A Guide to Free Online Dating Sites

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Free dating sites are ideal if you’re new to the world of online dating and keen to give it a go without spending any money.
  2. However, be aware that, while some sites allow you to put up a profile for free, you may have to pay for ‘extras’ such as sending messages to other users.
  3. Thanks to the fact they’re free, these dating sites also attract huge numbers of users, boosting your chances of finding that someone special.
  4. Since they’re free, there’s also nothing stopping you from putting up a profile on several different sites; again, it’s a numbers game, so it pays to boost your odds.
  5. Note, however, that many of your fellow users may also just be giving online dating a go, meaning they may not be as committed or serious as users of paid sites.
  6. Zoosk and PlentyOfFish are among the biggest free online dating sites out there.
  7. Oasis.com and BeSocial are also popular free sites, giving you the chance to connect with other singletons at no cost.

The internet has made it easier than ever for us to connect with like-minded individuals, and it’s little surprise that those looking for love find dating sites so useful. Whilst many dating sites charge for membership, there a wide range of free options available;

Why Choose a Free Dating Site?

  • They’re free! This is perfect if you’re new to the world of online dating and just want to dip your toe in the water without committing much time, money and effort into finding a partner over the internet. So, even if it’s not for you, aside from a few minutes setting up a profile and sending a handful of emails, you’ve not lost anything.
  • They’re popular. Thanks in no small part to the fact they charge no registration fees or hidden extras, free dating sites and massively popular, meaning you’ll have thousands of prospective partners. Plus, a large proportion of people on these sites will also be new to online dating and similarly keen to give it a go without splashing out on monthly membership fees – giving you something in common with that dream guy or girl right away.
  • You can improve your chances of finding love. Rather than spending all your money on one niche site, signing up to several free sites means your profile will be seen by many more people, plus you will get to see many more profiles yourself.

Possible Drawbacks of Free Dating Sites

  • If you’re serious about looking for love and finding ‘the one’ for a serious, lasting relationship, some experts advise that you treat your choice of online dating agency as an investment. As such, to get the most out of it, you should be willing to pay for the best service.
  • Many people will not take free online dating as seriously as they would paid-for sites. As such, men – or women – who take such a casual attitude to dating may not offer what you’re after if you’re in the market for a serious relationship.
  • Free online dating sites may not be able to offer the high levels of personalised customer care pair-for alternatives can.
  • If you’re wary of looking for love online, paid-for dating sites can offer you that little bit more peace of mind. Most of the biggest and most popular paid-for dating sites guarantee that all content is checked for quality purposes – meaning you are less likely to be contacted by dodgy individuals – plus they are also more likely to make use of the latest in online security technology.

Here are some of the most popular free online dating sites in the UK today:

1: Plenty of Fish

About: Easily one of the most popular dating sites on the planet, PlentyOfFish was set up in Vancouver, Canada back in 2003. As well as the UK, it covers Canada, the United States and Australia, with the site welcoming around five million visitors a month.

Advantages:

  • Since it’s been around for more than a decade and, thanks to it being free to use, it has one of the biggest user bases of all the online dating sites out there. In fact, PlentyOf Fish boasts that its users have ‘one million conversations per day’, and that the site’s specially-developed ‘advanced matching system’ is responsible for more dates and more relationships than any other dating site.
  • As well as being free to register a profile, it’s also completely free to send other users email messages.

Drawbacks:

  • PlentyOfFish has something of a reputation among online dating veterans as being more of a site for casual daters than those looking for a life-long soul mate. Indeed, users are given the option to refine their searches to just those looking for casual fun rather than a committed relationship. That said, the sheer number of users on the site means there are still plenty of serious profiles on there at any given time.
  • Not everything is free. Extras such as being able to enjoy an instant messenger conversation with another user, to see if a message you sent has been read or to see when another user was last on line are only available to those who pay a premium.

Get Started: To register and to start dating on Plenty of Fish, simply visit the website and sign-up.

2: Zoosk:

About: Zoosk is a relative newcomer to the online dating scene, having only been set up in 2007. However, it has grown rapidly over the past few years and now covers more than 70 countries around the world and offers online dating in 25 different languages.

Advantages:

  • The major selling point of Zoosk is its enhanced integration with social networking sites, and particularly with Facebook. Zoosk users are able to use a special Facebook app to bring together their two profiles, making it easier for them to share their interests and get in contact with others.
  • This enhanced social media integration means that Zoosk users tend to be younger than users of many other online dating sites. Indeed, 70 per cent of users are under the age of 35, making it a good bet if you are looking for a partner in their 20s or early 30s.
  • Zoosk also offers a range of games and advice guides, even for users who have found a match through the site.

Drawbacks

  • Zoosk is maybe not the site for you if you’re over the age of 40 or are not comfortable with the world of online social networking.
  • To increase the likelihood of that special someone finding your profile on such a big site, you are invited to buy ‘Boost View’ tokens, again meaning that not everything on the site is completely free. You can, however, send other users emails and ‘winks’ for no extra charge.

Get Started: Simply visit their site to sign-up for a free account with Zoosk.

3: Oasis.com

About: A truly global website, Oasis.com boasts of having millions of users all over the world, with around 300,000 new members signing up each month. The site is available in several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

Advantages

  • Oasis.com is big on community interaction and so offers a number of chat rooms and discussion boards through which users can exchange dating tips, talk about online dating etiquette and much more.
  • If you have a thick skin, you can see if you’re using your best picture as your main profile pic through the site’s ‘hot or not’ game. This invites other users to rate you just on your appearance alone.
  • Aside from allowing you to search for and email other users, Oasis.com also offers a range of additional features, including an instant messenger service, the chance to search for matches in other countries and communities, the ability to build-up a gallery of photos and a reliable and dedicated customer service and complaints team.

Drawbacks

  • Compared to some of the bigger dating sites, Oasis.com has a smaller user base, though there are still thousands of profiles for you to look through whatever you’re searching for.
  • Oasis.com also allows its users to look for friends as well as dates. While this may be a good thing for some, if you’re looking for love rather than a platonic connection, it may not be so great.

Get Started: Visit www.oasis.com to register free and start your search.

4: BeSocial:

About: BeSocial is a community-centric online dating site with no hidden charges. It boasts hundreds of thousands of users around the world, the majority of them in their 20s and 30s and social media-savvy.

Advantages:

  • BeSocial prides itself on being ‘100 per cent free’, meaning you are able to sign-up, post a profile and message or chat with another user within the space of a few minutes at no cost.
  • Alongside a full-length essay introducing yourself, you are also able to post pictures of your favourite films and musical acts on your profile page, making it easier to attract someone with similar interests and tastes.

Drawbacks:

  • Again, compared to the likes of PlentyOfFish and Zoosk, BeSocial is still playing catch-up when it comes to member numbers.
  • Compared to some sites, BeSocial may be slower to respond if you experience any technical difficulties using the site on your computer or need to make a complaint. In fact, you are encouraged to make use of the forums to get technical help from your fellow users in the first instance.

Get Started: Visit BeSocial to open a free account.

Further Reading

 

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