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.

Top 5 Shopping Carts

Technology has truly made life easier for us to handle. When mobile phones first came out, not everyone could own a one since a unit is truly expensive that only those who

are wealthy can acquire it. Today, mobile phones have become so affordable that even little kids are give their own unit.

Another advancement that technology has developed is online shopping. This enables us to purchase various products through the Internet. Moreover, many e-Commerce plans have been established to provide different shopping cart programs to people who prefer online shopping. With the use of the shopping cart software, shopping on the Internet would be more convenient.

According to Internet reviews, there are certain shopping carts which stood out. These are the programs that have impressed countless online shoppers and earned a reputation.
Here are the top five shopping carts and their highlights:

1. Volusion

Volusion is a program that has existed for more than a decade already. Perhaps the best feature that captivated a lot of users is its excellent customer services. With a lot of great features matched with remarkable customer service, users are guaranteed to be successful once they use this software to start or expand their online business.

Volusion provides administrators of online shops user-friendly manuals in managing the software. The manual is written in simple, everyday language devoid of any technical jargon to make management of Volusion a whole lot easier.

To ensure that your customer's personal details, such as credit card information, are secured, Volusion installed a high level of security to ensure all users that their accounts are fully protected.

Having impressed a lot of customers, Volusion won first place in the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award. [1]

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another system that has made a lot of people happy with their online transactions. The best highlight regarding this program is its suitability to companies who
are still starting to emerge.

The features of BigCommerce are uncomplicated, and navigating the program is convenient that beginners won’t have any problems when using it. Moreover, you won’t need the features of those expensive programs to be successful when using BigCommerce. With its high quality social media integration, anyone including starters can be satisfied with the program. [2]

BigCommerce also guarantees the users that their accounts are highly secured.

3. Magento

Magento is an open source e-Commerce platform which became well-known due to the program’s capabilities to remove obstacles that can take place in online business transactions. This is one reason why more and more people who choose to transact online choose this program.

Another factor that made Magento a popular system is due to its rapid evolvement. It's continuous enhancement of features have been really appreciated by a lot of business owners. Magento, in fact, has been downloaded more than 600,000 already. [3]

This is also the perfect platform to use for someone who has excellent programming skills. Magento is a theme-based structure which indicates that the user can customize his or her own page to make customers comfortable while viewing the site.

One of the best highlights about Magento is that you don’t have to use a computer to gain access to it. If you have an iPhone or a mobile phone that has an Android operating system, logging in to this program is attainable, hence, giving the users wide accessibility to the system. [4]

4. Zen Cart

If you have a limited budget and you want to download a platform including its new versions for free, Zen Cart is the perfect choice for you.

Zen Cart is a branch of osCommerce. They may have similar factors, but some modifications including more features have been implemented in Zen Cart. [5]

Zen Cart is another convenient open source program that can be downloaded without any hassles and charges during the installation process. What makes it unique to other systems is that it allows multiple languages which are beneficial to those shoppers who do not use English as their first language. It also provides different payment methods. Whether the customer wants to use a credit card or a merchant account like PayPal is not an issue. [6]

Zen Cart program even accepts foreign currencies during payment transactions. Regarding its protection from hackers, it is known to be SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certified which guarantees high level of security to all accounts. [7]

5. Shopify

Shopify is a program that enables digital shops on the Internet. In fact, it has as many as 16,000 retailers including Tesla Motors and the popular game Angry Birds. [8]

If you want to customize your own site but only acquired the basic designing skills, Shopify is for you. This program contains tons of templates for you to utilize if you want to
personalize your own site, hence, making it a perfect place for beginners.

A unique feature about Shopify is that it provides different tabs to categorize customers. You can classify your customers according to those who purchase a lot of your products or you can categorize them by location or also according to customers who haven’t bought an item in your store for awhile. Other tabs include blogs and pages, marketing, the product tab, and the navigating tab. Each tab has its own function. [9]

Shopify is also SSL-certified indicating a high security level to all user’s accounts. Unlike other platforms that charge their customers per bandwidth use, Shopify charges its customers on a per-transaction approach.

With the astounding features that these shopping carts have, it isn’t a wonder  why they maintained their popularity across the world. Through shopping cart systems, it is unnecessary to travel to a department store and spend money on gas. Shopping carts have proven to make the quality of life easier than before.

1. An in-depth review on Volusion software - http://shopping-cart-review.toptenreviews.com/volusion-review.html

2. An in-depth review on BigCommerce software - http://shopping-cart-review.toptenreviews.com/bigcommerce-review.html

3. Magento features including video presentation -http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/925-The-PeC-Review-Magento-Is-the-Open-Source-Powerhouse-

4. Compatibility of Magento to iPhone and Android O.S -http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/magento-announces-apple-ipad-and-android-support-for-magento-mobile/

5. Zen Cart Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Cart

6. An in-depth review of Zen Cart software -http://www.bestshoppingcartreviews.com/content/zen-cart-shopping-cart-review.html

7. Information regarding SSL certificates - http://www.bestsslcertificates.com/

8. Shopify Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopify

9. An in-depth review of Shopify software - http://ecommerce-software-review.toptenreviews.com/shopify-review.html