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How to install Zencart step by step guide
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How to install Zencart step by step guide

Zencart Install Guide

Zencart has been one of our favorite e-commerce scripts since the early 2000's due to its powerful features, modules and ease of use. That being said, one thing that many people struggle with is installing it. At squirrel hosting we don't like to see our customers struggle so we've decided to do a short guide on how to install Zencart and get it up and running. With our 1 click install feature, no uploading or permission changes are needed which makes the install procedure even easier. Ready? Here we go!

Step 1 : Log into your eXtend Control Panel

First step is to log into your Squirrel Hosting account and select 'manage web hosting' from the menu on the left. Once the page has loaded, select 'load control panel' next to the domain name you want to install Zencart to.

Step 2 : Installing the script

Usually to install the Zencart software you would download it from zencart.com, upload all the files, set up a database, chmod the files, run the install, then delete the install folder. We thought this was too much work! So we've set up a 1 click install feature which takes care of all of this for you. Pretty cool eh? To do this, simply scroll down the eXtend control panel and under e-commerce, click 'Zencart'

Zencart 1 Click install

On the next page it will ask you where you want to install Zencart to. If you want Zencart to run off of the root of your website e.g. www.yourdomain.co.uk then leave this box blank. If you want to run Zencart from a directory e.g. www.yourdomain.co.uk/shop then enter this in the box e.g. shop. Then you simply click install. (Please note that Zencart can only be installed in an empty directory, if you have uploaded files into your public_html folder or install directory then you will need to remove these).

Zencart is now installing

Once the install has completed you will be provided with two addresses. Click the first address which will take you to your shop install page.

Step 3 : Running the Zencart setup

Zencart Step 1

The Zencart shop install is pretty simple to do as most of the settings will be filled in for you automatically by the Squirrel Hosting 1 click software. Click the 'Click here' in the 1st bullet point.

Zencart install step 2

On the welcome page tick the radio button next to 'I have read and agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions as stated above' at the bottom and click the 'continue' button.

Install zencart step 3

On the next page make sure you don't have any red crosses and click the install button at the bottom.

Save database settings

This will load up the Database Setup page with all the details already filled in for you. Leave all of these as they are unless you're used to installing Zencart and want to play about with the settings or use a different database. Click the 'save database settings button'.

Zencart will now install the settings and you should see a series of ~ ~ ~ signs appear. Once complete you will see the System Setup page will be shown.

SSL zencart

You can either leave the settings as they are or if you want to use our free secure server tick yes to 'enable SSL' and yes to 'enable SSL in admin area'. Then click the 'Save System Settings' button.

You will then be redirected to the Store Setup page. On here you will need to enter some details about your store.

  • Store Name : The name of your online store.
  • Store Owner : The name of the shop owner.
  • Store Owner E-mail : The store owner e-mail address.
  • Store Country : The location in the world your store is based.
  • Store Zone : Your zone (This is mainly for America, for the UK select 'None')
  • Store Address : Enter your Store trading address
  • Default Language : Select your store language
  • Default Currency : Select which currency you want to use.
  • Store Demo : If you would like Zencart to install some products to your site to play about with tick 'yes'. Otherwise tick 'no'.

Once you've entered your settings click the 'Save store settings' button.

Zencart save store settings

You will now be presented with the 'Admin Setup' page - again you will need to fill in the following information:

  • Administrator's Username : The username you would like to login to your admin
  • TEMPORARY Admin Password : This is the password you would like for your admin, for security reasons you will be asked to change this when you login for the first time.
  • Confirm temporary Admin Password : enter the password you would like again
  • Administrator's E-mail : Enter your e-mail address here. If you forget your password you can request a new one to be sent to this address - make sure it's valid.
  • Check for Zen Cart updates when logging into Admin : Leave this ticked.

Once these are filled in click the 'Save admin settings' button.

You have successfully installed Zen Cart

Step 4 : Zencart Front end setup

Once you've completed the above you will see two buttons at the bottom of the page 'Click here to go to the Store' and 'Click here to open the Admin area'. Click the 'Click here to open the Admin area' button.

You will then be taken to your admin area but with an error message

deleted the zc_install folder

"Warning: You cannot access the admin until you have....".

This is because the admin area of your site is still called admin and the install folder still exists. Click the 'Click here to do these now.' to automatically sort this out for you.


Your new admin address will be displayed. You must write this down as you will need this to access your admin in the future. Once you have made a note of the new admin area click the 'admin' button.

Zencart admin Login

On the next screen you will be asked for your admin username and temporary password. Once you've entered this click 'login'. You will then be presented with a 'change password' screen. Enter your admin in the admin username box. Enter your temporary admin password in the Old Password box. Enter your new password in the remaining two boxes then click submit.

Admin Login - Password Expired

That's it - you're done and Zencart is installed! For technical support you can always contact us via our support ticket system where we will do our best to help. Alternatively you can also check out the Zencart forums here.

If you would like to use our 1 click Zencart hosting, we have packages from only £3.95 per month. For more information please see our Web Hosting section.

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