Zen CartZen Cart is an application that helps individuals and businesses create an online shopping cart. If you’ve ever thought about selling products via the Internet, then this is the type of system that can get you up and running in no time. Simply install the software onto your hosting account and configure the settings to your liking! The best part of this shopping cart is the fact that they make the user interface friendly so that non-technical people can use it without sifting through the mind-boggling code.

Zen Cart is Open Source

Being an open source system means that the code that builds it is open to the public. Volunteers from around the world play their part in making the software better, in real-time, either through the addition of plugins and themes, or through base program changes. Instead of investing in a software that is managed by a company, one that might even plan specific upgrades and features in a way so that users have to pay more money over time, this software is FREE. The price is yet another great advantage of using open source software.


Zen Cart evolved from an older platform, osCommerce. It was officially released in 2007 as it’s own system, with a few key features being overhauled. The main points of focus for the team was to redesign the template system and add better core features.


First and foremost, Zen Cart is quite easy to install and configure. It is based on a MySql database, and it uses a php configuration to run. Zen Cart supports multiple customer modes, the ability to promote multiple sales or discounts, and it can also display differently depending on the customer profile. Payment options can incorporate Paypal in addition to many others at the same time, while the shipping module can also offer multiple options.

A big selling point for this free shopping cart system is the fact that it also incorporates some features that others would consider only for a premium. Take for instance the newsletter management capabilities, as well as the discount coupons option, the ability to issue gift certificates and quantity discounts, and even the chance to promote certain products.


The base functionality of Zen Cart can be enhanced through the integration of addons. Addons are little software packages that are installed to include certain features that will help customise your shop, and possibly make it stand out from others. The addons repository is located on the official website and features hundreds of options from language packs to special marketing tools.

Zen Cart Forum

Since the program is open source, and many people around the world help to keep it going, you will find some good help in the Zen Cart Forums. It is here that a user will find the answer to most sorts of usage questions or errors quickly and easily. Unlike paid software programs, support is free, but it comes through a different avenue.http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/index.php