Zen Cart ‘Fatal error: Cannot redeclare date_diff()’

This Zen Cart article discusses the error message that reads ‘Fatal error: Cannot redeclare date_diff()’. As you may already know from the ‘fatal’ warning, this error message is pretty serious, and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Though serious, this is actually one of the simpler error messages you can get from your zen cart store. It basically means that the version of zen cart you are currently running is incompatible with the version of PHP being run by your server. In other words, your version of zen cart is too old to work with PHP. Zen cart v1.3.8a and older will not work with PHP v5.3.0 and newer. If you are getting this error message, there is only one thing you can do to fix it: you must immediately upgrade your store to the latest version of zen cart.

It should also be noted that, even when you are not seeing serious fatal error message like this one, if your zen cart version is older than v1.3.9, you should upgrade as soon as possible anyway. The latest version is always the best, as it includes the most recent bug fixes and other features, but there is still a more important reason to upgrade your store. This is that versions of zen cart older than 1.3.9 have serious security issues. If you are running this version of zen cart, you are running the risk of having your site broken in to, which can lead to all kinds of trouble, for you, and your customers. When an upgrade is performed correctly, it is quick and easy, with minimal downtime for your website, and there are tons of benefits that come from running your zen cart on the newest version.

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Zen Cart Customer Login Security Error Message

This Zen Cart tutorial discusses a rather serious error message, which reads ‘There was a security error when trying to login’. What makes this error message so alarming is the fact that it is sometimes encountered by customers attempting to log into their accounts on your website. It’s easy to see why many store owners who experience this issue want to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Before you get too worried about this message and it’s potential repercussions, however, you should probably know that this error can be generated by user error on your customer’s end. If a zen cart log in page is left sitting for upwards of around 20 minutes,the background security token for the page will expire, and customers will be unable to login until they reload the page. So, if you are getting a complaint about this error, especially if it is an isolated incident, advise your customer to reload their web page. Nine times out of ten, this will resolve the issue immediately.

This error message could also result from something more serious, however, like a coding issue(Mismatched beginning/ending tags, incorrect syntax, misspellings, etc.). If this error is popping up often on your website, you should review any recent customizations you have made to your website to ensure that there are no mistakes in the code you added/modified.

It should also be noted that this error can be generated due to missing or incorrect information stemming from the /includes/functions/sessions.php file. It is very rare that this file will need to be edited, but if you must make customizations to this file, make sure that you merge your changes to this file into the old version rather than replacing it altogether.

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Zen Cart Firefox Web Developer Breaks My Site

Zen Cart designers and web developers have access to a wide variety of tools and extensions that enable them to make changes more quickly. The Firefox Web Developer extension is one of these tools. Though convenient, there are a few problems which commonly pop up, and these can be pesky, to say the least. In this zen cart tutorial, we will talk about one of these issues.

Often, when attempting to edit zen cart’s .css files in the firefox web developer, many of the graphics on the website will break, and page elements may even end up scattered haphazardly across the screen.

The issue behind this rogue behaviour is actually pretty simple. The Firefox Web Developer’s Edit CSS function is unable to locate the website’s background images, so when you save your changes in the editor and reload the page, some images are left out, which in turn throws off other page elements. This is because the background images called in zen cart’s stylesheet utilize relative addresses(I.e., …/images/header_bg.jpg). Since the Firefox Web Developer is not set up properly to work with zen cart, it often misinterprets this system. It just does not know enough about Zen Cart’s file structure, and consequently will try to apply the relative addresses found in the stylesheet to the website’s root directory. Because of this, it is recommended that you use this developer extension as little as possible, or even replace it complete with a different extension, like firebug.

If you absolutely must use firefox web developer, however, you can work around this issue by making a directory called ‘images’ at the same level as your zen cart’s root directory, and copying your background images to this new directory.

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Zen Cart Why Is My Admin HTML Editor Broken?

There are many different ways to edit zen cart files, from modifying them on your computer and then uploading them to your server, to editing them in an HTML editor from your zen cart admin area. If you prefer to use the latter, there is a wide range of plugin editors available. Whether you are using a third party contribution, or the HTML editor native to zen cart, however, you may experience issues with the editor breaking over and over again. In this zen cart tutorial, we will go over the various reasons why your admin HTML editor might have stopped working properly, or altogether.

The most common issue with these types of editors is the failure to fully load some, or all of the javascript files for the editor. This problem can be caused by permissions problems, absent files, browser cache and/or cookie problems, local PC firewall/ad-block settings, or settings in your browser which disable or block javascript from running. As such, it is a good idea to take a look at the permissions of the javascript files which affect the editor. Also take a look at your own computer to make sure you are not running any of the aforementioned ad blocks. In your browser, clear your cache and cookies, and disable any extensions that may be running which block javascript extensions from running.

If, for some reason, you are using the HTMLarea editor, you should know that this editor is obsolete. If you are running a version of zen cart that still incorporates this plugin, you should upgrade immediately! If you have installed this editor, and it has stopped working, we recommend that you replace it with a more modern HTML editor(Like CKEditor).

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

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Zen Cart ‘500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR message’ – Part Three

This Zen Cart article is the third and final installment in a series which discusses the ‘500 internal server error’ message. In this segment, we will take a look at the last few things that can trigger this message, and how you can fix them.

Some servers are set up so that there are some directives you are forbidden from using in .htaccess files. The ‘500 Internal Server Error’ message will pop up if you attempt to use one of these directives. If this is the issue, all you need to do is find out what directive is causing the problem, and remove it. The exact statement will be recorded in your server logs.

This message can also be triggered if a PHP script syntax problem, or worse still, a logic problem. If this is what has happened, review your Zen Cart debug logs, and keep an eye out for php errors.

Another common cause of many weird problems in zen cart, including the 500 internal server error message, is incorrect paths/urls in your configure.php files. To avoid this issue, always be sure that when moving your zen cart store from one server to another, you do not copy your configure.php file from one server to another.

The problem could also stem from the ‘php’ setting found in Admin–> Configuration–> Email Options–> Email Transport Protocol. Some webhosts will have configured your server with stricter permissions requirements for this mode, so if you are encountering the 500 internal server error message, you should speak with your web hosting company to see if this is the case. This is especially true if you get blank-screen or 500 errors simultaneously while trying to send emails from your zen cart store(Like newsletters, account creation emails, etc.).

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

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Zen Cart ‘500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR message’ – Part Two

This Zen Cart article is the second installment in a series dedicated to the zen cart error message which reads ‘500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR’. In this segment, we will discuss the things that most often trigger this warning, and how you can remedy these problems.

One of the first things you should check is the ‘mod_security’ system, implemented on webservers to catch hacking attempts made on the zen cart by keeping a watch for common scripts and words used by hackers. The system has certain built-in measurements it can use against third parties trying to carry out nefarious activities on your server. If the system is triggered, it generates a 500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR message, and temporarily locks the IP address from which the suspicious activity originated.

If you are getting a lot of 500 errors when editing products and/or categories in your zen cart admin area, then you may have issues with your file permissions, especially if your server is configured using php_suexec. This mode is used where tighter security is desired when it comes to storing files and managing permissions through PHP scripts. If your server is configured in this fashion, then you will be unable to set file/folder permissions higher than 755 without throwing an internal server error. If you attempt to set file permissions to a higher level with this configuration in place, then your webserver will completely block access to all scripts or files in that folder. If you have the php_suexec configuration, and file permissions are set higher than 755 for any reason, you can figure out which files/folders have been blocked by checking your logs. To unblock the file, you will have to change it’s permissions to 755 or something a bit more secure like 444.

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

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Zen Cart ‘500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR message’ – Part One

This zen cart article is the first in a series discussing the error message which reads ‘500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR’. This is an extremely generic error message, and there are many possible causes for it’s appearance, and just as many fixes. Over the course of this article series, we will explore the most likely of these causes, and then explain how you can fix the issue in each case.

In a nutshell, this message means that something went wrong on your hosting server, but the server either cannot identify the problem on it’s own, or is not allowed to display the cause in the message on your storefront for security reasons. The cause of this error message is stored in your server logs, and the fastest way to solve the issue is to check these logs. In most cases, you will not have access to these logs, but your hosting company will. If this is how your web server is set up, then contact your web hosting company about gaining access to the logs, or having them diagnose the problem on your behalf.

It should be noted that this problem can be caused by a Windows/IIS hosting server. For the most part, Zen Cart can operate smoothly on these types of servers, but it is primarily tuned to work on Apache servers(often driven by Linux hosts). If your Zen Cart website is having a lot of 500 Internal Server Error problems, and you are on a Windows host, you might want to consider moving to a Linux host. In most cases, this solves the problem immediately. As an added bonus, Zen Cart is easy to set up, and support on an ongoing basis when it is hosted on a linux system.

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

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Zen Cart Error ‘Warning: Headers already sent…’

This Zen Cart article aims to explain the error message than, in full, reads: ‘Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /…./includes/something/something/something.php:12) in …./includes/something_else.php on line 67’. We will take a look at the most common causes and fixes for this issue.

Oftentimes, this warning is generated when there is a blank space or extra line at the beginning or end of a .php file. In this case, all you need to do in order to get rid of the error message is to remove the blank line from the correct file. The error message will tell you which file the anomaly has originated from.

This error can also pop up when zen cart detects incorrect or invalid syntax in one of it’s .php files. If this is the case, take a look at this portion of the error message: ‘/….includes/something/something/something.php:12.’ This part of the error message will tell you which file contains the syntax error. The ‘:12’ indicates the line on which the problem originates.

It is important to note that, in the event of cascading error messages(Error messages which appear one after the other in quick succession), the “headers already sent” should be addressed after any errors that come before it. In most cases, addressing the first error will also fix any subsequent errors.

It is also somewhat important to keep in mind that if your language is set to UTF8, you need to encode the file from which the error is originating as ‘UTF8-without-BOM’. If you fail to do this, then the BOM(byte-order-mark – a non-visible character found at the beginning of many .php files) will generate another headers-already-sent error, and can have you chasing your tail for quite a while.

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Zen Cart What Is The PayPal Geographic Region Error

If you own and/or operate a zen cart ecommerce site, and use payap to process your payemts, there are a range of errors that can cause a transaction to be canceled, or never processed to begin with. This Zen Cart tutorial will discuss the paypal processing error which reads: “We are sorry for the inconvenience; however, at the present time we are unable to use PayPal to process orders from the geographic region you selected as your PayPal address. Please continue using normal checkout and select from the available payment methods to complete your order.”

This is an error message most often pops up after the customer supplies a mailing address that your store either does not recognize, or which is outside of a zone restriction. You could have set these limits, or they could have been preset into a payment and/or shipping module used in your zen cart store.

This is not the only possible cause, however. It may be that the customer has entered a country which is not recognized by your zen cart store. Further, this error could result from the customer having entered a state/province/district which is not defined in your zen cart for the country in question. If your zen cart store will not accept the address, it is a good bet that the country, state, province, or district has been deleted from your zen cart. There are many reasons to remove locations from the zen cart defaults. The most common of these is that you may not want to ship to those locations

Alternatively, this can also occur when you have set a Zone in the payment module instead of leaving it set to ‘None’. When you do this, you restrict the module to addresses matching that zone definition.

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

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Zen Cart How To Fix ‘ERROR 0071: …problem with the database…’

This Zen Cart tutorial will teach you what the error message ‘ERROR 0071: There appears to be a problem with the database. Maintenance is required’ means, and what you can do to fix it.

Usually, this error message means that some of your system tables can’t be found in your database. This can happen if you have put valid DB credentials in your configure.php files, and the database itself exists and is working properly, but it doesn’t contain any tables. Oftentimes, this error shows up when you are moving your zen cart site from one server/host to another, and the DB_PREFIX setting from your old site’s configure.php has not been correctly copied into the new site’s configure.php. This means that your database will be unable to locate the table names because they don’t match the tables that currently exist. If this is what has happened, all you need to do is run ‘zc_install’, which will automatically set up the database contents. By doing this, you are ensuring that all the correct tables are created, which should get rid of the error immediately.

Or, you can try to remedy the issue manually. If you want to do this, you will need to import the correct database information, since the data currently present in your database does not match up with your current DB_PREFIX configuration. We recommend that you simply run the installer, as this is the easier fix, and leaves less room for error. If, however, you want to figure out the correct prefix to use manually, then you will need to take a look at your database using phpMyAdmin. Check the common 2-4 letter prefix starts all the tablenames. Then set that value into the DB_PREFIX definition in your configure.php file.

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