Making The Telephone Not Required on Signup

Written by  May 9, 2007

There is a place and a time for asking for phone numbers. There are valid reasons to (and many sites ask). However, with all the privacy issues and concerns these days, unless mandatory (for reasons other then “I just want it in case”), I recommend leaving the telephone either off the form completely, or at the very least, make it NOT a required field.

Having said that, one draw back of Zen Cart was the inability (in an easy “admin interface”) to turn the phone number on or off, make it required or not. To test the difference in asking for it or not, and analyzing how it affected conversion rates, I determined that it all depends on the type of product you are selling, and to who you are selling it to whether or not you should ask for a telephone number.

As suspected, when the phone number was left out completely, conversion rose. Ok, so let’s cut to it. I created a free zen cart plug-in module that allows you to make the phone number a required field, not required field, or completely remove it from the checkout process — all from within the Administrative backend. This currently only works with 1.3.6 and has not yet been tested on anything higher (or lower).

If you have tested it, I’d like your feedback as to what platform versions it is compatible with in addition to 1.3.6. Post your finding here if you would.

Details of the Zen Cart Module are below:

This module enables you, from within the Admin, to show or hide the Telephone Number from the “sign-up” (Account Creation) form.

It also enables you to make the telephone NOT a required field from within the Admin.

NOTE: This is specific to v1.3.6

Download it here Hide Telephone Number On Sign-up / Checkout

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26 Responses to “Making The Telephone Not Required on Signup”

  1. on May 24th, 2007 8:08 pm

    Thank you very much for the tip. Works on my 1.3.7 shop. I would suggest that there is a caveat written in the install directions regarding mysql syntax regarding Zen Cart. Turns out it is very picky, and when I ran the file you packed, I was given an error. I read some sources online, and then decided to cut and paste and break up the commands onto seperate lines as suggested on the Zen Cart site. I know little about mysql, so I imagine this information will help make your patch usable to a wider audience.


    Thanks again!

  2. econcepts on May 24th, 2007 9:28 pm

    Glad you liked it.

    Also, thanks for pointing that SQL fact out. Of the hundreds of downloads so far, I haven’t had anyone report that issue so until now I was not aware of it. Again, thanks for the info. Hopefully it helps others that may have the same issue with previous code versions.

    So, just to clarify, you have it running successfully on a 1.3.7 shop right? It should work on all, but I only tested it on a 1.3.5 / 6 version. (Not too much different from 1.3.7).

  3. on May 28th, 2007 8:09 pm

    I suppose I thought I had it working. I gave my registration a run through with a fake user and the telephone option off. When I filled in the information, with no telephone field visible thanks to your code, I get this error when I submit: Your Telephone Number must contain a minimum of 3 characters. Any thoughts? I am running 1.3.7.

    Thanks for your time.

  4. econcepts on May 28th, 2007 8:19 pm

    You may have forgot one step.

    Did you go to Configuration > Minimum Values and set “Telephone” equal to “BLANK” (as in nothing). If that is set to “3” (or anything other than “blank”) then the system will by default still see it as a “required field” (based on minimum values).

    Let me know if that helps.

  5. on May 29th, 2007 6:04 pm

    Hello. We have your patch installed on 1.3.7. It now allows us to turn the phone number ‘on or off’ from the admin but whenever the phone number field is turned on (and showing), it still has the red “required” asterisk next to it. I have tried to set the minimum telephone value to “0” and “blank” but the asterisk is still there — making customers think they have to put their phone number in even though the program technically doesn’t require it. Ideas? Thanks much.

  6. econcepts on May 29th, 2007 8:03 pm

    The Asterisk is controlled through the language file (a default part of Zen). In order to remove that asterisk you would need to open the following file:

    /includes/languages/[YOUR TEMPLATE]/english.php

    and in that file, find the following line of code


    Change it to read as follows:


    (removing the asterisk). That should do it.

  7. on May 29th, 2007 9:16 pm

    Everything is working. Sorry for that over site on the minimum values, I should have seen it. My only excuse is that I don’t know much about Zen Cart.

    Any suggestions on quality sources for learning? I am very new to Zen Cart and I don’t see too much value in their website when looking for information. I look forward to your mini-book. Thanks for your help.

  8. econcepts on May 29th, 2007 9:33 pm

    No problem at all. It is an easy thing to miss. There is a lot to Zen Cart, and it can be a daunting task to learn.

    As far as sources, I myself just use the forums, however, I am also “technical” in nature so a number of the items they talk about there are understood.

    What I am trying to do with this site is to help the entire Zen Cart community to learn new ways they may not have thought about, and that are not talked about readily in the forums for increasing sales.

    I also want to convey to try to approach the community from a “less technical” level when possible. In fact, I am working on an entire section right now that will be added to this site which will offer nothing but Video Tutorials on how to use various Zen Cart related items. Sometimes “seeing” is better than reading. 🙂

    My first tutorial should go up later this week (near the end) or early this weekend. I intend on taking “requests” for what people may want to see as a video as well. It is a different way of approaching it, and one that I think will really be welcomed by many.

  9. new to zen on July 1st, 2007 12:06 am

    Thank you for this very helpful website.
    This contribution is now in use at

    I agree with what on May 24th, 2007 at 8:08 pm.

    Here is what I had to do to install the sql patch through the zen admin:

    This is the error I had:

    1064 You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘true’, ‘false’), ‘, now())’ at line 1

    Here is the information I found, thanks to the comment from

    though there is no syntax error in the original file. You can fix this problem by opening the file admin/sqlpatch.php and replacing the line:

    $query_string = zen_db_prepare_input($upload_query);

    with this:

    $query_string = $upload_query;

    thanks again, for all the great online tips!

  10. Robert on July 31st, 2007 4:07 am

    I really love and appriciate this site. You’re doing a heck of a job for us non-technical guys. I’m going to try and impliment the No Phone and see what happens. I sure with the info I have here I should be able to do it. T
    Thanks Again!

  11. econcepts on July 31st, 2007 6:55 am

    Thanks Robert. I try to work hard to provide helpful and useful information in the simplest terms possible.

    I am glad you enjoy the site. There is so much coming on the horizon. It seems as though my testing never ends. 🙂

  12. Kent on April 23rd, 2008 6:20 pm

    Dear econcepts,

    Have you heard from anyone on the compatibility of this module with ZenCart 1.3.8 ?

    I’d sure like to use it if it works in this environment.


  13. Eric Leuenberger on April 30th, 2008 7:55 am

    Have you heard from anyone on the compatibility of this module with ZenCart 1.3.8

    Works just fine with 1.3.8. I am using this mod on sites ranging from 1.2.x up to and through 1.3.8 with now problems.

  14. Wally on June 6th, 2008 10:21 am

    Excellent tip!

    I installed on version 1.3.7 – and it worked perfectly. Cut and pasted code from the download and had zero problems!

  15. version on June 24th, 2008 6:57 am


    I have a client that want’s all unnecessary fields removed – including password

    This is because they want to streanline the purchasing process and they don’t want customers to sign up to pay.

    I’d really like to see a module that sends a random password via email, then new customers would only need to input shipping address (including name) and email for verification.

    why would you need any other info?

    The email would be a receipt with login info (password) for tracking etc…

    Does that sound logical?

  16. version on June 24th, 2008 7:22 am

    Forget my last comment

    The module does exist:

    Checkout Without Account Mod

  17. Lisa D on September 16th, 2008 12:38 pm

    I just installed this mod on 1.3.8 and it works just fine with no errors.

  18. John f on October 3rd, 2008 12:58 am


    I’m wanting to implement your mod but have already made changes to my template language file. Is it possible to get the code alterations so I can change the files manually?


  19. John f on October 5th, 2008 11:39 pm

    I managed to work out the alterations myself.
    Thanks for this very useful mod.

  20. Robert on June 4th, 2009 9:53 am

    Thanks for this very useful mod.

  21. Laura on November 3rd, 2009 3:05 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I read the “ReadMe” for the “Telephone Not Required” contribution, followed the steps, and it works flawlessly.

    Thanks so much!


  22. Sambo on January 5th, 2010 1:38 pm

    Excellent piece of work. I had tried for ages to remove the telephone number field from the account form because I felt it might be putting potential customers off, but I had absolutely no idea where to start looking.

    I just had to do a bit of work to find the right place to put the tpl_modules_create_account.php file (I had to make a new folder called ‘templates’ within the templates/’MY TEMPLATE’ folder. Once I did this…everything worked just fine on v1.3.8a.


  23. Hussain on February 22nd, 2010 8:11 pm

    Hi every body
    I installed this module on 1.3.8.a and it works fine, no problems… I need a similar module for disabling the “Street address” or any body knows how to disable it? appreciative for any kind of information.


  24. Eric on February 23rd, 2010 11:09 am

    A “quick fix” would be to do this:

    1) Add a container around the sections you don’t want to show and apply the following style to them “visibility:hidden”

    2) Since the address has a number of required fields you’ll also need to remove the “minimum” requirements for that field under Configuration > Minimum Values by setting the value of the “Address Field” to nothing (blank).

    3) You will have to edit the file found in /includes/form_check.js.php Find the section that checks for the presence of the address field and comment it out.

    That should be a quick fix for you.

  25. Hussain on February 26th, 2010 3:35 am

    Thank you so much Eric, I found the code where to remove unwanted fields… But it is little bit strange that the great Zen Cart does not manage this in the admin panel so that you will be able to disable and enable what ever you like without needing to modifying and commenting out the code… I hope they will add it in next version..

    Very appreciative Eric, regards

  26. Alexandra on September 3rd, 2010 11:27 am

    Amazing, Thank you ever so much !!

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