Zen Cart Error “Warning: I am able to write into the configuration file…”

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The error message “Warning: I am able to write into the configuration file…” appears when the permissions on your includes/your_template/configure.php zen cart file are set to 777 (Read, write, and execute). If you are using Windows, it means that there are no attributes selected in the file properties. This is a security risk, but can be fixed easily.

If you are using Linux or Unix, go to your includes/your_template directory, and run the command “chmod 444 configure.php”. You can do this via command line, an FTP program, or in your Cpanel using the file manager tool.

If you are using Windows, open the includes/your_template directory, right click on the configure.php file, and select “Read Only”.

What Do Zen Cart File Permissions Mean?

File permissions or access rights apply to specific users and groups of users. These systems control the ability of the users to view or make changes to the contents of the filesystem.

The read permission grants the ability to read a file. When set for a directory, this permission grants the ability to read the names of files in the directory (but not to find out any further information about them such as contents, file type, size, ownership, permissions, etc.)

The write permission grants the ability to modify a file. When set for a directory, this permission grants the ability to modify entries in the directory. This includes creating files, deleting files, and renaming files.

The execute permission grants the ability to execute a file. This permission must be set for executable binaries (for example, a compiled C++ program) or shell scripts (for example, a Perl program) in order to allow the operating system to run them. When set for a directory, this permission grants the ability to access file contents and metainfo if its name is known, but not list files inside the directory (unless read is set).

When a permission is not set, the rights it would grant are denied. Permissions on a Unix system (recommended for running a zen cart) are not inherited. Files created within a directory will not necessarily have the same permissions as that directory.

Read more about file permissions in the Wikipedia article.

Need help with your zen cart project? Contact the experts at Picaflor Azul with your project details for a quote.

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

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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.

Change the “Sales Message Goes Here” or “Tagline Here” text

Customizing the text for your store’s tag line or sales message is one of the first things you will do after installing a new template. This text is located up in the header section of the web site. In the “classic” template that comes installed with the zen cart it looks like this:

To customize this text you need to:

1. Open the includes/languages/english/header.php file in your favorite text editor.

***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.***

2. Find this line (it will be on or around line 22):

define('HEADER_SALES_TEXT', 'Sales Message Goes Here');

3. Delete between the single quotes the Sales Message Goes Here text and then add your customized text:

define('HEADER_SALES_TEXT', 'Your Custom Text Goes Here');

***Be very careful not to DELETE THE SINGLE QUOTES or add any extra spaces or characters anywhere else in the file. If you do this, then when you insert the file back into your zen cart it will break your entire site.***

4. Save your modified file to your template override directory includes/languages/english/your override directory/header.php and upload it to your server.

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

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

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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.
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