Uploading the Zen Cart files to your web server

Updated: 25th May 2013 for Zen Cart 1.5.1

Firstly, you will need a reliable FTP program for uploading the Zen Cart.  If you do not already have a favourite FTP program, you may like to look at What is FileZilla?.  FileZilla offers a free FTP client that is fast and reliable.

Next, you will need to think about where you would like your online store to be located.  For example, you may choose to have your store located in your web site’s root directory (www.domain.com) or you may choose to have your store located in a separate directory or a sub domain (www.domain.com/store or store.domain.com).  

Web hosts have their preferences in naming the folders that are your Internet folders.  Look for a "www" or "public_html" or "htdocs" or "httpdocs" or "wwwroot" folder. These are some of the common folder names for what is referred to as the "webroot", which is where all your website content is served from.  You need to upload your files to one of these folders. If you want your Zen Cart online store to be in a directory different to that of the webroot, you must create a directory, say shop or store, in the webroot.

  1. Open your FTP client.  For this tutorial we will be using FileZilla.
    Using FileZilla to upload Zen Cart files
  2. In the Quickconnect section at the top of the screen, enter your Host, Username, Password and Port information and click on the Quickconnect button.  This information would have been sent to you when you first signed up for your web hosting agreement.  If you do not have this to hand, contact your web host.
    FileZilla Quickconnect 
  3. Once connected, you will notice that the section on the left hand side of the screen is your local files (ie the files on your computer) and the section on the right hand side is your web host files (ie the files that make up your website).
  4. Under the section Local Site, navigate to the location where you expanded the Zen Cart fileset in the previous step Download Zen Cart Installation Files.  Right click on this folder and select Rename.  Rename this folder, for example to store, shop or catalog.  In my case I’m going to use dsf (short for Designs, Services and Freebies) as my online store will be in a separate folder to my webroot folder.
    Rename the extracted Zen Cart files folder
  5. Option 1:
    If you are installing Zen Cart into the root directory of your website (ie www.domain.com), double click on the fileset in the Local site section.  This will then display all the files and folders that make up Zen Cart.
    Next, click once on the top folder Admin then holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard press the ‘a’ key (Ctrl-A).  This will select all the files and folders.  Right click on the Admin folder and select Upload.
    Upload Zen Cart files 
    Option 2:
    If you are installing Zen Cart into a subfolder of the root directory, right-click on the folder (that you renamed in Step 4) in the Local site section and select Upload
  6. It will take some time as the FTP client transfers all the files and folders from your computer to the web server.  You can see the progress as the number of Queued files goes down and the number of Successful transfers goes up.
    Zen Cart Uploading Progress
  7. Optional:  Repeat step 5 and re-transfer all files.  This will catch any files that did not transfer cleanly the first time.

  1. #1 by KJ on 6 May, 2010 - 12:19 pm

    I was not able to upload the zip file. my host says 5mb is the file size limit(for an upload, I assume), and even though the zen cart .zip is slightly less than 5mb, it still kicked it out and said, “file too big”. does that mean it may be too big for the space I am allocated on the web host? its a free host site.

  2. #2 by kerrin hardy on 6 May, 2010 - 8:31 pm

    Hi KJ, could it be that your total size limit is 5Mb? In that case even if you could upload the Zen Cart .zip file, there would not be the space to expand the files in the next step.

    I’m also wondering if the free host site allows you to have an SQL database?

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