Basics - Store Setup Checklist

Things to do when setting up a store


After installation, you’ll want to address several things to get your basic shop operational. One suggested order of operations is the following:

Language File setup


  1. Admin > Configuration > My Store

    • Basis of Product Tax - choose what level tax is calculated at.
    • Basis of Shipping Tax - choose what level tax is calculated at for shipping.
    • HTML Editor - select your editor for product descriptions and emails/newsletters.
  2. Admin - Configuration - E-Mail Options

    • If you want to send HTML-based emails, turn on Use MIME HTML When Sending Emails
    • Set the format of emails for Admin to receive in Email Admin Format
    • Set the email address and status for all extra emails. These are copies sent to the Admin when various messages are sent to the customer.
  3. **Admin - Configuration - Images

    • Verify that the image sizes are acceptable for your setup.
  4. Admin - Configuration - GZip Compression

    • Enable GZip Compression if your server supports it. This makes page display much faster in most cases.
  5. Admin - Configuration - Customer Details

    • Choose whether various components are displayed/requested or not.
    • If you require authorization for customers to access your store, choose those settings here as well.
  6. Admin - Configuration - Credit Cards

    • Choose which cards to enable acceptance for. This does not turn on payment processing, it’s just a check for later.
  7. Admin - Modules - Payment

    • Select and configure any desired payment methods.
  8. Admin - Configuration - Shipping/Packaging

    • Verify the Country of Origin.
    • Set the Postal/ZIP Code (if you don’t, your shipping quotes won’t work).
  9. Admin - Modules - Shipping

    • Select and configure any desired shipping providers.
  10. Admin - Locations/Taxes - Zones Definitions

    • Insert applicable tax zones for the regions in which you must collect tax.
  11. Admin - Locations/Taxes - Tax Classes

    • Create classes for the varying tax combinations you must assign to a product. In most cases, you only require one category.
  12. Admin - Locations/Taxes - Tax Rates

    • Link tax classes and zones and enter the tax rate for those combinations here.
  13. Admin - Localization - Currencies

    • Configure the various currencies your shop will accept/process.
  14. Admin - Localization - Languages

    • Set up the languages you wish to support in your shop.
  15. Admin - Catalog - Manufacturers

    • Enter the manufacturers that your products will be linked to.

Categories & Products

Now that you’ve done basic setup, you can enter your categories and products.

Admin - Catalog - Categories/Products

  • Add new categories to hold your products.
  • Add new products within relevant categories.


  • If you have multiple languages defined, you’ll be able to enter product and category names and descriptions in various languages.

  • To add images, click on the Browse button beside the category/product image field, and select the file on your computer. Then choose the upload to directory folder to store the image in on your server. If the folder you wish to use isn’t there, you’ll need to go and create it with your FTP tool first.

  • The products URL is an optional external link where the customer can go to see more information about this product. If it’s a link to an HTML page on your site, enter the full URL to that page. For example, perhaps you are a computer reseller and selling Microsoft products. You would provide good info in the main description, but could provide a URL where the customer could go directly to the Microsoft site to get even more detailed info if they desired. Note: Keep in mind that anytime you send a customer to someone else’s site, you are potentially sending customers away from you, which is often not a good idea. Be careful not to send them to a place where they could actually buy the same product from someone else instead of you.

Still have questions? No problem! Just head over to the Zen Cart support forum and ask there in the appropriate subforum. In your post, please include your Zen Cart and PHP versions, and a link to your site.

Is there an error or omission on this page? Please post to General Questions on the support forum. Or, if you'd like to open a pull request, just review the guidelines and get started. You can even PR right here.
Last modified September 20, 2020 by Scott C Wilson (f3bd368).