Zen Cart - An Overview

During the 19th century, a lot of preparations have to be done when going shopping. You need to dress nicely, pay for a cab or use a lot of fuel to travel to a department store. Thanks to technology’s endless evolution, the internet became accessible to all citizens where online shopping has been made possible.

Still, many complications regarding online shopping were detected which is why the shopping cart software was developed. One of the most reputable shopping carts today is Zen Cart.


zen cart logoZen Cart is a shopping cart program that is mainly used for e-commerce. It is created by different shop owners, designers, programmers and consultants who have one aim: to make online shopping easier.

Any internet user can have access to this program without any cost. Furthermore, it contains all the basic features should you need to shop online without any hassles. These features can include: list of products, pricing, newsletters and shipping. Even the payment method is convenient since it accepts major credit cards.


Management System

Perhaps one of the best reasons that a lot of shoppers take advantage of Zen Cart is because it’s completely free. Nevertheless, the zero cost is just the tip of the iceberg. Most people discovered that the management system is very convenient to use. It even contains numerous add-ons that you can install and utilize anytime.


Installation Process

When it comes to installation, most users are glad since it is totally user-friendly. As long as you have basic computer skills, you can surely install it with ease. Nevertheless, acquiring some designing or programming skills may be necessary if you wish to customize your website in an advanced way. If you have any problems regarding installation, you can use Fantastico or Simple Scripts program to hasten the process.


Managing the Products

Pertaining to the products, many users are also impressed that they can sort them according to their category. For example, they can sort those items used for sports, those used for protection during the winter season or items intended to keep you entertained. Since sorting is possible, it makes managing your stock a whole lot easier. If you prefer, you can even write your own reviews regarding the products.



zen cart templatesThe templates are also benefits that users are looking forward to use. If you want to use basic styles where your website design is similar to other users, a vast array of templates is available. Moreover, you don’t need to spend a penny to use these templates. But if you want your design to be more advanced, there are templates that can help you as well. Nonetheless, these templates have corresponding fees.



Problems are always unavoidable when using a program and this may arise when you’re using Zen Cart as well. Fortunately, a community and forum support is available if you’re having trouble using the program. If you need help, you can ask for it by placing a message on this forum and a reply will be sent back right away as indicated by most Zen Cart users.

If for some instance that the replies from the forums weren’t able to help you, you can ask assistance from a Zen Cart professional. However, you may need to provide a certain fee if you want to use this approach. If you’re willing to pay for assistance, all that’s needed is to place a request for a programmer on the forum and a professional will get back to you as soon as possible.



Of course, all programs are not perfect since they are also manmade and Zen Cart is not an exception. Some users have spotted some downsides as well.


Default Skin

According to some users, the default skin of Zen Cart looks kind of disheveled. Most especially for starters, they find so many irrelevant icons that they don’t know where to start. Some of those icons that they see are various advertisements in the form of banners and they have to close the banner windows one by one which can be irksome.


zen cart pcitureProduct Features

Many users of the program are not satisfied with the features pertaining to the products as well. As indicated, the features are very basic and are not elaborated. It only contains the products being viewed by the customer, the ones being ordered and those that have been purchased already. However, the profit margins, sales reports and other important factors are not available.



Zen Cart can also be upgraded. Unfortunately, users are having a hard time in upgrading the program. The overwriting of various add-ons has not yet been designed. Unlike other programs where you only need a few clicks to initiate the upgrade, you have to use the original version of Zen Cart first. This process is not only burdensome; it’s time-consuming as well.



As mentioned above, you are free to visit the community and forum support of the program. But the downside is that a formal kind of support is not yet available.

When you encounter problems, you have three options: you can fix the problem by yourself by utilizing source codes, you can ask for assistance on the support forum or you can ask the help of a professional.

But as previously mentioned, acquiring a programmer’s help may require some fees. In the case of using source codes, it’s important that you have some programming skills and this is not doable for users who have only learned the basics in computer usage.



Designing has been another issue according to some users. Unless you are only aiming for the basic designs, you must again gain some skills in programming like PHP to use the advanced methods. This is another time-consuming task for neophytes.



Downsides may have been detected in Zen Cart. However, majority gave feedback that this program can give you all the basic requirements that you need. It may not be suitable for users who want to have an intricate store but it’s certainly a great stepping stone for those who are still starting their own business.

Finally, a lot has noticed that Zen Cart is continuing to evolve. That is why using this program is still an excellent approach for those who want their online businesses to progress in the near future.