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Easy OpenCart Theme Creation Guide

opencart themes

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OpenCart is a really simple way of getting your online shop up and running. Easy to create and publish, it comes with whole host of features and themes for you to get your teeth into.

The problem is that your theme OpenCart is either going to be good or bad.

If it’s good, your shoppers will have a fantastic experience and they’ll help you grow your store.

If it’s bad, they’ll probably find the whole experience so off-putting that they’ll take their custom elsewhere.

To really make the most of OpenCart themes, let’s take a look at our easy theme OpenCart creation guide. If you feel like you won’t handle it, you can always use our theme development services.


OpenCart is built using something called MVC, a design pattern that separates data and presentation. This is great news for you as a theme OpenCart developer, because it means you don’t need to tweak the files all the time.

The directory structure is super clean and nicely organised. Presentation is fantastic, and all back-end interface files are found in the admin directory.

Front-end interface files are to be found in the catalog directory.

OpenCart Themes Design Pattern

The themes design pattern used by OpenCart is MVC-L (Model View Controller Language).

You will place all your theme related code in the View section.

This is all you need to know for now regarding the Opencart responsive theme design pattern.

Themes OpenCart Elements Overview

Let’s take a quick look at the elements you will be using:

  • Language – This is really useful for multilingual sites
  • Controller – The controller handles the application logic
  • Model – Model fetches the data from the back-end database
  • View – The View directory is where you as the theme developer will spend most of your time.

Get To Know Your Presentation Layer

All default OpenCart themes are to be found in the view directory. There are two further directors:

  • Javascript
  • Theme

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to focus solely on Javascript. You will find all Javascript files here, and sometimes even all style sheets and related images.

For example, you will often find the colour-box library in Javascript.

As a theme developer, though, your focus will be on the theme directory, which is where you will carry out most of your work, choosing your themes and customising them.

Default Theme Structure

Let’s take a quick look at a generic theme structure:

  • Image – All image files will go here.
  • Style sheet – Style sheets refer to things such as skinning related code. They will go here.
  • Template – You will find all front-end template files here.

Your World Of OpenCart Themes

OpenCart provides you with a clean way to easily organise your template files. It also arms you with numerous built-in modules that equip you with the kind of features a basic shopping cart needs to function. Happily, OpenCart also lets you develop and customise your own modules to tailor them according to your customers’ needs.

Here is the template categorisation:

  • Common – Common elements, such as header and footer, are placed here.
  • Error – The error template is the only thing that is here.
  • Information – Contact page, Static and Site map pages found here.
  • Module – Your custom modules will be placed here.

There are other template directories known as route specific template files that contain page-specific files.

This is all you need to know for now to get you started with OpenCart themes!

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