The Ultimate Guide on Finding Free Modules on OpenCart.com

The OpenCart Extension store is without a doubt the biggest eco-system for OpenCart modules. It is run and managed by the OpenCart team. OpenCart has moderators who make sure that all of the products are genuine and do not have any malicious code in them which makes the marketplace is very safe. To delve into the numbers, here you will find nearly 13000 different modules. Out of these 13000, nearly 3300 are listed as FREE modules which makes a good 25% of the total number of extensions. Pretty cool!

In case you still have not made a registration in OpenCart.com, you can go for one. It takes only a few fields to fill in and I believe its worth mentioning again, it gives you access to nearly 3300 OpenCart modules and themes. In this blog post, we will give you a few tips on how to find FREE modules, a few tips on choosing the right modules from the right developers, and also how to make sure these modules are compatible with your OpenCart store. Let’s go for it.

Exploring the OpenCart.com Interface

Upon landing on OpenCart.com, the first thing we see is a banner with some featured products as well as 12 Products listed underneath.

Usually, there are a few Featured products, which means that these products have been promoted by their authors. The panel consists of 12 modules and a pagination below. On top you will see a few Filters (Recently Modified, Recently Added, Name, Rating, Downloaded and Price). These do not always work great so you might just disregard them. On the left hand side we see the search which is one of the functionalities we will use most often when searching for any module.

Below, we have a few other filters which we will learn more about in the next paragraph.

Show me the FREE modules

When we want to see all the free modules on the OpenCart Extension store, we need to click on License and select Free.

As you can see, we have a staggering 275 pages of Free modules at the time of writing this blog post.

But which of these modules are compatible to your OpenCart version? In case you are not sure which OpenCart version your store is running you can check this article 

 

Once you know your OpenCart version you need to apply another filter to display only the modules that are relevant to your OpenCart version.

To do this click on the Version field below and select your OpenCart version from the dropdown. This is a great way to explore all the available free modules in case you are not sure what you need.

What to watch for when downloading a module

As in every marketplace, there are very popular and awesome modules, modules that do the job, and not so awesome modules. We would like to show you a few tricks that make sure you make the proper choice when it comes to downloading the right FREE module for your store:

1) Pay attention to the module presentation

First impression is always visual. Make sure you check out whether the module has a well-designed hero image corresponding to the module name. Alternatively, it will just say display a blank opencart logo.

2) See if the module has comments and if the developer responds to them

A good module will always have customers ask all sorts of questions. This is shown by the comments field. Usually, more comments equal more engagement and more interest, so if a lot of customers are asking about a module, it means its hot.

What is even more important than the number of comments is whether the module developer (which you can find out here) is answering these comments. This surely means that they care about their product and they care about you as well.

3) See the module rating

In the OpenCart Extension store, the ratings vary from 1 to 5 stars (1 is lowest and 5 is highest). A module could also be unranked, which means that nobody has rated it yet. If a module does not have a rating, this should not worry you at all. What you should be slightly worried about is if a module has a 1 star rating.

If you still want to download this product, make sure you go through the comments and see if there is a reason for the 1 star rating. Usually, the reasons are (lack of support, bad code, incompatibility, broken the customer store after used etc).

4) Check the description

See the module description. Is the problem that the module fixes stated clearly enough? Is there a live demo of the module where you can see how it works? Does the module have additional images explaining the functionality of the module? Of course not all of these are musts but they surely make a positive impression. The number one reason behind this is that you would know what to expect before committing your time to trying the module on your store.

5) See whether the developer has other products

Whenever you have selected a module, always make sure to check whether the extension developer has worked on other products.

Again, whether someone has 1 or 100 products should not make up your mind on its own. However, taking into account the points above it should bring more confidence.

Mastering the search

The OpenCart extension store allows you to search. While they do not offer AJAX search (instant search results display) you may still find just about anything using a few tricks.

1) Experiment with different queries

The developers in the OpenCart extension store are allowed to use relevant keywords which idea is to make it easier to include keywords and phrases that the users might be searching for. Although most of the modules are optimized for keywords, not all are. If you cannot find the product you are searching for, make sure you try different keywords.

2) Use the filters

As a rule of thumb, the commercial modules are usually better keyword optimized, so if you enter a keyword and there are a lot of results getting displayed, always make sure to go to the filters and filter by Price. This is essentially repeating the same thing from the point above.

If you can’t find anything, make sure you ask for help

That’s right. If you can’t find the module you are looking for, always make sure to get in touch with one of the OpenCart Partners or the OpenCart Support team. They may have a ready solution up their sleeve, so it never hurts to ask.

Final Thoughts:

We hope that this article will make you as good as the Super Mario Bro's in finding absolutely anything for OpenCart. We always use the following steps to find just about anything in OpenCart.com. If you feel like we have missed anything or you have another trick up your sleeve please share it down in the comments.

 

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