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  1. SSL Explained - Back and Front

    I frequently see people asking "Do I need SSL", and "How do I fix this SSL error?". There is some confusion in the meanings of the 2 parts that make SSL work, both in the front and back of the website.

    There are 2 "levels"/"facets"/"parts"/"kinds" of SSL for a website:

    a) The public-facing SSL certificate that drives https connections via a browser between your customer and your store. (ie: your customer visits ...
  2. Vagrant and Zen Cart

    Vagrant is a tool (or set of tools) to manage Virtual Machines.
    Virtual machines allow you to run a completely different operating system, or even the same operating system within your current operating system. For example you could run Ubuntu within your Windows machine.

    Why is this useful ?

    Well there are 2 main reason. Standardization and reproduciblity.

    Running code on a VM means you are using a standard system that others can use as well.

    Updated 6 Jul 2014 at 04:17 AM by wilt

  3. Is your plugin code safe for PHP 5.4 and 5.5 and 5.6?

    This is a follow-up post to my previous post about readying your plugins for PHP 5.3, this time addressing PHP 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6.

    NOTE: This post assumes some pretty solid PHP knowledge, because all the changes listed will require adapting your code to find a new way to do whatever it was doing before.

    NOTE: This is not the complete official list of changes. I've edited this list down to the basics, catering mostly to the topics that might affect people writing plugins for ...
    Code Tips
  4. Hey Look, We have a Blog system

    One of the many benefits of the upgrade to vBulletin 4 is that it gives us this shiny blog system. However because it is nice and shiny, for now we are keeping it all to ourselves.

    It may be in the future we open up the system more to our user base, but for now, you will just have to put up with the ramblings of the Zen Cart development team.

    Generally we hope to Blog about stuff that would not normally be relevant within the Forum context. Some stuff about PA-DSS, ...
  5. Creating an Observer Class: send a specialized additional email during Create Account

    • Storeowner wants to send the customer an email with a unique code when the customer creates an account.
    • The code pattern is "ABC00001", where ABC is fixed text, and 00001 is the customer number, with leading zeros up to exactly 5 digits.
    • There is no need to build a database of already-issued codes, since the customer ID number is already unique per customer.
    • The store is using v1.5.0 code.

    The thinking and coding process:
    First, since this must ...
    Code Tips , Best Practices
  6. How do I rebuild my site on the new version, instead of upgrading?

    TL;DR / Executive Summary:
    Are you looking for a quick way to understand best practices when upgrading your Zen Cart site? The easiest way to view it is as "a rebuild while keeping all the existing data."

    This article contains 3 sections:
    1. What an upgrade is, and what it is not.
    2. An overview of how to rebuild a site using the new version, instead of upgrading.
    3. How to upgrade while keeping the store live, and not losing any sales/customer/product
    Best Practices , Upgrading
  7. Is your plugin code safe to use on PHP 5.3?

    When PHP 5.3 was released, some older features were retired (some removed, some "deprecated", etc).

    And if your custom code or your addons/plugins are using those features, things will break and you'll encounter the dreaded "white screen of death".

    What do you need to change?

    Here's the list I generally follow, along with how I usually remedy it:

    ereg('searchtext', 'a_string', $optionalVar) becomes preg_match('/searchtext/ ...
    Code Tips