The new release of Zen Cart (1.3.9b) has many customers asking about upgrading their carts. While I have decidedly positioned myself on the side of “safe” and we are not currently doing upgrades to 1.3.9b, we are looking to announce our new store development package for Zen Cart 1.3.9b in the next few days (stay posted with FaceBook).
What’s the difference?
Well, likely most many of the bugs are out of the way for the new release, but some very serious module and customization issues exist for upgrades. While, these modules and customizations are in no way the responsibility of the Zen Cart development team, they are something we all have in our stores.
So, while we look forward to having a development package for new stores in 1.3.9b in the next few days, we are still cautioning against upgrades.
If you really think you need to upgrade, you might consider a “Rip n’ Rebuild” situation instead. In this type of scenario, unused and non-compliant modules are removed, broken functions are eliminated and you get a brand new store with all of your products, customers, coupons, orders etc… But no upgrade exceptions and incompatibility issues.
A “Rip n’ Rebuild” also gives you the opportunity to look at a new design and layout. Change the things which have been bugging you and optimize your site properly from the start.
The basic idea of rebuilding as opposed to upgrading is to forgive our previous mistakes and have a fresh, clean shopping cart. When deciding to do a rebuild, you will want to consider many things… Including all those modules installed in your current cart, which “you had to have”, but never use. Having unnecessary modules only adds load, future upgrade issues and generally headaches.
You might even consider dumping those SEO URL rewrites (we did!) that cause your cart’s performance and load to be less than optimum. We will even redirect these pages for you, so that they will re-index and you can recover with a fresh start and a fast cart!
All in all, make no mistake, this is still no inexpensive project, but if you are ready to upgrade it is a genuine consideration for your business. No one likes errors, slow pages and limited ability… You might just have a better idea of your business’ needs and cart’s operations than when you built your current cart =-)