How do I install an OpenCart theme?

Installing and enabling a new OpenCart theme is a simple and straight forward process. This currently depends on your OpenCart version.

First, you’ll need to install the theme for your particular version of OpenCart. In most cases, the process is as simple as

  • downloading and unpacking the theme
  • uploading it to your store via FTP
  • (sometimes) installing theme helpers via Admin > Extensions > Modules

You’ll usually find the exact installation process in your theme’s Installation guide.

Second, you’ll need to enable it in your store. This process has changed in OpenCart 2.2 so make sure you’re doing this correctly.

For versions of OpenCart prior to 2.2, it’s done via Admin > System > Settings > Edit > Store > Template.

For OpenCart 2.2, you may also need to enable your theme in Admin > Extensions > Themes > Edit > Theme Directory.

Finally, if you’re using custom vQmod modifications or third party modules, you may need to update your vqmod/pathReplaces.php file to enable vQmod for your new theme.

It’s pretty straight forward and works by adding the following line between // START REPLACES // and // END REPLACES // where my-theme-name is the name of your custom theme folder:

$replaces[] = array('~\btheme/default\b~', 'theme/my-theme-name');

You may also need to modify the actual xml files if they are built for the default theme. To do this, you need to load your store and look in the vQmod logs for any vQmod-related errors, then adjust the xml files manually.

We have a few examples of this process available in our MultiMerch custom theme integration guide. They’re MultiMerch-specific, but will work for generic vQmod modules as well.