Zen Cart Review – The Pros and Cons of Zen Cart

Though I can be in advance and say that Zen Cart isn’t very best and I’m all the time at the glance out to seek out higher programs reminiscent of Magento Commerce. I can be reviewing that in a while as smartly, so keep tuned.

An Overview

Zen Cart is a web-based device designed only for e-commerce companies. It makes use of PHP, MySQL and is an open supply venture that used to be advanced via a group of store homeowners, programmers, designers, and specialists who simply sought after a easy e-commerce answer. Being open supply like WordPress, the device is loose for any individual to make use of and it lets in any individual to change, increase and distribute.


Most website hosting corporations be offering Simple Scripts or Fantastico, which can be utility installers to assist set up Zen Cart. I might suggest the use of them because it saves time and likewise the effort of putting in databases your self. Zen Cart is among the usual buying groceries carts to be had for set up so it must be a breeze to put in. If making a decision to head via and set up Zen Cart your self then it is very important learn the directions supplied and it is going to take a while to get via. I might handiest suggest this course if in case you have a powerful wisdom in PHP and MySQL as it is going to require you to edit some information and utilise FTP gear.

The Pros Of Zen Cart

It Is A Free Bundled With Addons Available

It is a brilliant on-line device and perfect of all it’s loose. Since it is inception over five years in the past many builders have created a large number of add-ons which may also be downloaded and put in onto the Zen Cart gadget at any time. They are publicly to be had at the Zen Cart website online and offers your e-commerce device further capability. You can obtain add-ons starting from administrative gear any place to including further languages.

A Great Product Management System

The key to operating any a success e-commerce industry is how smartly you’ll arrange your merchandise. With it, you might be supplied with a variety of product choices reminiscent of:

* Allows you to type your merchandise in classes and sub-categories

* Manage and regulate your inventory ranges

* Create attributes on your merchandise, reminiscent of colors, sizes, and a lot more

* The talent to create merchandise in bulk the use of the Easy Populate add-on

* Create specials and featured merchandise

* Write opinions for each and every product

Each possibility may also be activated when you wish to have it or became off. Zen Cart’s product control gadget is via a ways probably the most complete gadget I’ve used to this point and the whole thing is at your finger pointers as it’s all connected for your orders and consumers.

A Wide Range Of Free And Paid Templates Available

Most Internet companies typically need a customised website online and need other options to turn their consumers, which is why it has a variety of loose and paid templates. You will to find loose elementary templates to be had at the website online that may be simply put in converting the colors and format of your website online. If you wish to have extra customisation, check out some paid templates which get started from about $50 and upwards. Here are two websites I like to recommend: Algozone and Template Monster.

Forum And Community Support Is Good

Unfortunately there is not any formal beef up from Zen Cart or a group employed to maintain customer support being a loose product. Though there’s a robust discussion board and group that does beef up and check out their perfect to assist. I’ve posted on their discussion board repeatedly and were given a reaction slightly rapid. Most of the solutions are discovered via operating a handy guide a rough seek and as a rule they’ll have a step-by-step procedure to mend the issue. I’ve to confess regardless that it does get a little technical and in the event you lack PHP wisdom then I might agree it may be slightly irritating to discover a answer.

There could also be some documentation to be had specified by a Wiki segment and FAQ on their website online. If you might be searching for an in depth guide there may be one only for directors and it may be downloaded from a PDF record. If all else fails, then attempt to to find an skilled programmer and pay them to assist repair your drawback. They would possibly not value an excessive amount of and are very fair at what they do. I used a programmer to do a little adjustments to my website online up to now and I discovered them within the discussion board as smartly. Simply position a submit soliciting for a programmer and specify what you wish to have carried out. I’m certain you are going to get other folks to respond in the event you pay them.

Export To Major Accounting Softwares Are Available

Currently it helps each QuickBooks and MYOB accounting. Though, one module is loose and the opposite does value. So in case you are taking a look to enforce it into your Internet industry you’ll want to imagine which accounting bundle to make use of. Currently there’s a loose QuickBooks export module that you’ll obtain and set up to be had within the Zen Cart Downloads segment.

The Cons Of Zen Cart

Not Cosmetically Appealing

Originally after I first began the use of Zen Cart I used to be now not very inspired via the now not so interesting website online after the set up. As with many of the open supply “out of the field answers”, I knew there have been going to be relatively numerous customising to be carried out. What I discovered to start with used to be the default pores and skin that it supplied had numerous “stuff” that weren’t wanted and it made the entire retailer glance a little cluttered for my liking. Furthermore it used to be further paintings to show off the entire banner commercials and likewise to arrange the containers to have a simplistic glance. I consider there needs to be some part of visible attraction for any new person in need of to make use of it as their e-commerce gadget.

Very Basic Reporting

Most of the fundamental experiences are to be had which come with merchandise seen, merchandise bought and consumers orders. It lacks extra refined experiences reminiscent of gross sales via merchandise, benefit on each and every product, benefit margins made and so on. There are further addons which may also be put in however are nonetheless lower than scratch. Basically I might now not be expecting intensive research of gross sales, consumers and merchandise going throughout the door. You will wish to generate those experiences out of your accounting device.

Upgrades And Add-On Integrations Are Difficult

This is the massive drawback of Zen Cart. Once you might have put in Zen Cart and made adjustments to the device, do not be expecting to improve for a long time. In my previous enjoy if making a decision to improve to the following model, you are going to principally have to begin from the start once more. The gadget has now not been designed to improve with out overwriting all of your addons and customisations. So in the event you did any adjustments like I’ve on my internet sites, I might be very wary to keep on with the prevailing model. Unlike WordPress as an example, if there are primary upgrades or upgrades for add-ons this is a easy click on of a mouse and the remainder of the gadget will do the improve for you.

My score for Zen Cart is a 7 out of 10 and I might suggest it as a strategy to get started off with for any small to medium industry homeowners.