The Zen Cart® software is made available to you for use, additions, changes, modifications, etc. without charge, under the GNU General Public License.
While we do not charge for this software, donations are greatly appreciated each time you download a new version, to help cover the expenses of maintenance, upgrades, updates, the free support forum and the continued development of this software for your online e-commerce store.
Donations can be made at:
The Zen Cart® Team Page
We appreciate your support.
The Zen Cart® Team
Zen Cart® is derived from: Copyright 2003 osCommerce
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
and is redistributable under the GNU General Public License
This software is OSI Certified Open Source Software.
OSI Certified is a certification mark of the Open Source Initiative.
While Zen Cart® can run on Windows/IIS servers, Linux/Apache servers are recommended for best results.
This is a basic guide to installing Zen Cart®. If you already have Zen Cart® installed and wish to upgrade from a previous version to this new release, please see the Upgrade Instructions and the What's New documentation.
You have downloaded the Zen Cart® software for an online shopping cart.
Questions to ask yourself ...
If No, stop ... see our Compatible Hosting list and find a fast, reliable hosting company who can help you register your own personal domain as well as provide for your hosting needs that meet the Zen Cart® software requirements ...
If No, stop ... you need to obtain a reliable FTP software package such as FileZilla (free), FlashFXP or another FTP software program to transfer files back and forth from your computer to your webserver.
Note: webserver meaning, the computer on the internet where you have your domain hosted (See 1)
NOTE: Many people have had timeout and other problems when using programs like SmartFTP and CuteFTP. We recommend that you do NOT use these problematic programs.
NOTE 2: If your hosting company provides an FTP program that runs inside your browser, we recommend that you do NOT use that for uploading large amounts of files such as a fresh install of Zen Cart. Those are okay for single-file uploads, but unreliable for several files at once.
If No stop ... you will need a good Text Editing software such as UltraEdit, Notepad++ (free), CrimsonEditor (free), BBedit(Mac), Kedit (linux), or some other type of Text Editor for modifying the files in the Zen Cart® software ...
Note: do not use CPanel for editing files, nor MS Word or other software designed for fancy writing ... you want a nice clean Text Editor. You can use the Windows Notepad... but this is limited in capabilities and the size of files that it can open and often can cause more harm than good ...
BEFORE YOU PROCEED, make sure you have access to a MySQL database, and username/password to that database. You may need to create the database using your webhosting account's control panel. Contact your webhosting company for assistance. Zen Cart® cannot create the database for you.
(You need the following permissions on your MySQL user: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, ALTER, INDEX, DROP. On an hSphere host, this would be "dba" access, or at least read/write. )
If you have answered Yes to all 4 of these questions, then you are ready to go on ...
Since you're reading this file, you have likely already unzipped the Zen Cart® distribution file and its contents into a folder on your personal computer. If for some reason you haven't already done so, unzip the files to your PC now, retaining the file structure within the zip file.
Upload, via FTP, the whole program into a directory on your server. Example: /catalog/
(We will use "/catalog/" as an example here. You can choose "no" foldername, or something else if you prefer, such as "/zencart", or "/store/" etc)
etc, etc, etc
Basically, in your FTP application look for a "www" or "public_html" or "htdocs" or "httpdocs" or "wwwroot" folder. These are the common folder names for what is referred to as the "webroot", which is where all website content is served from.
Your Zen Cart files (or *any* files to run your website, for that matter) need to be under that folder. If they're not, then you're going to get "not found" errors ... because the content is not found!
If it's unclear where the publicly-accessible files are to be uploaded, ask your hosting company for assistance in determining what your "webroot" folder should be.
Now, change the permissions on the following directories to 777 (read/write/execute).
Note: open the catalog/images directory and change all of the subdirectories and their subdirectories to 777 as well. For example (this is a partial list):
NOTE: If you miss any of the images directories and subdirectories inside /images and try to use them later, you will get an error message that you cannot write to these directories.
As for other folders and files, depending on your webserver configuration, they can be set to:
- folders: CHMOD 755 ("CHMOD" is a linux/unix term for setting/changing permission levels)
- files: CHMOD 644
These are typically the defaults that your FTP program will use when uploading, so usually do not need to be set manually.
For information on "First Steps To Set Up Your Online Shop", see the Wiki entry discussing a Basic Checklist
You should also familiarize yourself with the Zen Cart® Developers Toolkit, located in your store's Admin area, under "Tools". This will help you locate almost anything you want to customize in your shop!
Once you're set up and ready to start announcing your URL to the public, you should FIRST review Site Security Recommendations to be sure your site is safe and not vulnerable to hackers. The most up-to-date version of this file can be found on the Zen Cart® wiki under Important Security Recommendations
For additional help and support issues, visit our FAQs and our Support Forum on the web.
You can find these resources at the Zen Cart® Website
Good Luck with the software and Enjoy the Zen Cart® Experience!
Copyright 2003 - 2015 Zen Ventures, LLC — Zen Cart® www.zen-cart.com