Zero byte files are produced when an FTP of a large number of files fails or times out. Obviously this can cause a lot of problems and take time to debug, so it’s best to know quickly if this is a problem you are having.
The zero byte files are colored in red for easy identification.
A lot of long-time users of Zen Cart have a template that was developed before mobile devices became so popular. These store owners have a difficult decision: give up the template they have grown to love, and start again with something responsive? Or just not worry about mobile traffic?
Now there’s a third choice. With my Zen Cart Responsive Fallback mod, you can keep your desktop template, but if a user visits on a mobile device, the template automatically switches to the built-in responsive_classic template, which was introduced in Zen Cart 1.5.5. It’s the best of both worlds!
Here’s a page rendered in a non-responsive desktop template:
and here’s the same page when viewed on a mobile device:
Everyone knows that images help sell products. But if you are uploading or creating a bunch of products all at once, it’s very easy to accidentally miss a product image here or there. So what’s a storeowner to do?
If you use my Missing Images for Zen Cart mod, you can quickly find and resolve those problems! Missing Images builds a report that shows you which products don’t have images (either because they were deleted or never uploaded in the first place), and provides a clickable edit link so you can quickly fix them. It’s a must for busy shops!
People are using Zen Cart Auto Add to add bonus products to the cart when specific high value products are bought. But what if the bonus product is a downloadable? Since downloadables have attributes, this won’t work, right?
Wrong! All you need to do is install my free Default Attribute contribution, and you’ll be able to do this.
Blocking spam account creation and contact us usage has become increasingly important for Zen Cart operators, as bad guy activity has only gone up in the past few years. But how to do it!
The approach I used was to look for particular things which were commonly associated with bad traffic. Account creation attempts with these characteristics error out, and contact us attempts with these characteristics are dropped. The result is Jerkblocker for Zen Cart. It’s available to all my support customers on request.
I’m a pretty skeptical fellow but I must confess to being impressed by some of the work that has been done in osCommerce Phoenix. In particular, building templates using content blocks enabled by admin was an inspired choice.
For modders, if you make the handful of changes described in my Phoenix Tweaks page, your old osC 2.3 code will likely work, but a better path is to adopt Phoenix standards and just update your code.
By default, items in your shopping cart in Zen Cart are shown in the order they are added to the cart. The first one is at the top, the second is below that, and so forth.
Generally this is desirable, but if your business involves taking telephone orders, especially of long lists of products, it’s easy to reverse it to show the last item added first instead. This can be useful for confirming as you add item by item.
Abandoned carts represent sales that you *should* have made that you didn’t – at least in some cases. So how can you close this gap?
Zen Cart has a tool called Recover Cart Sales that allows you to see when customers have walked away before completing checkout and contact them.
If you want to learn more about abandoned carts, listen to Bob Dunn (@BobWP) talk about why customers abandon carts. He does a nice investigation of possible root causes that gives you some food for thought as to improvements you might consider making.
This is a hot one. If you haven’t yet installed the Notify Patch for Zen Cart, please do so immediately. All my clients got this patch within 24 hours of the release. If you’d like this kind of service for your Zen Cart, please go on Zen Cart Support with me.
They changed over this week to the new API announced in January, so if you haven’t done your updates, credit card processing using Authorize.Net (SIM or AIM) will fail.
Fortunately, the fix is easy:
AIM users: You need to blank out the MD5 Hash field in Admin->Modules->Payment->Authorize.net (AIM). This is sufficient for now, but you’ll also want to plan to get the new copy of authorize_aim.php from Zen Cart 1.5.6b.
SIM users: You’ll need to get the new copy of authorize.php from Zen Cart 1.5.6b, and then create a Signature Key within Authorize. Enter the key in Admin->Modules->Payment->Authorize.net (SIM).
For reference, here is the error message you’ll see for an AIM failure: