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November 12, 2015

Online Dating Site Reviews

The Best Online Dating Sites

There are many great online dating sites out there for singles to choose from, but we find that Match.com is the premier choice considering their advanced search capabilities and communication opportunities.

Finding your perfect match isn’t easy at any age, but Match.com will make it easier with its custom search options. If you are somebody that knows exactly what you’re looking for in a partner, then Match.com is ideal because you can filter just about anything. You won’t feel like a big fish in a little pond with this dating site because they have a large pool of high-quality men and women who are serious about dating. If doing everything online isn’t your forte, Match.com also offers live events in some cities. With a six-month guarantee and easy-to-use platform, it makes sense why so many daters choose to pay for this service.

The best free online dating service

If you’re on a budget but still looking to find a mate, OkCupid ranks as the best free option. Not only does it have capable search tools, but it also has quality matching options that allow you to view potential matches for no cost at all. OkCupid’s broad search tools, filter options and compatibility test makes it easier to find your perfect match.

Other top picks

Christian Mingle

Senior People Meet

Chemistry.com

PlentyofFish (POF)

How we chose the best online dating site

We compiled a list of 40 online dating sites and selected the 10 best dating sites to review based on 63 online dating features.

What online dating site features matter and why

Communication

Communication is all the features that allow users to communicate with one another. Email and instant messaging are common forms of communication, while certain sites also allow the user to access a private phone number to communicate. This is a great feature for those who want to communicate offline but do not feel comfortable giving out their phone numbers. This is a very important category because these features allow users to get to know their potential matches and figure out which could turn into potential partners.

Most important communication features
  • Chat Rooms - A chat room where you can talk to other members is available.
  • Emails - You can email other members.
  • Instant Messaging - An instant messaging service is built in to the site.
  • Private Phone Number - You can use a private phone number to speak with other members.
  • Reply Chances - The site displays your chances of receiving a reply from a potential match.
  • Wink, Poke, or Flirt - You can wink, poke, or flirt with other members.

Connections

Connections are all the ways users can view and manage their connections. Many sites allow users to "like" certain parts of others' profiles and even favorite certain members. The best dating sites allow their users to also see who has viewed and favorited them. Certain sites offer mobile apps to allow users to view profiles and manage connections from anywhere. This category is fairly important because it can help users to narrow down and prioritize their list of prospective matches.

Most important connection features
  • Emails Sent - You can view the emails sent to your connections.
  • Favorited You - You can see other members who have made you a favorite.
  • Favorites - You can add other members as a favorite.
  • Mobile Dating - The online dating website has an iPhone or Android application.
  • Viewed You - You can see the members who have viewed your profile.
  • Winks, Pokes, or Flirts Sent - The online dating site allows you to view the winks, pokes, or flirts sent to other members.

Profile

Profile describes the tools provided for users to create their profiles and tell other members on the site about themselves. The ability to add and edit photos is a useful feature. Also adding interests, background, and lifestyle information, along with a custom bio, can help assist in finding potential matches with similar traits.

One really interesting feature that is offered by some of the best sites is a view counter, which lets the user know how many people have viewed his or her profile. Having access to these profile tools is very important to overall success because it can make it much easier for potential matches to find one another.

Most important profile features
  • Add Photos - You can add photos to your profile.
  • Background - You can fill out a list of background information to tell more about yourself.
  • Custom Bio - You can write a customized bio in your profile.
  • Edit Photos - You can edit or rearrange the photos in your profile.
  • Interests - You can select from a list of interests to add to your profile.
  • Lifestyle - You can fill out a list of lifestyle options.
  • Newsfeed - You can view a newsfeed of current happenings related to your connections.
  • View Counter - You can see how many people have viewed your profile.

Matching

Matching discusses the different methods used to pair users with their potential matches. When a new potential match is found, some sites send the person's information to the user's account for easy viewing. Other sites offer personality and compatibility testing to match up users, and the best dating sites will also offer events where users can go meet each other in person while doing a fun activity. These features can be pretty important because they go beyond simple searching and help users find potential matches easily.

Most important matching features
  • Compatibility Test - A compatibility test or quiz to pair you with potential matches is offered.
  • Events - The site has events that you can attend to meet potential matches.
  • Matches - Potential matches are sent to your account.
  • Personality Test - A personality test to pair you with potential matches is offered.
  • Same Sex Dating - Same sex dating is offered on the site.

Searching

Searching is the different ways users can filter their searches to find potential matches. The best dating websites include custom search capability, which allows users to search for profiles based on the features that are most important to them. Some sites even allow users to save their custom searches so they can run them again at a later date.

Most sites have lots of filters to help users narrow down their potential matches to find exactly what they are looking for. Some of these include lifestyle, background, interest, and even body type filters. If none of those return the desired results, a keyword search option can help by searching through profiles to find the terms that have been specified. Searching is an extremely important category because these features determine how easy it is to find potential matches, which is, of course, the first step to finding a potential partner.

Most important searching features
  • Background Filters - You can filter your search results or initial search based on specific background features.
  • Body Type Filters - You can filter your search results or initial search based on a specific body type.
  • Custom Search - You can create a customized search to find profiles based on what matters to you.
  • Interest Filters - You can filter your search results or initial search based on specific interests.
  • Keyword Search - You can search profiles for a specific keyword that you are looking for.
  • Lifestyle Filters - You can filter your search results or initial search based on specific lifestyle features.
  • Location - You can search for members based on their location.
  • Mutual Connection Search - You can search for mutual connections.
  • New Member Search - You can search for the newest members.
  • Photos Only - You can search for only members who display photos.
  • Quick Search - A quick search option is available.
  • Saved Search - You can save your searches so that you can repeat them again.

Account Settings

Account Settings are the features of an online dating profile that allow users to manage their accounts. This can include simple things like email preferences, billing status, and username. Many popular online sites allow their users to cancel their membership online if they wish or hide their profile.

Some sites also allow users to block certain members from viewing their profile. Tools like these are fairly important because they have to do with the maintenance of accounts, so it is important to consider this category when making a decision about which site to choose.

Most important account setting features
  • Billing Status - You can access your billing status online.
  • Block Members - You can block members.
  • Cancel Membership Online - You can cancel your membership online.
  • Change Username - You can change your username after you have already created an account.
  • Email Preferences - You can change your emailing preferences.
  • Hide Profile - You can hide your profile.

Additional Features

Additional Features is the extra services designed to assist users in finding matches. For those who are not comfortable writing their own profiles, some sites offer profile writers who will perform that service for the user. The best dating sites offer incentives to users who invite their friends to join the site, a nice bonus that many are sure to appreciate.

Some websites also offer international dating, which may be valued by some users. While they are very useful, these features are not necessities to the online dating experience, and may not matter much to some users.

Most important additional features
  • Increase Visibility - Features to increase the visibility of your profile are offered.
  • International Dating - The website is available in other countries.
  • Invite Friends Incentive - You will receive an incentive for inviting friends to the website.
  • Profile Writers - A service to write your profile for you is offered.

Free Online Dating

Additional Features is the extra services designed to assist users in finding matches. For those who are not comfortable writing their own profiles, some sites offer profile writers who will perform that service for the user. The best dating sites offer incentives to users who invite their friends to join the site, a nice bonus that many are sure to appreciate. Some websites also offer international dating, which may be valued by some users. While they are very useful, these features are not necessities to the online dating experience, and may not matter much to some users.

Most important free online dating features
  • Read Messages - You can read received messages for free.
  • Send Messages - You can send messages to users for free.
  • View Full Profiles - You can view full profiles for free.
  • View Photos - You can view photos of all members for free.

Learning Materials

Learning Materials encompasses all the resources that the company provides to help the user learn about online dating and the site itself. An FAQ is common, and some sites offer a forum where users can post and respond to questions.

The best websites offer helpful articles about online dating, including tips on things such as how to make a strong online profile. Features like these may not be something that everyone cares about, but they can be especially helpful to those who are new to online dating.

Most important learning materials
  • Articles and Advice - Articles and advice on dating are available.
  • FAQ - Answers to frequently asked questions are available.
  • Forum - An interactive forum where users can post questions and answers is available.
  • Help Search - A search function within the site help section is offered.
  • Profile Help - The website offers tips on creating your dating profile.

Support

Support refers to all the ways that users can contact the online dating website if they have questions or problems with their accounts. Phone and email support are some of the most basic options and available on many dating sites. Live chat is a nice feature for those that have a quick question they want answered immediately.

Another way to reach out to the site that is becoming increasingly popular is social media support. With the amount of time that many people are spending online today, this could be a very convenient option. Support is not a crucial feature to the success of an online dating site, but it's always nice to know the company is there to offer help if users need it.

Most important support features
  • Email - An email or ticket system dedicated to support is available.
  • Live Chat - You can contact the site for support through live chat.
  • Phone - You can contact the site by phone to get support.
  • Social Media - You can contact the site with questions through social media websites.

Choosing the online dating site for you

Dating sites are created with different people in mind, including those with certain faiths, others who want to try it for free, older online daters, and people who want to date while on the go. Several of the dating sites are fairly general and accepting of all people, but for those who prefer specific dating websites, the lists below should help target the right site.

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