Zen Cart How To Create Downloadable Products – Part One

This Zen Cart tutorial is aimed toward teaching zen cart users and store owners how they can create downloadable products in their ecommerce shops. In zen cart, downloads are handled as product attributes, so it’s a good idea to learn how to set up attributes before you try to tackle setting up a downloadable product. By learning about product attributes, you will be giving yourself a good foundation to start from, and it will be much easier to understand how to set up a downloadable product.

Before we begin with the tutorial, it should be noted that the files containing the product you wish to make downloadable must be loaded the /download directory of your zen cart before any attempt is made to link this file/s to products/attributes.

The first step in the process is to open your zen cart admin area. Navigate to ‘Option Names’, and create a Radiobutton or Dropdown option name. It should be named ‘Download’, or something else along those lines. Then, navigate to the ‘Option Values Manager’, and add the desired title(I.e., ‘Zip File’).

Next, go to the ‘Attributes Controller’, and locate the Product you want to make downloadable.
Add the Attributes like this: ‘Option Name: Download’, ‘Option Value: Zip’, ‘Sort Order: 10’, ‘Filename: (enter name of file you uploaded to the /download folder)’. ‘Option Name: Download’, ‘Option Value: Notepad Zip’, ‘Sort Order: 20’, ‘Filename: (enter name of file you uploaded to the /download folder)’.

By setting the product up this way, you are allowing your customers to select the format in which they will receive the product after they download it. As such, you will need to tweak this procedure according to your product types, and preferences.

Also remember that if you are using radio buttons, you will need to set one as a default.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

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Zen Cart How To Mark New Products As Not New

This Zen Cart tutorial will teach zen cart users and store owners how to mark products that have been newly added into their stores so that they will not display as such. There are a couple scenarios in which you may not want newly added products to be recognized as such by your zen cart. One example is if you were to add a new product to your zen cart store, but did not want it to show in the new products centerbox in the homepage. While zen cart does provide a quick and easy way to set the time range in which a product is considered new, there is no easy one-to-two click method of doing it in the zen cart admin.

This does not, however, mean that there is no way to do this. There is a hack that can be performed to work around this problem. Zen Cart determines which products are new by referencing the time period you set for new products, and checking that against the date on which any specific product was added. As such, there is a way that you can ‘trick’ zen cart into thinking that the product you have just added is not new. This is done by manually changing the date upon which any particular product was created, so that it falls outside the time range during which zen cart marks products as new. For example, if the time range in which products are considered new in your zen cart is fourteen days, then you can use a tool like myphpadmin to access the database table, and alter the product creation date. This information should be found in the ‘products_date_add’ field in the product table.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

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Zen Cart How to Show Products by the Date Added

You have listed all of the products in your zen cart and not specified sort orders for them. This means that they will list out on the product listing and other pages by default in alphabetical order. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial shows you how you can add some custom php code to force the products to list out by the date added so that the newest added products will show first on the listing pages.

In your favorite plain text editor open the includes/index_filters/default_filter.php file. This is a core zen cart file so be sure to back it up before you make an edits and that you make a note of your edits for future upgrades.

Find this:


// sort by products_sort_order when PRODUCT_LISTING_DEFAULT_SORT_ORDER is left blank
// for reverse, descending order use:
//       $listing_sql .= " order by p.products_sort_order desc, pd.products_name";
          $listing_sql .= " order by p.products_sort_order, pd.products_name";
          break;

And change it to this:


// sort by products_sort_order when PRODUCT_LISTING_DEFAULT_SORT_ORDER is left blank
// for reverse, descending order use:
//       $listing_sql .= " order by p.products_sort_order desc, pd.products_name";
// bof: customize to sort by date descending
          $listing_sql .= " order by p.products_date_added desc, p.products_sort_order, pd.products_name";
// eof: customize to sort by date descending
          break;

Save the file and upload it to your server making sure that you overwrite the file that is already on your server.

Navigate to a product listing page in front end of your zen cart store and refresh your browser to see the products listed newest first to oldest last instead of alphabetically.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

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Zen Cart How to Increase the Length of the Category Names

Zen cart allows a maximum of 32 characters for a category name. While in most cases this is more than sufficient, if you have some longer category names you will need to know how to increase the length allowed. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to increase the allowed number of characters in the category and sub categories names.

The Category Name length is limited by the field size in the Database table categories_description.

You can change the length by logging into your web host cpanel, and opening your zen cart database in phpMyAdmin. Be sure to back up your database before making any changes in case you need to restore your back up quickly. Click on the categories_description and click to edit the categories_name column. Change the length from 32 to a higher value such as 40 or whatever size you need.

Log into your zen cart admin and create a new category or edit an existing category to see the new allowable category length.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

Picaflor Azul specializes in responsive zen cart design. Contact us to convert your current zen cart to a responsive design, or to have a fantastic new custom design made just for your business. Our custom design process is simpler than you might imagine. You can either contact us with specific requirements, or we can do an evaluation of your business and your competitors and come up with a design that will make your site shine. After you have accepted our quote, we will create a design mock up for you. This unique design concept will take into account your individual business needs and incorporate current branding such as your logo, logo colors, etc. Then the site development begins. We will do the development on our server and then transfer the site to your server after you have tested and approved the site.

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Zen Cart How to Bulk Add Option Values to Option Names

If your zen cart products have a lot of the same option values for different option names, you will save a lot of time adding them in bulk as opposed to one at a time. Say, for example that you have a set up like this:

Colour Top: 30 choices
Colour Bottom: 30 choices (same as Colour Top)
Colour Left: 30 choices (same as Colour Top)
Colour Right: 30 choices (same as Colour Top)

This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to save a lot of time by bulk adding option values to option names using your zen cart admin panel.

1. Log into your zen cart admin.

2. Go to Catalog – Option Names Manager
zen cart option names manager

Create option names for:
Color Top
Color Bottom
Color Left
Color Right

If you do not know how to create option names, see this zen cart tutorial about How to Add Attributes to Products.

4. Go to the Options Values Manager and add all of the colors to Color Top.

5. Go to the Option Names Manager, scroll to the bottom of the page, and use the:
zen cart option names manager

For the Copy From Option Name, select Color Top
For the Copy ALL Option Values to Option Name, select Color Bottom
Then click on the “update” button

6. Repeat for the other Option Names.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

Picaflor Azul specializes in creating beautiful, modern zen cart designs customized to meet your specific business needs. Our designs feature responsive layouts which deliver an optimized experience for desktops and laptops, portrait and landscape tablets, and portrait and landscape phones. As an ever increasing number of customers shop online using their mobile devices it is becoming essential to have a website that caters to their needs. Their shopping experience will be better and the will purchase more and often from your store.

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Zen Cart How to Exclude Specific Products from Best Sellers

Each time a customer makes a purchase from your zen cart store, the data is stored in the database. This allows zen cart to compile a list of best selling products. If you have certain products that you do not want to show on your stores best seller list (for example a limited time or quantity product, or a free offer product), you will need to add some custom php coding to exclude them from the list. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to add some custom code to exclude products from your stores best sellers list.

In your favorite plain text editor open the includes/modules/sideboxes/override/best_sellers.php file. If there is not already an override for this file you can create one by copying the includes/modules/sideboxes/best_sellers.php to includes/modules/sideboxes/override/best_sellers.php.

Find the Select statement near the top of the file:


      $best_sellers_query = "select distinct p.products_id, pd.products_name, p.products_ordered
                             from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd, "
                                    . TABLE_PRODUCTS_TO_CATEGORIES . " p2c, " . TABLE_CATEGORIES . " c
                             where p.products_status = '1'
                             and p.products_ordered > 0
                             and p.products_id = pd.products_id
                             and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$_SESSION['languages_id'] . "'
                             and p.products_id = p2c.products_id
                             and p2c.categories_id = c.categories_id
                             and '" . (int)$current_category_id . "' in (c.categories_id, c.parent_id)
                             order by p.products_ordered desc, pd.products_name";

      $best_sellers_query .= $limit;
      $best_sellers = $db->Execute($best_sellers_query);
    } else {
      $best_sellers_query = "select distinct p.products_id, pd.products_name, p.products_ordered
                             from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd
                             where p.products_status = '1'
                             and p.products_ordered > 0
                             and p.products_id = pd.products_id
                             and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$_SESSION['languages_id'] . "'
                             order by p.products_ordered desc, pd.products_name";

      $best_sellers_query .= $limit;
      $best_sellers = $db->Execute($best_sellers_query);
    }

and change it to this:


    $best_sellers_query = "select distinct p.products_id, pd.products_name, p.products_ordered 
                             from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd, " 
                                    . TABLE_PRODUCTS_TO_CATEGORIES . " p2c, " . TABLE_CATEGORIES . " c 
                             where p.products_status = '1' 
                             and p.products_ordered > 0 
                             and p.products_id = pd.products_id 
                             and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$_SESSION['languages_id'] . "' 
                             and p.products_id = p2c.products_id 
                             and p2c.categories_id = c.categories_id 
                             and '" . (int)$current_category_id . "' in (c.categories_id, c.parent_id) 
                             and p.products_id not in (10, 12) 
                             order by p.products_ordered desc, pd.products_name 
                             limit " . MAX_DISPLAY_BESTSELLERS; 

      $best_sellers = $db->Execute($best_sellers_query); 

    } else { 
      $best_sellers_query = "select distinct p.products_id, pd.products_name, p.products_ordered 
                             from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd 
                             where p.products_status = '1' 
                             and p.products_ordered > 0 
                             and p.products_id = pd.products_id 
                             and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$_SESSION['languages_id'] . "' 
                             and p.products_id not in (10, 12) 
                             order by p.products_ordered desc, pd.products_name 
                             limit " . MAX_DISPLAY_BESTSELLERS; 

      $best_sellers = $db->Execute($best_sellers_query); 
    }  

This example shows products with id’s 10 and 12 being excluded from the Best Sellers list.

Save your changes and upload the file to your server making sure that you overwrite the file already on your server.

If you need help with your zen cart web site please contact us for a quote.

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Zen Cart How to Show Newest Products First in the Center Box Modules

If your zen cart online store gets new products on a regular basis, it is a good idea to promote these whenever possible. Zen cart natively had center boxes for New Products, Featured Products, and Specials. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to add some custom php code to show the newest products first in the center box modules.

This example is specifically for the New Products center box, but similar code could be used for the Featured Products and Specials center boxes as well.

In your favorite plain text editor open the includes/modules/override/new_products.php file. If there is not already an override for this file on your server, you can create one by copying the includes/modules/new_products.php to the includes/modules/override/new_products.php.

Near the top of the file find this code:


$display_limit = zen_get_new_date_range();

And change it to this:


$display_limit = ' order by p.products_date_added desc limit 1';

Save your changes and upload the files to your server making sure that you overwrite the file already on your server.

If you need help with your zen cart web siteplease contact us for a quote.

Picaflor Azul specializes in responsive e commerce web design. The trend toward customers increasingly shopping online using their mobile devices is not just a fad. Don’t lose out on sales because your site is not able to be navigated or rendered on modern mobile devices. Our responsive designs are optimized to look great and be easy to navigate on desktops, laptops, portrait and landscape tablets, and portrait and landscape phones. Just email us at info@picaflor-azul.com with your project requirements and we can offer you a quote for a new responsive custom design or for converting your current design to a responsive design.

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Zen Cart Show Category Description on the Product Info Page

By default, the zen cart product page contains a lot of information. One piece of information that it does not contain is the category description text. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to add some php code to show your category descriptions on the product info pages.

In your favorite plain text editor, open the includes/templates/override/templates/tpl_product_info_display.php file. If there is not already an override of this file, you can create one by copying the includes/templates/template_default/templates/tpl_product_info_display.php to the includes/templates/override/templates/tpl_product_info_display.php.

Find the point in the file where you would like the category descriptions to show, and add this:


<?php echo zen_get_category_description(zen_get_products_category_id((int)$_GET['products_id']), (int)$_SESSION['languages_id']) ?>

This zen cart tutorial is brought to you by the Dover Fine Responsive Zen Cart Template.

dover fine respnsive zen cart  template

This template features a super minimal and modern layout with a responsive full screen slide show on the home page. This means that the slide show will fit the entire screen of whatever device is being used to view your site. The template is optimized for desktops, laptops, portrait and landscape tablets, and portrait and landscape phones. Use the full screen slide show to show case your products. The template features a super flexible full page layout. The template colors are already neutral, but if you want to change the colors to match your current branding, it can be easily done by using css. If you want to make css changes to the template we strongly recommend using chrome or firefox and installing the web developer tools.

If you need help with your zen cart web siteplease contact us for a quote.

portrait and landscape
Picaflor Azul specializes in responsive zen cart design. Contact us to convert your current zen cart to a responsive design, or to have a fantastic new custom design made just for your business.

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Zen Cart How to Show a Specific Category if the Shopping Cart is Empty.

Optimizing what displays on the various pages in your zen cart is a good idea and can increase your sales. The empty shopping cart page can be set from the admin to show the new , featured, or specials centerbox. Another way to customize this page would be to shoe products from a specific category. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to add custom php code to your zen cart files to shoe a specific category on the empty shopping cart page.

On your favorite plain text editor open the includes/templates/your_template/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php. If there is not already an override for this file, create one by copying the includes/templates/template_default/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php to includes/templates/your_templates_dir/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php.

Find this:


<?php
$show_display_shopping_cart_empty = $db->Execute(SQL_SHOW_SHOPPING_CART_EMPTY);

Add this immediately after:


// bof: force category 3 on empty cart
$new_products_category_id = 3;
$cPath = '3';
// eof: force category on empty cart

So you now have:


<?php
$show_display_shopping_cart_empty = $db->Execute(SQL_SHOW_SHOPPING_CART_EMPTY);

// bof: force category 3 on empty cart
$new_products_category_id = 3;
$cPath = '3';
// eof: force category on empty cart

while (!$show_display_shopping_cart_empty->EOF) {
?>

Now you will see the products listed from category 3 (you can replace this number with your desired category id number) on the empty shopping cart page.

If you need help with your zen cart web siteplease contact us for a quote.

Picaflor Azul specializes in responsive zen cart design. Contact us to convert your current zen cart to a responsive design, or to have a fantastic new custom design made just for your business. There is no better time like now to go responsive. A responsive zen cart design will allow your customers to shop from your site no matter what device they are using. Our responsive designs are optimized for desktops, laptops, landscape and portrait tablets, and landscape and portrait mobile phones.

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Zen Cart Hide Out of Stock Items without Status 0

In your zen cart, you would like to hide Out of Stock items in the product listings but still want those products to appear in search results, so that customers have access to back in stock notifications etc. Normally, turning the Status to “0” in the admin products page disables a product. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how you can accomplish this with some easy edits to a php file.

In your favorite plain text editor open the includes/index_filters/default_filter.php. Be sure to save this file and create a back up for it since it is a core zen cart file. You will also want to make a note that you have edited this file for future upgrades.

Find each occurrence of the line “p.products_status = 1″ and add after it”


and p.products_quantity > 0

This will only work with products which use the standard stock control, and not with the stock by attributes module.

Save the file and upload it to your server making sure that you select to overwrite the file already on your server. Navigate to the front of your store, refresh your browser, and see the changes.

If you need help with your zen cart web site, absolute web solutions zen cart programmerplease contact us for a quote.

Picaflor Azul specializes in responsive zen cart design. Contact us to convert your current zen cart to a responsive design, or to have a fantastic new custom design made just for your business. Our custom design process is easy! Just email us with your project requirements and we will create a custom package that meets your needs. No matter how big or small your budget is, we can create a package that suits your business. Once you have accepted our quote, we will work with your to get your design looking just as you have dreamed.

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