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Zen Cart: E-commerce Application Development

Suhreed Sarkar

A step-by-step developer's guide
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847191175
Paperback324 pages

About This Book

  • Install, configure, and customize Zen Cart for your customers
  • Enhance and modify Zen Cart
  • Walk through the creation of a fully functional book store
  • Learn advanced features of Zen Cart with practical examples
  • Migrate products and customers from osCommerce to Zen Cart
  • Integrate Zen Cart shop with other CMSs like e107, xoops, gallery2, WordPress, phpBB, etc.


Who This Book Is For

This book is primarily for professional developers interested in building, enhancing, or extending Zen Cart sites for customers. It is also a useful reference for those who have got Zen Cart running on their own store, and want to improve it. It will also benefit those who want to migrate from osCommerce or other engines to Zen Cart.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Zen Cart
What is Zen Cart?
The Main Features of Zen Cart
Zen Cart versus osCommerce
Zen Cart and Other CMS/Shopping Carts
Chapter 2: Installation and Basic Configuration
Step-by-Step Installation
Upgrading from Previous Versions
Basic Configuration of the Store
Chapter 3: Configuring the Store
Shop Configuration
Zones, Currencies, and Taxes
Order Fulfilment and Inventory
Chapter 4: Customizing Look and Feel
Configuring Look and Feel
Understanding Zen Cart Templates
Understanding Overrides
Customizing Zen Cart Templates
Creating A New Template
Creating and Modifying Email Templates
Chapter 5: Localization of Zen Cart
The Need for Localization
Countries and Zones
Using Multiple Currencies
Order Status
Chapter 6: Promotions and Public Relations
Gift Certificates & Discount Coupons
Newsletters/Product Notification
Product Reviews
Search Engine Optimization
Chapter 7: Migrating from osCommerce to Zen Cart
The Need for Migrating to Zen Cart
Points to Consider Before Migration
osCommerce versus Zen Cart Database Structure
Migrating Databases
Adjusting the Look and Feel
Converting osCommerce Modules
Common Problems during Migration
Chapter 8: Integrating Zen Cart with Other CMS
Why should you Integrate Zen Cart with CMS?
How to Integrate with CMS?
Chapter 9: Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Website Maintenance Settings
Backing Up Files and Databases
Auditing and Hardening Security
Common Problems and Troubleshooting

What You Will Learn

  • Install and configure your Zen Cart shop
  • Manage, import, and export products in bulk
  • Configure zones, currencies, payment processors, and shipping modules
  • Use discounts, salemaker, cross-sell and up-sell to promote products
  • Use gift certificates, discount coupons, and newsletters to attract customers
  • Localize your shop by translating and adding new language and locales
  • Create or customize templates for your shop


Chapter 1 is a brief introduction to Zen Cart and its functionalities.

Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 deal with how to get everything you need up and running on a development machine and also briefly look at how all the requisite technologies gel together to produce a working Zen Cart site. Chapter 2 will help you with downloading and installing Zen Cart on your machine and Chapter 3 in configuring the store.

Chapter 4 will help you make the shop more attractive with the help of already available templates as well as by customizing templates.

Chapter 5 will discuss important configuration options for localizing Zen Cart defining countries and zones, zones for taxes, tax classes, tax rates, and assigning tax rates to specific zones. We also discuss adding, editing and updating currencies in a Zen Cart shop that uses multiple currencies and creating, and editing languages for Zen Cart shop and translating language files to another language.

In Chapter 6 we discuss several promotion and public-relations tools available for Zen Cart shop and use of these tools effectively and in a planned way to enhance the sales dramatically.

Chapter 7 discusses migrating from osCommerce to Zen Cart. The chapter covers points to be considered before migration, a brief discussion of differences between osCommerce and Zen Cart database structure, and finally actual data migration from osCommerce to Zen Cart, converting osCommerce modules for Zen Cart, and common problems during migration.

In Chapter 8, we discuss integration of Zen Cart with other Content Management Systems. In detail, it covers the necessity of integration, characteristics of successful integration, and ways to integrate CMS along with the ways to integrate Zen Cart with other CMS like WordPress, Gallery2, e107, and phpBB.
Once we have set up, configured, and customized our online shop, to take it to live production, we need to carry out some routine maintenance tasks to keep it running.

In Chapter 9, we discuss common maintenance and troubleshooting activities for a Zen Cart online shop.

The Appendix gives details of resources for Zen Cart.

In Detail

Zen Cart is a popular open-source PHP/MySQL-based e-commerce solution available under GPL that is designed to put the merchants' and shoppers' requirements first. Not only does Zen Cart offer a very long list of features, but the system is designed with both store owners and web developers in mind. There's no sacrifice of usability or power.

This easy-to-follow book will teach you how to install, configure, and customize a Zen Cart shop and use its promotion and public-relations tools to attract customers to the shop. It will also teach you to customize the look and feel of the Zen Cart shop by localizing and customizing templates. With this excellent tutorial, you will be able to extend and tweak the Zen Cart store.


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