Online dating was once considered an oddity but now with millions of people using dating sites it is a fast growing methods of meeting people. Many potential users of these technologies however can be confused by the enormous number of sites and when they do choose one find it difficult to get the most out of them.
To help you navigate this digital minefield we have reviewed some sites to help you make the best decision for you to find dates and meet people who just may be THE one. We hope to furnish you with the information to reduce your confusion and increase your knowledge and awareness of the options you have.
Click the links below to view full reviews of the sites listed here.
Lavalife is a major player in the dating site industry with a lot of advertising exposure and a growing reputation which does seem to be well earned for a few reasons which the 1.8 Million active users do enjoy.
Along with the usual features of dating sites with profiles and searches with various parameters and communication tools such as chat, video chat and so on Lavalife divides it’s members into three sections: Casual Dating, Seeking Relationships & Intimate Encounters
The other interesting feature is that you can create a profile for each section which has different fields you can fill in to match the type of dating you are looking for, this means intimate encounters will concentrate on turn-ons, sexual preferences and so on while serious relationships focus more on interests, goals and values.
The other key feature that sets it apart from the other sites is a free reply. Most sites allow you to sign up for free but you cannot communicate with anyone but are allowed to search and be searched for and send flirts/kisses/smiles to show interest, Lavalife offers the unique advantage that you can reply to a paying member for free if they contact you first! This is good news for those that know how to make a good profile and send smiles to the right people =)
- Free Trial with 3 profiles for each section.
- 3 Distinct sections being Casual Dating, Seeking Relationships & Intimate Encounters for more clarity in dating.
- Profiles are different for each section
- Gay, lesbian, heterosexual and bisexual aspects are covered.
- On site chat & webcam chat.
- Covers many regions but concentrated mainly on the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK
- Profiles that have not been used in a long time are flagged for users to see so they can sift the active users from the inactive
- Dating tips newsletter
- FREE reply to paying members unlike other dating sites.
- Paying members have more access to communication tools such as free messaging to all people on the site and Lavalife2Go which is Lavalife’s cell phone messaging service and instant messaging.
While using this site for free can be very easy and if you know how to play the online dating game you can do quite well a full membership to the site does open up a lot more communication options which can give you a lot more benefit if you are active in your pursuits of dates and relationships and like most dating sites paying members will often be treated better by other members and have a better chance at success as they are seen to be more committed to the process that free members who might not be serious about the whole thing.
- 1 Month for $29.99
- 3 Months for $56.97. This works out to $18.99 per month.
- 6 Months for $89.94. This is the best value at $14.99 per month.
- Add $4.99 per month for Lavalife2Go access on any plan.
The website itself is not terrible but has some browser issues and is not as well designed as it could be along with quite a lot of advertising on the site which might be a minor note but can cause frustration to some. Lavalife also lacks some features other dating sites are getting in to linking with social networking sites and developing more tools but what they do they do well.
Lavalife is a very good dating site which makes things easy especially for first timers who are taking their first step into the online dating world and makes the experience clear and simple as to what you should be doing. Perhaps not as expansive in some respects as other sites this may also be it’s strength in that they do not confuse but direct people to the most important things they want to get out of their experience which earns Lavalife our highest rating.
Friendfinder has a different take on many sites by being quite inventive and moving with the times as the Internet evolves and how people interact with the Internet and through the Internet changes with this evolution.
Not only does Friendfinder keep up with emerging trends but it has a larger range of relationships to choose from when selecting those you wish to hook up with including friendship, dating, serious relationships people looking for marriage and more.
The crux of Friendfinders success however lies in it’s user interaction where their evolution comes from feedback from members via blogs, polls, questionnaires and so forth which fits in with the current social networking phenomenon which Friendfinder has very much become. This makes it a site worthy of keeping memberships with to expand not only your dating chances but social networks as well!
- Free trial allows you to make a profile and view other profiles like a full member.
- Profiles have large amounts of data you can include from ethnicity to religion to education & much more.
- Social networking information.
- Gay, lesbian, heterosexual and bisexual aspects are covered.
- Looking for includes: Friendship, dating, serious relationship, marriage, pen pals, activity partners and more.
- On site chat & webcam chat.
- Covers regions all over the world.
- Profiles are checked before being allowed to go live reducing fake profiles.
- Companion online dating magazine.
- Create your own and view others blogs hosted on the friendfinder site.
- Matchmaking service that shows you new additions that match your profile.
As has been mentioned joining is free but to be able to communicate at all with other members you must upgrade to a full account. This turns some people away but the ones that will actually spend money on this service will be a better chance at a good date anyhow! Since you can check out the profiles before you pay you can also assess whether you want to make this commitment. Interestingly you can pay a small amount more to allow free trial members to communicate with you if you choose. There are also two types of memberships: gold and silver.
Gold means your profile will be given priority in searches increasing your chance of being spotted and hasall the advantages of a silver membership which gives you full access to the site with all communication options and also puts you above regular non-paying members on the searches.
- 1 month for $22.94
- 3 months for $13.31 per month. Billed in one install for $39.94.
- 12 months for $8.33 per month. Billed in one install for $99.94.
- 1 month for $34.94
- 3 months for $14.98 per month. Billed in one install for $59.94.
- 12 months for $7.77 per month, Billed in one install for $139.94.
Very few, some have speculated that the profile checking system is flawed allowing many fake profiles through but this has not put too many off and if you look for other paying members anyway while being a paying member you will usually avoid many of those pitfalls. It’s strength in being diverse can also be a drawback sometimes as there is so much choice of different relationship types some people may find this off-putting.
Friendfinder is one of the top classed dating sites for it’s ability to move with the times and provide a more personal, interactive and social site than many other dating sites. The inventiveness and amazing attention to detail and extra features means this is one of the few sites well worth getting a membership for as you know new content and updates will be along in time making your experience better and better. It was a difficult choice to place this second.
Date.com has been around for a long time, over 10 years in fact making it fairly well established amongst the vast listings of dating sites that can be found on the web. With over 4 Million registered users of roughly even amounts of men and women from around the world (mainly the US and Canada though) and it is claimed another 250,000 members joining every month the popularity of Date.com is undisputed.
Popularity however needs some substance to back it up and Date.com does not dissapoint with a solid amount of features that you expect from a good dating sites and a few unique ones and hints of future advances such as facebook applications and more. At a glance Date.com includes these features.
- A solid searching system allowing you to search by location, age, features and so forth to be as broad or as narrow as you like is it’s primary feature giving you control about what you are looking for.
- Free trial sign up allows you to search add your own profile and how interest in others.
- Connectivity tools such as a private SMS service that is routed through the website so your details are kept safe and secure.
- Gay & Straight datign included.
- Focus on major cities for easier searchign and dating.
- Chat, audio & video messaging and emailing if you upgrade to a full membership.
- Computerised auto matching facilities.
- Companion website with large am ounts of online dating tips on how to find a date successfully and SAFELY.
As has been mentioned joining is free but to be able to communicate properly with other members you must upgrade to a full account. This turns some people away but the ones that will actually spend money on this service will be a better chance at a good date anyhow! Since you can check out the profiles before you pay you can also assess whether you want to make this commitment.
memebership costs are:
- 1 Month for $29.95
- 3 Months for $59.95 (only $19.98 per month).
- 6 Months for $89.95 (only $14.99 per month).
- 12 Months for $119.95 (only $9.99 per month).
Interface needs some work but is easy enough to navigate and like many dating sites theer are quite a few poor profiles you must sort through which is the fault of people not the site. You can see which people are members and who have just joined for free to look however so this is not as bad as it seems.
Date.com is an excellent choice for those who are looking for serious daters with relationships in mind. The commitment of the site to improving and moving with new technologies is also impressive and makes it worthwhile to become a member.