Zen Cart custom software development, Zen Cart modules, Zen Cart Expert eCommerce with Zen Cart!

The Zen Cart Expert

My name is Scott C. Wilson and I am That Software Guy. I am a Zen Cart expert. Now lots of people claim to be a Zen Cart expert (or a Zen Cart master or a Zen Cart guru), but you may want to examine the evidence instead of just taking their word for it. The proof that I offer? You can look at my testimonials, portfolio, and GitHub commits. No one has more. And I've been developing with Zen Cart for 15 years. I am the only independent software developer who is allowed to advertise on the Zen Cart forum.

You can see my ad on the Services tab on the Zen Cart forum.

I’m a software developer. But unlike most software developers, I have also done both product and project management. Most software developers have to be told exactly what needs to be built, but I can work with you to help you figure out what you need. Then, I can help you stack rank your todo list so that the most valuable features are done first.

Here's my interview with tech journalist Ramon Ray:

If you have - or want - an eCommerce website for your product or service business, and you use Zen Cart, osCommerce, OpenCart, BigCommerce, or Shopify, you're at the right place. I have been helping small businesses improve their eCommerce operations since 2006. I create reliable, maintainable software customizations that work the way YOUR business works, and all for a reasonable price within a workable timeframe. What can I build for you? Or do you just need Zen Cart Support or a Zen Cart Upgrade? I can help there too. Talk to me and see - no one works harder for your small business selling online.

Current Status

  • The current release of Zen Cart is 1.5.7. Many improvements have been made over the prior major release (1.5.6), which was first shipped at the end of 2018. (Read more...)
  • The Zen Cart documentation has been moved to Github so that anyone can update it. You can see how it looks at docs.zen-cart.com. It uses Hugo and the Docsy template on the Netlify platform. (Read more ...)
  • Development is underway on Zen Cart 1.5.8. You can follow the excitement on the Zen Cart Github page.

Zen Cart CSV Inventory

Posted November, 2021

Zen Cart CSV Inventory allows you to export the stock and sales levels of each of your products in a CSV file suitable for importing into a spreadsheet.

Zen Cart Per Customer Statistics

Posted October, 2021

Zen Cart Stats Per Customer allows you to view customer purchase history broken down by year.

Zen Cart Audit

Posted September, 2021

Zen Cart Audit now checks for categories which contain both sub-categories and products, a configuration which is not permitted and can cause problems.

Zen Cart Extended Family

Posted September, 2021

Extended Family has been updated to permit easier integration with the Bootstrap template.
Never seen Extended Family? It allows you to configure cross sells and integrates with Zen Cart Discount Chooser to help build your customers' baskets.

Zen Cart All Purchases

Posted August, 2021

Does your store sell food, supplies or other items that are frequently repurchased? The Zen Cart All Purchases plugin makes it easy for your customers to repurchase items they have bought in the past.

Zen Cart Shipping Surcharge

Posted July, 2021

The Zen Cart Shipping Surcharge plugin now has weight and value thresholds for the imposition of a surcharge.

Discounting/Cross-Selling Updates for Zen Cart 1.5.7

Posted June, 2021

The following modules have been updated for Zen Cart 1.5.7 and the newer versions of MySQL:

Zen Cart Quick Quantity Update

Posted May, 2021

Quick Quantity Update has been updated for Zen Cart 1.5.7.

Zen Cart Shipping Surcharge

Posted April, 2021

Do you have a few places you deliver to that have higher shipping costs? You can handle this by having multiple shipping modules, but another option is to use my Zen Cart Shipping Surcharge plugin, and just add a visible surcharge to the order.

Search Extensions

Posted March, 2021

I have been busy building search and filtering capabilities for clients. Some of this work is described in my page Zen Cart search customizations.

Zen Cart Delete Spam Customers

Posted March, 2021

Due to the ever evolving behavior of spammers, I have updated Zen Cart Delete Spam Customers to run multiple queries to find fake accounts.

Seasonal Centerbox Updates

Posted February, 2021

Seasonal Centerbox now can be configured from your Zen Cart admin.

Disabled Products Report

Posted January, 2021

Disabled Products Report allows you to easily review all of the disabled products in your store.

Downloads Fix

Posted December, 2020

Does your store offer downloads? Here's a nice fix.

If you go to Admin > Orders and view an order, you can reset the timer on an expired download so your customer can re-download the file.
download reset in Admin
The trouble is, in some situations, in versions 1.5.6a-c and 1.5.7a-b, it doesn't work; instead, you get a SQL error that looks like this:

    --> PHP Fatal error: 1064:You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ''5
                                       WHERE orders_id = 12656
              ' at line 3 :: UPDATE zen_orders_products_download
                                       SET download_maxdays = 0,
                                           download_count = '5
                                       WHERE orders_id = 12656
                                       AND orders_products_download_id = 25334 ==> (as called by) ...

I fixed this bug, and the fix was released in 1.5.7c. Here's the fix, which you can just apply to your copy of admin/orders.php.

Seasonal Centerbox

Posted November, 2020

Seasonal Centerbox allows you to show randomly selected products from a specific category in a centerbox on your home page.

Zen Cart 1.5.7b

Posted November, 2020

The first patch release to Zen Cart 1.5.7 was released at the end of October 2020, with a follow on patch in late November. Several dozen important fixes and improvements are included; see the Zen Cart 1.5.7b Release Notes and the 1.5.7 Known Bugs List.

Test Checkout Email

Posted October, 2020

Preview Email helps you style your HTML emails. But what if you need to test a content change to the most commonly customized email, the checkout (order confirmation) email? In the past, you had to go through the time-consuming process of entering a new order for each test. Now there's Test Checkout Email. Test Checkout Email will take any order you specify and re-send the order confirmation email for that order to you, running it through the same order:send_order_email() function that sent the original email.

Search Helper Admin

Posted September, 2020

My Search Helper plugin can really improve search performance - but it is configured using code, which is not practical for many storeowners. To solve this problem, I created Search Helper Admin.

Orders in Status Dashboard Widget

Posted August, 2020

If you want to show all orders in a specific status in one place on your admin dashboard, this plugin can help. Take a look at Orders in Status Dashboard Widget.

Preview Email and Direct email

Posted August, 2020

If you want to test how your direct email (sent via Admin > Tools > Send Email, or perhaps by Zen Cart bulk email) look, you can now use a test input file which will be displayed by Preview Email.

Make a Payment

Posted August, 2020

Zen Cart has no direct mechanism to track accounts receivable, but if you have clients who need to pay you for transactions outside your shopping cart, Make a Payment could be a good solution. It allows your customers to use your cart's existing payment methods to send you money.

Bulk Email

Posted July, 2020

Want to send email to people who have purchased specific products during a specific date range? I have built a tool that can do this for you - it's called Zen Cart bulk email.

Zen Cart 1.5.7

Posted June, 2020

Zen Cart 1.5.7 is now available for download. Boasting hundreds of improvements and bug fixes, and full PHP 7.4 compatibility, you should be planning your upgrade as soon as possible, especially if you are running Zen Cart 1.5.5 or below.

You can read more about Zen Cart 1.5.7 and the Zen Cart Documentation update on my blog.

Reward Points

Posted June, 2020

Discounts are great, but reward points can be a powerful tool to build loyalty while deferring the costs. My Zen Cart Rewards Points module lets you implement a loyalty rewards plan using a schedule set by Frequency Discounts.

Zen Cart Preview Email

Posted May, 2020

Preview Email helps you tweak your HTML emails from the admin panel. When I first created this mod, it only did the Welcome and Checkout emails; now it does the rest of the Zen Cart emails.

Zen Cart Copy Shipping Label

Posted May, 2020

Tired of typing in customer address information by hand to your labelmaker or shipping program? Take a look at Zen Cart Copy Shipping Label.

Zen Cart Order Total Edit

Posted April, 2020

I have made some recent changes to Zen Cart Order Total Edit to allow it to handle multi-currency carts.

Zen Cart View Schema

Posted April, 2020

If you've ever wanted a quick look at the database schema for a site, but not wanted to go through the trouble of accessing phpMyAdmin, View Schema can help. It produces a report in your admin that shows you every table in your database.

Changed Files Report

Posted March, 2020

I just did an update to the Zen Cart Changed Files report to show 0 byte files (which are likely failed uploads) in red for easy identification.

Zen Cart Missing Images

Posted March, 2020

Missing Images reviews the image setting for each of your products, and reports on the images which cannot be found. It's a great auditing tool to help you improve the look of your store by finding and fixing your missing product images.

Help for Zen Cart Rookies

Posted February, 2020

I just created a guide to Zen Cart Version information and Zen Cart Logs. There's also a page on white screen problems called Zen Cart Blank Screen.

Copying Zen Cart Native Quantity Discounts

Posted February, 2020

If you make use of the builtin Zen Cart Quantity Discounting system, which discounts bulk purchases of a single product, I can help you copy discounts on one product to every other product in the same master category. Rather than doing each product, you can do one product and then press the copy button! Take a look at how I copy Zen Cart Quantity Discounts.

Zen Cart Native Quantity Discounts on Listing Page

Posted January, 2020

If you make use of the builtin Zen Cart Quantity Discounting system, which discounts bulk purchases of a single product, I can help you display these discounts on your listing pages. Take a look at how I show Zen Cart Quantity Discounts on the product listing page.

Zen Cart documentation updates

Posted December, 2019

The Zen Cart documentation site is being refreshed! Although the old Zen Cart documentation URL will still be used, the documentation is now in Github so that more people can contribute. There are sub-sites for Zen Cart storeowner documentation and Zen Cart developer documentation.

Manufacturer Discount Updates

Posted November, 2019

Zen Cart Manufacturer Discount now allows you to discount only the base price (product's price) of a product, rather than the final price, which includes the prices of all attribute settings.


Posted October, 2019

Audit allows you to easily find and fix anomalies in your database, such as items with a master category of 0. Try Zen Cart Audit and see what it reports on your database.


Posted September, 2019

Are you tired of getting Russian spam sent to your Zen Cart via your Contact Us page, and fake accounts created by bad guys? My clients were, so I built Zen Cart Jerkblocker.

Zen Cart Default Attribute

Posted August, 2019

Default Attribute for Zen Cart is the latest of my mods that has been added to the Zen Cart core for release 1.5.7. But don't worry! If you are running Zen Cart 1.5.5 or 1.5.6, I have simplified the install so it's much easier.

If you're selling downloadable products with a single attribute values (Zip Files or PDF files, for example), Default Attribute is a great addition to your store. It allows your customers to add downloadable products (which have just one single-valued attribute) to their cart from a listing page, like search results or a category page, rather than having to click through to the product info page.

osCommerce updates for Phoenix

Posted August, 2019

The following modules have been updated for the Phoenix Community release of osCommerce:
Phoenix introduces a number of not upwardly compatible changes from osCommerce 2.3, so your older mods won't work right out of the box. If you're updating software yourself, some notes on the required changes are provided in osCommerce Phoenix updates.

Zen Cart Notify Patch

Posted July, 2019

The Zen Cart team has released a high priority patch for all versions prior to Zen Cart 1.5.6c (which was just released). My support clients get this patch immediately. If you don't get support from me, you need to install this patch yourself.

You can read more about Zen Cart patches if you don't understand why this is important, and for a link to the patch.

Zen Cart Fix Company

Posted July, 2019

Fix Company resolves an issue in some versions of Chrome which autofills the Company Name field with the year of birth stored in the cache of a user's browser. If your Zen Cart address book is filled with company names which are 4 digits long, the Zen Cart Fix Company contribution can clean them out.

Zen Cart Responsive Template Fallback

Posted June, 2019

Love your desktop template, but want to be mobile-friendly too? I have a solution for that. Check out Zen Cart Responsive Template Fallback.

Zen Cart Delete Spam Customers

Posted June, 2019

Bad guys never sleep! I have noticed an uptick in spam account creation in Zen Cart. If this is happening to you, use my Zen Cart Delete Spam Customers contribution to easily remove junk accounts.

Zen Cart Order Total Edit

Posted May, 2019

Sometimes, you just need to tweak the line items on an order. Whether it's to meet a price commitment you made offline, or because some detail on the order changed, it happens. Order Edit is a great mod, but some things aren't completely under your control with it - which was why I created Zen Cart Order Total Edit.

Zen Cart and Sales Reps

Posted April, 2019

Some Zen Cart storeowners have a sales or customer support team. I created a page to show some modifications I have done in support of this model. Take a look at Zen Cart Sales Rep Management.

Shipping Restrictions for Zen Cart

Posted April, 2019

Many products are subject to restrictions in certain jurisdictions. For example, live plants, live animals, alcohol and firearms often have restrictions on where they can be shipped. If this applies to your Zen Cart, take a look at my Zen Cart Shipping Restrictions page.

Changed Files Report

Posted March, 2019

I just did an update to the ZenCart Changed Files report to prevent the creation of error logs when a folder isn't readable. (Later Addition: I also added the ability to ignore specific filetypes to shorten the report.) It's in the Plugins area.

Products Price Manager

Posted February, 2019

I have always found it confusing that when you go into the Zen Cart Products Price Manager (Admin > Catalog > Products Price Manager), the fields on the screen appear to be editable but they're not. So finally I fixed this issue! My fix will be available in Zen Cart 1.5.6b, but you can merge it into your fileset at your convenience; it's in this Github pull request.

My Mods and PHP7

Posted January, 2019

A lot of my mods needed PHP7 updates. You can see the complete list of Zen Cart mods and PHP7 to see if your favorite mod is ready.

That Software Guy in Salesforce Video

Posted January, 2019

I'm ready for my close-up!