Terms you will see in Zen Cart documentation

Note: If a term is not in this list, use a web search to learn more about it. This list is intended to be specific to Zen Cart, with only a minimal number of additional generic terms.

  • AOSC - Attestation of Scan Compliance; a document provided by an ASV that your site has been successfully scanned and found to be secure.
  • ASV - Approved Scanning Vendor; a company that has been certified as qualified to evaluate the security of your website.
  • Categories Tabs - Categories Tabs is the name of a feature that places a set of links to every category in your store across the width of your home page just below the logo and tagline.
  • Centerbox - a centerbox is a block of content in the middle of the page.
  • Character Set - A character set is a group of codes which represent a written language. Current versions of Zen Cart use the utf8mb4 character set.
  • Collation: A setting which determines how strings are compared during a sort.
  • cPanel - a branded hosting control panel which is very popular. See Hosting and Domain concepts.
  • Default Files - The file provided by the base software that provides some functionality which can be overridden using a template file. See Default files, template default and overrides.
  • Define Pages - Define pages are special pieces of content that appear above normal page content for certain pages.
  • Document Root - another term for “webroot.”
  • Domain Name - (also “domain”) the mnemonic name of your website. The domain name of this site is See hosting and domain concepts. A Name Server converts this mnemonic name into an IP Address.
  • Downloadable Product - A downloadable product is a digital item such as an ebook, a music file, an image or a software product.
  • DTK - Short for Developer’s Tool Kit.
  • ESP - Short for Email Service Provider.
  • Extra Pages - Extra pages are the three built-in additional content pages that people can use without needing to add software to their installation.
  • EZ-Pages - Zen Cart provides the ability for storeowners to create their own content pages without a developer through the EZ-Pages facility.
  • Hoster - a company that provides servers for you to run your site on. See hosting and domain concepts.
  • Index Listing Page - sometimes the product listing page is called the index listing page. There is no difference between the two terms.
  • Info Box - an info box is like a sidebox for the admin side. When an item from a list is selected, an info box appears on the right with more details on that item. For example, on the customers page, details on the selected customer would appear; on the orders page, details on that order.
  • IP Address - a number assigned to a piece of hardware connected to the Internet. Computers identify each other by IP Address. See hosting and domain concepts.
  • JavaScript - a scripting language that adds dynamic effects to your website.
  • Linked Product - a linked product is a product which exists in multiple categories (categories other than the product’s master category).
  • Listing Page - a listing page in Zen Cart shows a group of products with certain things in common, such as age or being featured .
  • Master Category - The category in which a product was originally created. Products can be added to other categories by creating linked products. See product management and linked products.
  • Name Server - a piece of Internet infrastructure that converts a domain name to an IP Address. See hosting and domain concepts.
  • Order Total - an order total module allows you to add a fee or a discount to an order.
  • Overrides - Zen Cart provides the capability of partitioning your changes from the base software; this is called the override feature. See Default files, template default and overrides. Note that the term “overrides” is also used in two other places: site specific overrides and the four subfolders named “overrides”.
  • PCI - A set of rules for data security adopted by credit card companies. See PCI.
  • Prefix - Using a prefix in your configure.php files allows you to have a special naming convention for your Zen Cart tables, to distinguish them from the tables of other applications. Using a prefix is no longer encouraged; instead, use one database per application.
  • Plugin - A plugin is a packaged software modification you can use to change the behavior of your Zen Cart installation.
  • Release - Zen Cart Releases are numbered to indicate if a release is a full release requiring a database change, or a patch release. The complete release history of Zen Cart can be viewed, if you are looking for information on a specific release. The version numbering system has changed starting with 2.0.0, please see Zen Cart Versioning for details.
  • Responsive - a template is responsive if it is designed for mobile viewing (on a phone or tablet) as well as desktop viewing. See Responsive Templates.
  • Sale - a sale is a price reduction on one or more categories of products. See also Special.
  • Shared Hosting - a hosting configuration that allows you to share a server with other users to reduce cost. See Hosting and Domain concepts.
  • Sidebox - a sidebox is a block of content on the left or right hand side of your page, when viewed on a desktop.
  • SNAF - an acronym meaning Specials, New Products, All Products and Featured.
  • Special - a special is a price reduction on one product. See also Sale.
  • Spider - a spider is a computer program running on the Internet which tries to index the contents of a website. Spiders are also called “web crawlers.” Zen Cart keeps a list of spiders in the file includes/spiders.txt.
  • Sub-Zone: This term refers to a zone which is an element of a larger zone. For example, Florida is a sub-zone of United States of America.
  • SSL - Secure Sockets Layer. A technology that allows you to securely transfer information between your webserver and a client browser. See hosting and domain concepts.
  • Template - Set of files which provide the theme or skin (eg: layout, colors, fonts) for the site. See Default files, template default and overrides.
  • Template Files - The individual files (css, js, php, and some images) involved in providing the Template for the site. See Default files, template default and overrides.
  • UTF8 - A variable width character set which can represent a large number of characters.
  • VPS - Virtual Private Server - a hosting configuration that puts you on your own dedicated server. See Hosting and Domain concepts.
  • Webroot - The top level folder that is visible to someone using a web browser. See how do I install Zen Cart.
  • Webserver - the computer associated with your hosting account that runs your website or the program on that hosting account that serves web pages (e.g. Apache). See hosting and domain concepts.
  • YOURACCOUNTFOLDER - the folder in your hosting account which holds your site’s files. See basic terms. Webroot will be under this folder. For example, if YOURACCOUNTFOLDER was /home/scott, your webroot would (probably) be /home/scott/public_html. See basic terms.
  • YOURLANGUAGE - the language your site is presented in, which is english by default. See basic terms.
  • YOURSITE - the domain name you are using. See basic terms.
  • YOURTEMPLATE - the template you are using. See basic terms.

Still have questions? Use the Search box in the upper right, or try the full list of FAQs. If you can't find it there, 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 March 23, 2024 by Scott Wilson (69cf5a7).