Zen Cart: How to Install a New Template Package


Installing a new template to your zen cart is easy! They are a great way to give your zen cart store a professional look for little time and money investment. If you have purchased a template from a designer, please follow the directions that they have provided. These instructions are intended as just a generic guide and overview of the basic zen cart template installation procedure.

Step 1: Backup Your Zen Cart

Always back up your zen cart database and zen cart files before installing a new template. A fast and easy way to do this is via your host cpanel with the backup wizard.

1. Go to your host cpanel and select the backup wizard:

back up wizard

2. Click on Backup:

back up wizard

3. Click on Full Backup:

back up wizard

4. Click on Generate Backup:

back up wizard

You are finished with the backup!

back up wizard

Now that you have your full backup, it is safe to proceed with the template installation.

Step 2: Unzip and Upload the files

Unzip the Package using your favorite program and upload (FTP) the entire includes folder to your server. Usually the template files will be in the current zen cart structure.

Upload Method 1

Use an FTP program to upload the files. There are many free FTP programs available, simply do a google search to find one (Filezilla is a good one). You will need to ask your web host for your FTP password. Once you login to the root folder of your store (this is where admin, cache, download, includes, etc. are located), simply upload ONLY the includes folder of the template package.

If you already have all the zen cart files on your home computer, and you’re already using FTP to work with your site, simply drag and drop the includes folder for this template into the folder above “includes” and it will add all the files for the template in its correct spot without overwriting any files. Note: If you are a mac user, dropping the includes folder will *replace* the includes folder, so you can’t do it that way (ChronoSync is a great program for mac for adding files to the zen cart structure easily).

1. Connect to your web host via ftp using Filezilla. Enter the address of the server, your username, password, and port if needed into the host field of the Quickconnect bar.

use filezilla

2. Once you are connected find the directory on your local machine where you unzipped the template package in the right side of window and find your store root directory on your web host in the left side of the window .

use filezilla

3. Drag the includes directory and drop it in the folder above the includes folder of your store root directory.

use filezilla

You have successfully uploaded the template package files!

Upload Method 2

Use your online file manager to upload the files. Ask your web host how to get to your File Manager. A simple way to upload a template using File manager is to zip up the includes folder, and name it “includes.zip”. So basically you upload includes.zip into your zen cart store root directory (where admin, cache, download, includes, etc. are located). After uploading includes.zip, click on it, and choose “extract file contents”, and it will then magically place all files where they belong. NOTE! Your file manager may vary! Be sure to BACKUP your includes folder before doing this.

1. Select Legacy File Manager:

upload using the cpanel

2. Select Web Root from the pop up window:

upload using the cpanel

3. Click on Upload Files:

upload using the cpanel

4. Click on Browse and choose upload.zip:

upload using the cpanel

5. Click on Upload:

upload using the cpanel

6. Click on upload.zip. In the Right hand top box, click on extract file contents:

upload using the cpanel

You have successfully uploaded the template package files!

Step 3: Select the Template

Log into your Zen Cart admin:

Under the “Tools” menu choose:

-Template Selection

select the template

-Click on Edit

click on the edit button

-Choose the name of the template you just installed from the drop down menu

choose the template

-Click update

click on the update button

If you do not see the name of the template you just installed in the drop down menu, confirm that ALL template package files have been uploaded, especially includes/templates/name of your template override directory/template_info.php

Step 4: Reset Sideboxes

In your Zen Cart admin:

A. Go to “Tools” then “Layout Boxes Controller”

reset the sideboxes

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click the reset button.

click on the reset button

This is one in a series of planned tutorials about customizing the look of your zen cart store.

If you need help installing a zen cart template, please contact us for a quote.
professional zen cart help