How to Upload Files to Your Zen Cart Using Filezilla

FTP stands for file transfer protocol, which is an internet protocol which can be used to upload files to a web server. This is an essential skill for managing and maintaining a Zen Cart. You can download the Filezilla program for free from their website:

Download Filezilla for free

Why Use Filezilla for Zen Cart Management?

FileZilla is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License. They have a great documentation and an active community support forum, and wiki. The FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

Features include:

  • Easy to use
  • Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Cross-platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X and more
  • IPv6 support
  • Available in many languages
  • Supports resume and transfer of large files >4GB
  • Tabbed user interface
  • Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue
  • Bookmarks
  • Drag & drop support
  • Configurable transfer speed limits
  • Filename filters
  • Directory comparison
  • Network configuration wizard
  • Remote file editing
  • Keep-alive
  • HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support
  • Logging to file
  • Synchronized directory browsing
  • Remote file search

The first step is to open Filezilla, and to enter the name of the host you want to FTP into. In the fields after the host name, type your username and password. If anonymous FTP is allowed on the remote host, you may skip the password. Then click the ‘Connect’ button.

zen cart easy help tutorial

When the connection has been made successfully, you will be able to see two windows with folders in the FTP program. The left-hand window will be displaying the folders on your local server, and the one on the right with show the zen cart folders on the remote server.

zen cart easy help tutorial

In the left-hand window, navigate to the files that you want to upload to the remote server. Drag them to the window on the right, and drop them into the desired folder.

zen cart easy help tutorial

Zen Cart What Does “Counter History for last 10 recorded days” Mean?

zen cart easy help tutorial

In the Zen Cart admin, the counter history for last 10 recorded days counts the first visits to your site from a unique browser session. It actually records and stores all the hit data from every day of the year, and this information will not disappear unless you manually delete it. However, only ten days worth of activity will show in the admin. The counter in the admin automatically updates itself as the days go by.

It should be noted that the counter is not able to tell the difference between someone visiting your site at 10:00 am, and returning at 4:00 pm on the same day. The counter will show this as a new session.

Why is the Zen Cart Counter History Important?

Unique visitors represents the number of people visiting your site for the first time. No matter how many pages they explore on your site, it counts only as one visit. The IP address, is stored in a statistics database as a single record. That record is counted as a Unique Visitor.

When that person returns several days later, the database is able identify them as a Repeat Visitor because the IP address is stored in the database. This is actually the more important statistic to pay attention to because it tells you there is something on your site that interested your visitors enough for them to return.

Website statistics are a valuable tool, and knowing the difference between hits and unique visitors gives you a better idea of what your visitors are looking for. Use this information to update your site and keep your visitors engaged with new content that they will find interesting.

For more information on counter history, read this Wikipedia article.

If you need free help with your zen cart, visit our support forum. We moderate and answer posts there daily.

Zen Cart Top 10 Most Asked Questions

I get tons of email from zen cart users every day. Here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions with links to written and video tutorials.

1. How do I add my own logo?

How to Add Your Logo

2. How do I change or delete the sales message or tagline?

How to Change or Delete the Tagline Text Under the Logo

3. How can I change or delete the “Congratulations! You have successfully installed…” ?

How to Change the “Congratulations! You have successfully installed…”

4. How can I Change the “Welcome Guest …” Message?

Change “Welcome Guest! Would you like to log yourself in?”

5. How can I remove the “Home” link in the middle of the main page next to the categories sidebox?

How to Turn Off Breadcrumb Navigation on the Main Page

6. How can I change the buttons?

How to Change the Buttons or Create a New Button Set?

7. How can I change the categories heading or any sidebox heading?

Change the Name of the Categories (or any) Sidebox Heading

8. How can I make a backup copy of my zen cart?

How to Backup Your Zen Cart

9. How can I add my site title to the browser bar?

How to Change My Browser Bar It Says “Zen Cart!, The Art of …”

10. How can I add my logo to printed invoiced and packing slips?

How to Add Your Logo to Invoices, Packing Slips, Etc.

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.


Zen Cart v1.5.0 BETA Release Now Available!

The Zen Cart development team has just announced that the Zen Cart v1.5.0 BETA is ready for testing. They do expect that it will have some bugs thus, the BETA version.

Since this release is BETA software, DON”T USE IT ON A LIVE SITE!!!

The BETA release has a two main purposes. The first is to identify any major bugs which can be fixed before the final release. The second is to give add-on module authors a head-start on updating their modules for compatibility. All of our free zen cart templates have been tested and are fully compatible with 1.3.5. These versions are available already for download from our web site, and will be available for download on the zen cart site as soon as the updates have been posted.

The BETA release is also intended to bridge some time between PA-DSS certification submission and completion of the final certification steps.

It is also intended to bridge some time between PA-DSS certification submission and completion of final certification steps. The BETA period will last until the development team deems that major bugs are identified and handled and/or the PA-DSS certification process is complete. This might mean a few weeks, or many weeks.


Zen Cart v1.5.0BETA requires the following minimum server configuration:

  • PHP 5.2.14
  • MySQL 4.1.3
  • Apache 2.0
  • Apache configured with AllowOverride set to either ‘All’ or at least both ‘Limit’ and ‘Indexes’ parameters, and preferably the ‘Options’ parameter as well.
  • PHP configured to support CURL with OpenSSL

Improvements and Bugfixes included in v1.5.0beta since v1.3.9:

  • CHANGE-12 – Numerous system changes to support PA-DSS compliance certification
  • Admin passwords now expire every 90 days, as per PA-DSS specification
  • Admin passwords now require a combination of letters and numbers, as well as uniqueness (cannot use already-used passwords)
  • Admin passwords can have a configurable length, but no less than 7 characters
  • Admin passwords also expire, for security reasons, when changing admin configuraton from non-SSL mode to SSL mode.
  • Admin Profiles – is now built-in, with a significant number of additional features, and simpler to use.
  • Add basic admin Activity Log Viewer/Exporter tool
  • HTMLarea editor removed from core due to obsolescence. Use preferred plugin instead if similar functionality is required.
  • FCKeditor components removed from core due to obsolescence. CKEditor is the replacement editor by the same author. Switch to the new plugin if desiring to use this editor.
  • USPS module removed from core in favor of being an addon, due to the volatility of frequent changes made by USPS. The addon is available in the Free Addons section of the Zen Cart website.
  • CHANGE-12 – PA-DSS – prevent payment modules from ever storing more than 10 characters of sanitized CC numbers
  • CHANGE-12 – PA-DSS – prevent built-in “gateway” payment modules from functioning if the site is not protected by SSL
  • CHANGE-12 – PA-DSS – add admin detection of SSL mode change and auto-expire all passwords if SSL mode is enabled either with ENABLE_SSL_ADMIN or using an https address for HTTP_SERVER
  • CHANGE-12 – PA-DSS – add two-factor authentication hook in admin login
  • zc_install now treats supplied initial admin password (during install) as temporary … requiring the admin user to select a new password at first login. This is to prevent abuse from password sniffing.
  • Incorporate TZ (timezone) support, with ability to override/disable simply by defining a DISABLE_MYSQL_TZ_SET constant. c/f
  • PADSS-30 – Admin SSL now enabled by default in configure.php file if Enable-SSL is selected during zc_install
  • BUGSFORUM-1774 – Add ‘secure’ flag support for session cookie when site is running entirely in SSL
  • BUGSFORUM-1081 – Fixed: no default set for shipping radio buttons if module is disabled after previously selecting a shipping method
  • BUGSFORUM-1347 – Remove file-based session handling support due to security concerns and chicken/egg situation caused by garbage collection processes.
  • BUGSFORUM-1497 – Admin order totals section of orders.php page ignored currency-formatting display rules in some cases
  • BUGSFORUM-1550 – Fix occasional problem with “duplicate entry” in sessions table caused by some servers using longer session ID keys
  • BUGSFORUM-1558 – typefilter incorrect lookup problem in case of (unlikely) file-not-found scenario
  • BUGSFORUM-1554 – Shopping Cart Problems when updating product quantities for products with Max limit set
  • BUGSFORUM-1564 – orders_status wrongly set to 0 in rare cases
  • BUGSFORUM-1584 – no_picture.gif could be accidentally deleted if specified as an actual product image
  • BUGSFORUM-1589 – Fixed problem with some downloadable orders where an update of an order might set the number of days to a wrong value
  • CHANGE-151: Fix rounding and tax calculation issues in Cart/Order Class
  • CHANGE-90 – SECURITY: Fix Local File Inclusion Vulnerability
  • Whos_online – several improvements to allow the option to exclude spiders and/or admin IP’s from the list of displayed results
  • Improvement: Developers Toolkit can now optionally search .js files too.
  • CHANGE-136 on new installs, DB_CHARSET now defaults to UTF8, not latin1
  • CHANGE-137 Removal(deactivation) of CDE payment modules when SSL disabled
  • BUGSFORUM-1592 – Fix rounding problems affecting coupon min-purchase eligibility calculations
  • CHANGE-70 – zc_install now checks whether .htaccess rules will work, and provides an alert if there’s a problem.
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal improvements – allows Transaction ID to show on admin order confirmation emails for WPS, just like other payment modules do
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – partial fix for bug where currency code not specified during partial refunds causes request to fail
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – fixed bug where debug logging might happen even if switched off (caused by broader server-config issues)
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – fix bug in Express Checkout where a shipping-override would still send a shipping phone number, causing a 10001 error without explanation.
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – fix bug where EC button was removed from login page but left PayPal text prompts, resulting in confusion.
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – fix various rounding problems in all modules
  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – Change to VPS-Timeout-90 instead of 45 at PayPal’s request. This means customers
  • might have to wait longer for transactions to complete, but will reduce timeout errors when PayPal’s systems are slow.

  • BUGSFORUM-XXXX – PayPal – include product ID number on line-item details since is needed for order fulfillment
  • BUGSFORUM-1673 – PayPal – Fix minor html table syntax bug in paypal history details on admin orders screen
  • BUGSFORUM-1760 – PayPal – Fix problems with Hungarian Forint and other 0-decimal currencies
  • BUGSFORUM-1926 – PayPal – Fix problem with attributes — if a product had attributes, the product name was being replaced with attribute details, instead of being appended to
  • BUGSFORUM-1971 – PayPal – Trap cases where PayPal returns a blank address unexpectedly, and ask them to supply address details by creating an account
  • BUGSFORUM-1971 – PayPal – Minimize address matching issues which arise when storeowners rename their countries to non-ISO standard names (something they should not do)
  • BUGSFORUM-1892 – PayPal Express: Item details were shown as “Tax included in prices: 0 (0)”
  • BUGSFORUM-1959 – PayPal IPN and Express Checkout Missing free Items, or listing free items without description
  • BUGSFORUM-2024 – PayPal IPN – address-override alert might insert duplicate update notices in order status history
  • BUGSFORUM-1613 – Media Manager Assign to Products wouldn’t allow assigning of new products due to security change in 1.3.9h
  • Fix to admin customer search: search for new customers by customers_email_address to get correct customer and not everyone named Smith
  • Fixed display bug with category icons generating link to cPath=0 if cPath not set
  • Fix the display of Discount Coupons when a redemption code is applied so it is more readable by the customer
  • Fix Add to Cart to stay on listing when set to not display cart
  • Fixed coupon admin screen to land on correct page after adding new coupon
  • Various Admin pages: Fix pagination problems when changing status, searching, etc.
  • Improvement: Shorten CPU cycles on double-parsing an array needlessly in modules. Also improved sanitized debug output.
  • BUGSFORUM-1645 – Adding Featured Products ERROR Warning Warning: Product ID already on Special
  • Admin products-to-categories copier: Add additional message for clarity when Copy to categories_id is invalid but allow for obscure usage
  • Fixed bug on Order History going to page not found when set to not display cart
  • Fix: restore shopping cart products in the order they were added
  • BUGSFORUM-1662 – Gift Certificates Will Not Release
  • Fixed Error message when restricting coupons
  • Fixed hard-coded table names which should have been using constants, to allow for prefixes properly.
  • Fix problems with the word “search” in spiders.txt
  • Admin orders page now passes unformatted value back for availability to customizations which want to redisplay the values differently.
  • BUGSFORUM-1696 – clear COUPON_GV_QUEUE when deleting an order
  • BUGSFORUM-1681 – fix links in GV mails
  • BUGSFORUM-1689 – email validation regex improvements
  • BUGSFORUM-1634 – Bugfix: Prevent loading of non-PHP files in some admin autoloading routines
  • BUGSFORUM-1650 – sanitize whosonline output
  • Downloads – improvements and addition of support for IE9
  • BUGSFORUM-1708 – Combine class methods to reduce chance of race conditions and add error suppression to filemtime
  • Fix potential GZIP error if server configuration is overly generic
  • CHANGE-74 Sanitization
  • VARIOUS changes made to admin/catalog page forms to protect against CSRF using security token
  • VARIOUS changes for date fields to be handled consistently and to remove some pre-quoting which was breaking bindVars
  • CHANGE-102 Fix broken error checking in SQLPatch tool
  • CHANGE-128 obscure sql injection fix
  • CHANGE-135 add default value to zen_draw_pull_down_menu call to stop the value being drawn from the GLOBALS array and tested as a string.
  • CHANGE-138 Set CURL Proxy Status to FALSE by default, and remove from display since it’s now deprecated
  • CHANGE-139 fix sprintf() error when generating an outgoing email notification caused by language file refinement
  • CHANGE-142 fix tax calculation
  • CHANGE-143 fix sidebox query to ensure a correct limit statement is built, if necessary
  • CHANGE-143 catch SQL errors and output generic message to user and write message to log instead
  • CHANGE-144 XSS mitigation for admin forms — adds logging for inputs flagged as “rogue” by blacklist algorithm.
  • CHANGE-145+146 Blank values for various Maximum Values settings causes PHP errors
  • CHANGE-147 zc_install was throwing warning for MySQL versions over 5.2
  • BUGSFORUM-1709 Fix extraneous products_id in url
  • BUGSFORUM-1783 Fix Virtual Product defaults for all core Product Types
  • BUGSFORUM-1798 Preview icon was linked directly to product-general type. Now linked to the product type
  • handler, allowing correct language defines to be loaded when previewing a product via this icon.

  • BUGSFORUM-1862 status filter not retaining state, restrict to first char for safety
  • BUGSFORUM-1754 change to calculate price/tax on zen_round(zen_add_tax(price,rate)*quantity, decimals)
  • BUGSFORUM-1696 SQL error due to non-matching field name
  • BUGSFORUM-1907 Fix ambiguous description on admin search switch
  • BUGSFORUM-1905 Adjust schema to handle ipv6 addresses
  • BUGSFORUM-1949 various ISO country updates
  • BUGSFORUM-1973 Downloads might deliver an empty file if readfile() is disabled in PHP and symlink support is off
  • .htaccess – add safety around apache directives to prevent errors with poorly configured servers
  • Fix bug in properly detecting SSL mode with zen_redirect calls
  • Addressed SSL logoff scenario specific to shared SSL on shared hosting.
  • Fix email error handling – was only setting error info if the message succeeded, thus always blank.
  • Fix broken markup in admin layout-controller
  • add extra line-break before “spam” disclaimer in email footers
  • Disable language/currency sideboxes by default, to minimize some confusion
  • Fix some collation errors encountered during upgrades
  • And all the security fixes and bugfixes from prior versions

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

equation Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™: How to Change the Width of the Sideboxes

Press Release: Ongoing Program Helps Small Ecommerce Businesses With Over $6.5 Million in Free Web Design

Cost of starting an ecommerce business reduced to almost nothing by a unique new business model

In these rough economic times it is more important than ever to help one another according to Web Design expert Anne Winfrey.

To date Anne has given away over 43,800 Zen Cart templates with a retail value of over $6.5 million through her Ecommerce Web Design business, Picaflor Azul. She has also spent countless hours giving help and advice on the support forums for the templates.

“I love helping others,” says Anne, “So I have made it a priority in my business. By helping each other we can help pull the economy out of the ditch for everyone.”

Zen Cart is an Open Source ecommerce website building tool. There are hundreds of shopping cart programs available, but none come close to offering the level of options, features and support available with Zen Cart. Anne is one of the worlds leading Zen Cart experts, and a regular contributor to the extensive on line documentation and help forums which form the core of this vibrant community. The Open Source business model allows, and even encourages people to help each other by sharing computer code, knowledge, and experience.

Anne has recently released a whole new line of free Zen Cart templates. They have a clean look and are a great way to make an ecommerce website look professional. To find out more about Picaflor Azul and Zen Cart visit

Change the Character Set to be Non-English

According to the Wikipedia, “A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the transmission of data (generally numbers and/or text) through telecommunication networks or storage of text in computers.” This step by step tutorial will show you how to change the character set of your zen cart to be a non-English character set.

1. In your favorite plain text editor, open the includes/languages/your-template-override-directory/your-language.php. If there is no override for this file already made, you can create one by copying the includes/languages/your-language.php to includes/languages/your-template-override-directory/your-language.php.

2. On or around line 22, find:

@setlocale(LC_TIME, 'en_US.ISO_8859-1');

3. Replace en_US.ISO_8859-1 with the character set appropriate for your language.

***This is a php file and MUST be edited in a plain text editor. If you try to edit this file in any type of wysiwyg editor, the code will be corrupted and when you insert the file back into your zen cart it will break your entire site.***

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.


What is “template_default” in Zen Cart ?

“template_default” is the master set of template files in zen cart. You should not edit these files. When upgrading these files will be overwritten.

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.

Add Your Logo to Invoices, Packing Slips, Etc.

Replacing the default zen cart logo with your logo on invoice, packing slips, etc. is an important step to getting your brand message to your customers. This step by step tutorial will show you how to add your logo to the zen cart invoices, packing slips, etc.

This tutorial features the Alysa Rounded free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you would like to use it for your zen cart project you can download it for free here:

Download the Alysa Rounded free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul

1. In your favorite image editing program, create your logo and name it logo.gif. The default size is 200 pixels wide by 70 pixels high. Upload your logo.gif to admin/images.

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.


Backup Your Database Using PHPMyAdmin


If you aren’t already backing up your database regularly, you should be! Having a good, recent backup of your database will allow you to get your zen cart store up and running again quickly in case anything goes wrong. This step by step tutorial will show you how to backup your database using PHPMyAdmin.

1. Log into your web hosting account. Open your phpMyAdmin.

phpmyadmin Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™:  How to Backup Your Zen Cart

Select the database for your zen cart store. Click on “Export”.

phpmyadmin 5 Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™:  How to Backup Your Zen Cart

Under options, make sure these recommended settings are selected:

  • Structure
  • Add AUTO_INCREMENT value
  • Enclose table and field names with backquotes


  • Data
  • Complete inserts
  • Use hexadecimal for BLOB
  • Export type must be set to INSERT

phpmyadmin 4 Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™:  How to Backup Your Zen Cart

Check “Save as file” and click on “Go”.

phpmyadmin 6 Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™:  How to Backup Your Zen Cart

Save the file to your computer.

It is a good habit to back up your database on a weekly basis.

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.


How to Decrease All Prices in Your Store Globally

There are various reasons why you might want to decrease the price for all of your products in your zen cart. This step by step tutorial will show you how to decrease all of the prices at one time in your zen cart store.

1. Back up your database. If you do not know how to do this you can follow this tutorial:

Easy Help Tutorial: How to Backup Your Zen Cart

2. In your favorite plain text editor copy and paste this command:

UPDATE products SET products_price= products_price * .XX;

Replace the XX with 100 – the percentage amount that you want to decrease the prices. So, for example if you want to do a 10% decrease then you would have:

UPDATE products SET products_price= products_price * .90;

3. Log into your zen cart admin and go to Tools -> Install SQL Patches

4. Paste the sql command from step 2. into the box and click on the “send” button.

5. Go to your admin Tools -> Store Manager

6. Go to “Update ALL Products Price Sorter” and click on the “update” button.

If you need help customizing your zen cart web site, or would like a great custom design, please contact us for a quote.