Why should I upgrade?

About upgrading and why it’s part of running Zen Cart

How Do I Upgrade?

To skip the “why” part and just get started, see the Upgrading section of the docs.

Why should I upgrade?

Upgrading is important! When you upgrade, you get security improvements, you get to use more recent versions of PHP, you get all the bug fixes from the past, and you get new features with every release! We highly encourage all users to stay upgraded.

Upgrading is like changing the oil in your car. Sure, you can drive a car for quite a while without doing an oil change, but eventually it will catch up to you, and you’ll have a big problem.

If upgrading is beyond your ability, please post an ad in our Commercial Help Wanted Forum and hire a developer to do your upgrade for you. Or, you can use the Quickie Upgrade procedure, and be up to date in no time.

What does upgrading get me?

The most important benefit from upgrading is protection from bad guys.

Bad guys are everywhere. Trying to steal from you. Trying to wreck your business. Trying to harass you. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of operating online.

Upgrading PHP and your Zen Cart helps protect you from bad guys. Both PHP and Zen Cart are constantly being improved and hardened so that it’s more difficult for bad guys to cause problems. It’s an endless cycle - bad guys discover new ways of making trouble; good guys update the software to defend against the new attacks. But you don’t get the benefits of the work the good guys have done unless you upgrade!

Does this really happen?

Yes. You can review the security releases page and dig into these releases to discover the backstories.

How Do I Keep My Site Safe?

Why Else?

The advantage of keeping your site up to date is that you get all the new features and fixes that are added in each release. Just look at the Release Notes for any release and you can see the changes that were made from the prior release.

Sure, but Why Else?

If the arguments above haven’t yet convinced you then consider this: hosters remove older versions of PHP as time goes on, because they don’t have to incur the security risk that comes with running older software. They move everyone running older versions of PHP to newer versions. But your old cart won’t run on a newer version of PHP. This means that one day, your older cart will simply stop working, sometimes even without warning. Wouldn’t it be better to get ahead of this?

Fine! Any other reasons?

Staying up to date with your software is actually required by PCI rules that you agreed to when setting up your merchant account for accepting credit cards. It’s part of rule 6, which you can read on Wikipedia.

In many cases, you will not be able to use newer plugins on an older version of Zen Cart. Plugins often say things like “Requires Zen Cart 1.5.6b or higher.” This means they depend on internal changes in Zen Cart that were made in that version and carried forward. They literally will not work on older versions of Zen Cart.

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).