An Interview With OpenCart Founder Daniel Kerr
Daniel Kerr a well know person in open source community as OpenCart founder and developer.
I recently had a chance to interview Daniel Kerr. He talked about what he’s up to today, the release of OpenCart 1.5.5, what we can see in next release, and what are his plans for the future.
Q#1 – Hello Daniel, how are you doing? Thanks for giving us your first interview. Tell us, how are things going with your life and work lately?
Hello, I’m fine everything is going great.
Q#2 – Lot of questions in my mind to ask, but i will start with basic question. Please tell us when and what made you thought to develop OpenCart?
Got sick of waiting for OsCommerce to release their next version. Those guys really dropped the ball. Instead of updating the system to use a proper OOP framework they just piled junk code on top of junk code.
Q#3 – OpenCart name sounds very simple and catchy, was it your idea or from any other?
I thought because I want the project to be open source so it should have the word open in it, like Open Office.
I went through quite a few names first such Live Cart, Oscart. Someone already owned the domain name OpenCart.com and i thought if I’m going to start the project I might as well spend the extra money to get the name I wanted so I kept emailing the owner offering to buy the domain name.
I managed to buy it for 1000 USD’s. It was quite a lot for me as i was living at my mum’s house at the time and didn’t have a job.
Q#4 – How do you see OpenCart with present open source e-commerce software?
I see OpenCart currently as the best on the market. The other solutions out there are overly complex in the code.
Q#5 – OpenCart 1.5.5 has been just released, lot of developers were unhappy with the release, they think it was half-hearted release. What do you say?
Not really. You cannot make everybody happy. I wanted to get something out there as it had been nearly 6 months since my last release. The reason it took so long was because I did a lot of updates to OpenCart.com.
I redesigned the main site, updated the extension section and wrote a documentation system from scratch.
Q#6 – Lot of OpenCart designers & developers are earning thousands of dollars by selling OpenCart themes. Shoppica is about to touch 5,000 sales. How do you feel when you hear all this?
OpenCart just keeps growing. I thought we would have peaked by now but we are still making around 500 more sales every month than the last month. Last October to November sales jumped over 1000 more in one month.
Q#7 – Lot of buzz going around “Attn Theme Developers… We need an intervention” forum post, we want to hear your opinion on this debate?
Qphoria put that up because of problems with his extensions and theme developers replacing parts of the code. I‘m planning on adding my own type of vqmod system to the next release so hopefully template designers will use this instead of modifying core files.
Q#8 – Can you please share your present and future plans on OpenCart?
My future plans with OpenCart are about adding new features until we cover every feature our competitors have or don’t have. I’m currently adding custom fields which allow users to add their own fields to customer registration and addresses. Currently only CsCart has this feature built in.
There are still quite a few features OpenCart has that competitors do not such as affiliate system. I also think the new vqmod system will put us ahead of the other carts as it will make adding modifications to users web sites very easy.
Q#9 – Your brief thoughts about HTML5 and CSS3? Any plans on making OpenCart responsive in future?
Yes this is something I want to add as soon as I can. I’m actually thinking of paying a company to come up with a template or maybe use the template competition system we have setup to choose a template to use.
Q#10 – What are the biggest challenges that you face in OpenCart development currently?
There are a few. It’s hard to find good developers that are at your level of coding. I have 3 developers working for me at the moment and I’m constantly trying to push them to learn as much as they can about coding.
When I first started writing web sites I was working on them full-time at work then go home should keep working until after 12. Not that this is what I’m expecting but if you’re good at something you will try to learn everything you can about it.
Q#11 – Recently there was design contests, so tell us how it went and can we expect some more in near future?
The template competition will be held monthly. I wrote a template competition system from scratch particular for this. Winners will be decided in the future by who can get the most Facebook likes.
Q#12 – Do you have any secret or dream projects you would like to reveal us?
I’m hoping to get in to hosted solutions. Should be from what I can gather from my many sources in the ecommerce industry this is where the big money is.
The only problem I have not worked out yet is how to set something like this up, make it secure and deal with extension being installed. Magento and Prestashop are doing hosted solutions. Interspire shopping cart has closed down and is now solely a hosted solution under the name Big Commerce.
Q#13 – How do you see the e-commerce in next 5 years?
I have no idea. the web is changing so fast at the moment. New technology is coming out every month. It’s like responsive templates 5 months ago they were nowhere now they are becoming standard in designing a website.
Q#14 – Thanks again for providing this opportunity to interview you. Want to share anything for OpenCart lovers?
Thank you for the great support!