Archive for February, 2010

Setting up zen cart gift certificates by using attributes for the amount / value of the gift certificate will allow you to have just ONE product called Gift Certificates – as opposed to a product displayed for each dollar amount in a gift certificate category.

Follow are some steps to get this set up:

1.  Create a category called Gift Certificates

2.  Within that category, create a product called Gift Certificates using the following protocol:

  • Products Status: In Stock
  • Date Available:Leave this blank
  • Products Manufacturer: Leave this blank
  • Products Name: Gift Certificate
  • Product is Free: No
  • Product is Call for Price: No
  • Product Priced by Attributes: Yes
  • Tax Class: Choose appropriate status for your store.  Normally is not taxable
  • Products Price (Net):  Enter a zero here.
  • Products Price (Gross): figured automatically
  • Product is Virtual:  Yes,  Skip Shipping Address
  • Always Free Shipping: No.
  • Products Quantity Box Shows: Yes, Show
  • Product Qty Minimum: leave blank
  • Product Qty Maximum: 0 = Unlimited, 1 = No Qty Boxes or Max ##
  • Product Qty Units: leave blank
  • Product Qty Min/Unit Mix: leave blank
  • Products Description: Enter your description here.
  • Products Quantity: leave blank or put in a large number to track number sold.
    If you are finding that you cannot add a Gift Certificate to your cart while shopping, try adding a quantity here!
  • Products Model: GIFT-0000 (do not deviate from this – make your model number exactly like this)
  • Products Image: Upload an image
  • Upload to directory: choose directory
  • Products URL: leave blank
  • Products Weight: leave blank

3.  Now that you have the product set up, you need to set up the attributes for the dollar amount.  Go To Catalog>Option Name Manager and set up an option name called Value or Amount – or whatever you want displayed.  You may choose to have these displayed in a drop down box or by check boxes, etc.

4.  Next go to Catalog>Option Value Manager to set up the values of the gift certificate.  Select the Value that you set up in step three (eg: value, amount, etc) then start entering the values you want for the gift certificate. (Click photo below for a larger view)

5.  The final step is to apply the attribute to the product by going to Catalog>Attributes Controller, selecting Gift Certificate and choosing DISPLAY to add the values.  On the left side you will choose the option name of Value or whatever you set up in step #3.  Next to that, you will select the value of the gift certificate that you set up in step #4.  In the Prices and weight area, put the price of the gift certificate, and put the sort order you want it to show up in.  (click image below for larger view)

Once you have completed these steps – you should have a gift certificate where customers can choose what value they want by using the attributes you just set up and your final look will be something like the following:

Zen Cart has a great banner feature that you can use.  But sometimes you may put in a banner and put in a URL for that banner, if clicked, to go to and you will get a blank page and the URL will look something like this:


Solution: Check your includes/languages/YOURTEMPLATE/english.php file and make sure there are absolutely no spaces at the bottom of the file after the closing  ?>

If that does not fix the problem, check your includes/templates/YOURTEMPLATE/common/header.php file and make sure there are no spaces there either.

Do you ever have the need to make one or more of your zen cart ez pages take up the full width of your site and not display the left and/or right side columns?  An example of needing to do this could be that you have an ez page that you want to display large pictures on wrapped with text – but perhaps your site is narrow and with the ez page displayed in the narrow center column – it just doesn’t look too great.

I worked on a website today with just this issue.  The website is 750 pixels wide and had a left column that was set at 200 pixels wide.  The client had some beautiful photos with text she wanted made into an ez page.  Trying to squeeze these photos with wrapped text into 550 pixels was going to make the wrapped text area beside the photos very small.  Because there were navigation links at the top and bottom of the website, and also the breadcrumb was active, I saw no reason why we could not get rid of the left side bar for this page and the client’s visitors should still be able to find their way around the site once they were done reading the info on the ez page.

So, after we set up the ez page, I went to the Configuration> EzPages Settings in the admin and put the ID of the ez pages in the boxes that said
EZ-Pages Pages to disable left-column
EZ-Pages Pages to disable right-column

I separated each ez page ID with a comma only (no space) – so it looks like so:  4,10,11

This effectively removed the left and right columns and the ez page took the whole 750 px width of the site.