If you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start an online business, the first thing that you need to do is to setup your online shop. Technically, that means you have to register a domain, sign up for a webhost and install shopping cart (or e-commerce) software on your server. If you are not technically inclined, fret not! We will show you how to install a shopping cart software in your website in just 5 minutes.
Before we proceed with the actual installation, here are the stuff that you need to prepare beforehand:
1. Register a domain name.
2. Sign up for a webhost (I strongly recommend Hostgator. Make sure you use the coupon code MAKETECHEASIER to get the first month free).
3. A FTP client (I recommend Filezilla since it worked on multiple platforms).
4. Download a copy of the shopping cart software. I will use OpenCart for this tutorial since it is both lightweight and fast.
1. Configuring the database
1. Once you have signed up for a webhost, login to the control panel (preferably cPanel).
2. Scroll down until you see an icon labelled “MySQL Databases”. Click on it.
3. Create a new database, if not already exists (Remember the database name. You are going to use it later).
4. Create a new user, if not already exists. (Remember the user name and password. You are going to use it later).
5. Add the newly created user to the newly created database. When prompted, select “All Privilege” for the user.
2. Uploading Opencart files to the server
1. Using Filezilla, connect via FTP to your web server (the FTP detail should be given to you when you sign up for the webhost).
2. Extract the OpenCart file and upload the content inside the “Upload” folder to the root of your server (it is usually the “public_html” folder). If you want to install the shopping cart on a sub-directory, say http://your-website.com/shopping-cart, create a folder call “shopping-cart” in your server’s root directory and upload the OpenCart files to this “shopping-cart” folder.
3. Right click on the following files/folders and set the permission to 777
Installing OpenCart on your server
1. Open your browser and go to http://your-domain-name.com. If you have uploaded the files to a sub-folder, then go to the URL http://your-domain-name.com/shopping-cart. You should see the following page.
2. Click Continue to proceed with the installation. At Step 3, it will prompt you to enter your database credential. Enter the database and username detail that you have setup earlier. Also, enter a username and password for the administrator account for your shopping cart.
3. At Step 4, you should see the Finished page. Congratulation, you have successfully installed a shopping cart software on your server.
4. Lastly, delete the “Install” folder from the server and change the file permission of “config.php” and “admin/config.php” to 644.
Is there an easier method to install shopping cart software?
The answer is Yes. In Hostgator, you can access Fantastico and install the shopping cart software from there. The whole process should take less than a minute. One thing though, OpenCart is not currently supported in Fantastico.
Alternatively, you can sign up for Bluehost where there is a simple script that you can use to install OpenCart (or any other shopping cart software).