5 Places To Find Help For Your OpenCart Store
Whether you are new to OpenCart and it's your first OpenCart store or you are an expert that uses it every day, at some point in time, you will need help with your store.
How easy is it to get help for your OpenCart Store? Well that depends, and in this article, I'll show you 5 different places to get proper OpenCart help.
1. The Official OpenCart Documentation
Yes, you are right, that's the obvious place to start your search. But let's face it, we only check the OpenCart documentation AFTER we've searched everywhere else. If the problem you are having has to do with the default installation of your OpenCart Store or a default OpenCart feature, then you definitely want to start with the official documentation. The documentation covers almost everything you can do with your online store and how to do those things.
If this fails, then you should...
2. Check the OpenCart Forums
You should post your questions in the OpenCart forums if you need help with default OpenCart features or you use a 3rd Party extension where the developer is active on the forums.
I said "check" in the title not "post", because odds are your problem has already been posted by someone else and the problem has probably already been answered. Okay, maybe not all questions get answered and sometimes it takes a really long time before you get a reply. But if you post in the right section, and you question is clear and has enough detail, you should get an answer within a short time and you can get your store running the way it should.
There is something you should know that also causes delays in replies the OpenCart forums. That is, when someone replies to your post, you don't get email notifications of a reply. It's up to you to remember and check on a regular basis. If you get notifications of replies, please let me know in the comments how you do your magic.
Oh, and if you post your question in the forum then find a solution to the problem somewhere else or you fixed it by yourself, please update your post and don't just say "I've fixed the problem now. Thanks" instead you should update your post with the solution then and edit the title of your original post with "SOLVED" or "FIXED". This will help others who find themselves in your now former situation.
But if you are looking for speedy solution to your OpenCart problems, you should...
3. Search Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a great place to find help for almost everything thing on the planet. Okay, maybe not everything, but being a question and answer site, you will definitely find what you need by searching there.
Again, "search" Stack Overflow for your problem first before posting. The people there aren't so kind to those who post duplicates... especially if it is a question that has been asked often. If your issue is with the default OpenCart Store or a common 3rd Party extension/themes or with making some custom changes to the OpenCart code, then this is where you want to search.
However, if you the problem you are having is with custom code or a 3rd Party OpenCart theme or extension, you are better off if you...
4. Contact the Developer of the Theme or Extension
If your OpenCart store is using a Theme or Extension that you downloaded and you are having problems with it, then I suggest the first place you look for help is with the developer of the Theme or extension. Whether it's a free or paid extension doesn't matter. As long as they provide support, then you should contact them.
The support they provide may be in the comment section of the place you downloaded the item or they may have their own forum or maybe, like me, they use a ticketing system to track all support requests. Sometimes, 3rd party developers offer free support, other times it's paid support, and sometimes support is free for a short period just to help you get your site up and running. So make sure you contact the developer so you know what support plan you have.
But if for some reason, none of the above options work for you, you may have to consider...
5. Contacting a Freelancer or a Web Development Agency
By far this is the most expensive option, because the work they'll do is specific to you and you may have special needs. But if you really think you need help with your OpenCart store and you've searched everywhere or you just feel better having a dedicated developer working on your store, then this is the option for you.
There are cheap developers that do a great job and there are expensive developers that also do a great job. On the flip side, there are cheap developers that do terrible work which causes you to waste money on them which means you’ll have to find another developer to fix their mistake plus your original problem. There are also expensive developers that have no clue what they are doing, but there are fewer of these, in my opinion. So how do you know which one you should pick?
It's not always easy and there is no 100% surefire way to figure this out, but I prefer going with the person who is able to explain my problem back to me in a simple way, test and replicate my problem and then outline what will be done... without adding "fluff talk".
And there you have it, 5 places to find help for your OpenCart Store depending on your particular situation. If you have any points to add to this or you think I'm wrong in some points, I'd like to hear them in the comments. I will respond to you.
By the way...
If you would like to change the look of the boring OpenCart Admin interface, you should check out Energize, which has a great design with more useful widgets.