When You Request Service
If you would like to engage my services, you start by either placing an order using my Get a Quote product or simply contacting me. I'll need to know the name of your domain/website and what you'd like to have done — you'll also need review Your Web Hosting.
Either way, I'll get back with you promptly to let you know if I am able to fulfill your request and what, if any, additional information I'll need. Depending on the scope of your request, I might request some access credentials (i.e. FTP, cPanel or Zen Cart admin), too.
I accept payment via PayPal® and will send you a full invoice identifying the tasks required to implement your request as well as my PayPal pay-to email.
Note: Unless we've agreed otherwise, I retain the intellectual property rights to all software that I develop or modify.
When you purchase or download a plugin on my website, you can request that I install it for you. My installation service includes copying the files to your Zen Cart installation (performing any minor merges necessary) and running any installation SQL script necessary. It is your responsibility to backup your file structure and database prior to the installation. If your installation requires a major merge, I'll contact you with a quote for the additional programming required.
In either case, I'll require access credentials (either FTP — File Transfer Protocol — or your webhost's cPanel) so that I can copy the files to your store's file-system. I will also need:
- The name of your custom template, if the plugin has any store-front files to be copied.
- The name of your secret Zen Cart admin, only if the plugin contains admin-level files to be copied.
- Access credentials to log into your Zen Cart admin, only if the plugin has database (i.e. SQL Patch) changes.
Upgrading Your Zen Cart®
I've developed a rock-solid procedure for upgrading your Zen Cart site; it's been used on many an upgrade without a hitch! Essentially, I developed a PHP script that examines the changes between
- your current Zen Cart's as-released version and the new Zen Cart's as-released version
- your current Zen Cart and your current Zen Cart's as-released version
The result of this examination gives me a list of tasks that are required to upgrade your website to the more recent version. The bookkeeping that's required to "know" which files need to be copied, which files need to be merged and which files need to be deleted during an upgrade can be daunting. This programmatic approach to upgrades means that the "little" things won't fall through the crack. I've seen a lot of posts from "experts" on the Zen Cart forums wondering why a client's upgrade is failing — it's usually due to an unexpected core-file change.
Don't put off your upgrade of a v1.3.8a or v1.3.9 (or earlier) site because you think it will cost too much; my quote to you will be based on your store's current configuration. I've quoted some lightly-customized v1.3.8a stores at a significantly lower price than highly-customized v1.5.4 ones!
PHP Built-In Functions — Interface Changes and Deprecation
Another task that's occasionally overlooked during an upgrade is to ensure that any custom changes you've made to your existing Zen Cart will continue to operate in an up-to-date PHP environment — this website currently uses PHP 5.6.30.
The PHP scripting language is continually evolving. What that means to you is that there are changes to the built-in PHP functions' interfaces — like calls to htmlentities and htmlspecialchars for PHP 5.4 and later — and that some functions get deprecated (removed) — like the ereg* functions in PHP 5.3 and later. The result of running your Zen Cart's custom changes on these newer PHP releases can be either annoying (your /cache or /logs folder fills up with debug*.log files) to catastrophic (your website stops working altogether).
I've developed another PHP script to identify and flag these potential issues in your current Zen Cart's custom coding. Your resulting upgrade will include the changes required to properly operate in the most recent PHP version available at the time of the upgrade.