Zen Cart is a PHP based online management system. It uses MySQL database and HTML components. It supports numerous languages & currencies and is freely available under the GNU General Public License. Its source code is totally customizable, allowing anyone who uses it to tailor, develop the program to suit their business preferences. Though it’s free, it still provides very effective tools that make it a top contender in the shopping cart market. It is developed & maintained by a huge organization of programmers, designers, web developers around the globe.
It’s a software fork that branched from osCommerce in 2003. And stable released in 2017. The most important difference between the two systems is the architectural changes (Template System) and additional features in the core. The release of 1.3.x series further distinguished Zen cart by moving the template system from its approach of historical tables based layout.
Why choose the Zen Cart?
You should choose Zen Cart as it’s the best open source option to create your online business. If you are good at PHP then this should be at the top of your list. It provides a lot of the great features that come with premium services. As it has such huge popularity, there are plenty of support resources available.
Features of Zen Cart:
It is very helpful in the sense you want to sell things in a particular area which support multiple tax rates, shipping modes, payment modes, languages etc.
The navigation is quite good in Zen cart. Customers can look through the products and order a product easily. As the information is stored so customers can re login to shop. They can even save their billing address, manage subscriptions, notifications etc.
Promotions, sales & discounts
Like every shopping site, it supports these features. Store owners can set products sale prices and discounts. They can also send the coupons to the people.
Categories on the home page
You can add unlimited categories and products in Zen Cart. The admin has the authority to move or copy a product to another category. Store owners can add numerous merchandise and unlimited attributes.
It provides customizable templates. The template system is compliant with XHTML 1.0. You can change graphics, fonts by CSS. Administration option will help you manage the side boxes. And yes you can override.
Zen Cart offers a flexible administration tool. All the login and registration panels are password protected. Admin can manage all the things like customer details, image sizes, product prices etc.
Hosting & Security
Zen Cart provides hosting & security. It provides secure servers, SSL certificate, and PCI compliant payment gateway. If you are good at hosting then you can have all these features in one place and avoid plugins.
Plans and Pricing
The main thing to worry about in open source platform is COSTS. Sometimes a free platform can end up being costly when you purchase themes, hosting services, plugins. But Zen Cart offers plenty of free tools which will keep your costs down. You can register a domain and avail a hosting service for about $10/month. You can even manage your hosting on servers if you can handle that.