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Which CMS should you choose to create your marketplace?


Discover a complete presentation of the CMS sa marketplace, explore the essential selection criteria and benefit from a detailed comparison!


Which CMS should you choose to create your marketplace?

Content management systems don’t always appear to be the ideal tool for creating and launching a marketplace, yet if you take the time to evaluate the various possibilities and select the right solution, you may be surprised at the results.


A CMS, the tool for all your projects


It’s the essential tool for all digital companies employing staff who are not trained in code (in other words, all companies!).

Definition and presentation


A CMS is a software program or platform that enables dynamic, simplified management, storage and publication of content on a website, without the need for programming or IT skills.


Thanks to a user-friendly interface, users can easily create and modify pages without needing to know how to code.



Advantages and disadvantages


CMS offer a wide range of functionalities such as editing, user management, design customization, SEO, domain name purchase and workflow management. CMS are widely used today, as they make it considerably easier to create and maintain websites.


However, they can also have their drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is the limitation of customization, as CMS have a pre-built structure that can limit advanced customization.


CMS are also frequent targets for hackers, which can expose websites to potential security flaws. Websites built with CMS can also present performance problems due to the use of plugins and custom themes.


Finally, when using a CMS, you are dependent on the provider’s maintenance and support, which can pose a problem if the provider stops supporting it, or if you wish to migrate to another system.

The different types of CMS


There are many different types of content management systems. Each is adapted to specific needs. Here are some of the most common types:


  • For blogs, which offer features such as publishing articles, comments and media.
  • For showcase sites presenting a company, organization or individual. They offer, for example, page management, images and contact forms.
  • Marketplaces generally offer e-commerce functionalities such as product, order and payment management.


Why choose a CMS to create your marketplace?


Today, there are a large number of solutions available on the market: WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop, Webflow, Dato… Sellers wishing to launch their own online store are spoilt for choice, but for the launch of a marketplace, it is recommended to choose a tool specialized in e-commerce.

The advantages of using a CMS for a marketplace


Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the strengths of a CMS:


  • Simplified user management ;
  • Easy customization ;
  • Search engine optimization (SEO);
  • Payment management;
  • Security.



Criteria for choosing a CMS for a marketplace


Ready to make your choice? Here are the points to bear in mind when making your decision.


Marketplace functionality


Ask yourself several questions before making your decision. Ask yourself, for example, whether the solution offers features such as product management, payments or SEO, the ability to integrate third-party payment tools and currency management, CRM solutions, analytics and accurate data?


Customization and flexibility 


Another important point is the ability to customize your marketplace. Here are a few typical e-commerce examples. If any of these seem essential to you, check that the tool you’ve chosen offers them:


  • creation of personalized themes
  • user interface customization,
  • payment and delivery options,
  • customization of pages with elements such as images, videos and buttons,
  • the possibility of personalized integrations with third-party
  • tools such as CRM systems or e-mail marketing platforms,
    personalization of the user experience using machine learning or data-driven personalization tools.



The cost of the solution



Although some CMS, such as Drupal, are available free of charge, to achieve a high-quality, complex or customized site, it may be necessary to hire developers.


Proprietary solutions may have higher costs, such as annual subscription fees. Some e-commerce solutions also take transaction fees on each sale, such as the 3% to 0.5% fee depending on the subscription plan chosen on Shopify.


Other costs to consider include human resources such as developers and designers, subscriptions, hosting, domain names, purchases of themes, extensions and plugins.


It’s important to explore every potential cost line for each solution, without necessarily sticking to the offer presented on the home page.



Support and community


CMS with active communities tend to offer superior functionality, regular updates and a wide variety of themes and plugins. Active communities are also useful for quickly resolving problems, offering tips and sharing knowledge.


Such software should also offer quality support, including assistance, comprehensive documentation and a support forum to answer questions that may arise during the project.




CMS must offer advanced security options, such as protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, SQL injection protection and XSS vulnerabilities.


Content management systems must also be regularly updated to correct security flaws and be compatible with the latest security standards.


CMS must also offer backup and restore functionality, as well as options for limiting access to sensitive data.


It’s also important to choose CMSes that have an active community to monitor security flaws and offer solutions to users.



The best CMS for a marketplace


Here are the three solutions most frequently used by sellers: Drupal, Shopify and Sharetribe.



Quick comparison of the 3 solutions


  • Security: Drupal is known for its robust security, with regular updates and an active community of developers to resolve security flaws. Shopify also offers robust security, with real-time monitoring and protection against DDoS attacks. Sharetribe offers standard security, but the platform is regularly updated to correct security flaws.
  • Support and community: Drupal has an active community and a vast network of developers, offering comprehensive problem-solving resources.


Shopify also has a large community of developers and fast technical support. Sharetribe has a smaller community, but offers solid support.


  • Cost: Drupal is a free option, but requires advanced technical knowledge for in-depth customization and configuration. Shopify offers monthly subscription plans, ranging from $29 to $299 per month, with transaction fees ranging from 0.5% to 2%. Sharetribe offers monthly subscription plans, ranging from €79 to €299 per month, but takes no transaction fees.
  • Customization and flexibility: Drupal offers advanced customization with a wide variety of themes and modules, as well as the ability to customize existing modules. Shopify offers simple customization through an intuitive user interface, as well as a wide selection of themes and plugins. Sharetribe offers advanced customization, but requires technical knowledge for in-depth configuration.


The open source CMS


Introducing Drupal


Drupal, an open source software designed by Dries Buytaert in Belgium in 2000, enables the creation of complex, modular websites thanks to its flexible structure and extensible modules. Primarily based on the PHP programming language, Drupal works with databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.


The solution includes Drupal Commerce, a suite of e-commerce modules specifically designed for e-commerce and marketplaces.

Percentage of use on the market






Drupal Commerce offers native integration with Drupal, advanced customization and a modular architecture for marketplaces. It supports multiple languages and currencies, and facilitates product management.

Weak points


However, its learning curve is high and development costs can be significant. What’s more, it lacks marketplacespecific extensions and offers fewer ready-to-use e-commerce themes than other solutions.


The price of this CMS


Drupal Commerce is free of charge, but it does require some technical skills to be used to its full potential. Don’t hesitate to call on experts to support you.

Proprietary CMS


Shopify overview


Shopify is an e-commerce platform founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Scott Lake and Daniel Weinand. The platform makes it easy to create online stores to sell physical or digital products. Shopify is built on Ruby on Rails, an open source web development framework. H4: Percentage of usage on the market




Shopify is a turnkey e-commerce platform, offering ease of use, a wide variety of attractive themes and rapid configuration. It offers apps and integrations to extend its functions and facilitates payments. It also enables easy integration of third-party applications, such as e-mail marketing and CRM.



Weak points


However, customization can be limited, application and subscription costs can mount up, and migration to other platforms can be difficult.

The price of this CMS


Shopify offers several plans to suit the needs of different types of business. Plans vary according to the number of products offered, advanced features and transaction fees. Installing Shopify is easy and requires no advanced technical knowledge.

The online CMS


Introducing Sharetribe


Sharetribe is a marketplace platform created in 2011 by Juho Makkonen and Antti Virolainen. It lets you create marketplaces to sell products and services online. Sharetribe is based on Ruby on Rails. It enables easy customization of the marketplace thanks to a user-friendly interface and advanced customization options.

Percentage of use on the market

Less than 1%* of sales.



Sharetribe offers rapid configuration and a particularly user-friendly interface. Sharetribe offers ready-to-use marketplace functionality, including payment solutions, messaging and reservations.

Weak points


However, customization is limited compared to open-source CMS, subscription costs can be high and adaptability to traditional e-commerce sites is limited.



The price of this CMS


Sharetribe’s platform is available in several plans to suit the needs of different types of business. Plans vary according to the number of products offered, advanced features and transaction fees. Installing Sharetribe is easy and requires no advanced technical knowledge.


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