How to start a multi-vendor eCommerce website

We have described what things you need before a multi seller marketplace and also mentioned the steps about how to start a multi-vendor ecommerce website.

Start a multi-seller store today

I have finally decided to write my story on “The perfect multi-vendor eCommerce website”.  User friendliness is the must have quality for a multi-vendor eCommerce website to achieve perfection. I am not going to talk about free plugins and cheap ways to do websites but rather about the best practices and plugins you can use to get in the spot.

I get this question a lot:

Why the WordPress platform?

I simply answer – “Show me a platform that is free and more user friendly than WordPress!”.

Things required to start a marketplace:

  • Hosting
  • WordPress Theme
  • WordPress Plugins
  • Mobile Web App
  • Real-Time Backup

Hosting:

For eCommerce websites, it all depends on the number of plugins you run on that
website. In this article, you will see that I use a lot of plugins and services to complete my eCommerce website.

I have found this setup to work well for me and this is just a guideline to give you an idea of what
to expect.

Server:

  • 3 vCPU
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 150 GB Bandwidth
  • 150 GB Space
  • Self Managed with ISPConfig 3

Themes are very important when building any website. Most of the users go for the theme
that is pretty and have a nice look to it. But when installing it and setting it up you will find
most of them to be heavy and quite confusing. I like to do it clean and almost from scratch. I find that I
have more control over the theme this way. You need to know your CSS well and its worth
it!

Themes I like to use:

Plugins

Should be chosen wisely. It is always good to go premium because of the updates
you receive when there are security faults or just general problems with the plugin. Quick
and fast responses are always nice to have! I will start with what to install first and then take
it from there.

Sometimes the order in which these are installed does not matter.

  1. WooCommerce (shop)
    • This is the shop! Without this, do not even start building the shop. Everything
      you need is in this plugin!
  2. Dokan (multi-vendor)
    • After spending a lot of money on other multi-vendor plugins, I found Dokan by
      far the best there is on the internet today! The design is simple and works
      great and easy. It is too easy for the “Seller” to set up a shop and no admin or
      backend control is necessary to set up a shop. All is done from the frontend of the
      website.
  3. The following plugins also from Dokan:
  4. CloudFlare
    • I use CloudFlare CDN on all my websites
    • For fast content loading and security for your website. And it is a great ease
      of mind to have this!
  5. Gravity Forms
    • This is a “nice to have” plugin. I found that this is the best on the market!
  6. Search & Filter Pro
    • Works awesome when you have a lot of products and categories.
    • Searching and filtering of posts, products and custom posts. Allow your users
      to search and filter by categories, tags, taxonomies, custom fields, post meta,
      post dates, post types and authors.
  7. WordPress SEO
    • Yoast is one of the best plugins to get your website SEO ready!
  8. Following plugins from YITH:
  9. Ultimate Social Deux
    • You can use any sharing plugin, but it is crucial to have one! JetPack also
      offers a free plugin.
  10. Wp-Insert
    • If you want to advertise or use Adsense then this is awesome!
  11. Support System
    • FAQ’s and tickets make you stand out from the rest. You can use bbPress forums to make a support forum for your customers or any other 3rd party ticketing system like ZenDesk.
    • Remember: Nothing can
      beat good support.

Mobile Web App

A mobile web app is the best way to save money and time. Google demands good mobile
websites and this is a must-have for any website! The themes I mentioned are great
responsive themes. But I still don’t like how the responsive themes make my content look. I
prefer the more “App look and feel”.

I found WPtouch Pro to be the best for any WooCommerce store or plain websites. This is
really a must-have. This will give you good rankings and save you time to build your app.
This is expensive, I know, but this is the closest you can get to an app-like look and feel.

Real-Time Backup

Keeping backup has always been an overkill for me. I used to make daily backups until I
found myself in a pickle. When running a multi-vendor store, there is a new product almost
every five minutes and by the end of the day you have a lot to handle. So, what
happens if you restore your daily backup after a plugin failure or misconfiguration? You
restore the daily backup and lose all the changes for that day!

So, I had to choose between VaultPress or BlogVault, and I choose BlogVault. Both are very
good in what they do so it really does not matter which one you choose. Remember
backups are not a waste of money!

In conclusion: This is really the best setup you can do for the time. You will look and
run professionally AND stand out from the rest.

Ready to start your very own marketplace?

Buy Dokan Plugin→

We will install and configure everything for you FREE!

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