Zen Cart Review

Zen Cart Review

Zen Cart is an open source PHP based on osCommerce. It can be tied into a MySQL database and offers modular expansion if you desire to build upon the base features. I took a look at Zen Cart version 1.3.7 and must say, this is an impressive ecommerce solution. Anyone looking for a full featured Do-It-Yourself ecommerce solution should at least download Zen Cart and see what it has to offer.

Out of the box you get everything needed to setup an online store and get it off the ground, including a sample store. Without too much tweaking you can have a pretty professional looking store. If you want to kick it up a notch, the solution is based on css templates. This allows for easy editing or you can just purchases a canned template from a third party. The design possibilities are endless.

Zen Cart is feature-rich with many of the bells and whistles found in the more robust hosted shopping cart solutions. These include:

PayPay Express Checkout
Google Checkout
Gift Certiciates
Tell a Friend Button

Zen Cart also allows for clean URL which both users and search engines prefer.

Support for Zen Cart appears to be a mixed bag but this is true for just about every open source solution. Zen Cart offers documentation on their website and a fairly active support forum: http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/index.php. If you’re new to ecommerce and need a lot of support, you might be better served with a paid hosted shopping cart solution. In terms of support, you always get what you pay for.

Install is a breeze and some hosts will even do it via a script (SiteGround).

Compare Zen Cart to osCommerce and CubeCart. I would have to say that of the three, Zen Cart is more robust ecommerce shopping cart solution.