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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Idea or Suggestion Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    I'm exploring other options. This isn't flame thread, just a sad realization that the Internet has outgrown this platform, despite having the most amazing/helpful community. Here's why:

    • Zen Cart does not keep up with modern demands. It's an old school OG platform that seems stubbornly stuck in the early days of eCommerce.
    • No modern site asks more than 3 or 4 questions to create an account. Email is more important than anything and account creation is basically another way of subscribing to an email list. Zencart asks 12+ questions just to create an account! Nobody wants to give their address and phone info just to join a site. I tried and tried and tried to get around this, but alas there's no resolution for this old school way of thinking.
    • Themes are stuck in the early 2000s and the modern looking themes available (ie: themeforest, etc) have wretched code that is impossible to modify nicely.
    • The admin area hasn't changed in a decade. It no longer makes sense in 2015. One example, why do you have to go to an entirely separate page to input metadata for a product? It should all be done on one page, so less energy is spent on listing products. Look at the wordpress admin and compare logic and overall usability.
    • Out of the box SEO is horrible.
    • Everything feels like a bunch of hacking together to get things to feel like a 2015 shopping site. Stuff that comes out of the box in newer platforms is impossible to achieve in ZC.


    Just a sad and frustrated Zen Cart user thread. It's been a long journey. Around 8 years. ZC has got me this far, and I'm thankful for that. But, a lot has changed in the world of eCommerce and how people shop online. I'm suddenly feeling like Zen Cart over-complicates things that should be easy, and doesn't provide the best user/shopper experience. I'll test another platform for a few weeks and see how it goes. Thank you everyone.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Sunny Coast, Australia
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post
    ... I'll test another platform for a few weeks and see how it goes.....
    Good Luck with finding another open source platform which won't give you the .... (you know what). I tested many and ZC is still the easiest and most robust platform to work with. Wait until you have to conquer Magento...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    what are you testing?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Arizona
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    pricediscrimination,
    I'm exploring other options
    You might read this users experiences
    https://www.zen-cart.com/showthread....-to-get-it-all
    Zen-Venom Get Bitten

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by frank18 View Post
    Good Luck with finding another open source platform which won't give you the .... (you know what). I tested many and ZC is still the easiest and most robust platform to work with. Wait until you have to conquer Magento...
    You are 100% correct. Can't even compare to Magento. I'm just so frustrated looking at all the beautiful eCommerce sites out there. Sites that started within the last 2 years and sell one or two products are beautiful, modern, and designed to help grow the overall business. So many links that people drop in this forum are down, sometimes I wonder if it's because they just couldn't handle running a business, or because chose a free open source platform that takes up thousands of hours to modify and make look like a trustworthy, modern site.

    I think that's a huge issue, trust. Zencart as an overall ecommerce solution to manage orders is awesome, but it's not made with design in mind. The front end takes far too much effort to convey trust and present products nicely.

    Again, you are 100% correct. That's why I'm stumped.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by johnniejetski View Post
    what are you testing?
    Frankly, no idea yet. I know that most will be paid options. But maybe worth it in the long run?

    Will likely start with Wordpress. There are just so many amazing looking sites out there now and as a longtime ZC user it has me frustrated. In 2015, many options look great out of the box. Fonts, picture organization, banners, etc. Any ideas?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by kobra View Post
    pricediscrimination,

    You might read this users experiences
    https://www.zen-cart.com/showthread....-to-get-it-all
    I will read this thread. Thanks Kobra. And thanks everyone for not taking this post the wrong way, I Actually feel bad about the title and might ask for it to be changed. Maybe I just wanted to get enough attention that people chime in and persuade otherwise somehow lol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Arizona
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    pricediscrimination,
    We all get frustrated for one reason or another at times - not to worry even if you quit
    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination
    make look like a trustworthy, modern site
    I understand "modern" but can you explain what constitutes "trustworthy" looking
    Zen-Venom Get Bitten

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by kobra View Post
    pricediscrimination,
    We all get frustrated for one reason or another at times - not to worry even if you quit

    I understand "modern" but can you explain what constitutes "trustworthy" looking
    I know it's vague, but modern looking sites give off a more trustworthy feeling. It's no longer about looking for the SSL certificate or and address posted somewhere. It's a new generation of online shoppers and they do not care about that stuff. There is something about a clean and organized design that says hey this is legit and you can trust it. Not to mention it's a lot easier to get people to register for your site if you're only asking for an email address and password, and not every personal detail. I've seen some ZC sites that I'd never want to even sign up for based on looks, and some other nicely designed sites that I say here take my money. In 2015, it's all about looking good on the front end, and being able to easy accomplish this with a straight-forward back-end.

    Of course there are other elements outside of the scope of a platform: images, copy, overall products. But so much time needs to be spend configuring and hacking to make my ZC look how I want that it's hard to get any time for the important stuff. I'm hoping I'll find a platform that has good design and options built-in, so there's time to focus on what's important.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rosebud, Victoria, Australia
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    272
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    2

    Default Re: Why I'm Quitting Zen Cart

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • Zen Cart does not keep up with modern demands. It's an old school OG platform that seems stubbornly stuck in the early days of eCommerce.
    I'm not sure what you mean by 'modern demands'. I know I looked at quite a few options two years ago when deciding whether to upgrade Zen cart, or switch to a new platform. I stuck with Zen cart, but put money into making changes. I looked at using WordPress with an ecommerce plugin, but none look like they could cope with a store the size of mine. Plus none had good back-office flow. It's not always about the front-end.

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • No modern site asks more than 3 or 4 questions to create an account. Email is more important than anything and account creation is basically another way of subscribing to an email list. Zencart asks 12+ questions just to create an account! Nobody wants to give their address and phone info just to join a site. I tried and tried and tried to get around this, but alas there's no resolution for this old school way of thinking.
    Zen Cart assumes it needs the extra billing and shipping information because eventually you'll need to ship something, so may as well get it at account setup than as at any other time. If you're not shipping then you can customise to reduce the stuff asked. You can also stop some fields via config settings. I recently turned of asking for the salutation and age.

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • Themes are stuck in the early 2000s and the modern looking themes available (ie: themeforest, etc) have wretched code that is impossible to modify nicely.
    I agree that the default themes are very dated. Plus most of the new responsive themes I've looked at so far are pretty clunky and some really slow sites up. However, I've recently seen some Zen Cart sites that look 'modern' and are responsive. But money was spent to buy them and customise them.

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • The admin area hasn't changed in a decade. It no longer makes sense in 2015. One example, why do you have to go to an entirely separate page to input metadata for a product? It should all be done on one page, so less energy is spent on listing products. Look at the wordpress admin and compare logic and overall usability.
    So fix it, or pay someone to do so, and contribute it back to the Zen Cart community. I'm currently paying a developer to make lots of changes to our Zen Cart site, and a lot of the changes are making their way back into the Zen Cart platform.

    About three years ago I used WordPress to build a site with an ecommerce plugin (WooCommerce) to handle a small gift shop with about 20 items related to the business. I couldn't imagine using that solution to handle the 3000 items and back-office processing of my Zen Cart based online shop. And quite frankly, I often found having almost everything on the same page in WordPress frustrating. Sometimes you just want to do what you need to do and you don't need all of that extra clutter.

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • Out of the box SEO is horrible
    Actually, it works quite well if you focus on the content and not on killer latest tricks. Sure it takes some work to find the extra plugins to get the right structured metadata into Zen cart, but it's easily done. And it would be nice if when inputting metadata in Zen Cart one had the sort of guidance the Yoast plugin provides for WordPress. But see, that's not standard WordPress. That functionality is achieved by a plugin. One day someone might do the same for Zen Cart.

    Quote Originally Posted by pricediscrimination View Post

    • Everything feels like a bunch of hacking together to get things to feel like a 2015 shopping site. Stuff that comes out of the box in newer platforms is impossible to achieve in ZC.
    I wish you luck in finding that one platform, because I haven't seen anything that comes close yet. Nothing is impossible to achieve in Zen Cart. Because it's open source, you can do anything. And often the extras are available, they just cost you money. But that happens with other platforms as well. But with closed platforms, you don't have the choice of breaking out and doing your own thing the way you can with Zen Cart.

    Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.
    Zen Cart 1.5.5e, PHP 5.3.29 MySQL 5.5.42

 

 
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