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Zen Cart Comments
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Castor Troy on August 3 2011 02:07 pm
I have been using Zen Cart for over 3 years.
If you don't know anything about php and css, and you don't care to learn, go for something else, where all you need to do is pick color and upload photos and get it done by a professional.
But Zen Cart is definitely extremely powerful and in 3 years, I don't think I have seen half of its potential.
Another great thing about Zen Cart: the Zen Community.
The forum has tons of info and most questions are answered with a day or two.
Open Source is like Life: If you sit on your hands and wait for something to come to you, you are in trouble.
But if you can manage to think for yourself and try, you will be just fine.
I am a Biologist. I had 0 knowledge in htlm, css nor php. It took me just over 60 hours to create our website from scratch. Now we have something that is not only functional but that looks great too.
Boxx on July 4 2011 06:13 am
After testing all the webshops here, I can only say: what a pile of crapware. Open Source is also a no-go in this case.
They are just horrible to work with :-(
Cynthia on March 16 2011 01:39 am
I have used ZenCart for many years. It's done a wonderful job. Any issues are addressed very quickly by the developers.
It's very easy to customize ZenCart just by changing images and fiddling with the CSS file a bit. I have a favorite template I use and just swap out pictures when I want a change.
Their override system is fabulous. If you want to customize ANYTHING in the templates, then copy one of the files from the default templates and paste that file into YOUR template. Mine happens to be named Christmas. So I put anything I want to customize under Christmas, duplicating the file/folder system of the default templates. THAT'S IT. Now you can customize the file that you copied over to Christmas, and it will automatically override any of the default templates.
This override system also works for modules, apparently, such as the checkout modules.
When you upgrade ZenCart, none of your custom files will be over-written. Which means you won't need to do them over!! Altho you may want to compare the upgrade files with your custom files just to be sure you're no missing anything new. AND, it's easy to find your custom override files as well. You won't forget where you put them.
I'm using 1.3.9h now and there were some nice improvements from the previous version. Now the developers are talking about a major new upgrade they've been working on. So it's obvious that ZenCart is still very viable, it's got Life in it. The community is active.
I just wish there was a good bridge between Joomla and ZenCart, because I'm using both. I've got the templates to match. JFusion has an OSC/Zencart bridge but I had to uninstall it for now because it wouldn't let anybody login to Joomla.
John on March 10 2011 02:21 am
Not very secure. Had my site hacked twice. Each time Zencart coders had to rush fixups. Images folder has 777 permissions!!! GUI badly out of date, not good first impression. Look at their forums, lots of hassles. Too difficult, takes too much time, users find it hard to get their head around. OpenCart is much better.
David Laugs on February 7 2011 01:37 pm
Once you get used to the CSS and tables a breeze to work with!
Rob PinewoodBlue on May 20 2010 09:00 am
I would recommend Zen over any others I have tried to implement!
Once you are used to the way it works with the stylesheets and templates etc then customising becomes a doddle!
I have set up Barclays and Worldpay payment modules with no hassle and customised the system with various additions such as wishlists and stock print pages etc.
I will put a couple of my examples on here as requested further down but sure they may be removed?
Peter Leigh on May 7 2010 03:48 pm
Zen Cart is one powerful cart! bit of a learning curve but no more than others. Yes, very ugly defalt template but so, you can make it look how you like with an average understanding of CSS.
This site is out of date though, Zen Cart is on version 1.3.9b now
Rosemary on May 3 2010 09:56 pm
HOW! I have sophisticated Dreamweaver CSS pages and lots of graphics. I'm an accomplished designer but have not got a clue about how to work with Zen Cart. Can I download the "stuff" and play with it? It's not clear if or how I get those pages into zen cart and how I can design around Zen Cart. Who can teach me? How can I learn?
Asdesign on March 30 2010 11:39 am
Zen-Cart is great imo, it's true though. The default template is really ugly and outdated. It should have a new, web 2.0 based design, much like presta shop which I think, is a serious competitor to Zen-Cart and others. Anyway, for one, totally redesigned Zen-Cart and now it looks awesome. It did took a lot of time to do though...
Johndh on March 25 2010 03:34 pm
Out of the box, zen cart is ugly. BUT, with some skilled knowledge of colour schemes, just by css alone, this is one easy sucker to style. There is some brilliant support and I would say that this is the best solution for small businesses and people with some knowledge of css and preferably a bit of php knowledge. You can use the free templates or buy premium ones if you wish, but, the default is really easy to customise and get a professional looking site going fast (you have to know what colour schemes work, rather than coding, simple).
If you still don't like zen cart go for oscommerce. If you dont like that, and your sick in the head, you could spend Â£Â£$$K on Magento.
I give Zen a well deserved 5 out of 5.
Ken on March 4 2010 11:04 pm
Folks, please post websites where you have implemented tbe product about which you are speaking. This is extremely helpful for others who are at the research/product selection phase.
Agree on March 2 2010 08:22 am
Good but it looks horrible.
Donny on February 24 2010 09:25 pm
I have been using ZenCart for the past 4 years for myself and my 200+ clients, and I can say the stability is way beyond the other popular scripts.
I myself has become a ecommerce service provider, I always use Zencart for my client, some of my client are multi-million dollar stores, some has more than hundred thousand products, some using highly complex customizations, and ZenCart take care all of them, and I just couldn't trust other scripts to handle these flawlessly, I have some clients using Magento, Osc or other scripts, but to some extent, in stability, coding and performance they lack behind Zencart.
The support forum is amazing and response time is very fast, no other script's support/forum come close to this except osCommerce, if you use Magneto for example, you will likely ended solving the problem by your own because support forum is almost helpless.
The only downside are, the number of add-ons modules are not as many as osCommerce and stock design are not so well made like Magento, but for most store owner they usually want to build their own design, and most current add-ons already fill the needs, so there is not much to worry about this. But lately the new release is way behind schedule, however the patches and improvement available in Zencart forum, just need to digg it.
Miquel on February 1 2010 03:34 am
Horrendously coded, rubbish admin interface, outdated (no releases in 2 years).
Zen Cart may appear to have more features out-of-the-box than some of the newer carts, but beware -- it will not scale well, it is a nightmare to develop for (and if you do, upgrades will become an additional headache), and the hacked and unorganised nature of the code is a recipe for bugs and security holes. If you are running a business, you will not want to get locked-in to something this fragile and potentially insecure.
mcshane78 on January 26 2010 04:35 pm
love it! Been using ZC for years. I have tried/played with magento and prestashop but no where near the features, stability and community of ZC!
moby on November 16 2009 02:02 pm
its material you provided is too good.keep it up!
Tarek on November 1 2009 03:36 am
Zencart is the best, its so robust, strong, stable, it doesnt needs much knowledge of php and sql, i have tried 20 other shopping carts but zen cart is the best.
Tonello on October 26 2009 04:57 am
Dudes, I was looking for a free (as in freedom) solution for e-commerce when i ran into Magento... It really surprised me! It has a nice and coerent interface for the backend and a lot of options, especially about the management of the discounts, which can be higly customized (and that were my main source of unsatisfaction toying around with Virtuemart)! I suggest everyone to give it a try!
Anyway, I think ZenCart is a quite good product, but it lacks the features which I need to manage promotions... I need a per-user, per-product-category, management of them and no one except Magento seems to do that!
Martin McShane on October 16 2009 01:34 pm
I spent a good 6 months researching which cart to use for my site and without a doubt Zen Cart is the best!!!
Yes the standard template is pig ugly but designing for ZC is a piss of p*ss once you have read how too!!!!
It is the hard working code that runs in the background that makes ZC so powerful and robust. You'd be a fool not to give it a try!
Zenuser on August 19 2009 10:19 am
I am using Zencart and Its ok but with the learned knowlegde it would go for osCommerce. Its the same, but with more crap in the code.
But the big plus is, more add-ons and more backup of businesses like TNT or other big company's.
Yes the community is great, but designing is a pain in the ass and hardcore. It took me as a noob 50 or more hours to learn how to program the code to dutch, and redesigning all the buttons. With a free template that is.
Designing a own templated is even worse. This is ofcourse for all free cms software.
emilio on August 16 2009 10:58 am
before the introduction of virtuemart it was the best around.
Still it has many option that vm has not but the default template is really ugly and in almost 5 years it didn't change...
I guess this is one of the main reasons that discourages new users
Toey on July 28 2009 05:37 am
I agree zen cart is ugly with the default template, but that is just the looks on the outside. If you know how to dress it up, it is really awesome!
Annie on July 16 2009 05:03 pm
Having used ZenCart for a year now, I'm even more impressed with it. This is a SMART ecommerce system. There's only one little complaint I have: I'd like to be able to specify quantity for each of the attributes (for better inventory control.) For large stores this might be an issue. Otherwise ZenCart is really comfortable to work with. I love it.
net.Z on July 12 2009 05:15 pm
agree!! Zen cart is ugly!
SoftGil on June 9 2009 09:43 am
Ugly! A re-design should be considered soon!
Annie on February 21 2009 01:55 pm
I love my ZenCart shop! I don't think this system is for newbies, but it's a whole lot of fun for pseudo-geeks. Yes, there's a learning curve. But this system is so flexible once you've got the hang of it! The community is awesome. I've found more info in the forums than anywhere else. I really love the ordered file structure of ZenCart that allows for customization. The shop itself is sooo nice to work with. There's tons of add-ons, and I'm using nearly a dozen of them that are very helpful workshorses I couldn't do without. I'm very glad I went with ZenCart. They provide good solid content... it's up to you to add the glamour.
Craig on January 30 2009 04:25 am
it's ok, but way too ugly!
newweb on February 21 2008 08:39 pm
In my oponion, Zen Cart is the best so far!
Sandra on February 20 2008 01:49 am
I've tried a few shopping carts including OSCommerce and Zen Cart is the best! The tutorials are great especially for a beginner like me who needs a lot of help and you can almost find a lot of help for zen cart just by googling for it. Templates are ready to be downloaded and after a little php and css training, I was able to modify my website to become a pretty good online shop. Loading is fast and hopefully it will improve all my customers' shopping experience.
Vicky Toshach on January 21 2008 11:47 am
Not for the faint hearted! I started off with osCommerce and found it very easy to design my site. However, I didn't like the limited features available. So I did some research and decided on ZenCart. I have to say, it was a huge learning curve. Very CSS dependant. Hard to find where and what does what inorder to update the design. BUT, once I got the hang of it, with help from the excellent support site, I was able to put together my very own site with my very own look. I wish there were more documentation on this wonderful ecommerce software. Does a lot for open source.
Christopher May on November 21 2007 08:26 am
Having used Zen Cart for a few years now I was surprised to read so many negative comments, I cannot understand why anyone would choose osCommerce over Zen Cart in my opinion. We used to use osCommerce before switching to Zen Cart, and have found Zen to be much easier to use and customise, particularly as far as editing templates goes.
bahtiyar on October 18 2007 09:58 am
i installed and translated by turkish this script 2 years ago.it has got very profesional interface and you can find a lot of themes.in old versions paypal and other payment methods integrations is very hard.i hope solved this problem this version..
Ted on March 27 2007 04:00 pm
Latest version of Zen Cart now supports PayPal Express Checkout!
Pavel Dost on March 24 2007 05:39 am
Hi, we operate official Czech support and I can tell, that the big boom this very system in Czech republic is thanks his relative simplicity compared to some systems. In Czech republic is that a one of most widely used free system. May I him then recommend and users, who are not efficient in PHP.
misum on March 6 2007 01:07 am
I have a question. A couple years back I tried this software and it was really hard to get paypal working. What should have been a simple plugin had me editing over 20 lines of code. I hate editing code because it makes installing updates very hairy. Have they fleshed out the Paypal support or is it still a mess?
Ibn Saeed on January 18 2007 03:54 am
Hi Zencart is good. But it does not support 2Checkout which is used by so many International Merchants. The developers of Zencart are not going to create a payment module for 2Checkout, the reason behind being that the 2CO does not help them. And when you look at all the other shopping carts, free and paid. All support 2Checkout except Zencart. This is the greatest shame for the Zencart developers.
James Oppenheim on December 26 2006 06:44 am
I have been using Zen-Cart for a while now. I think it is great, with functionality and customisation. However, I have two problems with it: 1) The amount of tables that have been used for layout. 2) The amount of procedural code as apposed to object oriented code. It is getting better on both fronts, but it is not quite there yet.
mano on November 19 2006 01:34 am
For people more interested in coding changes rather than using the admin interface there is a new OO API on top of zen-cart that also implements a alternative theme/templating engine. Main feature is that data access etc are all wrapped in access classes. That means there is *never* SQL in your template!
Ted on August 19 2006 02:25 am
Zen Cart carries the moniker, 'the art of e-commerce' as its tagline and as a virtual mission statement for how the software should work. Beyond some aesthetic changes, the major differences between osCommerce and Zen Cart come from Zen Cart's long list of added features. It is great for customization and has very smart template system.
Adam on August 11 2006 02:37 am
I've installed many stores and made many templates. Most of the store owners I've worked with are very happy with it. For a developer's perspective, Zen Cart is pretty good. The templates can be as simple as changes to a few files, or several hundred. Since 1.3.x, the default templates have been XHTML compatible with good content/presentation seperation. It offers a nice override system that prevents modified language and module files from being overwritten during upgrades and reinstalls. Other modifications usually aren't too hard to make if you can find the right file(s) to change. On the downside, it is simply a huge program. It does take a while learn which files control what part of the store, and which ones to edit. There is very little documentation in the code. Still, I think it is the best FREE ecommerce software out there.
Rip on June 13 2006 06:54 am
works very well for custom sites, there is a hard curve to change things and code is not well docmented. Worth taking time to learn how it works, but template system needs lots of work. Also generates a lot more db queries than most, i would advise a fast db host.
Rado Rohal on June 10 2006 03:50 am
Zen Cart is robust shopping cart web site for an unlimited number of products. Its very good.
Bjorn Solstad on May 18 2006 08:37 am
ZenCart works very well even for heavily loaded websites. I have seen it run smoothly on a site with more that 1000 pageloads per day just in the shop. I can absolutely recommend ZenCart, and it is very stable. Changing the templates is very cumbersome though. A better templating system would help alot on the learning-curve.
Allthingsid on April 9 2006 08:51 am
Very good shopping cart. A little tuff to upgrade if you have done alot of mods. The best thing to do is understand the overide system completely before you customize.
Drew on April 7 2006 09:46 am
Painstakingly modified the templates to create I Love Prints - and I MEAN painstakingly, as it has a steep learning curve. It's also a nightmare trying to find where to change particular options. But this is a competent and versatile e-commerce solution - big up the Zen Cart camp!
Motorcycle Gear Store on April 6 2006 06:52 am
Zen-Cart is absolutely fantastic. Even without making any modifications, but for those of us wanting to change things around there are different resources to help create your own templates and with a little PHP and MySQL knowledge you can add and move thing around. My thanks to the developers
Gomer on March 28 2006 07:39 am
Until they realease v1.3.1 with improved database speed, if you just have to get a good base to start with now so you can start customzing, I reccomend starting with another cart that has a good solid base to expand on. If you are a tightwad, want to get your feet wet and can wait for v1.3.1, knock yourself out because it is better than osCommerce.
nguyen trung on March 22 2006 02:58 am
Can I user code 'Zen Cart'? (code Zen Cart is free??) plesea give me soon ! Thanks very murch! Admin co the gui cho toi code cua Zen Cart c uoc khong a ! xin chan thanh cam on !
Magallanes on March 1 2006 09:37 am
Is another oscommerce clone. Came with some extra stuff (by default) but have the same troubles of oscommerce :hard to modify (code), lack of themes or some easy-to-custom site,... It's good only because there was no much choice for e-commerce.
Justin James on February 27 2006 12:28 pm
This software is pretty good, unless you want to try to modify it. It misses some really basic features (like insurance on UPS shipping), and making changes is a nightmare at best. The directory structure is indecipherable because it wants to be multi-language capable. It has a stupid 'override' system for templates. The code itself made my queasy to look at, it had the elegance of a five car pileup. There is absolutely no consistency to internal variable naming. Things like iterators with variable names of 'i' and 'j', the code overall is the 'My First Sony' of PHP programming. All in all, making changes to core functionality was not fun. More distressingly, one good upgrade will wipe out my entire system. This software should be avoided if you need anything that isn't provided out-of-the-box.
Kaitlyn on February 19 2006 01:04 am
Zencart is neat! I like it very much and it comes pre-installed with most of the features I need/want (unlike creLoaded which is 'overloaded'). However, I wish that Zencart like Oscommerce would have more templates. I know there are modules in Oscommerce which let you choose your design/look - but still, I wish both would come pre-installed with an easier way to change the look (and knot look like every other Zencart/Oscommerce site).
Teja on February 16 2006 11:57 am
Hello everyone, I have finally come to this zen cart software, but i am a first time user... I am a designer and not a developer in any way, eventhough i do set up websites (just html, css, flash). Is there anyone here that could give me some sort of guidance how this thing works and if i can just set it up and link it to the existing website etc... Thank you very much ! :) Teja
Shandra on January 5 2006 11:18 am
Zencart is a wonderful. I've played with many other shopping carts and even wasted $300 or more on shopping carts for the past few years. Zencart which is a port of Oscommerce outweighs OSC by 10:7. For anyone looking for a free cart you should try Zencart. Developers and members are always around the forums to help when it is needed. Just like Keso said it comes with serveral popular payment gateway modules such as PayPal, Authorize.net and others. With the easy to use administration it's a breeze you'll never miss a new order or a new customer because once you log in it's right in your face.
sunshineteam_dot_net on December 7 2005 10:53 am
This is as good as free gets. I had my site up and running real quick. It's easy to customize. There are a lot of mods and addons to download. The support forums are great. There are a few bugs, yes, but they are usually worked out and patched quickly. I had trouble setting up the PayPal module, but in the end I did get it working perfectly. And when there is an update, it is very time consuming to compare old files with new files to import your custom changes, but it can be done. I'd say the biggest selling point to Zen-Cart is the forums. Most questions are answered there and are searchable.
Micheas Herman on November 27 2005 07:46 am
To the person that made the comment about safe_mode. zencart will work in safe mode, if and it's a big if, apache owns the files. Safe mode is now depricated in php. (as of 5.0.0) So supporting safe mode is something that will probably never happen. The big problem I have had is that if you have a problem it is not exactly obvious where to start looking for the problem. (I have a problem with mysql 5.015 and I narrowed it down to 178 lines over 70 files pretty quickly, but . . . ) Over all a vast improvement over OSCommerce (which requires register globals to be on, also depricated in php5)
bill on November 18 2005 05:33 am
After months of searching and testing ecommerce systems the following is true: Zencarts the best... in my opinion anyway...
rika on October 26 2005 09:43 am
I'm sorry to interrupt on a negative way but Zencart Sux. Safe_mode must be turned OFF in order to work. That's a serious bad thing because LOTS of professional hosting providers have their Safe_mode turned ON fot good security reasons. In order to be an professoinal e commerce system, the least they can do is to bypass this serious, i think, bug. Work 2 do Zencart builders!
Sandro on October 16 2005 06:40 am
You can get Italian language dist / pack from Zen-Cart.it - Italian Support Community
Keso on October 3 2005 07:40 am
Zen cart is very good. You get everything you need to maintain a professional, robust shopping cart web site for an unlimited number of products. Products, pricing, shipping, newsletters, sales and more are managed by the store owner through the administration area. The shopping cart is already set up to receive payments from any major credit card and several popular payment gateway services are included.
Daryl Hargraves on July 20 2005 08:51 am
You can spend days or maybe weeks killing your self with OSCommerce or sell stuff with Zen. Don't be fooled by the larger number of forums and other OSC stuff. It has it because you need an army to get it running and support it. Only to find out after you have gone blind that it is only about half as good as Zencart. Remember I warned you. Sorta of like the Mac guys always saying Mac is better. Sure if you live in a cacoon.
Jack on July 13 2005 12:05 pm
You can get Simplified Chinese language pack from Zen Cart Chinese community.
Daryl Hargraves on April 29 2005 08:34 am
Struggle and go nuts with OSC or install and sell with Zen-cart. Just don't count on much support. But you won't need much.
cyaneo on April 9 2005 11:30 am
For those who didn't know: We also made Zen Cart multilingual (german-english) in both, the Shop frontend AND the admin backend. You can download it (and other translated contrib.) at www.zen-cart.at
Entropic on March 30 2005 09:51 am
Zen Cart has been a godsend for me. I started with no knowledge of php, or really any coding at all, and I was able to put together my site without too much trouble. You can keep it simple and be up in a few hours, or modify to your heart's content.
ocde on March 29 2005 02:02 am
i love zen-cart , i think it better than oss yet. very nice!
Sunrom Technologies on February 13 2005 08:18 am
Zen Cart even though created from Osc has drastic improvement over versatality, ease of management, Good documentation, Quick Responding Support, Flexibility to upgrade and add new modules. Works smoothly like a dream. The magic of Zen continues...
Stefan on January 25 2005 12:57 pm
I think it is still the best e-commerce software (For free!!!) out there. Expect to delf into a bit of coding at some stage to add that little bit of extra functionality and finesse to your site. The code is well structured and organised so updating subcomponents is fairly easy. I have more than 900 products on the site and Zen-Cart handles it with ease...
mr me on November 23 2004 10:21 am
Zen Cart is a great development branch of OSCommerce. If you are a control freak then you will probley want to use OSC because it has a bigger support group therefore is easier to change the core files. Zen Cart is fantastic if it fits your needs. Give it a try it really is a nice elegant product.
Carine Bruyndoncx on August 12 2004 06:11 am
Please take note that Zen-Cart is based on osCommerce 2.2 MS2 with a lot of contributions installed and then re-engineered into a different file structure. As a result, they are similar but not compatible under the hood.
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