2010, 06:06 AM
Hi. I’m back. I have hit a snag, kind of. I installed and played with several of the shopping carts. I ended up choosing OpenCart. I then contacted WestHost and got an SSL certificate, had them install it so I didn’t screw it up. I then installed OpenCart in the main directory. I am currently going through the settings, adding some product, and signing up with UPS, PayPal, etc.

My snag. Prior to this, when I used DreamWeaver, I’d use a separate FTP software to upload my pages. And it was very simple. The left part of the screen showed my computer files, the right showed my uploaded files. I’d click on my 4 or 5 pages, or the images in my image folder, click the arrow to send to the right side, when done, Viola, it was all live.

I just went into the File Manager through the WestHost cPanel. HOLY SHIT. It all looks so foreign to me. Instead of a simple few pages to upload, it looks like those pages were blown to smithereens and there’s files and stuff everywhere, compared to my FTP way. I assume I will be uploading my new OpenCart through this File Manager now? And um, is it even remotely possible to tell me how to upload it? I mean, I can see I obviously click on the correct files, and then click the upload button.

So is uploading this cart similar to FTP? I have to find each ‘page’ and upload them? Or is uploading this cart, more ‘pieces’ of pages to upload? Or am I making this much more difficult than it really is?

If it helps, when I installed OpenCart, in the “In Directory”, I left this blank so that it would be in my main directory. For “Database name”, it had a default of ‘ocar903’ in there, so I left it as is. For “Table Prefix” under Database Settings, it was defaulted to ‘oc_’, so I left that as is too.

If this is hopeless to tell me how to do this, it’s ok. But any information, or nudge in the right direction would be extremely appreciated.

11-02-2010, 06:30 PM
You can still use your normal FTP program to upload files to your account. You don't have to use the file manager in cPanel. I prefer to use my FTP program instead of the provided file manager in both WH 3.0 and WH 4.0. You should have been sent FTP login information when you signed up for the account. It is different then your cPanel login information. You are on WH 4.0 right?

Now if you are trying to work with OpenCart itself you may be forced to upload somethings through their system for like images of products and such so they can be "attached" to the product itself. That being said some of these cart programs do allow you to attach images to products that are already uploaded to the server. I am not familiar enough with OpenCart to know if it does or not but if it does there should be an option to do it when you are adding a product.

11-05-2010, 05:07 AM
YesI am on 4.0 and do have my FTP information. Except that there is nothing on my computer itself to upload through FTP. I did get it though. I installed it through that Softaculous Installer thing. Which apparently puts everything right where they should be. When I work in it, I log in through that same program. Anyway, through FTP I deleted my old Dreamweaver pages and Viola - my new site automatically showed up. When I work in OpenCart, which I get to through that Softaculous thing, as soon as I click save, it's all changed and updated. I am not actually uploading anything.

There is a new problem. I have already attempted to contact OpenCart. And WestHost is limited to the support of 3rd party software. So the next best place, are the WestHost forums. People here are the nicest and most helpful.

I will start a new thread for this but the problem is you can view it perfectly in some browsers such as Firefox, but in other browsers like IE (doesn't matter which version) you can view the homepage fine, but as soon as you click on any product or link, it gets all screwed up. No images are there, all the text is shoved to the left and you can't add anything to the cart. So if you are using a browser that this is working in, you can check it out so far. www.spikescbradios.com

11-05-2010, 06:17 AM
Actually, before posting a new thread, do you have any ideas or solutions? You are about the most helpful person in all of WestHost-land. I'm just not sure what to even fix, since it works great in Firefox and not at all in IE. So on my end, as far as settings, I don't know where to begin. You ever heard of this?

11-05-2010, 11:09 AM
I think I got it. In the settings of my cart, I had been told to put https when i installed it. So I did. And the opencart just told me to take that out and leave it as http, the ssl certificate will kick in upon checkout. So i took the https out and put only http and did a test checkout and it seems to be fine now, in IE.

11-06-2010, 07:38 AM
Glade you where able to get it figured out. Sorry I did not reply sooner but I was on a plan all day yesterday flying back home. :)

Everything looks good to me now even in IE. IE can be such a pain when it comes to issues like this. :)