Basics - Terms and Definitions
This page explains some terms you will see throughout the documentation site that are used as variables to represent site specific path information.
You may also wish to browse the glossary.
YOURSITE is used to to represent your domain name, and thus
to show the path to access your site over the web. If your site is
called “John Doe Tools” and your domain is “JohnDoeTools.com”, then
http://www.YOURSITE.com really means
Note: If you wish, you may install your Zen Cart in a subfolder under your
public_html folder. For example, the site above could be stored in
/home/johndoe/public_html/shop/, which would make the URL
http://www.JohnDoeTools.com/shop. See deployment configurations for a description of possible approaches.
However, for the sake of simplicity, the explanations on this site assume you did not do this. Don’t get hung up on the fact that an article will say
http://www.YOURSITE.com rather than
it was a decision made for simplicity and consistency. If your site is
in a subfolder, just add on the
/YOURSUBFOLDER/ wherever it is needed as you are reading.
Common values for
Using a subfolder is especially appropriate if you have a large, built-out
website, and Zen Cart is being used to add-on ecommerce functionality
(rather than to provide your entire website).
Please note: Do not use the Zen Cart version as the value for
YOURSUBFOLDER. For example, do not put your site in
The reason for this is that your Zen Cart version will change over time when the site gets updated, and it will be confusing to have your Zen Cart 1.5.8 installation in a folder called
See deployment configurations for more information.
To allow you to customize the appearance of your site, Zen Cart has a
templating capability. Names of templates vary, so they are
referred to in this document with the variable
So if your template is
responsive_sheffield_blue, then when you read
YOURTEMPLATE, just think
responsive_sheffield_blue. So the folder
in your cart.
You will see lots of different variables used in place of
we have just chosen this for consistency. Some people will instead call
YOUR_CUSTOM_TEMPLATE - but it’s all
the same thing, just the name of your template.
If an article has multilanguage dimensions, the variable
will be used to refer to language specific folders.
For English language only stores, the path
YOURACCOUNT is used to refer to the name of your hosting company
gives to your account. For cPanel users, this will often be your login username.
YOURACCOUNTFOLDER is used to refer to the folder in your hosting
account which holds your site’s files. A very common setup is the following,
assuming the value of
johndoe (i.e. that your account name is
- YOURACCOUNTFOLDER is
/home/johndoe/- the top level directory you can access using FTP. Putting files here will mean they are out of reach of a web browser, which can be useful for security; see relocating your download folder for an example.
- Your Webroot is
/home/johndoe/public_html/- the top level directory your webserver can access.
Everything will be under
YOURACCOUNTFOLDER when you view files, either in an FTP tool or in your cPanel’s File Manager. It’s even more convenient to set your FTP to go to your webroot, since this is where you will upload your code file changes.
Once you are familiar with these basic terms, you should learn about overrides.