MultiMerch with Journal2 Theme & OpenCart
Journal2 by Digital Atelier is one of the most popular themes for OpenCart that can be used together with MultiMerch.
We've created a separate compatibility package for Journal2 that makes it easier to use the theme with MultiMerch out of the box. This guide covers everything from installing OpenCart to setting up Journal2 and integrating it with MultiMerch.
This guide was written for OpenCart 2.2 and MultiMerch 8. Compatibility packages are included in MultiMerch Professional and Business plans.
OpenCart installation is a fairly simple process that is covered in detail in the official OpenCart documentation as well as various third party tutorials. These are the main steps required to get an OpenCart 2.2 store up and running.
1. Download the OpenCart archive
In most cases if starting your store from scratch you want to use the latest stable version of OpenCart that is currently available. The latest version of OpenCart is always available on the official OpenCart download page. In our case, it is OpenCart 126.96.36.199.
2. Extract and upload OpenCart files
OpenCart download comes as a single zip archive containing a set of different files and folders. You only need to upload the contents of the upload/ folder that is part of the archive – not the archive or the upload/ folder itself.
You can use any preferred FTP client or your CPanel file manager to upload the files. In this case, we're using WinSCP.
3. Run the OpenCart installer
After you've uploaded the files you need to run the OpenCart installation script by visiting your store's link in your browser. OpenCart will automatically redirect you to the installation page.
Depending on your OpenCart version and your server setup, you may need to rename a few OpenCart configuration files and adjust folder permissions. You will also need your database credentials at hand at this point.
4. Install vQmod for OpenCart
MultiMerch uses vQmod modification system for OpenCart so you need it installed in order for MultiMerch to work correctly. For more information, see our blog post covering OpenCart modification systems.
vQmod installation is a simple three step process:
- Download the latest version of vQmod for OpenCart from the official vQmod repository on GitHub
- Extract and upload vQmod files to the root of your OpenCart folder
- Run the vQmod installation script by visiting the http://(youstore.com)/vqmod/install/ link. You will receive a simple success message notifying you that vQmod has been installed.
5. Configure OpenCart and finish the installation
Finish the installation by configuring your new OpenCart store through the admin area. Once this is completed, you will have the latest version of a clean OpenCart store running on your server with a few demo products created.
Your new OpenCart store is now fully functional!
Installing the Journal2 theme for OpenCart
Now when you have OpenCart set up and running, you can proceed with the Journal2 theme.
Journal2 is a premium OpenCart theme, therefore you'll need to purchase it from ThemeForest first. You can then proceed with Journal2 installation.
Since the full Journal2 installation process is in detail described in the Journal2 Documentation, we'll only cover the main Journal2 installation steps here.
1. Download the Journal2 archive
After completing your purchase on ThemeForest, you will receive an archive containing the Journal2 files.
2. Extract and upload Journal2 to your server
Once you extract the archive, you'll see a number of files and folders inside the Journal2 folder. Upload the contents of the folder containing the catalog/, admin/, system/ and image/ folders over to your server.
Make sure you're using the correct version of Journal2 for your OpenCart version. In our case, it is Journal 2.7.3.
3. Install the Journal2 admin interface
Log into your OpenCart administration panel and install the Journal2 admin interfaces through Admin > Extensions > Modules > Journal2 > Install. This will create the necessary database tables and configuration variables for Journal2 to run correctly.
4. Enable Journal2 in OpenCart
After Journal2 has been installed, you can now enable it in your store by navigating to Admin > Extensions > Themes > Edit and choosing journal2 from the Theme Directory selector.
5. Refresh OpenCart modification cache and finish the installation
The final thing to do is to refresh the OpenCart modification cache through Admin > Extensions > Modifications > Refresh for Journal2 theme to appear in your store.
Once this is done, you'll see the new Journal2 look in your OpenCart store.
Journal2 is now installed! You may also want to import the Journal2 demo data and default configuration for a nicer look and feel.
For more information about this process, see the Journal2 Documentation.
Now when you have OpenCart2 and Journal installed and functional comes the most important part – actually installing MultiMerch and making it work with the Journal2 theme.
Although we have the regular MultiMerch installation covered in a separate article in our documentation (see MultiMerch Installation) and we also have a generic theme integration guide available, installing MultiMerch with Journal2 requires a few extra steps, so we'll cover the whole process here.
1. Downloading MultiMerch files
After purchasing MultiMerch through MultiMerch website or OpenCart Extensions, you will receive a link to download the latest MultiMerch archive.
2. Downloading Journal2 compatibility files
If you have purchased a plan that includes a free Journal2 compatibility, you will also find the multimerch_journal2_integration.zip archive inside your package.
In case you don't have the compatibility files included, you will need to follow our generic custom theme integration guide to make Journal2 work with MultiMerch.
3. Extracting and uploading the files
Unpack both MultiMerch and Journal2 Compatibility archives and upload the files over to your OpenCart setup in the following order.
- Upload MultiMerch files from the upload/ folder inside the MultiMerch archive to your store root
- Upload the contents of the upload/catalog/view/theme/default/ folder to the catalog/view/theme/journal2/ folder in your store
- Upload the Journal2 Compatibility files from the upload_multimerch8/ folder inside the Journal2 Compatibility archive to your store root . If you're running MultiMerch 7, use the contents of the upload_multimerch7/ folder instead.
4. Modify the pathReplaces.php file
Before you can finish installing MultiMerch, we need to tell vQmod to use the Journal2 theme instead of the default one when processing modifications.
To do this, open the vqmod/pathReplaces.php file in your favorite text editor and add a new line between // START REPLACES // and // END REPLACES //:
// START REPLACES //
// END REPLACES //
This will make vQmod apply its modifications to the correct MultiMerch files.
5. Install and configure MultiMerch with Journal2
Once you have all of the files uploaded and pathReplaces.php modified, log into your OpenCart admin area and navigate to Admin > MultiMerch > Install.
This will install MultiMerch and redirect you to MultiMerch configuration.
You are now running OpenCart with Journal2 and MultiMerch!
Overview of OpenCart with MultiMerch & Journal2
These are some examples of an OpenCart store running MultiMerch with Journal2 compatibility.
Vendor's public profile page is responsive and uses Journal2 grid instead of the default OpenCart's Bootstrap.
Product information page also displays vendor's profile with all information about the vendor offering this product.
Customer's order dashboard also uses Journal's grid and MultiMerch order display for a more user friendly user experience compared to the default OpenCart order listing page.
Vendor's dashboard is adjusted for the Journal grid and is responsive.
Vendor's product listing form is also styled to match Journal's look and feel.
Support for Journal2 Quick Checkout has also been added in the latest version of the Journal2 compatibility pack.
So, there you have it – OpenCart running MultiMerch with the Journal2 theme. It is also possible to achieve this result without a separate compatibility pack, but the compatibility files make the process faster and save you the trouble of adjusting MultiMerch styles manually.
We are currently working on a set of compatibility files for a list of other popular OpenCart themes such as Pavilion, Sellegance, MegaShop, StyleShop and others. If you have any particular request, feel free to contact us for more information about custom themes and MultiMerch.