How Dating Sites Work – Free vs Paid for Memberships on Online Dating Sites

New or curious about online dating sites and how they work?

How most dating sites wor:k and profile set up information (general) – setting up a profile and using free vs paid online dating subscriptions.

Every dating site or app is different. Yet there are MANY similarities amongst dating sites that will help you if you’re new or curious about online dating.  The first thing to know is that an online dating site uses a DATABASE type of platform and algorithm, meaning a profile is a set of data that is used to match with other sets of data (other member profiles) for interests, appearance and lifestyle factors.

Dating site matching is scientifically driven in the sense it’s data and database driven. But most dating website algorithms and matching functions are far from perfect – and human behaviour in terms of online dating is far from rational or predictable.  Plus, if a site doesn’t have adequate members meeting your matching criteria, the algorithm may tell you “no matching criteria” or it might just lower the bar.

Free vs Paid for Dating Sites Subscriptions and Features

  • Most dating sites or dating apps offer FREE log-ins and FREE profiles.
  • Profiles WILL ask your age, and often other factors such as height, weight, hair colour/style, body shape or size, and a set number of lifestyle activities such as whether or not you smoke, drink, watch too much television or have fantasies about playing Russian Roulette..
  • Most DEMAND a photo and a legitimately-working email for validation and profile-building.
  • Photo often need to meets certain criteria (e.g., they MUST show your face/eyes, not be overly grainy or low in resolution, not have others or children in them and so on).
  • Validation of an email address is also required before being able to USE the profile (search your spam folders if needed).
  • A set list of criteria also needs to be filled in, such as whether or not you’d be happy dating someone who still wants children (or not) and whether or not you’ve finished a certain degree of schooling; what your religion and cultural preferences are (if any), and income ranges of people you’d like to date.

At which point, the person can SEARCH for matches – but not necessarily contact them for free.

Read the blog AGE FABRICATION – how many people lie about their age on dating profiles?

Lifehacker reviewed TINDER GOLD features and benefits – click here to see what they had to say.

  • Some sites SAY they’re free to use – and they are – but only to set up a profile not to actually contact or respond to others’ expressions of interest.
  • Remember – if it’s your first time setting up a profile, be sure you tick the box for SMS alerts (YES or NO) or EMAIL alerts (YES or NO) as otherwise you may have to be IN the app or ON the dating site to see any activity; that noted, if you’re using a work email, you might not want your daily matches showing up at your office desk computer or office phone.
  • Some APPS require PHONE ONLY use; others can be accessed through an APP on your phone, though an INTERNET BROWSER on your phone (Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome and similar – although some are glitchy with dating site formats) – OR on your COMPUTER/PC or TABLET.
  • Expect functionality and appearance of the site and menus to change depending on which DEVICE you’re using – not all devices or browsers work compatibly with dating software (and vice versus).

But added features – such as being able to make contact with other users or having filtering systems to enable profile weeding, cost extra.

Tired of seeing the same fish every time you’re on a dating site?

Send an enquiry to request information on unique cliche dating sites.


Average Registration Times for Top Dating Sites – Tinder, Match, Elite Singles, EHarmony, Bumble

  • Depending on the site, registration can take from a few minutes (allow at least 20 minutes to 30 minutes for most sites) to several hours spent filling in exhausting forms you’ll never know will come in useful (or not).
  • EHarmony is exhaustive and takes a very long time to fill in but says the algorithm matching is “worth it”.
  • Some sites let you skip the details but the more info you DO put in, the more closely the MATCH might become. Theoretically speaking, anyway.
  • Everyone questions algorithms at some stage, but according to an insider at Fairfax (who owns the dating website, RSVP), what people SAY they want – and what they CLICK on – are not as aligned as one might think.

Are the FREE dating sites worth it? Such as PLENTYOFFISH (POF)?
  • Many people enter the foray of online dating on a free site, such as the popular PlentyOfFish or Zoosk.
  • The more FREE users a site has, the more PROFILE WEEDING you’re going to need to do (and the more attractive and time-saving the PREMIUM feature memberships become).
  • But most online dating sites have FEE FOR CONTACT or a FEE FOR MEMBERSHIP.

Find out Dating Statistics for Tinder and other facts about online dating industry.

Recommended reading:

Online Dating Statistics and Number of Tinder Users

How many single people are using online dating?


How Many People Lie About Their Age on Dating Profiles?

Originally published on September 27 2019 by DoctorMyWeb.

Page last updated on January 20, 2020.

How Many People Can You Meet Online on Dating Sites?

The Dating Game and Numbers: Just How Many People Can You Meet Online with a really good dating profile?

I often talk about how important it is to allow adequate time to use a dating site or dating app, such as Tinder, Match, POF and others. And not all sites are equal, but I’ cover that in detail in my book chapters The Love Seekers Guide to Online Dating and Scams: Dating Over 45 and Dating Over 50, 65 and 70.

How many views or clicks or swipes a day does a successful dating profile attract?

Average Numbers of Views, Swipes and Interest/Meet Me clicks or Kisses for a good dating profile.

  • The right profile – the right images and good descriptions – should attract at least 50 views a day, per day, repeatedly for the first few weeks.
  • This peak often relates to a new profile going up – and users searching for NEW faces, rather than the often-repeats who are failing at online dating due to poor profiles, awful photographs and poor search strategies, then it may potentially drop to about 20 a day.
  • If you failed, contact me for the TIPS guide (send an enquiry on the contact page) as to how to revamp your profile and start again.
  • Some top rating profiles which I helped create attracted over 100 views a day, with at least 20 to 40 clicks expressing interest in the dating profiles individual.
  • Example: Day 1 – over 100 views and 24 emails; Day 2 – over 110 views and over 27 emails (sometimes the DATING SITE or DATING APP puts a trending profile in everyone’s INBOX, especially if you pay for their premium services OR you are getting a lot of clicks.
  • Within 3 days, a good profile with good, recent photographs – should theoretically attract at least 30 views a day, repeatedly, and at least 2 to 5 contact emails or Mutual MEET ME indications PER day.

If, however, you have POOR photos, are very out of shape and haven’t hit the gym yet, say very little in your profile AND/OR have awful photographs on your profile page (you with a fish, you in a bathtub or without a shirt on staring at your gym mirror flexing your biceps, you very fuzzily or hiding your face) you will NOT win at these dating numbers odds.

Tick Boxes and Dating Profiles – Does being specific work?

Yes, being specific is important and one of the tenets of my book and dating coaching programs and workshops. Because you don’t JUST want anybody, you want someone you can live with, a ‘lover who won’t drive you crazy’ kind of person as the song goes. And as you approach your later years, you may become more tolerant of others foibles – sure, miracles can happen. But most likely, you’re becoming fussier and pickier as you age – not less so. (Of course, this does vary, some people just want a warm body next to them at night – and will take nearly anything. But the savvy daters who have a lot going for them, they are VERY, VERY fussy about who they want to talk with and meet and potentially partner with for the rest of their lives). As they should be – as all of us should be.

Specific Search Strategies for Online Dating – Tips and Scam Avoidance

Let’s face it – it’s a numbers game because if you’re like most people trying to date after 45, after 50 or after 60 and after 65 or 70, you are looking for a very specific person; one who may or may not exist, but in all likelihood, how you SEARCH for them is going to impact greatly on your chances of finding them.

But you’re also needing to avoid online dating scams, not waste too much time and energy or coffee and dinner money at this stage of life (it is, however, an investment of sorts as divorce costs a lot more than a few dinners with the wrong person OR a missed opportunity for love with the right person, just because you’re wanting to be cheap on dinner outings).


Why you have to be on online dating sites to meet people: Dating Statistics


If the stats above suit a well-structured, well written profile with great pics, then you can expect to have:

  • At least 200 people viewing your profile per week (I can’t vouch for how many will READ it versus look at the photos, and this may vary from person to person and gender to gender)..
  • You’ll have at least 20 people writing to you each week – making the first contact (this may depend on what your dating app requires to make contact, e,g. it might be just a swipe right or an expression of interest or mutual interest.
  • Depending on your social skills. including manners and presentation, you’ll likely have an opportunity to TALK with – or MEET – at least 3 of those either by phone, coffee or drinks.
  • So over a one month period, you should theoretically be able to meet or talk with at least 12 similarly minded individuals with some common interests or lifestyle factors.

Where else can you meet 12 individuals, potentially suitable for partnering, in one month?

  • The answer: No where.
  • And that’s why you NEED to be on online dating sites or using dating apps after the age of 45, after 50, after 60 and after 65 or 70, if you have any hope of finding a suitable partner.

BUT just using the apps isn’t enough.

  • The majority of men and women over 45 and especially over 50, over 60/65 and over 70 – FAIL to attract a suitable partner with mutual affinity and compatible lifestyles.
  • They become frustrated, disappointed and angry,
  • They often leave the platform or dating app/online dating site they’ve chosen TOO soon, with their head hung low, and sadness in their heart.

Because they are getting it wrong.

How to write a great profile – and why your pictures and photographs count for at least 75% of your success rate with most other users.

Find out WHY in my book,, send a contact and stay up to date on tips for dating and avoiding online romance scams and suspect profiles.


Read why you shouldn’t lie about your age on your profile.

Online Dating Statistics across the globe

Back to our best DATING AFTER 45, AFTER 50 and AFTER 65 or 70 Dating Tips blogs.


Top 10 Dating Sites

Top 10 Dating Sites Online – Dating Profile Tips

Online dating sites are forever evolving, and no doubt you’ll see the same faces across many different websites. When it comes to FREE ONLINE dating sites, such as PLENTYOFFISH, TINDER and others, you typically get what you pay for – less control and a lot of weeding to find the profiles that suit you best. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on those top free dating sites as well as your favourite paid-for online dating sites such as RSVP, BUMBLE, B2B, and soon to be, Facebook Dating Pages.  Plus, even the FREE online dating profile sites offer elite online dating FILTERING services or premium subscriptions.

How many dating sites should a person be on?

  • It’s usually helpful to be on at least two (2) DATING WEBSITES, but choose these carefully.
  • Any more than two dating site profiles, and you’re likely diluting your energy and your e-energy.

But online dating can get very expensive, very quickly – especially if you’re making a lot of mistakes with WHO you’re contacting and HOW you’re contacting them.

Read our top rated BLOGS on dating profile tips.

Dating Site Statistics and facts, pricing and costs

That’s why I advise everyone to read my e-book, Love Seekers Guide to finding online love, partnership and romance after the age of 50 – so that you know how to avoid the common traps and pitfalls of online dating in your middle to later years.

Send an enquiry on our contacts page to request information on getting your copy (only $10.95 via ebook format).


Top 10 Dating Sites online – Reviews and Rankings (1-10)

Elite Singles

Silver Singles




Academic Singles

…want the next 3 of the TOP 10 best dating apps or dating websites for over 50s and over 60s and beyond?

Send us your email and we’ll send you the full list along with dating tips and a FREE profile template!

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