Zen Cart Open Source Ecommerce Software

Discover how Zen Cart with CYOP's open source and cloud based ecommerce services allow businesses to increase sales, improve customer service, and lower costs.

Zen Cart Open Source Ecommerce


Zen Cart Ecommerce Shopping Cart

Zen Cart is an open source ecommerce shopping cart solution based on PHP and MySQL that is free to download and the source code is able to be customized by anyone who wants to modify it. Zen Cart is one of the leaders in open source ecommerce and, even though itís free, it it stands up well against many commercial shopping cart software in terms of features & functions. Zen Cart forked from osCommerce shopping cart in 2003 and is developed and maintained by a huge network of volunteer programmers, designers, developers and business owners around the world with a stated goal of providing a free ecommerce service that can be installed and developed without an IT degree.

Because Zen Cart is based on some relatively early code, it is fairly easy for beginners to modify and edit but lacking in some of the more advanced features found in products like Magento like mobile readiness and integration with Amazon and eBay. It's also lacking in search engine optimization (SEO) features.

That being said, Zen Cart is packed with functions and, at first glance, the interface can be a little overwhelming and if you don't have somewhat of a knowledge of PHP, you're likely going to want an open source programmer to help you get the site looking the way you want it.

Zen Cart does allow you to add an infinite number of products and categories and provides good control of the products. Products may be placed on sale and downloadable products, such as music or PDFs, may be sold in the cart along with physical goods. Products may also be assigned attributes like color or size, and shipping options from a variety of shipping carriers may be defined according to zone, weight, and item.

Like OSCommerce, support for Zen Cart is largely provided through the community forums and Wiki, although there is a significant Zen Cart User's Guide that is also available as an e-book and is packed with detailed information on how to use Zen Cart to sell products online.

For more information on Zen Cart and CYOP's other open source ecommerce solutions, please contact us or signup for a FREE Business Process Assessment.

Ecommerce Consulting & Implementation

CYOP employs a proven ecommerce design and development methodology that includes a detailed requirements analysis to effectively discern feature/function requirements before any programming efforts begin which minimizes deployment time and necessary re-work.

The CYOP planning process includes development of a basic Functional Design, a Gap Analyis to determine custom development efforts, a Data Migration Strategy to ensure data from current systems can be effectively migrated to the new system, and a Systems Interface Design to describe any external systems that need to be integrated and how that will be accomplished.

CYOP's ecommerce integration services invovle a coordinated technical programming and development effort combined with sound project management to effectively bridge the gap between the client and the programmers and to ensure business objectives, and not just a programming exercise, are achieved.

CYOP leverages free open source software to build for our clients an ecommerce website that is highly customized for thier specific business and that they OWN. Because the finished application is owned by the customer who has full access to the souce code, there is no vendor lock-in and the application can never be obsoleted since with a large community of open source programmers able to ensure ongoing development and support.

Because we understand how critical your ecommerce web site is to your business, CYOP Hosting is dedicated to providing reliable, business-class web hosting solutions with the highest levels of quality, service and support available in the industry. CYOP offers both shared and dedicated hosting plans and all of our web hosting servers are located in state-of-the-art data centers with superior levels of security, redundancy, and fault tolerance. High uptime guarantees and SLA's make CYOP the perfect host for your ecommerce store and critical cloud based business applications.

Build A Successful Ecommerce Website

How To Design & Build A Successful Ecommerce Website

If you're looking to build a successful ecommerce website, it's wise to invest significant time in planning to minimize the money spent on unnecessary programming and re-work since a little bit of planning up-front can avoid a whole lot of problems later!

Here are ten tips to create a successful ecommerce website:

  1. Try to minimize the number of products and focus on a niche market. Don't try to be like Amazon and attempt to sell everything. You can always add more products, or additional stores once you become successful with the products you start with.
  2. Develop a clear goal for every page and design the page with that goal in mind.
  3. Clearly display your contact information and make it easy with several ways to contact you.
  4. Put a strong call to action on each page.
  5. Make the checkout process easy.
  6. Keep the cart contents and current total in the cart visible.
  7. Highligh featured promotions to drive traffic to certain pages of the website.
  8. Provide layered navigation to make it easy for users to search, sort and filter for things they're looking to purchase.
  9. Provide ways for customers to save their cart for later use and share shopping cart pages with friends and family.
  10. Provide multiple shipping options and allow customers to calculate shipping costs right from your web store.


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