Our online store has been running Zen-Cart open source shopping cart software since it was launched in November 2007.
Unfortunately, since that time, Zen-Cart hasn’t really moved forward. The new version was detailed in 2008, but the team didn’t want to commit to a definite release date. Since then, no new information has been given on when it will be released.
We have waited patiently for it to come out, but it still looks like a long way off. When it does eventually get released, it will probably be an ‘alpha‘ or ‘beta‘ release which means it will need to undergo serious testing before it’s ready to be used on a live website. That process could take about 6 months. However, once it’s ready to go live, we then need to integrate it to our site…which could take another few months.
So from date of release, we’ll be looking at about 9 months before we can use it on our live site (if everything goes to plan). My estimation of the date of release (based on 2 year old information) is that it’s at least 6 months away, possibly 12 months away.
Therefore, total time before we can expect to provide a significant update to our website: 15 – 21 months!
We have looked at alternatives to Zen-Cart a number of times, but have never found anything which we considered to be secure, stable and advanced enough for our store.
Magento was first released in 2007, and is now on version 1.4.1. When I looked at it in 2008, it was not mature enough – there were serious security loopholes and some basic functionality missing. It has come a long way since then.
In the same amount of time that Zen-Cart has stood still, Magento has been born and has outgrown it. We have approximately 20 modifications to the standard version of Zen-Cart, 18 of those are included in Magento by default – the other two were custom built by us.
On a technical level, Magento is built in an entirely different way which makes it significantly more stable and easier to build upon. I believe that the sooner we make the change to a more stable foundation, the better we can make the site in the future.
We’ll update you with more information soon, but I would hope to have the new system up and running in the next few months which means you’ll see some great new features being launched pretty soon.