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How much does it cost to customize your marketplace with code
How much does it cost to customize your marketplace with code

This article helps you understand the costs associated with developing and maintaining a marketplace with custom code.

Juho Makkonen avatar
Written by Juho Makkonen
Updated over a week ago

There are four types of costs that you should be aware of when considering customizing your marketplace with code: development costs, subscription costs, hosting and maintenance costs, and software update costs.

Development costs

If you're making the code changes yourself, it doesn't cost anything. If you hire a developer to make the changes for you, the developer typically charges you based on the amount of time they spent building the changes. Most developers have standard hourly rates. The cost can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the changes you need. Simple changes might get done quickly, costing you only a few hundred dollars, while complex development projects, with lots of custom features, design changes, and integrations, could cost tens of thousands. The best way to get an exact estimate on how much it will cost to build what you need is to describe your requirements to a Sharetribe Expert and get a quote from them.

Subscription costs

To be able to customize your marketplace with code, you need access to the Sharetribe developer platform. For this, you only need the "Build" plan as your Dev environment includes all the features of the developer platform. Learn more about environments.

However, in order for you to publish your code changes in your Live marketplace, you will need the "Extend" plan, which starts from $299/month. See details on Sharetribe's pricing.

Hosting and maintenance costs

If you've customized your marketplace with code, you need to run the customized version of the Sharetribe Web Template on your own server. We use Render in our examples, as it offers a simple and streamlined installation and maintenance experience, but you can also use Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or any other hosting or cloud provider of your choice.

If you choose Render, their "Team" plan should be enough for running a Live marketplace. It costs $19/month. They also have a free plan, but its initial load is too slow to make it useful for anything else than your own internal testing.

If you've done more complex customizations to your marketplace, this might also increase the cost of maintaining them. If you're working with a Sharetribe Expert, it's always a good idea to also discuss with them what kind of costs are associated with maintaining the code they build.

Software update costs

Sharetribe constantly releases new features to help you improve your marketplace. If you are only using the no-code builder, new features become immediately available when they are released: you can simply turn on a configuration in Console and see the feature appear in your marketplace.

If you customize your marketplace with code, there is an additional step required to take a new marketplace feature into use. The reason for this is that the custom code you have written might conflict with the new feature built by Sharetribe. For example, let's say that you have adjusted the layout of the availability calendar of your marketplace. Then Sharetribe releases a new version of Sharetribe Web Template, which also introduces changes to the availability calendar. If you want to take these new changes into use, you need to either get rid of the custom calendar code you created earlier or change it so that it works with the new calendar features.

Thus, whenever Sharetribe releases a new version of the Sharetribe Web Template, you need to decide if you want to take it into use. It's optional: you don't need to upgrade if you don't have use for the new additions.

To incorporate the latest feature, you need to download the latest version of the Template and merge it with your customized version to see if there are conflicts. If there are no conflicts, the upgrade process might take no more than 15 minutes. In some cases, though, it can take significant development work to resolve the conflicts.

You do not need to incorporate the latest features, as some releases may not be useful to you. If you end up making large changes to the Sharetribe Web Template codebase (for example, by modifying the layout and workflow of most pages significantly), you might reach a point where it no longer makes sense to try to keep your Template up-to-date with the most recent changes introduced by Sharetribe, and instead evolve your marketplace functionality solely through custom development.

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