How to Migrate OpenCart to WooCommerce
10 min.

Deciding to migrate OpenCart to WooCommerce is a significant move for managing an online store, involving the transfer of data, products, and customer information to WP’s flexible platform. 

In this guide, we cover technical aspects, available migration tools, and best practices for secure and accurate data transfer to your new WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce and OpenCart Overview: Features, Pitfalls, and Benefits

Before you convert OpenCart to WooCommerce, it’s important to know the details about the platforms.

  • Scalability:
    • WooCommerce: Highly scalable with support for all store sizes; benefits from WordPress’s extensive ecosystem.
    • OpenCart: Scalable for small to medium businesses; may require more technical expertise for growth.
  • Flexibility for Customization:
    • WooCommerce: Highly flexible, open-source with numerous themes, plugins, and customization options.
    • OpenCart: Good customization levels but may need more technical skills for advanced changes.
  • Security:
    • WooCommerce: Regularly updated with security reliant on WordPress, themes, plugins, and hosting.
    • OpenCart: Robust security features, requires regular updates and maintenance.
  • API Integration:
    • WooCommerce: Strong API integration capabilities for connecting with third-party services.
    • OpenCart: Supports API integration, but ease of integration varies with services.
  • Power of Ready-to-use Plugins:
    • WooCommerce: Access to a vast array of WordPress plugins for various functionalities.
    • OpenCart: Decent range of plugins, but less variety and depth compared to WooCommerce.
  • Pool of Talents and Skillset:
    • WooCommerce: Large community of WordPress developers available for development and support.
    • OpenCart: Smaller community; finding specialized talent is more challenging.

In conclusion, WP’s eCommerce tool excels in scalability, customization, and community support, while OpenCart is recognized for dedicated functionality and a straightforward approach.

If you need to hire WooCommerce experts for your project, ProCoders is the place to go.

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Use Case to Export OpenCart Products to WooCommerce

  • Expanding Your Online Store
  • OpenCart to WooCommerce migration is ideal for businesses outgrowing OpenCart and needing advanced features like enhanced SEO, social media integration, and advanced analytics. It leverages the WordPress ecosystem, offering extensive plugins and tools for scaling up.

“WordPress has a more convenient admin panel and, in my opinion, is more intuitive than OpenCart! And the manager, who fills out the product cards, will be able to quickly and easily figure it out within a day without any difficulties.”

ProCoders Senior WP Developer

  • Integrating with a WordPress Website
  • For those with an existing WordPress site, transitioning allows for seamless eCommerce integration, offering a unified user experience and simplified site management.
  • Need for More Plugins and Themes
  • If you require specific functionalities or designs not available in OpenCart, WooCommerce provides a wider selection of themes and plugins, offering more customization options for your store.
  • Access to a Larger Community and Support
  • WooCommerce, being part of the WordPress community, provides extensive community support, tutorials, and professional assistance, beneficial for effective online store management.
  • Enhanced SEO and Marketing Tools
  • For stores needing advanced SEO and marketing tools to increase visibility and sales, WooCommerce offers superior SEO capabilities and marketing plugins, integrated with the WordPress platform.

In these use cases, migrating OpenCart to WooCommerce can greatly enhance the efficiency, growth, and success of your online store, requiring careful planning but offering significant long-term advantages.

Recommended: Why Choose Bespoke eCommerce?

What to transfer OpenCart to WooCommerce

When migrating, it’s crucial to transfer various components of your online store to ensure continuity and maintain the integrity of your business operations. Here’s an overview of what needs to be transferred:

Database

Database
  • User Data: Includes customer profiles, contact information, shipping and billing addresses, and user preferences.
  • Product Catalog: All details about products, including names, descriptions, prices, SKU numbers, and stock levels.
  • Category Data: Information about product categories and subcategories for proper organization and display on the new platform.

Features and Functionality

  • Custom Features: Any custom functionalities specific to your old setup, like custom checkout processes or unique product display features.
  • Extensions and Modules: Equivalent plugins for features you were using in the old CMS, such as payment gateways, SEO tools, and shipping methods.

Data, Photos, and More

  • Product Images and Galleries: High-quality images associated with each product, along with any additional media like videos or PDF guides.
  • Content: All textual content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and informational pages like ‘About Us’ or ‘FAQs’.
  • Meta Data: SEO-related information, including meta titles, descriptions, and any custom URL slugs.

History of Orders and Transactions

  • Order History: Detailed records of past customer orders, including purchase dates, quantities, prices, and customer notes.
  • Transaction Records: Payment and billing histories, including invoices, refunds, and other transaction details.
  • Customer Interaction History: Records of customer interactions, such as support queries, feedback, and reviews.

Transferring all this information accurately is crucial to maintaining the functionality and user experience of your online store. 

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Key Pitfalls and Bugs While You Move OpenCart to WooCommerce

  • Data Loss or Corruption: Risk of losing or corrupting data during migration. Prevention includes thorough backups and using professional migration tools.
  • Incompatibility Issues: Differences in plugins and themes between the old and the new system. Research alternatives in the WooCommerce ecosystem to match your needs.
  • SEO Rankings Impact: Potential adverse effects on SEO due to changes in URL structures. Implement redirects and maintain URL structures to mitigate this.
  • Functionality Differences: Some OpenCart functionalities may differ in WooCommerce, affecting user experience or store operations. Familiarize with WP features and conduct thorough testing post-migration.
  • Performance Issues: The new site might face performance issues if not optimized or properly hosted. Optimize images, select reliable hosting, and use caching solutions.
  • Customer Experience Disruption: Changes might be jarring for returning customers. Maintain consistency in user experience or communicate changes clearly.
  • Technical Glitches: Issues like broken links, missing images, or checkout errors. Extensive testing and phased migration can help identify and fix these issues.
Bugs

“if you are fully transitioning to WooCommerce, it might be easier to start from scratch and attempt to export/import products. However, this may not be successful, as products have different types of fields and so on. In short, the key point is that it’s not feasible to migrate without losing some data.”

ProCoders Senior Developer

Effective planning, testing, and professional assistance are key to mitigating these risks and ensuring a smooth transition.

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Step-by-step Guide on How to Migrate from OpenCart to WooCommerce

To migrate data from OpenCart to WooCommerce is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth transition:

Step 1: Preparation and Planning

  • Backup Your Old Store: Backup all files, databases, and content of your OpenCart store.
  • Analyze Your Old Store: Take note of your current store’s structure, features, and functionalities.
  • Plan Your New Store: Decide on the hosting for your WooCommerce store, and plan the structure, features, and design.
Preparation and Planning

Step 2: Setting Up WooCommerce

  • Install WordPress: If not already done, install WP on your hosting platform.
  • Install WooCommerce: Add and activate the plugin.
  • Configure Settings: Set up store details, payment options, shipping methods, and other settings.

Step 3: Data Migration

  • Choose a Migration Tool: Use a migration tool or service like Cart2Cart or LitExtension to export OpenCart to WooCommerce. These tools can automate the transfer of products, customers, orders, and other important data.
  • Manual Transfer: If you prefer, manually export and import data like products and customer information. This can be done via CSV files but may require more technical knowledge.
Data Migration

Step 4: Customizing Your New Store

  • Select a Theme: Choose a theme that fits your brand and desired store layout.
  • Customize the Design: Customize your theme to match your brand’s look and feel.
  • Install Necessary Plugins: Add any additional plugins for functionalities that were present in your old store or new features you wish to include.

Step 5: Testing and Quality Assurance

  • Test All Functionalities: Ensure all aspects of your store, such as product pages, checkout process, and customer accounts, are working properly.
  • Responsive and Cross-Browser Testing: Check that the site is responsive and works well across different browsers and devices.
  • Fix Any Bugs: Address any issues or bugs that arise during testing.
Testing and Quality Assurance

Step 6: SEO and Redirection

  • Maintain SEO Rankings: Set up 301 redirects from your old URLs to the new URLs to maintain SEO rankings.
  • Update SEO Settings: Apply SEO best practices in WP, ensuring meta tags, descriptions, and URLs are optimized.

Step 7: Going Live

  • Launch the New Store: Once testing is completed and everything is set up, make your new store live.
  • Monitor the Store: Continuously monitor the store post-launch for any issues and to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Step 8: Post-Migration Steps

  • Inform Your Customers: Notify your customers about the migration and any changes that might affect them.
  • Analyze Performance: Keep an eye on website performance, user behavior, and sales to ensure the store is functioning as expected.

Transitioning involves detailed work and can be quite technical. Depending on the complexity and size of your store, you might consider enlisting the help of professionals to ensure a successful migration.

You can also hire eCommerce developer to handle the intricacies of migration for you!

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What Skills and TechStack Do You Need to Successfully Transition

Technical Skills:

  • E-commerce Platform Knowledge: Proficiency in both OpenCart and WooCommerce, understanding their structures and features.
  • Web Development: Strong skills in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for customization and troubleshooting.
  • Database Management: Knowledge of MySQL for data transfer.
  • SEO Knowledge: Understanding SEO best practices to maintain search engine rankings.
  • Problem-Solving: Ability to troubleshoot and resolve migration issues.

Tech Stack:

  • Platform Familiarity: In-depth knowledge of CMS backend and file structures.
  • WordPress Proficiency: Essential, as WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin.
  • Data Migration Tools: Experience with tools like Cart2Cart or LitExtension for data transfer.
  • Web Hosting Management: Understanding server configurations, cPanel, and FTP.
  • Backup Tools: Competence in using backup tools for data safety.
  • Plugins and Extensions: Familiarity with WP plugins and extensions.
  • API Integration: Skills in integrating third-party APIs from the OpenCart setup.
  • SSL Certificates: Knowledge in setting up and managing SSL for secure data transfer.
  • SEO Tools: Proficiency in tools like Yoast SEO to sustain SEO performance.

Professionals with these skills and tech stack expertise are vital for a seamless and efficient migration from one platform to another.

How ProCoders can Help if You Decide to Convert Your Website 

If you’re considering migrating your website, ProCoders can offer invaluable assistance throughout the process. Their expertise and services can ensure a smooth transition while maximizing the potential of your new platform. Here’s how ProCoders can help:

Expert Consultation and Planning

  • Assessment: ProCoders can evaluate your existing OpenCart site to understand your specific needs and requirements.
  • Strategic Planning: They can help devise a comprehensive migration plan, including timelines and milestones, to ensure an organized and efficient transition.

Technical Execution

  • Data Migration: ProCoders can manage the safe and accurate transfer of data from OpenCart to WooCommerce, including products, customer information, orders, and more.
  • Custom Development: If your OpenCart site has custom functionalities, ProCoders can replicate or enhance these features in WooCommerce, ensuring no loss of critical business functionalities.

Design and User Experience

  • Theme Customization: Leveraging their web design expertise, ProCoders can customize or develop new themes to match or improve your site’s aesthetics and user experience.
  • Responsive Design: They ensure that your new site is responsive and provides an optimal viewing experience across all devices.
Design and User Experience

SEO Preservation

  • SEO Migration: ProCoders can implement strategies to maintain your current SEO rankings, including setting up redirects, optimizing content, and ensuring URL structures are preserved or appropriately mapped.

Quality Assurance and Testing

  • Thorough Testing: Before going live, ProCoders can conduct extensive testing to ensure all aspects of your WooCommerce site function correctly.
  • Performance Optimization: They can optimize your new site for speed and performance, enhancing user experience and search engine rankings.

Post-Launch Support

  • Monitoring and Troubleshooting: Post-migration, ProCoders can provide ongoing support to monitor the site’s performance and quickly address any issues that may arise.
  • Training and Handover: They can offer training for your team to manage and operate the WooCommerce site effectively, ensuring a smooth handover.
Post-Launch Support

Additional Services

  • Integration Services: ProCoders can assist in integrating third-party applications or services you were using with OpenCart or new ones you wish to add to WooCommerce.
  • Custom Plugin Development: If there’s a need for specialized functionalities, they can develop custom plugins tailored to your business needs.

Leveraging ProCoders’ expertise in eCommerce platforms, web development, and digital strategy can significantly ease the complexities associated with migrating. Our comprehensive services ensure not just a successful migration but also the enhancement and growth of your online business in its new WooCommerce environment.

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FAQ
How Much Does it Cost to Move from OpenCart to WooCommerce?

The process can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on store size, data complexity, custom features, and whether you use a migration service or do it manually. Additional costs may include WordPress plugins, theme customization, and developer fees.

What are the Benefits of Migrating from OpenCart to WooCommerce?

Seamless integration with WordPress for better content management, extensive customization options for personalized store design, and access to a larger community for support and resources.

Key Reasons Why to Convert from OpenCart to WooCommerce?

The move offers enhanced functionality with more features and integrations, superior SEO tools for improved online visibility, and a user-friendly interface, particularly beneficial for WordPress users.

What Can You Lose When Migrating from OpenCart to WooCommerce?

There’s a risk of losing custom functionalities unique to OpenCart, as they may not have direct equivalents in WooCommerce. Additionally, your website’s theme and design might require significant alterations or redevelopment to be compatible with WooCommerce’s themes.

How to Prepare a Website for Conversion from OpenCart to WooCommerce?

Start by backing up your entire old store. Next, assess and organize your inventory, including product data, customer information, and order history. Then, plan the structure and design of your new WooCommerce store. Finally, conduct a technical audit to identify and prepare for modifications or development of any custom functionalities.

What is the Difference Between OpenCart and WordPress WooCommerce?

The main difference lies in their platform nature and customization options. OpenCart is a standalone eCommerce platform, offering basic eCommerce functionalities. In contrast, WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, allowing for greater flexibility and customization through a wide range of plugins and themes. Additionally, WooCommerce is known for its user-friendly interface, particularly for users already familiar with WordPress.

What is More Cost-Effective in Migrating from OpenCart to WooCommerce: Without Plugin or Manual Migration?

Automated migration using a plugin is usually more cost-effective for standard migrations, offering efficiency and time savings. However, for very small stores or complex customizations, manual migration might be more economical despite being more labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Is Multilingual Migration from OpenCart to WooCommerce Possible?

Yes, multilingual migration is possible. You can migrate content in multiple languages from OpenCart to WooCommerce, but it requires careful planning and possibly the use of specialized plugins or services that support multilingual data transfer and management.

Conclusion

Migrating from OpenCart to WooCommerce offers transformative benefits, providing a flexible, scalable platform with enhanced customization and strong community support. Successful migration requires thorough preparation, understanding platform differences, and careful data transfer management. 

The choice between automated tools and manual transfer depends on your store’s size and needs. This strategic move can expand your reach, improve user experience, and provide advanced eCommerce functionalities, paving the way for growth and success in the digital marketplace.

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