Though I may be upfront and say that Zen Cart is not perfect, and I am usually on the lookout to discover higher structures, including Magento Commerce, I may be reviewing that quickly as nicely, so stay tuned.
Zen Cart is an internet software program designed completely for e-commerce businesses. It makes use of PHP, MySQL and is an open supply undertaking that became evolved through a community of shop proprietors, programmers, designers, and experts who just wanted an easy e-trade solution. Being open supply like WordPress, the software is free for all of us to apply, and it lets all of us adjust, develop and distribute.
Most website hosting organizations offer Simple Scripts or Fantastico, which might be application installers to assist installation of Zen Cart. I might advise their usage because it saves time and the problem of putting in databases yourself. Zen Cart is certainly one of the standard buying carts available for installation, so it needs to be a breeze to install. If you decide to go through and deploy Zen Cart yourself, you will want to examine the instructions supplied, and it’s going to take time to get via. I would like to advocate this direction when you have robust information in PHP and MySQL because it will require you to edit files and utilize FTP equipment.
It is a superb online software and first-rate of all it’s far loose. Since it is inception over five years ago, many developers have created several accessories which may be downloaded and installed on the Zen Cart gadget at any time. They are publicly available on the Zen Cart website and offer your e-trade software program extra capability. You can download add-ons starting from administrative gear everywhere to adding more languages.
Each option may be activated when you need it or became off. Zen Cart’s product management device is, with the aid of ways, the maximum comprehensive gadget I have used to date, and the entirety is at your finger pointers as it is all linked in your orders and clients.
A Wide Range Of Free And Paid Templates Available
Most Internet groups usually want a customized internet site and want extraordinary capabilities to show their customers, so it has a wide range of free and paid templates. You will locate free fundamental templates available on the internet site that can be, without difficulty, set up, converting the colors and layout of your internet site. If you want more customization, strive for some paid templates which begin from approximately $50 and upwards. Here are the websites I advise: Algozone and Template Monster.
Forum And Community Support Is Good
Unfortunately, Zen Cart has no formal support or a group hired to handle customer support being a loose product. However, there are a sturdy forum and network that does assist and attempt their high-quality to assist. I actually have posted on their forum many times and was given a response quite fast. Most of the solutions are found through running a short week, and a maximum of the time, they will have a little by the little method to fix the problem. I should admit that even though it does get a chunk technical, and if you lack PHP know-how, I might agree it could be not very pleasant to discover an answer.
There is likewise a few documentation available specified in a Wiki section and FAQ on their internet site. If you seek out a detailed guide, there is one completely for administrators, and it can be downloaded from a PDF record. If all else fails, try and locate an experienced programmer and pay them to assist in restoring your trouble. They won’t value an excessive amount and are very reasonable at what they do. I used a programmer to do a little modification to my internet site formerly, and I found them in the forum as nicely. Place a publish asking for a programmer and specify what you need executed. I am positive you will get humans to answer in case you pay them.
Currently, it supports both QuickBooks and MYOB accounting. Though one module is loose and the other does fee. So if you are looking to force it into your Internet business, you will need to remember which accounting package deal to apply. Currently, there may be a free QuickBooks export module that you may download and deploy to be had in the Zen Cart Downloads section.
The Cons Of Zen Cart
Not Cosmetically Appealing
When I first began using Zen Cart, I changed into no longer very impressed using the not-so-attractive website after the setup. As with maximum of the open-source “out of the box solutions,” I knew there were going to be truly lots of customizing to be done. What I found at the beginning become the default pores and skin that it furnished had lots of “stuff” that has been no longer wanted, and it made the entire store look a piece cluttered for my liking. Furthermore, it changed into greater work to show off all of the banner advertisements and arrange the packing containers to have a simplistic appearance. I trust there must be a few details of visible attraction for any new person wanting to apply it as their e-commerce gadget.
Most of the basic reports are to be had, encompassing merchandise regarded, products bought, and clients’ orders. It lacks more sophisticated reviews and income using the merchandise, earnings on every product, profit margins made, etc. There are additional add-ons that may be mounted but are nevertheless now not up to scratch. Basically, I might no longer assume intensive evaluation of sales, clients, and products going thru the door. You will want to generate those reviews from your accounting software.
This is the big disadvantage of Zen Cart. Once you have mounted Zen Cart and made adjustments to the software, do not assume to improve for a totally long term. In my experience, if you decide to upgrade to the next model, you’ll basically start from the start again. The gadget has not been designed to improve without overwriting all of your add-ons and customizations. So if you did any modifications like I actually have on my websites, I would be cautious about sticking to the existing model. Unlike WordPress, for example, if there are essential improvements or enhancements for accessories, it’s miles a simple click on a mouse, and the rest of the system will improve for you.