So You Think You Can Create A Dating Website?
Online dating has become an integral part of the day-to-day life of the average global citizen today. The rapid advancement in all things digital has helped online dating become a way of life, with a large percentage of the population starting to view it in a positive light!
As the online dating frenzy grows, so does the number of dating portals online. There are an estimated 8,000 dating websites across the world today, with over 25% of these being in the US alone! So, if you are planning to enter this almost-saturated market armed with a generic, boring website, think again.
A unique site name and the perfect theme will help your site sure, but they can only go so far if you want to sustain in the long term. Which is why, here are 12 things you should take care of, while designing your online dating website.
12 Requirements of a Stunning Dating Website
#1 Choose a Niche
As tempting as it might be to create a website that caters to people across all ethnicities, all age groups, and all cultures, start small. Study the market trend for a while and choose a niche. You can decide upon a particular age group, or maybe pick by location, or even based on hobbies, communities, etc.; the choices are endless.
Developing a niche site will help you focus on the complete requirements of that group and cater to them perfectly. Besides, you can always expand your website later, one group at a time!
#2 Integrate a Profile Creator
The Online Profiles of your members is one area where your website should be extremely intuitive. Help your users create their profile, add information, pictures, and other fun stuff easily, without having to slog through the process. Allow them to personalize their profile, as opposed to maintaining a common template for all. A good idea is to design your website’s layout so that it highlights the best of their qualities.
#3 Categorize According to Preferences
Categorize the users within the niche you have chosen to work with. Add categories and tags based on common interests, locations, hobbies, ethnicities, etc. that make it easier for people to find people within that category. Keep the navigation through your website clean and understandable. This helps for a better user experience.
#4 Add a Compatibility Checker
Finding a perfect match among the thousands of profiles on the website can be a bit of a challenge. To mitigate this problem, create compatibility quizzes that analyse user data and compare it with the other profiles in the database, to suggest potential matches. This makes the choice slightly easier for the user and leads to a better experience!
#5 Provide Suggestions
Users appreciate it when they receive possible recommendations that get updated regularly. Analyse the profiles for similarities and provide recommendations for your users on a regular basis. However, make sure that these are not projected blatantly, which might lead a user to believe that they are being compelled, on any level.
Creating a local search option can be great if you are targeting a user base within a particular area. This makes the search much narrower and helps people find what they are looking for with greater ease. Localization also helps people who are new to the area, to interact freely with the other eligible singles online.
#7 Communication is King!
Once your user decides upon giving this cyber relationship a go, the first thing they are going to want to do is talk to their cyber date. Incorporate as many communication options as possible, personal messaging, private chat rooms, flirting options, instant messaging, video calls, etc. that can be used by your members at their various stages of dating. At the same time, make sure that your users have some control over which options want to activate and use, so that they do not take it as an invasion of their privacy.
#8 Offer Relationship Advice
Having your own website gives you an opportunity to add a blog where you can offer relationship advice to your members. However, you need to make sure that you keep it unbiased and real, and not influenced by your personal standpoint. You can also invite your users to share their experiences here, or add guest posts by acclaimed relationship experts.
#9 Add Members
The biggest problem for a new dating website is that of members. Quite a lot of websites opt for free membership options, as this helps to increase their user base. However, if you intend to earn revenue from your dating site, it is better to go for paid memberships. A paid membership site is also considered more authentic by the online dating psyche.
The downside to paid membership sites is that you cannot begin from scratch. Nobody is going to pay for a dating site that has no members. One option here is to purchase a members list form existing affiliated sites so that you have an existing profile pool when you go live, but that is not really advisable. What you can do instead is let users register for free initially for a trial period, and then later start charging them.
#10 Provide Personalized Consultation Services
Another way to earn revenue from your dating website is to offer personalized consultation services for a fee. This can include premium services, a selection of the cream profiles in your database, access to advanced profile development options, etc.
#11 Display Reviews
Reviews and feedback strengthen your website manifold. New users are reassured by genuine, positive reviews, that attest to the spam-free nature of your website, which encourages them to continue.
#12 Protect Privacy
Privacy is the greatest concern for online dating. There are many nefarious characters out there who prey on vulnerability of online daters. Your users are trusting you with information that is very important to them, make sure that you take appropriate measure to protect their privacy. Should any cases of cyber harassment occur, allow users to submit complaints and block people from their profiles and resolve these issues at the earliest.
Creating a beautiful, healthy, online dating website, without being lurid or trite is the challenge today. Use a good CMS platform like WordPress which gives you plenty of plugin and theme options to play around with. If developing and setup is not your cup of tea, you can also think of opting for professional help so as to create the perfect website!