8 hours to self hosted Sharetribe

8 hours to self hosted Sharetribe
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What is Sharetribe?

Sharetribe is an open-source platform to create and run online marketplaces. There is a hosted multi-tenant version of Sharetribe that can be used at affordable prices.

If you’re looking for more information about Sharetribe backend development and its alternatives, read our recent post.

Why and when you should use Sharetribe vs own marketplace

  • Low skilled simple setup for the hosted version. Few hours to set up a self-hosted version including database migration from the hosted version.
  • Supported by the community for the open-source version and by the Sharetribe company for the hosted version.
  • Payments system integrated into the hosted version and can be easily integrated for self-hosting.
  • No lock-in as it is open source written in Ruby on Rails. You can customize it your way on self-hosted and migrate your data from hosted to self-hosted.
  • Best speed to market to validate your idea and to learn onboarding your first vendors, helping to make their first sales, scaling, and other.

Get the best from two approaches with Sharetibe! Start with a hosted version to validate your market and to start fast. Learn how to run a marketplace then switch to a self-hosted open source version of Sharetribe and change it the way you want as your own marketplace.

Running costs for hosted Sharetribe

Here is some info about first-year costs that do not count your time of course:

  • Sharetribe Pro subscription for 12 months – starting from $1428
  • Custom domain for 12 months – $10
  • Security certificate – included with Sharetribe
  • Logo – $299
  • Stock images – free
  • Total cost: $1737

Running costs for self-hosted Sharetribe

  • DigitalOcean server for 12 months – $240
  • Custom domain for 12 months – $10
  • Security certificate –10$
  • Logo – $299
  • Stock images – free
  • Total cost: $559

2 main problems with self-hosted Sharetribe

1. No payments

“PayPal payments are only available on marketplaces hosted at Sharetribe.com due to special permissions needed from PayPal. We hope to add support for PayPal payments to the open-source version of Sharetribe in the future.” @https://github.com/sharetribe/sharetribe#payments

Solution – you can hire developers to integrate the payment system of your choice or you can switch off payments in the marketplace entirely.

In 2018, Sharetribe added support for Stripe Connect so anyone can now do online payments in Sharetribe Go open-source marketplace Stripe Connect.
You can learn more at https://github.com/sharetribe/sharetribe#enable-stripe

2. No passwords after migration

You have to ask for a database dump of your hosted data through Sharetribe support before migration. Passwords of your users will be lost and they have to reset them.

For security reasons, we can’t export (hashed) user passwords. If you want to start hosting the open source version of Sharetribe on your own server from the backup data, your users will need to reset their passwords using the “Password forgotten” link. Users who log in via Facebook Connect are not affected by this as long as you keep using the same Facebook App.“ @Sharetribe Support


At the time of writing the post, there are 2 more features that are present in the commercial version and are not yet provided in the open-source self-hosted Sharetribe version. These are location-based search and availability management.  Both features are quite important for marketplaces. Clients want to search for nearby products and services from marketplace sellers. For many service marketplaces, it is important to manage the calendar of service providers. It is promised to provide both features to the open-source version of Sharetribe, but no info of when this is going to happen. Here discussion thread for location-based search.


In 2018 Sharetribe allows the export of a hashed password. This was not possible earlier but they’ve improved security and you can now specifically request an export with a hashed password.
You can learn more at https://help.sharetribe.com/managing-your-marketplace/access-and-database/how-to-get-a-full-backup-and-database-export-of-your-marketplace

Prepare for simple self-hosted Sharetribe

  • Hosting. Register at DigitalOcean and buy a 20$/month server instance. Share the root password with your developer. You can use other self-managing hostings including Heroku.
  • Domain. Bu the domain and configure it to point it (or its subdomains) to the IP address of your server following instructions of your registrar. Here is a sample howto from GoDaddy.
  • SSL. Being on the hosted version you enjoyed the SSL certificate for HTTPS secure access provided by https://letsencrypt.org/. Now on the open-source version, you can buy SSL from other providers or you can get it from Let’s Encrypt. In either case, your developer needs the certificate to configure HTTPS access.
  • Emailing. Register an account with any transactional email services, validate your domain, and share settings with your developer. I suggest Mailgun as it has 10 000 emails and easy to setup. However please take a look at SendGrid, MailChimp, and other providers.
  • Database. Request support to provide you with the export of your hosted Sharetribe Database if you migrate from the hosted version and do not want to lose data.
  • Google MAP API. Your Sharetribe needs to show listings on the map. This feature works with Google MAP API. You have to sign up and provide access credentials to the developer for further configurations.

What your developer does during self-hosted Sharetribe install

Basically, developer follows the instructions for the open source version of the platform:

  • Configuring server before the installation,
  • Installing Sharetribe,
  • Connecting mailing system, Connecting SSL,
  • Connecting Google MAP API,
  • Importing your database.

Some Examples of Sharetribe based marketplaces

Alternatives for Sharetribe

Explore the complete list of the most famous and competitive Sharetribe alternatives to create your online marketplace in our article 7 Sharetribe alternatives and its updated version with new Sharetribe alternatives for 2018. Additionally, you check:

  1. Structured Domains to create your customized Marketplace or Directory
  2. Wizaplace for quick implementation and easy management of your marketplace
  3. Marketplaces Inc. is the e-commerce software for creating cloud-based marketplaces & stores
  4. WooCommerce multi-vendor marketplace powered by WordPress
  5. Sharetribe Flex


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