Comparison between Magento and Zen-Cart Ecommerce System

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Comparison between Magento and Zen-Cart Ecommerce System

“What shopping cart do you recommend?” is the number one query we get. An easy enough question, but the answer depends on your business and your requirements. To make your choice simpler, we’ve compared the features of our two most popular carts, Zen Cart and Magento

Magento eCommerce System

Magento (community edition) is a free open source shopping cart started by Varien in 2007. Magento impresses with its extensive feature list. Most functions which need to be added on with other carts come as standard. It’s ideally suited for companies who need a professional online shop presence.
1. highly flexible coupon and pricing functions
2. comprehensive filter functionality (filter products by)
3. multi-store as standard
4. ability to create and edit orders in admin
5. large number of high-quality modules via Magento Connect
6. no need to hack core code
7. impressive template system – Magento sometimes gets a bad press for being too complex and server resource-intensive. Both are fair comments, but should not put you off considering Magento. With the right developers on board and a high-end hosting environment, Magento can provide extensive functionality at the open source level.

Zen Cart eCommerce System

Zen Cart is an open source project started in 2003, based originally on osCommerce. Zen Cart impresses with its reliability, solid feature list and ease of use, making it ideal for shop owners who intend to handle development themselves.
1. highly reliable
2. includes all standard features to sell online
3. easy to understand templating and PHP structure
4. suitable for coders beginning with PHP
5. light footprint making it very accessible for shared hosting environments
6. friendly forum
7. active development team, That Zen Cart, has been around since 2003, however, shows in its PHP coding structure. However, this downside is exactly what makes it accessible to beginners in PHP and makes it an ideal first cart for new coders.

Comparison between Magento and Zen-Cart

Both Magento and Zen Cart run on the LAMP environment (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). Zen Cart is quick to install and is kind to share hosting environments. Magento is more demanding and requires a high-end hosting environment. Zen Cart is usually quick to learn by simply “going in and playing around” whereas for Magento a guide or read on the wiki will help you to get your bearings.

Magento Zen-Cart
Requirements PHP5.2 MySQL4.1.20+, InnoDB, cURL PHP4.0+ MySQL4.1.14+
Open Source? Yes Yes
Unlimited products? Yes Yes
Fee? None None
SSL support full SSL full or shared SSL
Knowledge level of coding? advanced intermediate

Magento has multi-shop as standard, a feature very rarely seen with other carts and a comprehensive templating system. WYSIWYG editor is missing but easily added. Zen Cart is a reliable cart with all features necessary to sell online.

Magento Zen-Cart
Multi-store Yes No
Multi-Lingual Yes Yes
Support for Multiple Currencies Yes Yes
Tax Rate support Yes Yes
iPhone optimized Yes No
Template system Yes Limited
WYSIWYG? Page content management Yes Limited
Email template management Yes No
Administration Permission System Roles and Users Yes Add-on
One-click installs of modules Yes No

Magento impresses with the product filters whilst Zen Cart makes it easy for new shops to get started quickly.

Magento Zen-Cart
Batch Import and Export of catalogue Yes Add-on
Google Base Integration Yes Add-on
Layered / Faceted Navigation for filtering of products Yes Limited
Product comparisons Yes No
Product reviews Yes Yes

Bundled products and stock control for attributes stand out with Magento. Zen Cart, however, has some good features if you want customers to call for price or only use it as the brochure-type site.

Magento Zen-Cart
Multiple Images Per Product Yes Yes
Reports Yes Limited
Bundled products (show several products on one page) Yes No
Up-sells in Shopping Cart Yes No
Stock Control Yes Limited
Products can be marked as free or Call for Price Add-on Yes
Min or max quantities and units Add-on Yes

Probably the most important section for online shops these days. Magento has created an comprehensive discount functionality making it very easy to run campaigns. Gift Certificates however are not included in Magento, but they are with Zen Cart.

Magento Zen-Cart
Google Site Map Yes Add-on
URL Rewrites Yes Add-on
Meta-information for products and categories Yes Yes
Discount Coupons Yes Yes
Catalog Promotional Pricing Yes Yes
Multi-tier pricing Yes Yes
Customer groups each with its own pricing structure Yes Add-on
Wishlist Yes No
Newsletter Yes Yes
Gift Certificates No Yes

Getting the checkout right is crucial for sales conversions. Magento recognizes this by offering one-page checkout and the ability to buy without having to open an account (guest checkout). It also comes with Google checkout and PayPal as standard. Zen Cart on the the other hand offers a solid standard checkout.

Magento Zen-Cart
Delivery / Billling address Yes Yes
One-Page Checkout Yes Add-on
Checkout without account/Guest Checkout Yes Add-on
Shipping to multiple addresses in one order Yes No
Integrated with Google Checkout (Level 2) Yes Add-on

Creating orders in admin is often required e.g. for orders taken by phone and Magento offers this as standard. Zen Cart does make order management simpler though by allowing you to create your own order statuses.

Magento Zen-Cart
Manage orders from admin Yes Yes
create, edit orders from admin panel. Yes Add-on
Create one or multiple invoices, shipments and credit memos per order to allow for split fulfillment Yes No
Order statuses Preset only Yes

Have you used Magento or ZenCart? If yes, what are your experiences? Let us know by sending a comment below! Or you can contact us for Ecommerce Portal Development.

Comparison between Magento and Zen-Cart Ecommerce System
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Comparison between Magento and Zen-Cart Ecommerce System
Magento and zen cart ecommerce system in mumbai, magento ecommerce developers india, magento themes developer, magento versus zencart, hire zen cart expert.
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Comments (6)

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  • Rick Reply

    Whilst in general a fair comparison it does have some errors on the Zencart side

    Server requirements – see
    Multi-store is available as an add-on
    Email template management is available as an add-on
    ZC155+ is fully RWD (front end) – not just for iphones 😉 and much work went in to making admin comfortable top use on a tablet.
    Administration Permission System Roles and Users have been core code in Zencart since v1.5
    Product comparisons is available as an add-on
    Reports – I’m sure Magento is also “limited” as there is no way default installations could cater for every possible report a store user may want.
    Up-sells in Shopping Cart is available as an add-onn
    Wishlist is available as an add-on

    If you correct those, then I would agree that this probably is the “Best #Comparison between #Magento and #ZenCart as per your tweet of today. 🙂

    July 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

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