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I've been working on my t-shirt store for about four months now. It has taken me longer than expected, but the site has finally been ready/able to accept orders at the most basic level for about a week now. Unfortunately, there has been no orders...

So, I was wondering if any more experienced Zen Cart users would mind sharing any modifications/plugins that they feel are essential to their success, or anything that they feel made the users experience more fluid and helped to notice an increase in members/sales...

I currently have Paypal installed and the "Verified" logo showing.

I just ordered a SSL certificate and installed that today with the "Secured" logo displayed proudly.

I uploaded the little credit card images to show what forms of payments are accepted on the checkout page.

Other than that I haven't really done much, other than uploading a logo, some on-site SEO, and working on the actual product pages and images... Oh, and I am not using the default template.

My next step will be to activate Google Checkout. It is installed but not functioning yet as I was waiting to take care of the whole SSL aspect...

Has anyone installed anything where you thought to yourself later... "I'm so glad I installed that... What a difference it has made..."
 

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Hi. One week really isn't really long enough for a site to get established and start taking orders. I am presuming that you are marketing your site outside of the internet?

All of my own sites are now powered by Zen-Cart and there are many additional add ons available. It's best not to get too carried away with them, as some have been known to have file sharing conflicts with other add on modules. I just use two add on units. One for enhanced shipping and one for customisable display.

Zen-Cart 1.4 is due for release soon and this will have many features built in.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi. One week really isn't really long enough for a site to get established and start taking orders. I am presuming that you are marketing your site outside of the internet?

All of my own sites are now powered by Zen-Cart and there are many additional add ons available. It's best not to get too carried away with them, as some have been known to have file sharing conflicts with other add on modules. I just use two add on units. One for enhanced shipping and one for customisable display.

Zen-Cart 1.4 is due for release soon and this will have many features built in.

Hope this helps.
Ah yeah, I plan to heavily promote the site online and off...

Yup, I'm not interested in getting carried away with mods, just the essentials....

New Zen sounds interesting, hopefully the upgrade process will be painless...
 

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I installed 'COWOA' (checkout without account), Google Analytics, Google Base Feeder, and WordPress.
 

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I did install Simple Analytics... I will definitely look into the rest of these options... Sounds interesting thanks :D
You're welcome. I haven't done anything much with Base Feeder ... when I upgraded to the new version I didn't even install it again. But COWOA is good to have.
 

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You can look at my website (you'll find it in my profile) and go through the checkout process to see how it works.
 

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COWOA is nice. There is another mod that allows users to enter an email to sign up for newsletter subscriptions that works well with this. COWOA took some css coding or otherwise you could not really tell the option was there.

Ajax image swapper is great too.
Stock by Attributes and Dynamic Drop Downs together allow for dependent attributes. The combination of all three of these mods are not supposed to work together. I found they do as long as you don't follow the instructions and make your own instead =)

I've done a lot to some zen cart sites...some could probably be turned into some pretty sweet mods if I had the time. One thing I liked to do was eliminate all categories, make all products featured, display them on the home page, and disable randomization of featured products in the php file. That was a pain but the end result looked kinda like busted tees. Oh yea, column grid layout is a must! Learning php will help too if you want to have total control of the layout. I deleted a lot of junk and rewrote some parts...but I think it will be worth it.
 

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There is another add on module similar to COWOA called login without registration. It is seriously flawed though, as there is no ability for it to know the customer's location, so it can't work out international or zoned shipping. The originator of COWOA dropped out of the project and another one of the forum members (zenicon) is now working with it.

I only use PayPal for online payments so can use the PayPal Express, which bypasses the registration pages. I think that Google Checkout will offer the same bypass feature.

Zen cart 1.4 release is due out any time now. There have been many requests for some of the most popular add ons to be incorporated directly into the program. You need to make yourself aware of the overrides system in Zen Cart, so that any changes you've made, are not overwritten when you upgrade.
 

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Zen cart is great. I currently have it installed on 4 sites that I have built for my regular job. I initially installed it because it has this unique feature called Showcase Mode. It basically strips away any e-commerce capabilties (my 9-5 is not in the e-comm business).

But having played around with it for so long there, I found some cool things that I will carry over into my e-commerce presence (one of these days!). One of the many mods I like is the file upload mod so that customers can email me their artwork for custom print jobs.

Just a thought - I wouldn't jump into ZC 1.4 right away. I like to let new releases get their bugs worked out first and usually wait for at least the 2nd updated release. (1.4.2 or whatever their numbering convention is)
 
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