One of the decisions that those new to online dating must make is whether to choose a dating site that charges a fee for their services or instead sign up with one that is free. There are valid reasons for selecting either and these are addressed in detail.
But first, what exactly does free imply? Essentially it means that there is no monetary cost involved in using the dating service; however this does not mean that everything else is equivalent to using a paid dating website. Every website involves hosting costs as well as the effort involved in someone creating it, and dating sites are no different. It is simply a question of how the site generates revenue.
Virtually all online dating sites that do not charge membership fees use advertising to generate income. This means that almost every page on the site will include ads that you will view and hopefully click on. The more members the site has, the more chances there are for these ads to create revenue.
A free date site would intuitively seem to attract more members because there is no cost involved. But there is in fact a cost and this is the additional time you will have to spend to find what you are looking for. Banner ads, Google ads and pop-up offers will appear frequently almost to the point of making the online dating experience annoying. But this is only one of the real costs of using a free Internet dating service.
Aside from the annoying but necessary advertising, there are often several features that are missing or somewhat lacking compared to paid membership dating sites. An important one of these is a screening mechanism to filter out potential members who are not serious about Internet dating and could even possibly be identity thieves or even worse, online stalkers.
With a paid dating service, there is usually a team of support personnel that reviews each new membership information and likely contacts them via email or telephone to confirm their identity and intentions. A free service will likely not provide this because of the costs involved.
Also, an online dating chat room or dating forum may not be available on a free site. Such features provide an additional layer of personal protection in that you do not have to reveal additional information about yourself if you prefer not to.
With respect to technology features, it is unlikely that a free online dating service will provide the ability to utilize online audio or video to permit you to connect to a potential match. There are costs relating to Internet bandwidth charges that they may simply prefer to avoid.
By using a paid membership dating website you increase the level of personal security available, and to many people this can be extremely important. In addition, the screening mechanisms, chat room and forum availability, extra technological features all contribute to a better, more secure and safer online dating experience.
Another advantage to dating websites charging member fees is that there is a greater probability of it attracting only serious clients. Those with only a casual interest in online dating may reflect that attitude by not wishing to pay any fees. Signing up with such a service indicates that it is more likely that your potential matches are serious about finding someone compatible.
Which type should you choose? The answer is it depends on what you can afford with respect to monetary costs, personal security, features available and peace of mind. There are obviously tradeoffs involved and only you can decide which is better for you, but here are some suggestions.
If you are new to Internet dating services, then select one or two free online dating websites and strive to determine how comfortable you feel with the features that they provide. Since they are free, you can simply discontinue the service if it does not seem appealing to you.
Once you become more familiar with dating online, and if you feel that a more professional dating service is warranted, then do some research and find a membership based dating website. In this manner, you experience both types and receive the benefits of each.