Zen Cart® is a full-function e-commerce application for your website.
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Zen Cart® - The Art of E-Commerce

Build Status Download Zen Cart®


You are currently viewing code for our development branch, which will be our next larger release, initially dubbed as Zen Cart® v2, which brings architectural improvements to allow for increased flexibility for customizing each storeowner's own preferences.

The latest stable version is currently v1.5.5f.

Download Latest Official Zen Cart® Release
Download Latest Official Zen Cart® Release

Zen Cart is free software, with free support available 24/7 on the Zen Cart® Support Site forums at https://www.zen-cart.com/forum.php provided by our enthusiastic community of actual Zen Cart® users, integrators, and the developers themselves.

Zen Cart® v2 - Development Branch

Download latest in-development version from github


Zen Cart® requires you to provide your own webserver (shared or dedicated/VPS), with a standard LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP), based on the following specifications

Requirements for v2:

  • Written for PHP 7.3 (backward compatible to PHP 5.6)
  • Written for MySQL 5.7 (compatible with 5.7 and MariaDB 10.1 to 10.3)
  • CURL (compiled into PHP) is used for communication with payment/shipping services
  • Compatible with with Apache 2.4 and 2.2
  • Recommended Apache modules include: expires, headers, env, alias, deflate, ssl, mime, rewrite (in addition to other common modules)

Zen Cart® can also run on Nginx, but requires that the server administrator understand properly configuring the nginx *.conf files when prompted with the recommended directives at the end of the zc_install setup phase.

Zen Cart® has been reported to run on IIS, but with some limitations, namely the need to manually secure various folders with IIS equivalents to .htaccess rules.

Installation (for released stable version)

Installation is simple:

  1. Download Zen Cart®
  2. Ensure you check that the md5/sha1 hash of the Zip matches those publicly posted.
  1. Unzip the downloaded zip file
  2. Everything inside the folder you unzipped needs to be uploaded to your webserver … for example, into your public_html or www or html folder (the folder will already exist on your webserver)
  3. In your browser, enter the address to your site, such as: www.example.com (or if you uploaded it into another subdirectory such as foldername use www.example.com/foldername)
  4. Rename the /includes/dist-configure.php and /admin/includes/dist-configure.php files to "configure.php" and make the files writable (so the install process can write your configuration information into them after you answer a few questions in the following steps).
  5. Also make the /cache and /logs folders writable. (You will be prompted about making other folders writable during installation)
  6. Follow the instructions that appear in your browser for installation.

If some of the terms used in these brief instructions are things you don't understand, there is a much more detailed set of instructions in the /docs/Implementation-Guide PDF.

Guidance for Secure Installations

The Implementation Guide document is provided to give detailed instructions on how to install and secure your site in accordance with PCI Compliance requirements. Whether your site "needs" PCI Compliance or not is up to you to decide, but you should still follow the documented principles to maximize your site's resiliance against troublesome access attempted by any undesired/unauthorized visitors.


Use your browser to open the /docs/index.html page for links to documentation and the Implementation Guide.

Developer Documentation

Developers wishing to contribute to the Zen Cart® core code may fork the zencart/zencart repository on github and issue Pull Requests from their own feature branches. For detailed help on using github, forking, branching, and contributing see Contributing to Zen Cart code.

Visit docs.zen-cart.com for version-specific guidance on issues relevant to developers. You may also help with this site by forking the zencart/documentation repository on github and submitting pull requests.

Developers will find the standalone Habitat VM to be a useful tool for staging site upgrades and doing offline feature development or testing. Designers may like it for testing new templates without affecting the live site.


For free support, visit our support site: https://www.zen-cart.com/forum.php

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