In this Zen Cart tutorial article you will learn how to customize the site wide meta tags of your Zencart ecommerce store. This is an action that needs to be taken after installation so that any search engines crawling your site, index the correct site title, site tagline and keywords for your store rather than the default "Zen Cart - The Art of ECommerce" details.
NOTE: This article assumes you have already installed Zen Cart and have an FTP program installed to download and upload files within your site or can access file manager on your server to manage the Zen Cart files of your store.
How to Customize Store Wide Meta Tags on Zen Cart
- Go to the home page of your newly installed store catalog and select view source in your browser. In Internet Explorer and Google Chrome you will find this under Tools > View Source
- Scan lines 1 to 49. You will notice that there are a lot of references to Zen Cart and online shopping. In this tutorial we will be customizing lines around the 45-47 area so that the information reflects your store and is better SEO optimized
- Using FTP download the meta_tags.php file from the includes/languages/english/meta_tags.php directory of your Zencart store
- Open the meta_tags.php file using a text editor such as notepad and make the following edits to the file:
- Page Title
define('TITLE', 'Zen Cart!');
Change Zen Cart! to the name of your store eg 'Sue's Bookstore' Take care not to delete any inverted commas. Change the text inside the inverted commas only!
- Site Tagline
define('SITE_TAGLINE', 'The Art of E-commerce');
Change The Art of E-commerce to reflect your store requirements eg New Books at Discount Prices
- Custom Keywords
define('CUSTOM_KEYWORDS', 'ecommerce, open source, shop, online shopping');
Change the keywords ecommerce, open source, shop, online shopping to reflect the business of your store eg bookshop, bookstore, discount books, online bookstore
- Page Title
- Save your changes to this meta_tags.php file
- Using your FTP program or file manager on your server make a new directory called CUSTOM. If you already have a custom directory with a different name then you can skip this step. Be sure to keep the same naming conventions though throughout. If you don't have the directory create the new directory with the following path:
- Now upload the revised meta_tags.php file to this new directory. Please note it is important that you follow this method rather than overwriting the existing meta_tag.php file otherwise when you come to upgrade to a newer version of Zen Cart your file will get overwritten. This way you have all your customized files in a custom directory which is not affected by upgrades.
- Refresh the home page of your store and admire the changes you have made by navigating Tools > View Source in your browser.
You now have SEO friendly meta tags that define the site title, site tagline and keywords for your entire site. Making these changes will help your site get properly indexed in search engines like Google.
You will also need to set up meta tags for categories and products on your Zen Cart store. I will be giving you some tips on how to do this in future Zen Cart tutorials so please follow me or add this site to your favorites for more free help in customizing Zen Cart.