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!

17 Comments

  • In2PcFix

    In2PcFix

    thanks for shraing ith us

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Thanks for appreciating! 🙂

  • GoodWPThemes

    GoodWPThemes

    thanks for good info about eStore

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Glad to know you found the write-up helpful!

      • Jay

        Jay

        Hi. Thank you for sharing this post with the world.

        PLease do you think you can write and share another article that now focuses on the right people/skillset to hire to help run the marketplace and the description of their roles. This is one area i am currently struggling with., eg, sales/marketing (digital and social) , web master, website developer, server administrator, etc.

        Thank you in advance.

  • GODSON ALARIBE

    GODSON ALARIBE

    using Cloudfare on a multi-vendor site, I’m just getting my site set-up and I hit the wall trying to upload images only to find out it was a Cloudfare limitation on image size, so I’m wondering how vendors can navigate this limited image size when uploading products on the marketplace.

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Thanks for your comment and we apologize for the super late response.

      If you asked this in the context of Dokan, here’s the answer:

      Dokan does not have any specific image size to upload as featured image of the product. By default WordPress allow 2MB as maximum file upload size. That means a vendor can upload a featured image of 2MB by default. Now, if you need to change the size then you may need to increase the `max_file_uploads` from your php.ini file. This process needs to be done from your server. 🙂

  • Laravel Ecommerce

    Laravel Ecommerce

    Thanks for sharing such a good article. As of my opinion, shopify is one of best inbuilt multi vendor platform for start ups. This would save more time when comparing to buy a customized one.

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Thanks for your appreciation and observation. 🙂

  • Pingback: Dokan WooCommerce wordpress multi vendor plugin shopping mall ショッピングモール プラグイン – mill's kits at dawn

  • Mary Job

    Mary Job

    This is 2017 and this article is so on point and informative. Thank you.

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Thank you Mary for your appreciation!

      Hope you continue to follow our articles. 🙂

  • David

    David

    Nice Blog and quality share. This article is sufficient enough to get a high-quality resource for an e-commerce establishment. I really got benefited from your described points.

    • Rounak Ahmed

      Rounak Ahmed

      Thanks David for your wonderful appreciation. Glad to know you found the writing insightful. 🙂

  • Nesh

    Nesh

    Thanks fo sharing the insights. We have already implemented most of it and is working really well. One question I have is regarding to the messaging tool within Dokan multivendor.

    Right now member information such as address, ph number and email address is visible to everyone else. While I want the members to communicate with each other which is essential, but the communication to be contained within my website. Any recommendations please?

    How can I suppress this information so to ensure I’m no t in breach of any privacy laws such as Gdpr and also so that I can minimise leakage?

    • Nayem

      Nayem

      Hello Nesh,

      Yes, you are correct that vendor email address or phone number will be shown on the store page. Through that customer can easily send an email to the vendor. Now, if it is not okay for you then you can hide that information from the store page by adding some CSS code.

      We have a module called “Store Support” which can be used to create a support ticket to the vendor and the vendor can manage those tickets from their own vendor dashboard. Except this one, we do not have any alternate solution for now 🙂

  • Harish Kumar Acharya

    Harish Kumar Acharya

    I want to start My Own multi vendor ecom website… please tell me how much money i have to spend on it…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.