Overrides for New Users

Zen Cart Template Overrides for New Users

This article assumes you are familiar with basic terms and template default and default files.

“Template Override” and “Override System” are terms used to describe the collection of files needed to create your own template to customize the look of your cart. Using Overrides allows you to make and save changes to your cart without the fear of losing them when upgrades and patches are released.

The Override System includes:

Language Files: includes/languages
Module Files: includes/modules
Template Files: includes/templates/template_default
Extra Definitions: includes/languages/YOURLANGUAGE/extra_definitions
Extra Data Files: includes/extra_datafiles

NOTE: See Basic Terms for an explanation of YOURLANGUAGE and YOURTEMPLATE if these terms are unfamiliar.

Remember only files which have been modified should be copied to your /YOURTEMPLATE directory. If you do not make modifications, then by Zen Cart will use the default file.

Main Language File

  • Default File: /includes/languages/english.php

Suppose you want to change the Heading of your Categories sidebox.
Here are the steps:

  • Create a new directory /includes/languages/YOURTEMPLATE/
  • Copy includes/languages/english.php to this new directory
  • You now have includes/languages/YOURTEMPLATE/english.php
  • Open the file in a text editor, and find and modify the following line of code

    define('BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES', 'Categories');
    

Save the file and upload your new directory and its contents to your server.

Page Specific Language File

Let’s assume you want to change the heading on this page from “My Account Information” to just “My Account”.

  • Default File: /includes/languages/english/account.php

Here are the steps:

  • Create a new directory /includes/languages/english/YOURTEMPLATE/ if it doesn’t exist
  • Copy includes/languages/english/account.php to this new directory
  • You now have includes/languages/english/YOURTEMPLATE/account.php
  • Open the file in a text editor, and find and modify the following line of code

    define('HEADING_TITLE', 'My Account Information');
    

Save the file and upload it to your server. (If the folder is new, just upload the folder, which will do the folder and all files inside it .)

Module File

Suppose you want to add a link to the Information Sidebox.

  • Default File: includes/modules/sideboxes/information.php

Here are the steps:

  • Create a new directory /includes/modules/sideboxes/YOURTEMPLATE/ if it doesn’t exist
  • Copy includes/modules/sideboxes/information.php to this new directory
  • You now have includes/modules/sideboxes/YOURTEMPLATE/information.php
  • Open the file in a text editor, and add a line to the information array. We won’t use language constants for clarity:

    $information[] = '<a href="' . zen_href_link(FILENAME_EZPAGES, "id=27") . '">' . "My New EZ-Page". '</a>';
    

Template File

Suppose you want to add a link to the Shopping Cart Page

  • Default File: includes/templates/template_default/templates/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php

Here are the steps:

  • Presumably the directory /includes/templates/YOURTEMPLATE/templates exists, but if it doesn’t, create it.
  • Copy includes/templates/template_default/templates/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php to this new directory
  • You now have includes/templates/YOURTEMPLATE/templates/tpl_shopping_cart_default.php
  • Open the file in a text editor, and below the bof shopping cart buttons, add the line

    echo '<a href="' . zen_href_link(FILENAME_EZPAGES, "id=27") . '">' . "My New EZ-Page". '</a>';
    

Zen Cart Upgrades

Using the override system means you don’t have to worry about over-writing your YOURTEMPLATE files when an upgrade comes along, because they are all in YOURTEMPLATE directories.

During an upgrade you may find that new code was added to some of the core files that you are overriding. Its very easy to  compare the files in your override directories to the upgraded files. Using a file compare utility, you can incorporate the changes into your override files.

Save the changed files and upload them to your server.


Next Steps

Ready to read more about overrides? Go here.

Or get started creating your new template.


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


Last modified June 6, 2020 by Scott C Wilson (bb6f48b).