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  1. #1
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Arrow Which is better - OsCommerce or Zen Cart Store?
    I was wondering if anyone would like to share some information on which store software they think is better... OSCommerce or Zen Cart?

    Basically I am curious if one is easier to use than the other other and which one is easier to customize.

    I am setting up one or the other for a client and they will be doing all their own population of products, etc. after I show them how. They are not a computer whiz by any definition, so I am looking for ease of use for sure.

    TIA!

    ~Michelle
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  2. #2
    Devil's Reject Electropulse's Avatar
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    they're the same, only thing different is that zen cart adds all the mods and templates already.

  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I have done both and found Zen way better! I should add that while it's an offshoot of oscommerce the people behind it are more dedicated and the documentation is better.

  4. #4
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    My client is going to be using PayPal... is it easy to set up in Zen Cart?

    Thanks for the input so far!
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  5. #5
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    PayPal as I remember was easy and they have quite a long list of modules to pick from. Their forum is good. It may pay to ask a few questions there to get a feel for the support of the Zen community.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The ZEN SOFTWARE: It's good and works fine, but customization is a flat-out b*tch.
    From what I understand, Zen is easier than OS Commerce. But, "easier than" and "easy" are two very different animals! The "out of the box" works fine. But if you want something other than what comes right out of the box (or in a module that comes with the package, where all you have to do is click "install"), meaning customization--expect frustration unless you know PHP well. I think it took me 2 nights just to turn my site green and make it so I have "varieties" instead of "models!"

    That said, the already-included modules are easy, nothing-to-it affairs. All I had to do was click "Install" on the payment module, enter my pertinent info, and that was humming along.

    Tracking was NOT an out of the box capability, and therefore a FRUSTRATION! As for their vaunted forum , rather than answer questions about integrating with affiliate networks, they push their own module (which allows tracking for an indie program). Someone had to ask how to do the exact function needed (get a subtotal calc on the thank-you page)--and REFUSE TO SAY WHY they needed to know--before anyone would spill the needed beans. To me, this is BS, they shouldn't refuse to say how to integrate with a network just because someone there made an indie module.

    You can forget an auto-upgrader of the type you'd get from InvisionBoard or practically any other commercial software. When they come out with an upgrade, YOU'RE the installer

    THEIR FORUM:
    As for their forum. I read posts on there with all kinds of people saying that it's good. And a couple have just said it here!

    What are they comparing it to, asking questions of a cheesed-off porcupine?! If their forum is "good," then OS Commerce's must be terrible.

    From what I see of Zen's, any question they deem to be "too newbish" is ignored. Which is basically any question a person without the equivalent of a Masters in PHP is going to ask!

    So from what I've seen of their forum--and I've read a lot of threads there--that means MOST of the questions are either ignored or are inadequately addressed. I can't even use the word "answered," because if a tech question is ANSWERED that means it's explained, and in such a way that the newb doing the asking gets a clue of wtf the other person is talking about! So most of the questions I see posted are not Answered. There may be a short (1 or 2 sentence!), total-greek, response, which only raises MORE questions, but that's not the same as a real answer.

    Yet people get these nonresponses, or no response at all, then come back (after figuring out the issue THEMSELVES) and thank the board for their "help!" WHAT help?!

    There is the occasional real answer hidden among the piles and piles of ignored programming questions. So the one thing they say a lot--"use the search function"--is actually true. Then you can find the one real, well-explained post out of the last 6 months' worth of evasion, that was made about whatever your question is, without having to deal with people showing off how "1337" they are and guarding The Knowledge like it's the key to making nuclear bombs.

    <--Running a ZenCart, with site in green, "varieties" on some pages, and working network tracking (verified by SAS). My hair has pretty much grown back in by now.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I am setting up one or the other for a client and they will be doing all their own population of products, etc. after I show them how.
    Based on the statement that one or the other will be used I would still have to stand behind Zen.

    I do agree with Leader that experience with PHP is a definite plus. He did bring back memories of some of the frustration I had with oscomerce, but by the time I did the Zen cart my comfort with PHP had grown. I also had no affiliate interest at the time and just needed a merchant cart.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Based on the statement that one or the other will be used I would still have to stand behind Zen.
    Yeah--I'm not saying not to use Zen. I haven't read any reports saying OS is easier or better (except from the OS project itself). And the prices that commercial cart-software companies charge are enough to knock a person over--ease of customization isn't worth THAT much more to me...

    I'm just saying not to expect it to be easy, and not to expect anything resembling "support."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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