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ZenCart installation Tutorial

Installing ZenCart in your hosting account is quite a simple task, it only takes you less than 5 minutes to complete the installation process, just follow steps below closely and you will have your store ready shortly.

Creating MySQL Database

First, prepare your hosting account by creating a new MySQL database, a mysql user and grant all access for this mysql user to this newly created database, write down the new mysql database information as we will need them in the installation process later, the database information should look like this :-

Database name : myhostingaccountusername_mydatabasename
Database user : myhostingaccountusername_mydatabaseusername
Password : mydatabaseusername_password

Download ZenCart source file

After you have created the mysql database, you can visit ZenCart Official website and click the download ZenCart button to download the latest copy of ZenCart source file.

Upload extracted ZenCart files to hosting account

After the compressed Zencart source file is downloaded, extract the compressed file in to a folder in your computer. Open up your FTP client and upload the extracted folder and files to your hosting account, depending on how your want to setup your store, place the files in either public_html or public_html/storename.

If you want to access the store by entering www.yourdomain.com, place the ZenCart files in the public_html folder.

If you want to access the store by entering www.yourdomain.com/storename/, place the ZenCart file in public_html/storename.

Prepare configure.php file

You will need a configure.php file in your ZenCart folder for the installation, use your FTP program to locate both the following file :-


Rename both this file to configure.php in their respective folder.
Set file permission for both this file to 777 (CHMOD 777).

This permission setting required for the ZenCart installation program to write to the file, once the installation is done, your can reset the permission back to 644.

Set folder permission

There are some folders permissions in ZenCart that need to be set to 777 (CHMOD 777) in order for ZenCart to create files in them (i.e. your product images etc.), use your FTP program and set ALL the folders below /images/ to 777 (CHMOD 777), following is a partial list of the folders that need to be set :-

  • /images/attributes
  • /images/banners
  • /images/categories
  • /images/large
  • /images/large/dvd
  • /images/manufacturers
  • /images/medium
  • /images/upload
  • and all the rest in images folder...

Run ZenCart installation script

Before running the installation script, be sure you have the following info ready :-

  • physical path to your ZenCart (i.e. /home/username/public_html/storename/)
  • URL to your shop (i.e. http://www.yourdomain.com/storename/)
  • HTTPS server (this is if you have a SSL cert installed)
  • The mysql database info written down earlier when you create your new mysql database for this ZenCart installation

When you have all the info ready, enter http://www.yourdomain.com/storename (path to your ZenCart store) in your browser, and it will start up the installation process :-

  1. Welcome screen - read the notice and click continue if you agree to the GPL license agreement
  2. System Pre-checks - ZenCart will perform a pre-check on your system to ensure it is suitable for the installation, read the status notice carefully and address the issue accordingly if needed, if there is no error found, click Install
  3. System setup - Enter the Zencart system path information, database connection information accordingly, if you have SSL cert installed, remember to enable SSL, if you do not yet have SSL cert, do not enable SSL now, if you have phpBB forum installed and you want to integrate the forum user base with this Zencart, you can enable it here, else leave it
  4. Store setup - Enter your store name, description etc., or you can configure this later when you enter store administrator screen after the installation
  5. Demo Data - check yes if you want the installation to import sample demo data, this is good if you are new to the ZenCart system and trying to learn up the system, if you do not want the demo data, check No
  6. When all info is entered correctly, click Save store settings and the installation will create the mysql tables and enter configuration data in the configure.php file.
  7. Admin setup - after mysql database creation process completes, you will be prompted to enter Admin Information, you will need to setup an administrator login name, password and email address. This is your store administrator login info, so be careful when entering them, both login and password are case sensitive.
  8. You have completed the ZenCart installation

After installation

After completing the installation, there is a message reminder to remove the zc_install folder as well as resetting the file permission for configure.php file, as leaving them as it is will create security issues. Open up your FTP program and remove the zc_install folder in your ZenCart folder, and then rest file permissions for the following two file to 644 (CHMOD 644) :-