OpenCart 2 released
Version 2 of the popular free and open source ecommerce system OpenCart has been released this week. With an updated, mobile Responsive default theme, reworked admin panel that is also mobile Responsive and some other helpful new features OpenCart 2 is a good step forward.
Mobile friendly default theme
Being based on Twitter Bootstrap, the new theme looks sharper and changes shape to suit various screen sizes. This also makes it easier to modify as Bootstrap is mature and widely used.
Mobile friendly admin panel
The admin panel now also changes shape to suit smaller screens and has a smoother interface with improved date picker, error validation and file uploader. This all makes managing your OpenCart ecommerce site faster and more intuitive.
More new features
The FontAwesome icon font is now included and using these icons instead of images means razor sharp icons at any size, in any colour and new icons are added regularly. Loading fewer images also makes a site faster as there are fewer requests to the server.
Custom form fields, a new extension installer and some new includedpayment gateways all aim to make life easier. Especially compared to stock a ZenCart or WordPress & WooCommerce setup, OpenCart has more functionality out of the box.
Current OpenCart extensions often use a system called VQMod to insert code in various places without editing the core files themselves, so installation is easier and upgrades can go more smoothly. OpenCart v2 adds its own system called OCMod and this has caused some ripples in the extension developer community. Whether VQMod or OCMod will become dominant remains to be seen.
While there are some excellent new features such as the responsive default and admin themes, icon fonts and improved admin panel we reckon OpenCart 2 is not quite ready for use in live client sites.
Rushing to use brand new software on a live site can mean dealing with teething issues and bugs. Many sites also use a selection of plugins to add necessary features and until these plugins are updated for v2 upgrading could be difficult.