So.... I did the following:
Changed the config.php files in the main and admin folders to what it appears it should be based on the instructions.
Here may be my problem which I did not see addressed.
OC was installed in the home directory of the domain.
The domain already exists with a current site (to remain as it is)
To access my storefront I need to go to thedirectoryofkaraokesongs.com/index.php (adding the index.php to the URL). I made these changes in both config.php files.
This is now reflected in the following "copy/pasted" from the stores area of the settings admin for stores so I assume the config.php edits were done properly:
Store Name Store URL Action
Karaoke Disks For Sale (Default) http://thedirectoryofkaraokesongs.com/index.php
I have also set up the store to use the "category" layout option and made edits to this section to do what I want to do, categories displaying vertically on the left side.
Still, nothing is showing in the storefront except the store name, the search box (which now does NOT work - page not found error) and the cart total box.
Am I missing something? Don't know what else to do.
I added some gaps, to avoid it to show up as link:
thedirectoryofkaraokesongs .com / index.phpindex.php ? route=common/home
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1. The search engine did not work.
2. It created a problem when trying to add images in admin. It started with a non-existent image and only the ability for "additional" images.
3. It dawned on me that the default for OC is index.php so putting that in caused multiple problems. The default for the main site is index.htm and that is what displays when only the domain is entered.
Now everything works again except for displaying the storefront.
Based on my observations on how OC did not work making changes in the config files will not solve the problem. I cannot believe that it is not foolproof to get the storefront working without jumping through hoops to get it to work. It should be a default. Admin works just fine.
The search function works again and it cleared up the problem with adding images.
Because no sane person would put two different websites in the same root directory, one with index.htm and one with index.php, asking for trouble.I cannot believe that it is not foolproof to get the storefront working without jumping through hoops to get it to work.
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* The problem is putting what I want to display in it. The "content."he storefront itself is showing, the search engine works and the cart total is showing.
* The problem is getting OC to display the categories in the main part of the storefront.
* I have enabled the category module. On the layout page it gives the (default) route as: product/category. Could this be incomplete or wrong? I left it as it was when the edit page was accessed (I did not change it).
* The extensions/module/category edit button on gives me the choice of enabled or disabled. It is set as enabled. No other editing options are given
* I do NOT want the slideshow so I believe this was disabled at some point in the past. ALL I want is the category list on the left side (as has been done in the editing process for displaying categories).
* There is obviously something I am missing.
Opencart already provides a category module from the admin - > extensions - > extensions - > modules page. All you need to do is to install, then edit the module. In the edit form, enable the module. Then, save the changes. Once the successful message appears on the redirected page, you will be informed that a layout can be defined for your activated module. Click on the layout link. Set the category module route for your home page (you can look at other routes on that list for an example) and save the changes. You will be all set to view the categories from the home page.