Choose The Best Marketplace Theme With These 6 Easy Questions

Choose The Best Marketplace Theme With These 6 Easy Questions

We’re often asked which marketplace theme is the best to use when it comes to starting a multi-vendor marketplace powered by WC Vendors. Admittedly, this is a difficult question to answer. After all, many variables are in play that can influence what counts as the right design for a platform.

For example, what one considers a great design is extremely subjective. A design we find nice might not be something another considers appropriate for their marketplace. In addition, we aren’t sure of your technical capabilities, so a theme that works well for one of our users might not be the right choice for another.

What theme should I use?” is an oft-repeated question we get via our pre-sales and support channels. Therefore, we thought it best to create a post that helps provide an answer. Furthermore, we’re assuming that you’re not attempting to create a custom theme from scratch but rather seeking an existing off-the-shelf solution to utilize.

Thousands of themes are available, with some being great and others less so. Today, we’ll provide you with some guidelines on what we consider to be a good approach for selecting a theme that suits your marketplace.

So let’s get cracking!

What Kind Of Marketplace Theme Should You Use?

The fact that you’re reading this proves that you already know what kind of marketplace you want to create. However, you need to have a solid plan when building your multi-vendor marketplace. For one thing, this ensures that you have a proper path to follow. In addition, it helps you avoid making the common mistakes that we usually see when people launch marketplaces.

Having a clear set of features outlined in your initial plan will help you pinpoint which themes will fit your requirements. Furthermore, the kinds of products or services you aim to sell can narrow down your theme choice quickly. Themes built for physical products are very different from themes built for digital products.

Basically, the design, color scheme, and features of the WordPress marketplace theme depend on your specific requirements. Thus, it’s best to start writing down what you need and answering a few questions.

WooCommerce Themes
Which marketplace theme you should pick depends on various factors (click to zoom)

Planning Your Marketplace Theme By Answering 6 Easy Questions

Functionality, design, and usability are all important aspects to consider when choosing your WC marketplace theme. But how do you choose the theme that’s perfect for you?

Simply put, to discover the ideal theme for your platform, you need to answer six crucial questions:

  1. Is the marketplace theme 100% compatible with WooCommerce?
  2. How good is the support and documentation for the marketplace theme?
  3. Is the marketplace theme updated regularly?
  4. How easy is the marketplace theme to install and use?
  5. Is the marketplace theme easy to customize?
  6. Is the marketplace theme compatible with WC Vendors?

Let’s discuss these questions in further detail!

1. Is The Marketplace Theme 100% Compatible With WooCommerce?

The first question you should ask yourself is if the marketplace theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce. This is a requirement for your theme to work correctly with WC Vendors products. Because we hook into various parts of the WooCommerce theme templates, we require that your theme is compatible with it.

Any theme that uses the woocommerce.php template file to declare WooCommerce compatibility won’t work with our plugins. If you’ve chosen a theme that uses this file, then you’ll have issues with the Vendor Stores, Vendor Dashboard, and possibly several other areas. To guarantee compatibility, ask the theme developer how they implemented WooCommerce compatibility.

2. How Good Is The Support And Documentation For The Marketplace Theme?

Support and documentation are vital aspects of your marketplace theme selection, not just for our plugins but for any site. You need to be able to access prompt, efficient support that can solve your issues. Moreover, you need to be able to help yourself with good documentation.

Assessing the above factors might differ based on whether the theme is free or paid:

Free Themes

If a theme is free, check their support forums. How many questions do users ask? How quickly does the developer answer these questions and resolve concerns? If the developer takes weeks to reply, it’s probably not a good idea to use that theme.

In addition, find out if the developer provides documentation about the theme on their website. And if it’s a popular theme, check if other people have written tutorials for it.

Premium Themes

Normally, premium marketplace theme developers provide support via various channels, such as open public forums, closed forums, or ticket-based systems. Their documentation may or may not be publicly available.

If the developer uses a public system, use the same method as you would with free themes. Check user posts as well as the developer’s response times and the effectiveness of their replies.

If the developer uses closed forums or a ticket system, there isn’t much you can do to check the responses for support. However, you can submit pre-sales questions and see how long it takes for them to respond. This can help you determine if they’re prompt in responding and resolving issues.

Moreover, consider whether their documentation is accessible to everyone or restricted. If it’s publicly available, does it provide sufficient clarity and detail for you to comprehend and troubleshoot on your own when necessary?

WC Vendors lets you choose from various free themes you can use for your multi-vendor marketplace
Many free and paid themes are available for your marketplace (click to zoom)

3. How Often Is The Marketplace Theme Updated?

One of the first things you should check is how frequently a marketplace theme is updated. An integral part of running a WordPress and WooCommerce-based business involves receiving and implementing regular updates. Normally, developers on state whenever they update their free themes. So do those who sell themes on theme marketplaces.

Most theme developers also publish their products’ changelogs. Basically, a changelog documents changes across versions, highlighting bug fixes and new features. Ideally, updates should occur at least monthly. However, an excessive number of updates solely for bug fixes might indicate an underlying issue with the theme that requires consideration.

If a marketplace theme takes months to update or hasn’t been updated in more than 6 months, we don’t recommend choosing it for your platform

4. How Easy Is The Marketplace Theme To Install And Use?

Many themes look stunning in their demos. However, after purchasing them, you might find it nearly impossible to recreate the same amazing look and feel for your marketplace.

This is where support and documentation come into play. Let’s say you’re considering a complex theme. Ask yourself: Does it offer good support and documentation to assist you in customizing it according to your needs? Furthermore, does it require a lot of other plugins to work?

We don’t recommend using themes that only function once many other plugins are in place. After all, adding plugins solely for a single feature isn’t advisable. Thus, it’s crucial to carefully consider whether that particular feature is truly necessary for your needs. Keep in mind that you should only include plugins that you absolutely need to get your marketplace launched.

When your theme and marketplace have too many components, it can lead to complications during updates and ongoing maintenance. So if the absence of a complex plugin won’t break your initial plan for your platform, leave it out and keep things simple. Only reconsider using said plugin if enough users request it.

Storefront WordPress Theme
Storefront is a marketplace theme that’s easy to use and install (click to zoom)

5. Is The Marketplace Theme Easy To Customize?

The level of difficulty in customizing your marketplace theme can vary. Many themes available on the most popular theme marketplaces try to be everything to everyone. We call these “kitchen sink themes,” and while they generally look fantastic, they tend to contain excessive code, consequently slowing down your site.

The ease of customizing the theme – whether through the customizer, a page builder, or template overrides – can indicate the usability of the theme you’re considering. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Can you customize the theme by simply using the built-in WordPress customizer, or will you need a page builder?
  • For the developers among you, can you override templates easily?
  • How are the templates managed?
  • Are the templates updated with every release of WC Vendors, WooCommerce, and WordPress?

Customization is what makes your marketplace unique. Thus, you need to consider how giving your platform a distinct look will affect your brand. Sure, simply downloading a theme and making no changes to it can work. However, remember that if you opt for an extremely popular theme, your site could end up closely resembling someone else’s, leading to it being mistaken for theirs.

6. Is The Marketplace Theme Compatible With WC Vendors?

The WC Vendors website comes with a theme section. Basically, it lists all of the free themes our team has tested and determined to be fully compatible with our plugin.

The section also includes paid themes submitted by developers. As hundreds of developers create themes for our plugins, it’s impossible to test every single one.

However, we trust theme developers to regularly test compatibility with WC Vendors. Furthermore, we support them to ensure that they can maintain said compatibility.

Here’s an easy yet useful method to figure out if a paid theme will work properly on your platform: If a developer says that their theme is compatible with WC Vendors, check when it was last updated. Examine their changelog to see if and when this compatibility was added. If the theme hasn’t received recent updates, there’s a chance it’s not compatible with our plugins.

WoodMart Theme Demos
WoodMart is a marketplace theme that’s compatible with WC Vendors (click to zoom)


Choosing a theme is a subjective matter. However, by answering some important questions, you can qualify and narrow down your selection.

To recap, the six questions to ask yourself when determining the right theme for your platform are:

  1. Is the marketplace theme 100% WooCommerce compatible?
  2. How good is the support and documentation for the marketplace theme?
  3. Is the marketplace theme updated regularly?
  4. How easy is the marketplace theme to install and use?
  5. Is the marketplace theme easy to customize?
  6. Is the marketplace theme compatible with WC Vendors?

Answering these questions isn’t the only way to choose a theme. However, many businesses, including ourselves, have used them effectively to choose themes for marketplaces and online stores. In fact, these questions can help you pick a theme for any kind of WordPress site.

Do you have any questions or other suggestions on how to enhance marketplace theme selection? Let us know in the comments section!

Also, don’t forget to check out our themes section. And if you’re a theme developer, please feel free to reach out and submit your WC Vendors compatible theme!

Posted in Marketplaces 101

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