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How to Install Zen Cart on Cloudways via SSH

Updated on  February 16, 2017

6 Min Read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Zen Cart is an open source ecommerce software that was designed and developed by designers, programmers, and like-minded shop owners. Setting up a shop using Zen Cart is simple enough for anyone with basic knowledge of website building.

Zen Cart On Cloudways

The beauty of Open Source is in the fact that you can customize the software’s according to your application requirement. Same is the case with Zen Cart. You can choose from hundreds of payment modules or integrate a custom payment module. You can choose themes and plugins to optimize your store for the best performance.

Zen Cart works well on all servers with small requirements of PHP, Apache, and MySQL. Irrespective of the hosting services you select, you can create and customize your own domain. However, do remember that your hosting service plays a major role in determining the smooth functioning of your ecommerce store. It is recommended that you host your store on a hosting platform that is specially built for ecommerce stores.

A platform like Cloudways gives you the ease of managed server combined with easy management panel that takes away the pain in setting up an ecommerce website.

Once you have launched your server, you can now install Zen Cart on Cloudways. Just follow this step-by-step procedure on installing Zencart on Cloudways Managed Hosting Platform through SSH.

Step 1

First, you need to sign in on Cloudways. Select your cloud server from the world’s best 3 cloud servers, namely DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, and Google Compute Engine. For this installation, we are selecting DigitalOcean.

Cloudways Console

Step 2

Select PHP Stack from the list of provided app installation packages.

Cloudways Console

Step 3:

Now select Server Size and Server Location. Then, launch the application. Be careful when selecting your location as it can have an effect on server latency.

Cloudways Console

You will see the following screen. Wait for a while.

Cloudways Console

Once your server is launched, you will see the Summary screen that shows details like Creation Date, Server Type, Public IP, Cloud, Applications, and Region. Click on Manage Server button.

Cloudways Console

Step 4

You will see two tabs of Cloudways Console: Server Management and Application Management. To install, you need to head to Application Management tab.

Cloudways Console

Step 5

When you click the Application Management tab, you will see the following screen. The first section is Access Details. The information provided in this section will be very useful in the upcoming steps. You can observe MySQL Access and SFTP details. Now, click on the “Launch SSH terminal” button.

Cloudways Console

Step 6

Once you have clicked the button, you will be taken to an alert. Do not worry. It is due to a self-signed SSL certificate. You should proceed to see the terminal window in your browser. Enter SFTP Username and Password details from Access Details section.

Cloudways Console

Step 7

Now after entering this information, you should type the command as follows to extract the zip file of Zen Cart from Github website.

Cloudways Console

Step 8

Now, unzip the file by using following command.

After pressing Enter, you will have the following screen.

Cloudways Console

Step 9

Now after unzipping the folder, move the contents of the file into the root using the following command.

Step 10

Now, visit the Staging URL. For Cloudways users, you can find this URL inside the Access Details section under the Application URL heading. If nothing appears, then add /zc-v1-series-1.5.4/ at the end of the URL. The following screen should be your desired output. Once you have seen this screen, find zc_install/index.php link and click it to proceed further.

Cloudways Console

Step 11

The “Welcome” screen of Zen Cart appears. Press “Continue” button.

Cloudways Console

Step 12

Read the Terms and Conditions. Select “I have read and agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions as stated above” and press “Continue”.

Cloudways Console

Step 13

You will now see the Prerequisites screen as shown below. Press the “Install” button at the end of the page.

Cloudways Console

Step 14

Now, the setup will ask for Database Information. Fill out these details carefully. On Cloudways, this information is available under MySQL Access sub-section inside Access Details. Once you are done, press “Save Database Settings” button.

Cloudways ConsoleStep 15

System Setup screen appears. Now you can set the URL to Zencart store, HTTPS Server URL and other SSL details. Also, enable SSL and SSL in admin area if you have a SSL certificate or otherwise disable it. Save the settings.

ZenCart Installation Step 16

You will now come into the Store Setup tab. Now set the Store Name, Store Owner, Store Owner Email, Store Country, Store Zone, Store Address, Default Language and Default Currency. Once you are done, click “Save Store Settings” button.

ZenCart Installation Step 17

Admin Setup will appear. Fill out the Administrator’s Username, TEMPORARY Password and its confirmation field and Administrator’s Email. Here, I would like to share some good advice. Even though the password is temporary, you should pick a strong password with both Numbers and Letters with minimum 8 or more characters. Plus, use a purposed-made working email address, like instead of a Gmail address. Press “Save Admin Settings” when you’re done.

ZenCart Installation Step 18

Congratulations! You have made it through. 🙂 (Drink some coffee!)

ZenCart Installation Step 19

Now, as a security measure, you need to remove the zc_install folder by using the following command.

Step 20

You can now access the Admin URL and rename the Admin folder.

ZenCart Installation

Now access the Admin URL, like[admin_folder_name]. Now enter the login details:

ZenCart Installation

Step 21:

From the screen below. you can change your password and submit. Remember, a lengthy password is a good password. I would personally suggest a password of 12 characters.

ZenCart Installation

Step 22

After submission, you can now view the Admin Panel of your Zen Cart store.

ZenCart Installation

And, that is it! You have just installed your Zencart store using SSH. You can now start customizing your store by adding themes, products and other essentials.

Cloudways Managed Zencart store will not disappoint you or the customers coming to your online store to shop as it ensures that your store functions as smoothly as possible. But, if you are not sure about us, then test us. Start a free trial now on Cloudways PHP Cloud Platform.

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About The Author

Ahmed Khan

Ahmed was a PHP community expert at Cloudways - A Managed PHP Hosting Cloud Platform. He is a software engineer with extensive knowledge in PHP and SEO. He loves watching Game of Thrones is his free time. Follow Ahmed on Twitter to stay updated with his works. You can email him at

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