Creating an Etsy-Style Network With WordPress Multisite

Calling all Multisite gurus. Today’s installment of the WordPress Q & A Sessions should be right up your alley.

A reader named Brian has submitted the following question to us:

I want to use WordPress Multisite toCreate an Etsy-style site with WordPress Multisite create something similar to Etsy and Artfire. How would I completely hide all WordPress admin options in the dashboard (for subdomain sites), and create a custom admin page that limits each store owner to just a few basic storefront customization options?

Thank you!


This is a question that we’ve heard from several multisite users over at the WPMU DEV forums. Have you attempted something like this yourself?

If you can throw any suggestions Brian’s way, with regards to modifying the dashboard in Multisite, he would sure love to hear them. Please add a comment after this article and let us know what you think.

And if you’ve got a WordPress question of your own that you’ve been dying to ask – Send it to us! If it’s worthy of publishing on the blog, you’ll score yourself a three month membership at WPMU DEV.

By the way, anyone who wants to create an eCommerce store with WordPress Multisite should definitely take a look at the MarketPress plugin.

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Photo: Urban Woodswalker.

Comments (11)

  1. Hi Brian,

    This is something I’ve considered before – and will need to do in the future – but never had to actually implement.

    My “theory” though has allowed me to consider using membership type plugins (or at least modification of php files along the same kind of line) to redirect anything other than specific groups of users away from the Admin DashBoard, and then using one of the forms plugins (Ninja Forms, Gravity Forms or Formidable) combined with Custom Post Types (and maybe cron jobs) to build front-end dashboards and actions on inputs….

    Maybe others could confirm or deny if this approach would work?

  2. Id start with Buddypress… then work from there. WPMU dev has a number of plugins you could use to integrate an e-commerce system and extended profiles, then youd just have to do a HEAP of re-theming and plugin juggling to get something fairly decent. Im by no means an expert, id love to know if this is a good idea or if it would end up too ‘bloated’ for a production level site [as opposed to a prototype].

  3. We used a combination of Marketpress and WordPress Multisite to launch a series of stores. When a customer logs in, they are redirected to a page on the front-end of the website where they can access order information, etc. So far so good, Marketpress isn’t the most robust ecommerce system, but we actually found it’s simplicity refreshing.

  4. I just launched today, it’s a very simply talent video sharing website for young people.

    I’m using BuddyPress and from next month the site will have an ecommerce feature, without using multi-site. All the current registered users will be able to sell their own products on 1 site.

    Might add the crowdfunding plugin wpmu dev created last month.

  5. I’m interested in learning more from anyone who has had success going this route. I’m considering starting my own etsy/storenvy style network using WP Multisite and would like to know about the ups and downs regarding development, deployment, and maintenance of a network like this.