If you belong to the online business community, you might be aware of this frequently asked question, “what is OpenCart?”

OpenCart may not be new to you; still, we are here with a guide that would be helpful even for beginners to know about it. If you plan to develop your online store on this CMS and are confused, this guide would prove helpful for you. It will assist you in your decision as you reach the post’s end.

This post will put forward the definition of OpenCart, its top features, pros and cons, and more.

So, let’s start!

What is OpenCart?

OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform, which means you can download and update it free of cost. Also, you are not liable to pay any monthly fee for using OpenCart. It comes with a robust store management caliber, which states that you can benefit from its in-built SEO, manage customers, products, coupon codes, tax rules, orders, and more.

Moreover, OpenCart allows you to pick exceptional themes and modules to expand your online store’s functionality.

Furthermore, the OpenCart users get dedicated commercial or free community support also.

OpenCart is known for powering about 471,669+ eCommerce businesses worldwide. You can get the most popular payment gateways and shipping methods integrated with it.

opencart stats as per builtwith
OpenCart stats as per BuiltWith

One of the most promising CMS for developing an online store, OpenCart, is based on PHP and MVC architecture. It targets offering a reliable and transparent tool for web developers to create high-performing eCommerce sites and online stores using customized modules and plugins.

Best OpenCart Features for eCommerce Stores

OpenCart holds various features that come with an eCommerce platform’s additional and essential operations. Following are a few top OpenCart features.

Let’s go through:

User Access

To organize your online store successfully, you need to cooperate with various people performing different roles. If you choose the OpenCart eCommerce platform to develop your online store, you will hold the caliber to regulate your store’s edits.

OpenCart permits you to set the advanced user privileges and divide access for users and user groups. In simple words, you can differentiate your store users by their roles to control your team’s website access. This way, you can avoid any potential mishaps.

Admin Dashboard

The admin dashboard of your online shop offers insight into your OpenCart site’s performance, including access to customers, orders, sales analytics, and more. Additionally, you can easily customize the reporting tools to track and enhance your business’s strategies.


Using OpenCart, you can manage various stores from a single admin interface. Also, you can set products to list them in different stores. You can choose a unique theme for every store, localize settings, and set the per-store product prices.

Attributes, Options

As we know, the products arrive in different options, some feature sizes, while others length, colors, height, etc. Here, OpenCart comes in, and it provides a solution for appending extra essential product variables.

Back-up & Restore

OpenCart permits you to set up your back-ups and restorations in an emergency. Also, using OpenCart, you can easily update and edit bulk products, categories, and almost everything.

Coupons, Discounts, & Specials

OpenCart is strong enough to understand the influence of coupons, discounts, and specials on your sales and magnetize more customers. Hence, this feature of OpenCart will prove to be better for your store.

Payment Providers

OpenCart performs well with almost all the latest payment processing providers with no extra cost or transactional fee. This way, your business gets the flexibility to process payments itself with no additional charges.

Unlimited Products & Categories

This ultimate feature of OpenCart permits your business to sell its products online without bearing any additional fee to increase a certain amount of products. Moreover, OpenCart makes the product organization easy by permitting your business to group the products and assign them in an infinite number of categories.


OpenCart arrives with an in-built Affiliate system to promote specific products and get paid. You can set different percentages to offer distinct payment options, like Paypal, cheque, or a bank transfer.

SEO Friendly

With OpenCart, you will know what SEO content is essential. It will help make the development and management process more accessible while ensuring that your site follows SEO best practices. Besides, this eCommerce platform is mobile responsive by default leading to increased SEO standards.

Pros & Cons of OpenCart

Before choosing any eCommerce platform for developing an online store, we should know the complete relevant information. So, now we will review the pros and cons of OpenCart.

Pros of OpenCart

Let’s start with the pros first.

Comes Pre-Equipped

OpenCart sites arrive preloaded with numerous features, as we have discussed above, that are perfect for the start of any business. It permits firms to craft their primary online store quickly and efficiently while maintaining enough functionality.

Free to Download

An OpenCart platform helps make an eCommerce store affordable by offering a free download with just an additional cost of hosting fee and the paid extensions.

Abundant Extension Options

To expand and personalize your online eCommerce store in the future, OpenCart provides various extensions to enhance the standard OpenCart site. The extensions hold an eCommerce platform’s strength to improve the design, operations, and functionality.

OpenCart Cons

Now, let’s know the cons of OpenCart.

Limited Functionality

Besides the potential developer requirement, to increase the functionality of your site, you would need to append extensions. However, some extensions may not suit your OpenCart website, or the varied combinations may be faulty. It demands extra resources and time to test extensions that may not perform as we want. It may obstruct the complete advancement of your eCommerce store by limiting its functionality.

Need for Technical Knowledge

As OpenCart is an open-source platform, anyone can manipulate the source code. It may raise the need for a website development expert to effectively improve the site’s performance.

While some businesses hold a developer in their staff, some lack this resource, and outsourcing needs emerge that add extra cost to your website.

On the contrary, with a developer’s eye on your OpenCart website, you can customize it according to your business needs.

Restricts Scalability

The inconsistent reliability of large-scale extensions hinders your OpenCart site from growing to a vast and more complicated online store. When OpenCart fails to support high-level functions uncomplicatedly, it limits the site’s caliber to scale even as your business expands.


Being a newbie in eCommerce store development, you should accumulate and understand every relevant information of an eCommerce platform you would choose.

So, we hope this post proved helpful and informative for you, every beginner who wants to start an online business.

If you encounter any confusion, feel free to connect with our experts. You will get solutions to all your related issues here.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.