Zen Cart

A detailed review of Zen Cart's e-commerce platform with pricing, comparisons to competitors, key information, and FAQs.

Updated on December 23rd, 2022

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Updated 21st of December 2022

We updated the review section and added comparison to Zen Cart's top competitors.

Zen Cart is free e-commerce software built for small businesses and merchants to create and manage simple online stores. The open-source shopping cart platform is easy to install and its key features include payment gateway integrations, user-friendly customizations, and cloud-based hosting.

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Fast eCommerce templates.

Excellent customer service.

99.99% average uptime.


Zen Cart is open-source e-commerce and shopping cart software that's ideal for small businesses and merchants in search of basic online store management tools.

The platform is completely free to download and use, offering users a budget-friendly option to create attractive storefronts and access multiple plugins for additional shipping, order, and payment services.


  • Zen Cart allows users to modify its source code to suit different application requirements for maximum flexibility.
  • The software is completely free to download and use.
  • The platform integrates with a wide variety of payment gateways, shipping modules, multilingual packs, and pricing tools.
  • Zen Cart works with any hosting company or server, such as PHP, Apache, and MySQL.
  • There is phone support and online customer forums available.
  • The software download and setup process is simple and easy.


  • Zen Cart does not offer built-in marketing or order management tools.
  • The software is fairly basic compared to some competitors, such as Shopify.
  • There is no email or live chat support available.


On G2, Zen Cart has a 3.9-star rating based on more than 40 reviews. The majority of users praised its open-source capabilities, variety of plugins, and easy setup. However, some reviewers noted that the platform is not suited to companies with advanced e-commerce needs.


Zen Cart is free and open-source software.

Zen Cart vs. Ecwid
Zen Cart vs. Ecwid:

Zen Cart and Ecwid both offer payment gateway integrations and a free version of its software. However, Ecwid's paid plans, which start at $15.00 per month, offer users access to more advanced e-commerce tools, such as mobile responsive shopping carts and automated tax calculations — features missing from Zen Cart.

Zen Cart vs. Ecwid Comparison:


Zen Cart




From $15.00 /mo.

Free version

SEO tools

Unlimited bandwidth


Inventory tracking

Customer support

Phone and online.

Phone and email.

Zen Cart vs. OpenCart
Zen Cart vs. OpenCart:

Similar to Zen Cart, OpenCart is a free and open-source e-commerce platform. Both sites offer payment gateway integrations, a multilingual plugin, and customization tools. However, OpenCart is slightly more feature-rich, with backup and restoration services, as well as customer product reviews and abandoned cart recovery.

Zen Cart vs. OpenCart Comparison:


Zen Cart





Payment gateway integrations

Customer product reviews


Customization tools

Customer support

Phone and online.

Phone and email.

Zen Cart vs. Shift4Shop
Zen Cart vs. Shift4Shop:

While Zen Cart and Shift4Shop both offer a variety of third-party integrations, the latter platform is the more feature-rich choice, with mobile-optimized website themes and unlimited bandwidth. However, Zen Cart is completely free to use, while Shift4Shop only has a free version for U.S. merchants, and its paid plans start at $29.00 per month.

Zen Cart vs. Shift4Shop Comparison:


Zen Cart




From $29.00 /mo.

Free version

U.S.-based merchants only.

Built-in SEO tools


Migration services


Various third-party integrations

Customer support

Phone and online.

Phone, online, and live chat.

Key Information:

Legal Name

Zen Ventures LLC


Ian Wilson

Founding Date

Jan 01, 2003

Number of Employees


Number of Customers



1 (888) 936-2278




What is Zen Cart?

Zen Cart is free and open-source e-commerce software that integrates easily with popular payment gateways, runs on any hosting service and is easy to set up.

Is Zen Cart free?

Yes, Zen Cart is free to use and does not have any premium plans.

How do I install Zen Cart?

  1. Download Zen Cart from the Zen Cart website.
  2. Uncompress and Upload Zen Cart.
  3. Configure a Database.
  4. Go to the Zen Cart Setup Page.
  5. Finish the setup process.
  6. Review and complete the System Setup.
  7. Finish the Store Setup.
  8. Finish the Administrator Account Setup.
  9. Rename the Admin folder.