Lisfinity vs AdForest

A Comparison Guide for Choosing the Best WordPress/WooCommerce based Multivendor theme.

Posted by Philip Rudy on 5/26/2023 at 10:26pm EST
WooCommerce WordPress Development Multivendor

Choosing the right multivendor theme for your business is a critical decision that impacts not just the aesthetics of your website but its functionality and user experience as well. When evaluating options, consider factors such as theme options, the variety of product and post types available, the user interface of the dashboard, the organization of categories, and the effectiveness of the search functionality for classified ads.

For developers or website administrators, a deep understanding of the theme's core concepts is essential. Questions to explore include the process for creating headers, the number and types of post types supported, the default user roles defined within the theme, and the workings of the messaging system.

Another consideration is whether there are plans to expand the website to include a vendor side in addition to classified ads. This decision will significantly influence the choice of theme based on the features and flexibility required to support such an expansion.

Before deciding on a multivendor WordPress theme, it's crucial to approach the installation process with caution. Avoid installing multiple themes on the same WordPress staging instance unless you are confident in navigating the dashboard and managing the intricacies involved, such as tracking required plugins and any database modifications. This precaution helps prevent potential conflicts and ensures a smoother setup process.


Both Lisfinity and Adforest offer the ability to post listings, as well as products. It's not always the case, but many times listings refer to things like cars, or various equipment, and have to do with one time sales. Products on the other hand, usually involve items that are sold over and over again via a vendor. The way that these two themes handle the two different product types is very different.

But before we get into that, let's define a product and listing in regards to how they are treated on the two WordPress themes. Note that these are very loose definitions.


  • A listing, synonymous with "classified ad", can be posted by anyone that has signed up on the website. When someone posts a listing they aren't buying the "ad" or "listing" but rather a package (unless it's free of-course). Adforest treats these a separate post types called, you guessed it, "Classified ads"
  • A product is sold by a registered vendor, sometimes a product is more likely to have an "add to cart" functionality, and is maybe more easily shipped and has a larger stock quantity; though again, these two definitions are very flexible.

If we look at it from an end user's perspective, there are also two different types of posts on the front end of the website: Listings (Or Ads) and Products.

This is exactly how Adforest portrays that dynamic in the backend of WordPress as well. They have a custom post type called classified ads, and then the general WooCommerce Products post type.


  • With Lisfinity, everything is a "Product." This includes the packages and promotions that sellers choose while listing a product. This simplifies the process and also simplifies database queries that are only calling one post type within WordPress.
  • Listing a product takes place within the dashboard, which means users must first sign up to do so. Sellers are able to list items in bulk, and admins can set the settings for doing so within WordPress.
  • If a product is to be sold directly on the site, sellers have the ability to choose that option right within the listing process

Required Plugins

Both Adforest and Lisfinity come with various plugins that are required to be used (although they are not set up as mu-plugins). Each of the Multivendor themes have their own standalone plugin that works alongside their custom themes, and each of them also uses a child theme. As you install the themes, you'll be taken through step by step processes that include installing the required, and recommended plugins.

If you need a large amount of customized options, you'll need to hire a developer for your Multivendor site; and most of the dev work will include customizing and extending the plugins, rather than the actual theme itself.

Both themes require WooCommerce and a Page Builder plugin; Adforest gives you the option to work with WP Bakery or Elementor and has a separate setup depending on which page builder you choose. Each theme also has its own set of custom Elementor widgets that you can use.

Both plugins have a great deal of custom functionality working out of their own core plugins as well. Lisfinity's plugin, lisfinity-core, is actually where most of the magic happens where as much of the code for the theme actually lives in the theme directory for AdForest.


The header is one of the first things you'll want to flesh out before beginning anything else on the website. From a stylistic point of view, the header on a website both sets the tone and expectations for the user. This is especially true if you are creating both a vendor and regular seller site, as registering for different sections for the site can become confusing to users if you don't make it crystal clear what each element and link in your header is for.

There are major differences in the way Lisfinity and AdForest treat headers, with lisfinity opting to give more control to the developer/designer.

And this treatment of headers is, for many, the first thing noticed as it pertains to a difference between Lisfinity and Adforest. Lisfinity aims to give you more control out of the box by implementing a headers post type, that you can clearly see in the UI left menu. This treatment of making headers a custom post type allows you to style it exactly how you want it in Elementor, making it the perfect option for WordPress power users; and suits those that specialize in both code and no code environments.

Adforest on the other hand, has around 6-12 headers that are prebuilt, that you can choose from. Each header has a slightly different set of options; some of which include choosing options like the registration and login pages, setting various styles, and other parameters for the header; such as whether it should be sticky or not. The basics are also covered for logged in and logged out views for menu items such as the profile, login and registration pages, whereas you may have to create that functionality yourself within lisfinity.


The dashboard are where you list your products, check on product and seller stats, view messages, and manage your account information.

Part of the initial confusion with working with Adforest is the multiple dashboards for classified ads vs products. For products, Adforest uses the multivendorX dashboard, but for listings, it uses its own dashboard.

This may seem as a major setback in adForest, because having separate and multiple dashboards and registration forms can seem quite confusing at first. If you want them customized, you'll have to do so for each dashboard. The fact that WooCommerce also comes with a dashboard for customers also means that there are technically three different dashboards with AdForest.

User Roles

Take note of the user roles for both Lisfinity and Adforest.

In Adforest, it's important to note that admin's cannot be vendors out of the box. Which is fine, but there are many instances when it's obvious that either you or your client may in fact want to post products and listings on behalf of other people or companies. It's also a little bit annoying when developing and testing the site as you will need to have two different logins.

Let's take a look at this aside from WordPRess for a second, and what an end user actually looks like. Let's pretend you're visiting the site as a customer.

First off, you can be anyone roaming the site. Your a typical end user that hasn't signed up or registered as a vendor as of yet. This would obviously mean that you do not have a wordpress role yet. You could either be a potential buyer or a potential seller on the site.

Next up you are someone that has signed up for the first level of registration. On a typical multivendor site, this means that you can now post ads, or classifieds. AdForest assigns this type of user the role of "subscriber," while lisfinity assigns the role of this user as an "author."

On Lisfinity, sellers also have "Business Profiles" - which are a custom post type. The profiles contain storefront information and are the objects that are set to either manage or own product listings.