In this review I’m going to take a much closer look at one of Australia’s largest and most popular dating sites: match.com.
But before I do, I have a confession to make… I’m a little biased towards match.com.
Why? Because I’ve had more relationships with people from this site than any other dating site. My brother also met his wife on match.com, another friend his fiancé, and two more friends their partners.
But despite my blatant favoritism, I have tried to write an honest and critical review. So hopefully you will be able to decide for yourself if this is the right dating site for you, or not.
match.com was the world’s first online dating website, launching over 17 year ago in 1995. Their 17 years of matching making has resulted in over 160 members leaving the site every single day, not because they are dissatisfied, but because they found a partner on the site and no longer require the service.
Members on the site are aged from 18 years to 65 years old. But I have spotted that the number of members aged 65 and older has been growing in recent years; probably because our older generations are now more computer literate than ever before.
The majority of members are looking for a relationship, as opposed to a one night stand. The paid membership also helps to deter those who are not really serious about finding someone.
Creating Your Profile
When you visit the site for the first time, you’re presented with the simple sign-up form that you can see below.
It will take the best part of 90 seconds to fill out. Once complete, you are then asked a series of around a dozen or so questions, and finally you are asked to write a little about yourself. This completes your profile and you are then whisked away to a subscription page with their various payment options.
However, this can be a little confusing for new users, since you don’t actually need to pay immediately on joining; and you definitely shouldn’t. Instead you can close the payment screen, and then start a search to browse profiles and even send winks for free. This will give you a taste for the site, and also allow you to discover if there is anyone on the site that you are interested in.
I only recommend paying for the service one you have used the free version, and found a bucket full of potential matches that you would like to contact.
Features You’ll Find
When you log-on for the first time you’ll find a very intuitive interface, and it’s loaded with some pretty neat features too.
Take the Daily Matches feature (previously called Daily 5) for example. Some days you may be too busy to spend hours searching through the enormous number of profiles. This is where the Daily Match comes in very useful by showing you profiles each day based on preferences that you set. All you have to do is check them every day to let the system know if they sparked your interest. If they have, then the system will send an introduction email to the matches you’re interested in, letting them know they caught your attention.
There is also The Quiz. Here you can choose from up to 20 pre-written questions which are then displayed in your profile for visitors to view and answer if they wish. Its been designed to gain an insight into ones character, but in a flirty and not too invasive way.
The search options are pretty extensive. You get two options, a quick search option where you just enter age, location, distance, then hit the search button. And a second advanced option that allows you to be a lot pickier. You can view all of the different search criteria that you can select in the image below:
Stir events are activities held in local areas where you are invited to meet other Match.com members face-to-face. Local events will be scheduled throughout the country where most of our members are located. You will be informed of events in your area by a personal invitation via email, along with a notification on our website. Events fill up quickly, so if you receive an invitation, RSVP quickly to ensure a reserved spot!
The mobile support options are very good, and there are apps for all major mobile handsets. I’ve only tried the Android app, which I found definitely makes using the site on a mobile faster, and the navigation simpler. The experience should be similar for the iPhone and Windows phones too.
The Traffic Test
For most towns and cities in the US you’ll find many people are registered and active. I performed a local search for Canberra. I searched for females between the ages of 25 and 30, and over 1000 profiles were returned. Extending this by 10 miles produces even more results.
However, before paying I recommend you perform a traffic test for your own local area. But providing you don’t live on the island of Canna in the Scottish Hebrides, I think you will find that there are more than enough members to choose from.
When you do perform a search, just make sure that the “online” check-box is unchecked, since this will only return members who are currently online. I noticed that this seems to be checked by default for some odd reason.
The Scam Test
I always like to test how active scammers are on a dating site by not completing my profile description, and not uploading a photo for at least 7 days. If in this time you receive a number of messages and winks, it’s a clear sign that scammers are very active on the site. Real members don’t usually send messages to other members without a profile description or photo, but scammers are dumb, so they do; and so do computer generated scripts.
But match.com past this test with flying colors, so there is really no need for you to wait 7 days to get started. But for many other dating sites, I would definitely recommend making this test yourself.
It’s free to register your profile and browse existing members. But to message other members (which you really need to do if you’re to meet anyone on the site,) you need to take out a full membership. The 2013 membership prices for match.com are as follows:
$20.99 per month for a 6 month membership
$23.99 per month for a 3 month membership
$41.99 per month for a 1 month membership
The above prices are for their value options. There is also standard membership plan that costs an extra $3 per month and gives you: email read notification, first impressions and a highlighted profile. I don’t think it’s paying the extra.
Please note that match.com does use automated re-billing (like most dating sites). This means that unless you cancel your subscription before it expires, it will be extended automatically. I always recommend cancelling this ASAP, then deciding later whether to re-new or not. Cancelling the subscription will not affect your membership; you will still have full use of the site until your 1, 3 or 6 month period expires.
Good and Bad Points
One of the largest dating sites in Australia
Mobile apps for all major devices
Very easy to use
High percentage of members are looking for a serious relationship
High cost of a single month’s membership
If you are fed-up with being alone, cooking meals for one, and not having anyone to scratch your back, then match.com is a great place to start your search for a partner.
Of all the dating sites in Australia, it’s the one that I believe offers the most value and potential for singles that are serious about breaking out from their singledom.
My only criticisms are in regards to the subscription renewals, and the cost for a single month. But providing you cancel your subscription sooner rather than later, it will not be a problem. And since finding your soul mate often takes longer than 4 weeks (unless you’re incredibly lucky), then you will find much better value in the 3 and 6 month options.
So are you interested in taking your partner search to the next level?
Then why not join www.match.com today.