Zen Cart Review – The Pros and Cons of Zen Cart

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 in all of us to adjust, develop and distribute.

Most website hosting organizations offer Simple Scripts or Fantastico, which might be application installers to assist installation Zen Cart. I might advise the usage of them because it saves time and additionally 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 making a decision to go through and deploy Zen Cart yourself then you will want to examine the instructions supplied and it’s going to take the time to get via. I would best advocate this direction when you have a robust information in PHP and MySQL because it will require you to edit some 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 at the Zen Cart website and offers 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, which is why 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 websites I advise: Algozone and Template Monster.

Forum And Community Support Is Good

Unfortunately, there is no formal support from Zen Cart or a group hired to handle customer support being a loose product. Though 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 were given a response quite fast. Most of the solutions are found through running a short week and maximum of the time they will have a little by the little method to fix the problem. I should admit even though it does get a chunk technical and if you lack PHP know-how then I might agree it could be quite irritating to discover an answer.

There is likewise a few documentation available specified in a Wiki section and FAQ on their internet site. If you are seeking out a detailed guide there is one completely for administrators and it is able to be downloaded from a PDF record. If all else fails, then try and locate an experienced programmer and pay them to assist restore your trouble. They won’t value an excessive amount of 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. Simply 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 put in 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

Originally when I first began the usage of Zen Cart I changed into no longer very impressed by means of 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 additionally to 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 which encompass merchandise regarded, products bought and clients orders. It lacks more sophisticated reviews together with income by means of merchandise, earnings on every product, profit margins made and so on. There are additional add-ons which 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 past experience, if you make a decision 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 very careful to stick to the existing model. Unlike WordPress for example, if there are essential improvements or enhancements for accessories it’s miles a simple click on of a mouse and the rest of the system will do the improve for you.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.