Hey everyone and welcome to my article on the best online dating sites! There was once a time when the very mention of being on (or considering joining) an online dating site made you get strange looks from your friends and family. In the past online dating was looked down upon as only something that anti-social, socially inept, weird people would do. Fast forward to today and you will notice that the world of online dating has changed. With its worldwide acceptance, improved reputation, dedication to improving matches (and hence success rates) and customer service online dating has now become another avenue (in fact it is becoming the new normal) that is used to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Thanks to the power of the internet we are now able to search for our soul mate, or even a booty call, right from the comfort of our own homes. There is no longer a need to fake an interest in book clubs to meet smart ladies, no cruising the bar scene, no need to face the scary thought of an in-person speed date, heck you don’t even need to wear clothes to find someone. Instead finding the one you love is literally a click away.
Your only challenge is searching through the sea of online dating websites to do so. Because there are some many options available, (both legitimate sites and downright scam dating sites) we have done the research for you and put together a list of the best paid and the best free online dating websites available to those of us who are searching for love or something else. Let this review of best online dating sites guide you to make the right decision. Let’s get right into my best online dating sites article!
Best Online Dating Sites: The Paid Options
Unique Features – Match.com is undoubtedly one of the largest and best paid dating sites on the internet today. With a membership figure that stands at around 22 million users. Match.com helps singles in 24 countries, across 15 different languages along with a growing number of members aged 50 and over to find the one they have been searching for. Match.com uses something called MatchWords to help you find matches(this is basically similar to keywords that we use to search using our favorite search engines), their personalized, professional matchmaker and their MindFindBind with Dr. Phil to name a few.
Best Features –Match.com is a beautifully designed website that is simple and easy to use. In fact its design and layout prevents even their over 50 audience from feeling overwhelmed and lost in the online dating arena. Relatively inexpensive monthly subscription fees in addition to their Match.com guarantee. This system guarantees you an additional 6 months of using the website (at no extra cost) if you cannot find someone – assuming that you paid for a 6 month package. But with an estimated 200,000 of its users that find the person that they are searching for via their online dating platform, your chances look pretty good.
Disappointments – The Match.com staff has to review all profile changes, you will have to spend more time during the communication process because not everyone completely fills out their profile and you cannot see the membership costs before you sign up for the site.
Overall – Match.com is an inclusive dating website that not only caters to heterosexual singles but also to Gays, Lesbians, Jews, Christians, and seniors. With their Match.com guarantee, makes Match.com the best dating site around. Check out the complete review of Match.com here! This might be the best online dating sites at the moment!
Unique Features – eHarmony has a lot of cool and unique features to offer to its members including: their Secure Call system, RelyID (an ID verification service) as well as other premium services. At an additional cost you can benefit from having your own personal relationship councilor that acts as your own personal matchmaker. They will pre-screen your matches and check for genuine interest before they are turned over to you. They also managed to create a formula that uses “relationship science” (as they call it) to develop compatibility matching and marriage profiles.
Best Features – For the convenience of its members, eHarmony has Apps for the iPad, iPhone, iPad Touch and the Android platforms. The eHarmony website is also super easy to use; with a modern look and a clean feeling. eHarmony like Match.com is also hugely popular. Just about everybody knows about eHarmony. After all they have so many ads on TV, so much so that is it next to impossible to not hear about them. The more popular the site, the more members it will have and more members means more potential matches.
Disappointments – Unfortunately eHarmony does not cater to homosexuals and lesbian singles. Additionally their monthly cost is on the upper end on the online dating spectrum.
Overall –eHarmony has no doubt revolutionized the world of online dating. Hands down they are easily the most in-depth dating service on the internet. eHarmony would easily have made the top of our list if they catered to homosexual and lesbian couples and their membership costs was not on the higher end of the spectrum. That being said eHarmony is the perfect online dating site for heterosexual singles that are serious about finding a committed relationship or marriage. Check out the complete review of eHarmony here as well as how eHarmony vs Match.com stack up. I think this is one of the best online dating sites for people looking for something serious.
Unique Features – The PerfectMatch.com compatibility system, the Duet Compatibility System, This system matches the “whole” you this includes your lifestyle, personality, preferences and values – the important elements that create the most successful, lasting relationship. They also have the same great features that are offered by other online dating websites.
Best Features – PerfectMatch.com is one of the fastest growing dating sites online, and why not? PerfectMatch.com has successfully been able to integrate its brand into the entertainment industry as they have been featured in many TV shows and films including Dancing With the Stars, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, staring Kevin Jones and the Lifetime Original Movie “Perfect Romance” to name a few. Since their inception in 2003 they have entered into partnerships with several world class brands such as Warner Bros, Song Pictures, MSNBC and iVillage.
Disappointments – They have a relatively low search results compared to their high membership fees. Additionally filling out the personality profile can be a lengthy process.
Overall – The site is well established in the online dating marketplace and endorsed by a number of celebrities. If you are okay with spending a few extra dollars and willing to take the time needed to create a detailed profile then go ahead and create an account. You only get out what you put into it. Check out the complete review of PefectMatch.com here.
Unique Features – Chemistry.com has a personality test that is fun, engaging and makes you really take a good look at yourself and your personality. Chemistry.com also has a “First Meet’ function that helps to facilitate meetings by suggesting different locations. You can also play fun mini-games called ‘Chemistry Starters’ designed to help you find the perfect match and/or use the ‘Hidden Chemistry’ to help you to potential matches.
Best Features – Chemistry.com is a part of the Match.com family so you can easily transfer your profile from Match to Chemistry.com. Chemistry.com also caters to everybody regardless of their sexual orientation, as long as they live in the United States. It’s simple design, ease and of use adds to the overall appeal of this dating site.
Disappointments – Sadly Chemistry.com does not have a lot of members compared to other sites such as eHarmony, you cannot search profiles and a lengthy registration process.
Overall – Although Chemistry.com lacks the membership that sites like eHarmony has it is still an excellent dating site to be a member of and we certainly recommend it as well. Additionally Chemistry.com also allows for gay couples to meet, interact and connect which doesn’t hurt at all. Check out the complete review of Chemistry.com here as well as how Chemistry.com vs eHarmony.com stack up.
Unique Features – Chemistry.com is a part of the People Media’s OurTime Community, which includes SeniorsMeet.com and SeniorPeopleMeet.com, gives you access to a larger online dating community. OurTime.com uses the MyMatch and I’m interested features as well as regular features such as searching for or viewing profiles.
Best Features – OurTime.com is a very popular online dating website, boasting about 1 million members, tailored towards single seniors who are searching for that special someone. The OurTime.com website is also surprisingly clean and well thought-out.
Disappointments – The user profiles are not that detailed and you must upgrade your membership in order to communicate with potential matches.
Overall – If you are 50 years or older, searching for that special someone and don’t mind being a part of a small community, then definitely give OurTime.com a chance as this is one of the best online dating sites for adults. Check out the complete review of OurTime.com here. This is one of the best online dating sites for seniors.
Best Online Dating Sites: The Free Sites
Sometimes free online dating sites get a bad rep because of either their lack of features (when compared to paid dating sites), too many adverts on the site or just a lack of creativity when it comes to site design. This is something that is common to most free dating websites so this review will not elaborate on ads or design. That being said, there are some pretty good free dating sites that despite the limitations of balancing the cost of providing a complicated service for free while trying to be as good as a paid service.
#1 Plenty of Fish.com (PoF)
Unique Features – Plenty of Fish has what they call a “Relationship Chemistry Predictor” which is basically a number of statements that you either agree or disagree with. This is PoF’s way of trying to match you with other members. Another interesting feature that PoF has is their “Relationship Needs Assessment”. This is an optional test that members can take to further assist with their search for the person that they are looking for. Completing this test will give you a personalized guide to help you to locate and communicate with your ideal companion. This feature makes it one of the best free dating sites on the web.
Best Features – Plenty of Fish is by far the world’s largest free online dating site and rightfully so as it is estimated that about 32,000,000 people call PoF their home. With that many registered members it is literally guaranteed that you will meet a wide variety of singles on the website. Singles that are actively looking for casual dating, committed relationships or even friendship
Disappointments – Far too many married people can be found on Plenty of Fish and there is almost zero customer or email support. If you need help you will literally feel like a “fish out of water”.
Overall – As far as free websites go Plenty of Fish is certainly the best of them all. With its free membership, large membership base and a relatively decent array of features it is certainly worth checking out. Just be prepared to deal to put in the time needed to truly find what you are looking for. Check out the complete review of Plenty of Fish.com here as well as how Plenty of Fish vs Match.com stack up. This was one of my personal best online dating sites for a long time!
Unique Features – OkCupid gives you the ability to make notes on profiles that you have viewed so that you can look back at it another day. These notes are private and only you can see them. OkCupid uses two things in order to pair you with a compatible match: your responses and a math based matching system. Their unique matching system is quite promising and they surprisingly have a fairly decent accuracy rate.
Best Features – OkCupid describes itself as “the fastest-growing online dating site” and they have the statistics to support that claim. It is estimated that OkCupid has amassed about 10 million members since the site’s launch in 2004 with an estimated one million active members. It is also pretty cool that OkCupid has pretty much the same standard features that most other dating sites have such as profile creation, matching questionnaires, adding photos, a search option, communicating with members and more. OkCupid’s ever growing popularity and members is what makes this site one of the best free dating sites.
Disappointments – Depending on your location you might find that your selection of matches is very limited. Additionally their filtering system is not so great.
Overall – OkCupid is an inexpensive way (a.k.a. a free way) to dive into the world of online dating to meet new friends, score a quick hookup, go out on a couple of dates and who knows find someone special. Although they are not as large as Plenty of Fish they certainly do have a large membership base which makes testing out this site worthwhile. Check out the complete review of OkCupid.com here as well as how OkCupid.com vs Plenty of Fish stack up. This is one of the best online dating sites for free.
Unique Features – DateHookup.com profile system us made up of 20 different attributes one of them being “I Party” with the options of: “Don’t Say” to “Every Night”. This is actually a very fun way to describe yourself especially for their target audience, 20 something year old young adults and College students.
Best Features – One of the best things about DateHookup.com is that you are given the ability to customize your user profile to match your unique tastes and style. Additionally DateHookup.com has a decent search option that allows you to search for matches using a number of different criteria. They have a friends system, each member gets their own Blog, you can save custom searches and get date ideas
Disappointments – You can easily get caught up in being only focused on the next date instead of enjoying someone special or a great potential candidate. DateHookup is as basic as free online dating sites, using it will definitely leave you wanting more.
Overall – College students and young adults who might not have a lot of disposable income will certainly find this site useful, because instead of spending money on a dating site membership, you can spend that cash on the actual date. This site gets the job done without the bells and whistles that other dating sites have. Check out the complete review of DateHookup.com here. This is one of the best online dating sites for people looking for something more casual.
Unique Features – The main feature that sets SpeedDate.com apart from other free online dating sites is your ability to go on speed-dates via instant messaging, live audio or webcam video.
Best Features – It is estimated that SpeedDate.com has over 13 million members with thousands of new members signing up on a daily basis. When you first visit the SpeedDate.com website you will notice an array of beautifully looking photographs of other singles waiting to be matched, which is quite encouraging.
Disappointments – Unfortunately because of the overly fun nature of the speed-date concept the website is filled with too many sketchy and immature individuals.
Overall – Overall SpeedDate.com is a great site for people who are merely looking have some fun and go out on dates without leaving their homes. Their (SpeedDate.com) concept of 5 minute dates is actually quite entertaining and can really save you time and money on the wrong person. Check out the complete review of SpeedDate.com here.
Unique Features – Perhaps the main thing that sets Zoosk apart from other online dating sites is their heavy Social Network Integration. They also have their own Behavioral Matchmaking system and their unique gamification of online dating.
Best Features – Zoosk.com is one of the largest online dating sites found today. Zoosk.com boasts more than 50 million members that can connect via their smartphone onr PC. Zoosk is also available in about 70 different countries with more than 20+ different languages. Its integration with Facebook also helps to boost their already large membership figures.
Disappointments – Sadly you will need to download and install the Zoosk instant messenger program if you would like to speak with other Zoosk members.
Overall – Although this is one of the best free dating sites, it definitely doesn’t match up against the four mentioned above. If you are in your 20s or early 30s and love hanging out on social media on your mobile device then Zoosk is the place for you to hang out. They have had success in matching compatible individuals together that has lead to marriage. Check out the complete review of Zoosk.com here as well as how Zoosk.com vs Match.com stack up. This is one of the best online dating sites but it is not 100% free.
Best Online Dating Sites: Honorable Mentions
These websites did not make our top 10 best online dating sites but they are decent websites and worth a small mention.
ChristianMingle.com – This is an excellent site where likeminded Christians can connect with other Christians.
JDate.com – This is similar to ChristianMingle.com, the only difference is that the website is geared towards Jewish people meeting and connecting with other Jewish people.
HowAboutWe.com – This is a fun online dating site that connects you with other members based on date interests. It isn’t about the typical profile creation but more about putting users together based on their date ideas.
SeniorPeopleMeet.com – This is similar to OurTime.com in that the site focuses on providing an avenue for people ages 50 and over to connect with other individuals in their age group.
MatchMaker.com – This is an online dating site for people who are searching for other individuals who are interested in making a serious commitment.
Depending on what you are looking for, these might be the best online dating sites for you and what you are looking for.
Difference between using a Paid vs. a Free Online dating Site
There are some distinct differences between using a paid online dating sites or a free online dating site. It is therefore worth exploring the difference between the two a bit further. Aside from the obvious difference of one being paid and the other being free another main distinction between free and paid dating sites is the type of people that you are most likely to meet on the respective sites.
Typically free online dating websites are filled with people who are not really serious about meeting and making a special connection with other members. These people are merely in it for the fun of it. Free sites are also filled with people who are lonely but not single. So you might find an unhappy husband who just wants to have some fun with another person. Now before you get discouraged there are people that join free websites who are genuinely interested in finding a committed relationship or even marriage. They sign up for free sites because they either lack the disposable income to pay for online dating services or are new to online dating so they use the free service to get their feet wet.
Now although a website says that they are free one must remember that nothing in life is ever completely free. Even free dating sites offer paid services. They must do this in order to generate some revenues in order to keep the website running and free. Sadly using a free dating website will mean spending a lot of time searching through countless amounts of profiles. In some cases it is well worth it.
Signing up with a paid website opens the door for you to meet better quality matches and connect with people who are actually interested in the same things that you are. Additionally paid members are genuinely looking to connect with someone. Matches on paid websites make more sense because they have already taken the time that is needed to create systems that carefully select your matches based on your personality and or requirements savoring you a considerable amount of time. In the end, the best online dating sites aren’t free, but its small price to pay to increase your chances of finding that special someone. These are the general differences between the best online dating sites that are both free and paid.
Best Online Dating Sites Conclusion
Now it’s easy to say that signing up for a paid online dating site is better than using a free site; however, there are distinct advantages of using both paid and free sites at once. Yes I said at once. When it comes to searching for the one you must invest a considerable amount of time into it if the process is to produce any meaningful results. We therefore recommend that you set aside at least 6 months to the entire process of finding and connecting with that special person regardless of the site that you ultimately choose.
Additionally we recommend that you use a combination of both a paid and free online dating service. Here’s why. Free services offer you a no commitment way to ease your way into the world of online dating. It is also another avenue that you can sue to put yourself out there. Once you are comfortable with the world of online dating you can then move into signing up for a paid service (on a site that is different from the free one of course).
By using the free service to get acquainted with the online dating world you are less likely to be intimidated when you opt for a paid service, which in turn means that you are less likely to quit and will stay in the game for the long term. Additionally it puts you in front of more individuals who are seeking to make that special connection.
So go ahead and get in the game, the wonderful world of online dating. Just make sure that you are prepared to spend at least 6 months on this journey, be it a paid or free service, in order to get the very best results. Check out these articles for the best dating site for specific types of people whether that be young, older, christian, gay, lesbian, etc. Once you have decided on which site(s) to try out, be sure to check out these online dating advice articles for both men and woman to help you get started on the right track! I hope you all got some great information on my best online dating sites article!