Why ZenMagick is 1000 times better than ZenCart

First, I will admit I might be a bit biased here, I know the core developer of ZenMagick personally, and have been using ZM on many of our recent projects (we no longer use ZenCart to build a new sites for our clients anymore). But I have also used ZenCart long enough to have a few opinions on it.

Modern technology

Zencart is like a 10-year old piece of software, and you know how much 10 year means in technology. Zenmagick, on another hand, is using the latest technologies in the PHP world in its framework, in fact you cannot run it without PHP 5.3 which is the latest stable version of PHP at the time this article is written. MVC, ORM, … you name them, ZM is utilizing them. ZM is also using a large part of the famous Symfony2 framework, and will allow you to use many of Symfony’s goodness inside ZM very very soon.

By utilizing just part of this power I have been able to convert and improve our 2 best modules to ZenMagick just in a few days. Yes, Ajax Onepage checkout and Simple Seo Url will be available on ZM soon, and totally free.

Open Development

Zencart is a closed open-source software, that means you have no way of knowing where it’s heading and when you will get it. We have been waiting for its 2.0 version for how long? Over 2 years perhaps, I lost track of time already. And there is no open repository, there is no way you can peek into its nightly code to see what’s going on at all. ZM is just the opposite of that, the project itself is totally open to the public on github:


And it has its own bug tracker: http://dev.zenmagick.org/projects/zenmagick

You can watch what is being worked on, you can see the current project, you can even grab the nightly developed version that has not been released yet if it has something you need now (of course, you have to do so at your own risk). The beauty of using GitHub is: you can clone the project without waiting for any permission, modify it to fix bugs, add features etc then request the changes to be pulled into the core code. If your code pass the review process, it will be part of the core code itself, how nice is that?

Also, by decentralizing the repository, the project will never die since anyone can clone it and start their own branch(s) from there. (Obviously we still try to keep a core version for many good reasons)

ZM makes your life easier

For end users, using ZM cannot be easier, and it will get even much much more easier once it reaches its mature version, which is hopefully the 1.0 version. If you have gotten used to the compare and merge process of Zencart, I’m sorry but you will have to forget about it. Upgrading ZM itself and installing and upgrading plugins will be just a few simple clicks away. Even for modules that needs to inject content into the template, soon you will not have to edit anything for installation. Un-installation cannot be easier, just click and bam it’s gone with the wind

For developers, learning ZM is certainly more difficult than ZC because so much stuffs are done auto-magically behind the scene and there are not much documents at of now. However, you can get into the chatroom and ask questions. I will admit that it’s a bit lonely there in the chatroom for now, but due to our different time zones you will more than likely find someone active and ready to answer your questions any time you login. Of course the forum is also a good option if you don’t have urgent questions. Once you get to know ZM, believe me, developing plugins is just like icing on cake.


  1. Wow. I think this has finally convinced me I am ready to try ZenMagick

  2. Hi! I was looking at ZenMagick today after reading your blog, and it seems pretty awesome. I like the fact that it’s on newer technologies, and better coding (MVC,etc), but it still seems a little immature for use on a big site. I run a store that gets about 1000 orders per month, and we’re just now migrating from ZC 1.3.8 to 1.5.0 RC1. I came looking for an updated version of simple seo url’s when I saw this blog post.

    Do you have any suggestions? I need to make some kind of move before mid november. We’re moving the site to a VPS and we wanted to update at the same time. Thanks for your time!

  3. I prefer prestashop to be honest Don’t hate me!


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