13 Principles for the Development of Dating Websites
Online dating business is one of the biggest revenue sources these days. It takes almost nothing to make money. Actually, this ‘nothing’ is a bit more than you expect - you need to build a perfect website to work for you afterwards.
What is this perfect website you probably think? Here we are going to define the most valuable components of such website design and how to build each stage of the development process properly, so don’t miss a word of this article!
How to Create a Great Dating Website
1. Make a Competitive Audit
Competition is fierce in every profitable business field and it is not a secret. Before you get started with your product, you should better examine existing sites. Take a look at the most successful ones and don’t neglect the worst. You should compare them and find out the reason why the first gained success and the last failed. This will help you to avoid mistakes, come up with something new for your project and just get inspired.
2. Pick a Cool Domain Name
Remember that you are creating a matchmaking website. Its aim is to bring people together, so its name has to be romantic or with a passionate link. Think that in 10 or 20 years these people who got married thanks to your website will remember it by the name. And who knows, maybe they will want to open it again just to refresh the memory.
3. Free or Paid?
Online dating services can be free, partially free, or paid. It depends on the audience you aim to reach and on your money making plan. Free websites are loved by users the most, but it can be a trick: serious users may rather choose a paid website treating it as a more trustworthy one. A good plan is to make a website available for free with basic functions, plus build a premium version where users can have more for extra payment.
4. Choose Your Audience
Youth is excited about love adventures and many teens have fun through talking to new people, meeting new friends and falling in love seriously or not. The senior audience has another reason to enter a dating website. These people seek serious relationships, or a one-night partner. You should differentiate all these goals and make your website considering each type of audience.
There can be a few options: you pick an exact niche and build your website for it, or you put together everything and aim your project at the general audience. Making the last, you should think over the navigation and break your site into separate sections all with simple functionality.
5. Think over Landing Pages
Landing page has two meanings and is used differently by online marketers. Firstly, landing page is where internet users arrives on your site. The other meaning, landing page is not the part of your website; it is a distinct page aiming to bring users to your main project.
In the case of dating website design, you’d better have both of these options, but the first one is even more important. You should give users what they need in the first second: a search box, profile settings, users’ database, image galleries, chat, etc.
6. Make Navigation Intuitive
Navigation is a crucial element of any website, but it is special for dating websites. There should be a clear form to become a member, a quick button to find people, a simple toolbar to go to the chat, galleries, videos, payment page, etc. The position of the menu bar is optional, so you can place it at the top, or on any side. The only requirement to this website part is simplicity and functionality. Forget about fly-out menus, drop-down parts and a mass of sub-pages.
7. Website Layout Must Be Clean
What makes layout clean? It is not the absence of colors, nor is it the absence of content. Layout is clean when it is uncluttered, when each element has its right position and the overall visual front of the site is favorable for reading. It is the right portion of content and design items that make a website user-friendly. It concerns a dating website design, too. Such a theme should have clear content arrangement with everything being structured and well-defined. If it is an advertisement, it must be on a sidebar, as well as a search box. If it a call-to-action button, it must be in the most visible place. When you are creating your dating services website with much multimedia, plan the galleries design carefully.
8. Include a Simple-to-Use Search Box
Why do people go to dating websites? They are looking for their sweetheart. The key word is ‘looking’, so you have to create maximum favorable conditions for it. A search tool is the most useful element on your website for visitors. They open a site and start searching. Many of them know definitely what they need (or who they need to be exact), so advanced search is a must. The fields like sex, age, city must be included.
9. Don’t Lose with Colors
The meaning of colors varies greatly from culture to culture, and you must think of it right after you determine your target audience. I would better illustrate: red is used in wedding ceremonies in India, but is a mourning color in South Africa. Yellow is a color of sadness in Greece, but it symbolizes happiness in the Middle East. The culture is only one aspect that plays a vital role in color choice. Gender means no less: men and women see and interpret colors differently. Men will most likely name pink all shades like lavender, coral, and rose; women are usually more specific. Moreover, there are colors that men/female love and hate. For example, blue is the most favorite color for both men and women, but women also love purple, men prefer green.
Color choice should be argued by meaning, interpretation, audience, website purpose and mood, its aesthetic function. You will probably hit the mark if use a white tone (it is clean and pure), black (it is elegant) and probably blue (it is the most neutral).
10. Develop Fully-Functional User Profiles
User profile on a dating website equals a page in Facebook, or any social media platform. It tells about a person and consists of many items, like name, date of birth, native city, occupation, favorite color or movie. Online dating resource has to include tons of features that can bring people together; everything that can facilitate their communication is welcomed.
11. Create All Possible Tools to Facilitate Communication
The communicating tools have a tremendous impact on your online business, as it is what people want to get when they open a site. Enable users to send messages to each other in a second and within one click, and make sure message exchanging works uninterrupted. Create chat rooms and video calls. Make your clients feel joyful, and they will appreciate it for sure.
One more thing - test, test and test again! This is one of the basic rules in website development, especially when you pack your site with many features.
12. Privacy Controls for Each User
Spammers are everywhere, and it would be a huge mistake to let them attack your website. You can follow these simple tips to guarantee your clients at least minimum privacy safety:
- represent email addresses safely: youremail (at) mail (dot) com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org;
- images should not have a download function, it is personal data;
- code your website to accept complex user profile passwords only, etc.
Check the users’ data and allow them to use a website just after validation.
Also, in this section we need to remember about your safety, as a website owner. Don’t let users upload adult images, because Google can penalize you. Plus, don’t clutter your site with strange links.
13. Trial Version
Remember we talked about free and paid websites? This is like an extra point to that section. A trial version is a must, if you charge for using your online services. People should test the product (at least a day or a few) to make sure they want to pay for it. Doing this, you also show how confident you are in the service you offer.
Let users try your site in practice before they register. It doesn’t matter if the registration is free, just let them do this. Nevertheless, this trial should be limited to a certain time period, or users will never register.
Examples of Great Dating Website Designs
An online dating website is designed well when it corresponds to certain requirements and includes a number of features. In this post, we tried to highlight each of these elements and make a full picture of how you should plan your project wisely. If you have (and you definitely have) more ideas on the topic, share them with us in the comments field. Also, give examples of great dating websites, if you know any.