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FAQs | Zen Cart for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart (wp4zen)

Top FAQs for Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart® (wp4zen)

Question: Where can I get  Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart® (wp4zen)?

Answer: The base (free) versions are available on the Zen Cart and WordPress sites in the free module/plugin repositories.  The premium versions are available here »  http://overthehillweb.com/shop/

Question: When someone goes to the shop page I don’t want it to look like the Zen Cart pages. Will Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart® (wp4zen) make my Zen Cart site look like my WordPress site?

Answer: Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart® (wp4zen) isn’t going to change the look of Zen Cart or WordPress. The look and feel of Zen Cart is still controlled by the Zen Cart template and the look and feel of WordPress is still controlled by your WordPress theme. You WILL still need to modify your Zen Cart template to make it MATCH your WordPress site. (which is EXACTLY what was done for the sites that are using Zen4WP — http://tablelegworld.com, http://www.eyeitalia.com, & http://www.laserdiscvault.com)

Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) & WordPress for Zen Cart® (wp4zen) are not theming or templating add-ons.. They are CONTENT add-ons. They will allow you to display Zen Cart products, reviews, testimonial, shopping cart, etc in your WordPress site. They will allow you to display your blogs post categories, recent posts or tag cloud widgets, etc in Zen Cart. What your WordPress site and Zen cart site LOOK like is still controlled by the respective WordPress theme and Zen Cart template. But don’t stress about themes and templates. Making your WordPress site and Zen cart site LOOK alike is a LOT easier today than it has been historically. (As you can see in http://www.eyeitalia.com, http://tablelegworld.com, & http://www.laserdiscvault.com sites)

Question: Why do these tools require that Zen Cart & WordPress be in the same database ? Could I configure a different database for Zen Cart & WordPress? I don’t think it’s that desirable to mix the product and order data with blog data?

Answer: Having Zen Cart look up info in WordPress tables in a database Zen Cart already has access to is a world of difference from having to establish credentials and communication with a different database. The two table systems can be separated with prefixes if necessary; the database-prefix capability is built into Zen Cart. The database-prefix capability is also built into WordPress! The default Zen Cart database prefix is ” (i.e. none) and the default WordPress prefix is ‘wp_’. As long as the prefixes are different, you will have no issues.

The point is that there is NO REASON why your Zen Cart and WordPress tables cannot co-exist in the same database.

(http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2674222/what-is-purpose-of-database-schema) A database schema is a way to logically group objects such as tables, views, stored procedures etc. Think of a schema as a container of objects.

Question: Do I install WordPress and Zen Cart in the same directory?

Answer: IN GENERAL you need WordPress in a sub-directory of Zen Cart or Zen Cart in a sub-directory of WordPress. You don’t install them BOTH in the root of your domain.

On that same note you DO NOT need to install each into TWO separate sub-directories.

Question (s): How does one set this up for Zen Cart & WordPress to share a database?

Zen Cart is in my root and WordPress is installed in a sub-directory. Do I need to reinstall WordPress in a different manner?

It sounds like I need to wipe-out and reinstall [Zen Cart/WordPress] manually as it was installed with [my host’s autoinstaller] & I never had the option of selecting or naming a database. My [Zen Cart/WordPress] install was a manual install. Will the default database settings for this install conform to these rules? There’s no way that I’d want to re-install [Zen Cart/WordPress] now that the site is built and customized.

Answer: If this is a FRESH installation of Zen Cart with an existing WordPress blog or a fresh installation of WordPress with an existing Zen Cart store, or a fresh install of BOTH Zen Cart and WordPress, the approach is pretty simple.. It doesn’t matter which one you install first (Zen Cart or WordPress), but during the installation when you are asked for your database information you use the SAME database information for both. (DB name, DB Password, DB Username)

You also need to make sure you are using a DB prefix for BOTH installs. For Zen Cart you can use zen_ and for WordPress you would use wp_. You can also use NO prefix for one and a prefix for the other. As long as the prefixes are different, you should be good-to-go! (no-prefix for one is “different” enough)

Because there are still a few errant WordPress plugins in the wild which do not inherit/use the wp_ table prefix for their plugins’ tables, we suggest ALWAYS including a table prefix in your Zen Cart and WordPress installs to be SUPER SURE that the tables for the two systems are distinguishable.

Question: What if I have an exiting WordPress blog & Zen Cart store, can I combine these databases without losing my store or my blog?

Answer: Yes It’s actually pretty easy to consolidate your databases into one database. Decide which one of the databases will be the one which you will import into to create the combined database.

It’s simply a matter of exporting one database (WordPress or Zen Cart.. your choice), and then importing that exported database into the other. Then you simply update the configuration files (for WordPress or Zen Cart) so that they BOTH point to the same database.. It is recommended that you do this by creating a clone of your site to “test” first so you don’t put your live site in danger..

One caveat, is that if your your Zen Cart database has it’s roots in the v1.3.x series, and you have not yet done the UTF-8 conversion of the Zen Cart tables, you will need to make sure you have converted your Zen Cart database to UTF-8 before combining your WordPress and Zen Cart databases.

DON’T WORRY!! You will not wipe out the existing tables if you import your WordPress database into the database with the Zen Cart tables. (or vice versa)

Exporting MySQL databases and tables using phpMyAdmin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffmCGVse8yg

Importing MySQL databases and tables using phpMyAdmin  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW5lrS6EUPM

Question: I found a plugin for WordPress which says it “integrates osCommerce into any WordPress theme“.  This plugin looks like it embeds osCommerce inside WordPress.  Does Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) work the same way? Will I be able to embed Zen Cart inside my WordPress site/theme?

Answer: Simply put, no. Unlike other plugins, Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) is not going to display a whole Zen Cart store inside WordPress.. Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) is NOT an embedding plugin (ALA WordPress on Zen Cart or other “blog embedding” solutions). Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) allows you to display specific Zen Cart content on your WordPress site using a series of widgets (which can be displayed inside ANY WordPress sidebar) and shortcodes (which can be displayed inside any page or post or text widget).. Unlike embedding plugins, Zen Cart® for WordPress (zen4wp) allows you to use the FULL power of WordPress and the FULL power of Zen Cart. This means that you will be able to use any plugin/module for Zen Cart or WordPress without limits (like having to implement some gnarly code just to get your Zen Cart module to work inside WordPress).

Widget is a fancy word for tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your sidebar(s). You can learn more about the widgets we offer by checking out the Related links on the right. You can access your widgets from the Appearance → Widgets screen in your Dashboard.

(http://devotepress.com/wordpress-coding/how-to-register-sidebars-in-wordpress/) Sidebar is a theme feature introduced with WordPress Version 2.2. This is one of the best features in WordPress that gave lot of flexibility in Theme and Dynamic Custom Site Development. Initially, sidebars were used only as a vertical column provided by a theme for displaying information other than the main content of the web page. But now sidebar usages has been expanded dramatically. It can be any part of your WordPress site and it’s an excellent way to display information.

(http://maddisondesigns.com/2010/03/how-to-add-multiple-widget-sidebars-to-your-wordpress-blog/) Even though it’s called a “sidebar” it doesn’t need to specifically reside in the sidebar of your website. You can add a “sidebar” to anywhere in your site you want to display your widgets. A common place to include them is the site footer.

A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. For more information on the shortcodes we offer please check out the support docs below.

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