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osCommerce Installation

You will find instructions detailing how to install osCommerce here. If you're unfamiliar with osCommerce, you may want to start here to learn a bit more about what it is and what it can offer you. If you're looking for instructions on installing a free osCommerce template check out: osCommerce 2.2 template installation and osCommerce 3 template installation.

Getting started.

If you're interested in setting up an online store, the very first things you'll need to do are:

  1. Register a domain name (
  2. Sign up for a hosting account that meets the minimum requirements of osCommerce (as of osCommerce version 3 the requirements are PHP v5.2.0+ (with MySQLi extension) and MySQL v4.1.13+ or v5.0.7+)
  3. Get an FTP program (FileZilla is a good free one)


Step 1. Download osCommerce

Now it's time to download osC and get it on your server. To download it, visit the official osCommerce website. Download and unzip osC into a folder on your hard drive.

Step 2. Upload osCommerce to your web server

Once you've downloaded and unzipped osCommerce, it's time to upload it to your web server. You'll need your FTP login information and the ftp address of your website (typically If you don't know this information, log in to your hosting account, access the support section of the website, and look for FTP information. You can also check your hosting account admin panel to see if there is a place where you can manage FTP users (there usually is). If all else fails, contact your host and ask for your server's FTP details.

Open your FTP program, connect to your FTP server, and upload the contents of the root folder (named catalog or osCommerce depending on what version you're installing) into the directory you want the store installed into.

Step 3. Create your database.

Creating a database ... sounds pretty complicated, right? Well, it's actually a whole lot easier than it sounds. Just about every hosting account has a link to phpMyAdmin in its admin panel (just log in to your hosting account and look for a link to databases, mysql, phpMyAdmin, or something along those lines) -- this is where you control your mysql databases. Some hosts even provide a little database program that allows you to create new databases and users without even having to go into phpMyAdmin.

If your host only has phpMyAdmin, go ahead and log in to phpMyAdmin. Click the SQL link to run the commands to create the database. Type in the following (replacing the database name, username and password with those of your choosing) and submit it:

CREATE DATABASE your_database_name;

CREATE USER 'username'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_pass'; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'username'@'localhost';

If this is confusing, you can even perform these operations using phpMyAdmin's Create Database operation (on the main page of phpMyAdmin) without having to type any SQL commands. If you're still having trouble getting the database and user created, check out your hosting provider's technical support section of the website -- if you have a half-decent hosting account it should have information there that can help you.

Hang on to your database name, username and password -- you'll need these in the next step.

Step 4. Run the install

So, you've got osC uploaded to your server and you've created your database and user -- now it's time to actually install it. The good news is, osCommerce has an automated install process that connects to the database and installs all of the database tables and data for you.

To access the install, in your web browser, access the install folder in the directory you uploaded osCommerce to. For example, if you uploaded it to then you'll need to go to in your web browser.

Now simply follow the steps in the install process and in a minute or two you'll be up and running with your very own online store.

Step 5. Delete install folder

Once you've installed osCommerce, you need to delete the install folder from the server immediately -- leaving it there would mean anyone could come along and overwrite your store and render it useless. Log back in to your FTP server using FileZilla or whatever FTP program you use, select the install folder, and delete it.

If you forget to delete it, your site will give you an annoying install folder exists warning on every page of the store.

That's it! You should now have a fully functional online shop. Pretty easy, huh?

Step 6. Customize your store with an osCommerce template

If you've just finished installing your online store, you've probably noticed that the default installation looks a little amateurish. If you were on the web shopping around and came upon a website that looks like that, you might be turned off enough to not even make a purchase. That's the bad news. The good news is it's easy to give your online shop a complete make-over with a free osCommerce template. It's as easy as uploading the file and making a quick switch in the admin.

To browse the free osCommerce templates available on this site, go here. To view the installation instructions for the templates, go here.

What is STS?

The Simple Template System (STS), a free osCommerce add-on, is the template system osCommerce 2.2 should have come with. It makes using templates and editing your store's appearance easy. Read more.

Installation Help

Need help installing STS or an STS template? Contact us with your needs and we'll quote you a reasonable price.

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osCommerce templates only $5 for a limited time!

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