On the 19th July 2017 OpenCart released OpenCart 3.0 to the world.
As of writing this article the current stable version is v188.8.131.52
You can download the latest version of OpenCart 3.0 below
There are three major changes in the Open Source Platform which we’re going to discuss below.
- Theme Editor
- Extensions Changes
- Language Editor
We also see a lot more improvements to the Administrator Panel and a nice new User Interface Design
Some additional new features that have been introduced are:
- New Admin Panel Interface & Filters
- Improved Reports & Statistics
- Multilingual SEO URLs
- Removed FTP Tab
So let’s go over some of these new features and see whether OpenCart 3.0 is suitable for your online business.
New Admin Panel Interface & Filters
OpenCart 3.0 has a brand new Graphical User Interface (GUI) in the administrator area.
The GUI is more compact, with minor detailed touches. The improved look is noticed all over the administrator area.
If we take a closer look we can see what’s new:
- User’s icon in the profile menu. The profile links to the “Your Profile” editing section in the admin panel where you configure, you guessed it, your profile details.
- New hamburger menu outside of the main vertical container.
Improved Reports & Statistics
OpenCart 3 now provides us with a new Reports extension. The majority of reports will be enabled by default. If you would like to toggle these on/off simply go to Extensions > Reports and chose the reports you wish to track. As you can see there are a lot to choose from.
Once you have your reports enabled after a short time you will have the reports you want to track
We can view these under Reports > Reports
The new Statistics menu lets you track the total value of all your Sales, Processing Orders, Complete Orders, Other Orders, Returns, Out of Stock Products and Pending Reviews.
To update the value, hit the Refresh button.
Multilingual SEO URLs
OpenCart 3 now supports multi-lingual Search Engine Optimised URLs!
This mean that whatever the primary language of your store, you can use it for all the URLs throughout your website.
The SEO Keyword input field has been moved to a new tab called (SEO) in the Category editing field as seen here:
This is the keyword that will be used for the SEO URLs. We highly recommend spending time to focus on SEO on websites. This allows people to discover your business. For more information about how important SEO is for your website, please click here
When all your SEO categories keywords are set, the URLs will look like this on the (storefront) frontend:
Removed FTP Tab
The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) tab is no longer present in the System Settings menu. Why? Well you don’t need to enter them to use the extension installer now which is a good thing. This option confused a lot of admin users in previous versions and we’re happy to see it go.
The twig theme editor lets you make modifications to the source code inside your OpenCart 3 store without having to leave the admin area. Opencart 3 now uses the Twig framework. To learn more about Twig framework please click here
Once you’re inside the theme editor, you can select the template you wish to edit on the left and make your changes in the text editor on the right. If you are running a multi-store setup, you can edit the templates of your different stores by using the Choose your store field at the top.
The new Theme Editor is an important addition to OpenCart as it gives developers direct access to modifying their template files. This saves a lot of jumping back and forth between coding programs.
This new templating feature works well for the default OpenCart 3 theme however for custom themes unfortunately this feature is not very useful. We found it to be buggy and not very useful for custom themes. With some more core development we can see this area improving in upcoming releases of OpenCart 3
The Extensions section has changed quite a bit in Opencart 3.
Opencart has decided to integrate the Opencart Marketplace where you can browse the for www.opencart.com marketplace extensions.
To begin purchasing and installing tools from the marketplace, you need to hit the Marketplace API button and enter your account details. You can do this by hitting the cog button at the top right of the screen.
The new layout of the OpenCart Extension Installer comes with an improved interface and a new section called Install History. This section holds a log of all the extensions you have installed in your OpenCart store which can come in handy.
The Sales > Orders section has new filters and changes to the Actions.
With the new interface, the filters have been moved from the top of the screen to the right of the screen. This relocation of the menu allows for the Order List to be more visible on the webpage.
The Tools tab has been renamed to Maintenance. Here you will find your Backup / Restore, Uploads and Error Logs
The new layout of the Backup & Restore section has a more clean and user-friendly look.
The new version of Opencart 3 looks good. The subtle changes are welcome. It would be nice to see more features added but sometimes it’s better to let the community extend the functionality of Opencart.
What do you think of Opencart 3? Are you thinking of upgrading from Opencart 3?