Anyone who tried building a dating site knows how much work it takes. All that work doesn’t mean anything if new members aren’t joining and old members aren’t satisfied. A great user experience is crucial for the happiness of your current and future members.

Find Out What Users Want

When you know what someone wants, making that happen isn’t as hard. On dating sites, that can be a new feature, lower membership prices, etc. Guessing won’t take you far. Instead of trying to put yourself in members’ shoes, make a questionnaire. Ask them what to improve. Give a day of a premium membership in return to motivate them to answer the questionnaire.

Perform an Extensive Matchmaking

Regardless of the niche, a dating site should do one thing – connect its members with their matches, so they can start dating without wasting time looking for matches on their own. That’s even more important on a site where results should come quickly. Singles on casual dating sites don’t want to browse profiles for hours. They want to find matches ASAP and start having fun.

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Enable Advanced Personalized Search

Still, you shouldn’t ignore manual search. You should make it as personalized as you can. Add a lot of filters so that members can seek different partners in different situations. Sometimes, online dating sites just log in to check new members or browse profiles they didn’t see before. Deleting personalized search features from your site will almost certainly crush user experience. Imagine you’re a member who saw a beautiful single on the site and can’t find her anymore. Advanced search filters would solve your problem. Now you see how important it is for users in order to get more positive outcomes.

Develop a Simple and Intuitive Interface

Again, the purpose of a dating site is to connect its members with their matches, not to amaze them with some unusual interface. As long as a site works and it’s not difficult to find features, users will like it. If you look at how all of the best sites look, you’ll notice they have very simple interfaces. The main photo on the homepage grabs attention, but the rest is simple. Why? Because a confused user is an unsatisfied user.

Follow the Selected Niche

The worst thing you can do with your dating site is to change its niche. If you decide to build a dating site for singles looking for casual encounters, be consistent. Don’t grow a community of romantic fling lovers and then change the site to a long-term relationship oriented one. That would make many casual daters hate you, thus blowing the positive impression of your site to smithereens. Just an example, but you get the point. Choose your niche carefully and stick to it. It’s better to build a new site for the new niche than try to adjust the old site.

Implement Anti-spam and Anti-fraud Screening

If your members don’t feel safe on your site, they’ll stop using it. If they get messages from fake profiles every time they log in, they’ll look for another site. Make sure you implement the latest anti-spam and anti-fraud technology to protect your members and their info. However, just implementing modern software won’t show potential new members that they are safe on your site. Add badges or something similar to your homepage that will show you’re doing everything to protect them.

Provide Instant-messaging

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A dating site that doesn’t provide instant messaging could survive 20 years ago. Building a site on which members can’t chat like they’re having a conversation in person today is throwing money and time in the fire. User loyalty to those sites doesn’t exist because nobody joins dating services without instant messaging in the 21st century.

Allow Video Chat

If you provide instant messaging, you don’t have to allow video chat. However, if you allow it, your members will love it. User experience will skyrocket because video chat is the closest we can get to being together without actually being together.

Adapt the Site for a Mobile Device

This is on the level of instant messaging; if you don’t have it, you can’t expect high user response. Everybody uses smartphones; they are practical, have a camera for video chatting and sending photos. Most people don’t turn on their computers anymore. Why would they? A below-average smartphone can do more than a computer (from an average person’s POV), and it fits in a pocket. Building a dating site that isn’t responsive is an option only if you have both Android and IOS apps. Even if you have apps, you should still go for a responsive design because some people will find your site first. If it disappoints them, they won’t bother with downloading an app.

Improving the service for users is one of the pillars you should build your dating site on. Happy and satisfied members are the best ad for a powerful online business. They go around praising your site, thus attracting more members. Unsatisfied users do the opposite. It pays off to make them happy, literally.

About the author
Tania Kar
Freelance Writer for OneTwoStream
Tania is a freelance writer and a social media fanatic. She believes in the disrupting power of social media and gaming; hence she's on a mission to help spread the good news about the gaming industry and social media best practices.