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Things to Check before Joining an Online Dating Service

By: Philip Denver

The following checklist includes the most important things you should consider before joining any type of dating service on the internet.

  • Make Sure You Know What Type of Service You are Joining.

Most paid services include a link, button or a banner that says something like "Join For Free" or "Register For Free.” Make sure you read the fine print. In most cases the registration process is indeed free – but the actual service is not.

There's nothing wrong in joining a commercial paid service. Actually, it's a wise choice! However, if you don’t want to participate in a paid site, then make sure you know what services you will be able to access for free so that you don’t waste your time. Don't hesitate to send the website an email asking if the service is free or paid.

  • Perform a Demo Search

Before you actually go through the registration process, take a little test drive. Make a demo search on the site. Fill in the relevant profile parameters (gender, age range, area, etc) of your desired date and check out the results.

How many matching profiles did you get back? If it's just a few, then it is likely to be a waste of your time and effort to register for the site. You are not likely to find a date on that site!

What percentage of the profiles has pictures of the members? If it's only a small percentage, you probably should move on to the next site.

  • Does The Site Look Professional?

If the website has an amateur design, chances are it's not a site you can trust. A site that is dedicated to professional customer service and quality is going to take the time to prepare a professional looking website. If it doesn't look good it's not good –period.

  • Is The Site Exploded With Excessive Advertising?

A lot of free dating services display ads on their site which is understandable. However, if the site has more ads than actual content and if the site looks just like a huge billboard, it's better to move to the next one.

  • Is The Forum Active?

If the dating site has a forum, it is best to check it out. If it has a lot of activity, then it is likely that the site will also be active.

If the site has a forum and it is not active, then you should probably move on. However, if the forum sees a lot of action and there are a lot of current messages, than there's a higher chance the site is packed with real members.

  • Are There Any Advanced Features?

The more advanced features a site offer – the better odds it's a good one.
Such advanced features may include private messaging, forums, live chat, personality tests, quizzes, games, dating tips etc.

  • Is There a Decent Help/FAQ/Support page?

One of the best ways to determine the quality of a dating site is by taking a look at it’s support section. A poor customer service department will mean a poor user experience. Look for the 'help' page. If it doesn't exist or if it looks too general or too short – avoid that service.