Understanding the Most Advertised Online Dating Websites to Choose the Best One for You

Online dating has become quite the norm. There are websites to help us find whatever kind of mate we are seeking ethnic-wise, religious-wise, age-wise, gender-wise, and so on. A few of these dating sites seem to be in perpetual promotion. We are constantly bombarded being with their advertisements on our computers, televisions, radio, in print, everywhere! I suppose it is the path companies must take today to push their brands to the top of the list. However, for us- general public- it can be information overload. I researched the top five most advertised online dating sites to determine their offerings and differentials. Hopefully, it helps you choose the one that best suits your dating needs.

Budgies, New Zealand Aviary
Budgies, New Zealand Aviary | Source

Christian Mingle

History

Christian Mingle online dating website is owned by Spark Networks USA, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Spark Network, Inc. It is geared specifically towards people who are single, Christian, looking to date, and perhaps eventually marry like-minded Christian believers. The website states that is the “fastest growing online community” in this category, and they do have a global reach.

Their user-base is heterosexual Christians, comprising of 56 % women and 44% men. They receive 2.4 million visits per month, according to the article “10 Best Dating Websites” from the website http://www.DatingAdvice.com. The site also gives Christian Mingle an overall popularity rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.

Christian Mingle once drew ton loads of criticism for their tagline: “Find God’s match for you” and they were forced to explain it. They stated that what they meant was that their dating site was simply another dating tool provided by God. On the website, you will find a fish logo (usual symbol for Jesus Christ) and Biblical quotes such as Psalm 37:4 –“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Christian Mingle Features

- On their online profile form, you are encouraged to share your interests, goals, education, occupation, physical attributes, denomination, favorite Biblical passages, etc under headings such as “About Me,” “Fun Facts,” “Your Ideal Match,” “Short Essays.” But you can still complete it in minutes.

- They use something called the COMPASS Matching Test with over “100 factors of compatibility” to find you compatible singles.

- You receive weekly emails of “Best match” suggestions.

- You can communicate with your matches in several ways: Instant Messenger, Live Chat, chat rooms, member forums, and message boards.

- To assist your communication, the website offers “Conversation Starters” and flirting tools such as “smiles” and “secret admirer.”

- You can “View who is online now.”

- There’s the option to search through Christian Mingle’s large data base of subscriber profiles and photos as well as see who has searched you.

- Religious aspects include “Bible verse of the day,” “Searchable Bible,” “Bible studies,” “prayer requests,” and “Find a church.”

- They offer dating advice

- Dating safety/ security tools and tips (http://www.DatingAdvice.com gives the website a rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 stars)

- Customer support is 24/ 7, and reachable by phone or email or you can try their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

- Testimonials/ Success stories

- Free newsletters

- Endorsements from pastors and others in ministry

Ease of Use

Navigation on the Christian Mingle dating website is easy because of their simple layout. Editing or updating information is also made easy and quick.

Christian Mingle Cost

Pricing depends on subscription duration, which ranges from one month to six. For one month, you pay $29.99; three months, you pay $16.99 per month for a total of $50.97; six months cost you $13.99 per month for a total of $83.94. They do offer free trial, but your features will be limited.

Other Information

Sparks Networks, Inc. owns other niche dating websites such as sites JDate.com (for Jewish singles), BlackSingles.com, and SilverSingles.com.

Negatives about Christian Mingle.com

- Do not screen potential users.

- Joining is free. Communication is not. Limited features offered.

- No guarantee that users are really Christian

- Website is geared towards heterosexuals

Couple in Bangladash
Couple in Bangladash | Source

eHarmony

History

The eHarmony online dating website was created by the former clinical psychologist, Dr. Neil Clark Warren in 2000 in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Warren apparently did a three-year study of several thousand couples to discover the secret, if you will, to long-lasting marriages. It led him to develop the Compatibility Matching System, which he patented and made the foundation for eHarmony. The website states that roughly 438 of their U.S. (United States) members get married on a daily basis as a result of being matched scientifically. Once opened solely to heterosexuals looking for serious, long-lasting relationships, same-gender relationship-seeking folks can now use the website as well. However, eHarmony is still geared towards opposite sex couplings.

There are over 33 million registered users of various ethnic, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. The gender breakdown is 48 % men to 52 % women.

About 4.1 million people visit the website each month. The article “10 Best Dating Websites,” mentioned previously, gives the online dating site a popularity rating 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. eHarmony also has a global reach.

eHarmony Features

- To sign up, you must complete eHarmony’s 256-question relationship questionnaire called “29 Dimensions of Compatibility.” It is categorized into “Core Traits” with subheadings such as Emotional Temperament, Social Style, Cognitive Mode, Physicality, and “Vital Attributes” with the subheadings as Relationship Skills, Values and Beliefs, and Key Experiences. These categories and subheadings are all explained on the site. The entire document takes about an hour or more to complete, and is yours free whether you continue the registration process or not. Keep in mind, if you are deemed emotionally unfit by their reviewers, you will probably be denied registration.

- Once you are ready to communicate with other singles, you have the choice of using eHarmony’s four-part “Guided Communication” with multiple choice questions, “Must Haves” and “Can’t Stands” lists or you can go directly to open communication and search their very large database of members.

- Other methods of communication include “eHarmony Mail,” send and receive unlimited messages, forums, and free mobile access. And they too offer conversation starters.

- They offer various dating categories such as Local Dating, International Dating, Black Dating, Jewish Dating, and Christian Dating

- You can see who viewed your profile.

- They offer dating advice and give you date ideas.

- Dating safety and security tips (the “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives eHarmony a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars)

- Customer support is 24/ 7, and reachable by phone or email or you can try their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

- Testimonials/ success stories

- eHarmony blog

- Gift membership subscriptions

Ease of Use

eHarmony’s website has a simple layout, so navigation is easy.

eHarmony Cost

Pricing depends on subscription duration. One month’s subscription is $59.95; three months is $39.95 per month for a total of $119.85; six months is $29.95 per month for a total of $179.70. You can join for free, but you will be unable to communicate with your potential matches unless you take a subscription of at least one month.

Other Information

The company continues to conduct research to keep its compatibility system current with the latest social trends in the United States and worldwide.

Negatives about eHarmony.com

- Limited features on free trials.

- Sign up process is time-consuming

- Can’t conduct your own searches

- You must be legally divorced & not just separated

- You cannot join if you’ve been married more than twice

The Kiss 2 by artist Vsevolod Maximovich, 1913
The Kiss 2 by artist Vsevolod Maximovich, 1913 | Source

Match.com

History

A subsidiary of InterActiveCorp (IAC), and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Match.com was launched in 1995 and is considered to be the trailblazer of the online dating industry. It is one of the most well-known and largest online dating websites in the world. The site states that it ‘hosts websites in 15 different languages” and is tailored to suit the culture it is serving. Match.com says its mission is “to help singles find the kind of relationship they’re looking for,” and claims to be responsible for more relationship connections and marriages than any other online dating website. No wonder. Their ads appear in all forms of media with a very high degree of frequency.

Match.com is setup to serve everyone equally regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. The percentage ratio of female to male users is 51 to 49. The site is visited by about 17 million people per month. The “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives Match.com a popularity rating 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Match.com Features

- Match.com offers a variety of ways to get started on their dating website. There are three categories of questions to answer: “About Me”- your physical appearance, interests, background, etc; “What you are looking for in a partner” -self-explanatory, and “In My Own Words” –you have 4,000 characters to describe yourself and your ideal match, then add a profile headline and upload at least one photo. It takes approximately 30 minutes. If Customer Care approves your information (within 24 hours), your profile is entered into the Match.com’s data base.

- Your profile can be “Highlighted” and you can add up to 26 photos.

- There is a very huge subscriber-base

- They offer a number of ways to search for your dating matches: independently by keywords such as salary range, horoscope, eye color; Reverse Matching – check out the profiles of those looking for singles with your attributes; Mutual Match – find singles whose answers match yours in the “About My Date” segment; or automatically receive five match suggestions daily.

- You can opt for a “Gallery View” or “Detailed View” of your matches.

- They offer various dating categories such as Local, Black, Jewish, Christian, Lesbian, Gay, Single Parents, Senior, etc.

- “First Impressions” –your profile is emailed directly to new members

- Receive notifications of when your emails are read.

- Forms of communication include “anonymous” email until you feel comfortable enough to share your name and contact information, Instant Messenger, Live Chat, Date Sparks (propose a date for possible responses or respond to a proposed date), mobile access, and send winks

- You have see “Who Favorited Me”

- See “Who Viewed Me”

- Search who is online now

- A guarantee that if you don’t find someone special in six months, you get an additional six months free.

- Customer care is reachable by phone or check out their FAQ.

- Online dating advice and relationship tips

- Dating safety tips (the “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives Match.com a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars)

- Testimonials/ success stories

- Gift subscriptions

Ease of Use

The Match.com website is easy to navigate. There are lots of ways to find your match or matches.

Match.com Cost

Match.com offers a number of subscription plans with various features. There is a free three-day trial; an introductory-month offer of $16.99; regular month subscription is $34.99; a 3-month subscription is $23.99 per month for a total of $71.97; and a 6-month subscription of $19.99 per month for a total of $119.94.

Other Information

Match.com sponsors “Stir Events” – with offerings like Happy Hours, and Cooking Classes. They also have a U.S. contest for 13-20 year old students whose parents/ stepparents met on Match.com. Winner receives a scholarship of $50,000 dollars.

Negatives about Match.com

- You must have a paid subscription to send/ receive emails.

- You may not always receive the daily 5 matches

- Nonpaying & inactive users are not indicated

- Huge database to search through

Couple
Couple | Source

OurTime.com

History

OurTime.com online dating website was launched in 2011 and falls under the umbrella of People Media Network. It is one of the top dating sites for singles age 50 and older who are looking for romance, marriage, companionship, or just pen pals. Before launching, the company extensively researched their demographic to determine what they seek in an online dating website. They discovered that the group knows exactly what it wants in relationships and in life.

OurTime.com services all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or economic status. And though it geared to singles who are 50 plus, younger singles can also join. Their percentage ratio of female to male users is 52 to 48. OurTime gets about 551,000 visits every month. The “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives OurTime a popularity rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

OurTime.com Features

- On OurTime.com registration is simple and quick. Users can signup without completing their profiles and begin to connect with other singles in less than two minutes.

- Profiles can include photos, video and audio, and/ or personal greetings. They can also be highlighted.

- OurTime offers free local browsing, so you don’t have to join to search for singles in your area.

- They also offer a combination of searchable database and daily match suggestions.

- You can choose only the profiles that are accompanied by videos and/ or photos; search by specific keywords, zodiac sign, physical attributes, age, religious beliefs, personal greetings, zip code, distance, etc.

- Communication methods include e-mail messages, Live Chat, mobile access, and winks.

- You receive e-mail alerts

- You have features like: “Who Do You Like,” “Who Fav’d Me,” “Who Said Yes to Me,” and “Who Viewed Me”

- The website can store the profiles viewed, and the people and photos you liked.

- Reach customer care via FAQ, through a submission form or directly.

- They offer expert dating advice, tips, and articles

- Dating safety and security tips (the “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives OurTime.com a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars)

- Testimonials/ success stories

Ease of Use

OurTime.com’s dating website is one of the most basic and simplest. Navigation is easy.

OurTime.com Cost

One month subscription on OurTime.com costs $23.99. Three months cost $17.99 per month for a total of $53.97; 6 months cost $11.99 per month for a total of $71.94, and there is a plan called 6 months Highlighted is $12.99. The free plan does offer limited features.

Negatives about OurTime.com

- Small database as compared with other online dating websites.

"The Love of my Life"
"The Love of my Life" | Source

Zoosk

History

Zoosk first launched as a Facebook app (application) in 2007. Currently, it is available for the iPhone, Android, and other Smartphones. It integrates with social media, is global, and translates into 25 languages. So, you can conduct searches using all of today’s communication technologies. No wonder its popularity resonates with the younger demographic, and they are marketed to with ads all over the Internet. The dating site has a trademarked Behavioral Matching System that continually learns about you from the actions you perform online.

Zoosk is touted as the “fastest-growing dating website” on the Internet. Its 25 million searchable members comprised of heterosexuals and same-sex singles and couples. The percentage ratio of female to male is 52 to 48. The dating site receives about 3.8 million visits per month. "The 10 Best Dating Websites" article gives Zoosk.com a popularity rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Zoosk.com Features

- Zoosk.com offers several ways to get started: join with basic membership and receive matches based mainly on age and location; more advanced membership, meaning you input more information on your profile and receive matches with more compatibility, or use the dating site’s Behavioral Matching System which involves a compatibility questionnaire. Which ever method you choose, your profile is up for member-viewing in…well, minutes.

- Use “Boost View” to highlight your profile.

- Find local singles

- Receive daily match suggestions

- Communication tools include Zoosk Messenger, “Carousel” – you immediately connect with members of similar interests, flirts, ice-breaker questions to ask your matches.

- Get “Delivery Confirmation” of your email messages.

- “Zoosk Coins” -virtual money available to all members. Use them to purchase virtual flowers, pets, and other gifts.

- Tips for dating on & offline

- Dating safety tips (the “10 Best Dating Websites” article gives Zoosk a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars)

- Get answers from FAQ or reach customer support by phone or email.

- “ZooskTV” on You Tube

- Zoosk blog

- Testimonials/ success stories

Ease of Use

The younger demographic should have no trouble with the Zoosk.com interface. It is simple and quite easy. Features score highly on ratings websites.

Zoosk.com Cost

For a one-month subscription to Zoosk.com, you pay $29.95. For three months, you pay $19.95 per month for a total of $59.85. For twelve months (one year), you pay $9.99 per month for a total of $119.98.

Negatives about Zoosk.com

- People are not screened before they sign up.

- Somewhat limited customer support

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A Word About Costs of Online Dating Websites

Please note that the cost of joining or subscribing to these online dating websites is always subject to change.

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Comments 2 comments

Co 13 months ago

What do the seidrerent background colors on ourtime designate? For example purplish vs blue vs white?


beverley byer profile image

beverley byer 13 months ago from United States of America Author

Don't know. Sorry. But thanks for reading.

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