Zen Cart How To Save The Layout Box Configuration

In Zen Cart, when you switch from one template to another, the sideboxes will disappear, and need to be reconfigured manually. As a general rule, the average zen cart user should not need to switch templates very often, but there are some cases where it is necessary. In these cases, it can be quite time consuming if you have to reconfigure the sideboxes every time you switch to a different template. In a standard Zen Cart installation, there are over twenty sideboxes that come with the package. Sometimes, even more sideboxes are added in after zen cart has been set up.

Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem, in the form of a zen cart plugin. It purpose is to ‘Save your sideboxes layout as the default’, which means that it carries over from template to template. By default, the sideboxes in zen cart are configured to look like the ones in the classic zen cart template. The Save your Sideboxes module allows you to set whatever sidebox configuration you want as the default with the click of a button. The module has been tested for Zen Cart version 1.3.9., and can be downloaded here.

After you install the plugin, you will be able to access it’s features by opening your zen cart admin area, and navigating to Tools–> Layout Boxes Controller. When you switch to a new template, you can use the ‘reset’ button in this area to restore your sideboxes to their default setting.

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

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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. Start increasing your sales today by optimizing your site for viewing on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.

Zen Cart How to Replace the Sidebox Heading Images

Customizing your zen cart template is important for establishing your brand. Changes will include matching zen cart template colors to your logo colors, and other cosmetic changes. One of these changes might be to use an image for the sidebox heading instead of just text. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to use an image for a sidebox heading.

The first thing you need to do is create your images using your favorite image editing program. Name them using appropriate conventions, and then upload them to the
/includes/templates/CUSTOM/images/ of your zen cart.

Next, open your stylesheet.css file, and change the names of the images accordingly. You can skip this step by giving your new images the same names as the old ones, and overwriting the old ones when you upload them to your zen cart.


.leftBoxHeading { 
  margin: 0em; 
  background: url(../images/your_background_image.jpg) no-repeat left top #ff6699; 
  padding: 0.5em 0.2em; 
}
.rightBoxHeading { 
  margin: 0em; 
  background: url(../images/your_background_image.jpg) no-repeat left top #ff6699; 
  padding: 0.2em 0em; 
} 

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 today, or to have a fantastic new custom design made just for your business.

zen cart plus picaflor azul equals success

Zen Cart How to Use an Image for a Sidebox Heading

Customizing your zen cart template is important for establishing your brand. Changes will include matching zen cart template colors to your logo colors, and other cosmetic changes. One of these changes might be to use an image for the sidebox heading instead of just text. This Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial will show you how to use an image for a sidebox heading.

In your favorite image editing program, create the images that you want to use as sidebox headers. Name each image uniquely and use proper naming conventions (no spaces, capital letters, or special characters). Upload the images to your server to includes/templates/CUSTOM/buttons/ENGLISH/.

In your favorite plain text editor open the includes/languages/CUSTOM/english.php. If there is not already an override for this file, copy the includes/languages/english.php to includes/languages/CUSTOM/english.php.

Find this:


define('BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES', 'Categories');

Change it to this:


define('BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES', zen_image(DIR_WS_TEMPLATE . 'buttons/' . $_SESSION['language'] . '/' . 'your_image.

Then find this:


define('BOX_HEADING_LINKS', '  [more]'); 

and change it to:


define('BOX_HEADING_LINKS', '');

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

Do this for each sidebox heading that you want to customize.

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 responsive designs feature optimized layouts for desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. More and more customers shop online using their mobile devices. A responsive zen cart design will make your site easy to navigate no matter what device you are using. Take a look at our custom design portfolio to see our past responsive zen cart projects.

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Turn on the Header Currencies and Languages in our Free or Paid Templates


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All of our free templates come with the option of turning on the currency drop down menu and languages in the header. This step by step tutorial will show you how to turn on the header currencies and languages.

This tutorial features the All Business free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you want to use it for your zen cart store, you can download it for free here.

1. Step one is to log into your zen cart admin and go to Tools -> LayoutBoxes Controller

template selection layout boxes Easy Help Zen Cart Tutorial™: How do I remove and/or re arrange the sideboxes?

Click on “sideboxes/your-template-override-directory/languages_header.php” and then click on the “edit” button

Set the “Single Column Status:” to “ON” and set the “Single Column Sort Order:” to something other than “0” then click on the “update” button.

Now click on “sideboxes/your-template-override-directory/currencies_header.php” and then click on the “edit” button.

Set the “Single Column Status:” to “ON” and set the “Single Column Sort Order:” to something other than “0” then 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.

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Zen Cart Show Your Documents in Their Own Sidebox



Showing all of your documents in one sidebox can be very handy. You might have a recipe section on your site, or product guides, etc. This step by step tutorial will show you how to show all of your documents in their own sidebox.

This tutorial features the Andover Modern 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:

Andover Modern Free Zen Cart Template

1. Log into your zen cart admin and go to Catalog -> Categories/Products.

zen cart categories

2. Create a category to hold your documents. If you do not know how to create a category, see this turtorial:

How to Add Categories and Sub Categories in Zen Cart

3. Click on the edit category icon, the green “e”

click on the green button

4. Click on the drop down menu for “Restrict to Product Type” and select “Document General”. Then click on the “Add Include SubCategories” button and then the “save” button. Only categories restricted to product type “Document General” will show in the documents sidebox.

click on the save button

5. Add a “product” as you normally would to your new documents category, making sure to select “Document-General” from the pull down menu before clicking on the “new product” button.

zen cart documents sidebox

If you don’t know how to add a product, follow this tutorial:

How to Add Products to Zen Cart

Now you will see your documents in their own sidebox.

zen cart documents sidebox

If you would like to rename the sidebox to something else, for example “How To’s” follow this tuorial:

How to Change the Name of the Categories (or any) Sidebox Heading in Zen Cart

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

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Adjust the Number of New Products Shown in the Sidebox



Showcase your newly added products by using the zen cart New Products Sidebox. This step by step tutorial will show you how to adjust the number of products shown in the New Products side box.

1. Log into your zen cart admin and go to Configuration -> Maximum Values.

2. Click on “Random New Products for SideBox”, adjust the number, and click on the “update” button.

3. Refresh your browser and view the changes.

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

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Increase the Number of Reviews Shown in the Sidebox

Product Reviews are a valuable promotional tool for your business. Encourage customers to read and leave reviews for your products by showing more of them in the Zen Cart Reviews Sidebox. In this step by step tutorial you will learn how to show more reviews in the Reviews Sidebox.

This tutorial features the Aberdeen Neutral free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you like it and want to use it for your web site, you can download it for free here:

Download the Aberdeen Neutral free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul

1. Log into your zen cart admin and go to Configuration -> Maximum Values.

2. Click on “Random Product Reviews for SideBox”, adjust the number to your liking, and click on the “update” button.

3. Refresh your browser and see the changes.

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

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

The default heading for the categories sidebox in zen cart is “Categories”. You might want to change this to something else that will reflect the feeling of your site better. This step by step tutorial will show you how to change the name of the categories sidebox heading in zen cart. Note that the procedure used in this tutorial can be applied to any of the sidebox headings.

This tutorial features the All Business free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you like it you can download it for free here.

In your favorite plain text editor open includes/languages/your-template-override-directory/english.php. If you do not already have an override for this file copy the includes/languages/english.php to includes/languages/your-template-override-directory/english.php.

Find this code on or around line 77:

// categories box text in sideboxes/categories.php
define(
'BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES','Categories');

Change 'Categories' to your new text making sure to keep the single quotes intact.

Save the file.

***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.

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Increase the Number of Manufacturers Shown in the Sidebox


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By default, the Manufacturer’s sidebox in zen cart is set to display 3 names. In other words, the text “please select” and 2 manufacturer’s names will show. This can easily be adjusted via the zen cart admin. This step by step tutorial will show you how to increase the number of manufacturer names shown in the sidebox.

This tutorial features the Apparel Boutique free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you want to use this template for your zen cart, you can download it for free here.

The default Manufacturer’s Sidebox:

Log into your zen cart admin and go to Configuration ->Maximum Values

Click on “Manufacturers List – Scroll Box Size/Style”, set the number of manufacturers that you want to show, 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.

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How do I remove and/or re-arrange the sideboxes?


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Zen cart natively comes with many sideboxes and there are a ton more that you can install for additional functionality. If you are like me and love a clean, uncluttered, easy to navigate site, you will want to turn off most of these. This step by step tutorial will show you how to remove and/or re-arrange the sideboxes in your zen cart.

This tutorial features the Pink Boutique free zen cart template by Picaflor Azul. If you want to use it for your zen cart store, you can download it for free here.

1. Log into your zen cart admin and go to Tools -> Layout Boxes Controller

2. Select the sidebox that you want to edit or remove and click on the green “e”.

3a. To turn the box off set the “Left/Right Column Status:” to “OFF” and click on update.

3b. To turn the box on there are 3 bits of information you need to set:

  • A. “Left/Right Column Status:”–set to “ON”
  • B. “Location: (Single Column ignores this setting)”–set to “LEFT” or “RIGHT”
  • C. “Left/Right Column Sort Order:” (The position of the boxes is based on their sort order. Example: a box with a sort of 10 would be above a box with a sort of 30.)

And click on the “update” button.

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

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