WordPress dating

Do you want to transform your WordPress site into a dating website? This post will give you ideas how. I worked at some European dating websites that brought in a boat load of money. The reason they succeeded is they started in 2001.  I wanted to start a dating site myself, using WordPress. My rational was a lot has changed and if I could in a clever way leverage WP, I thought I could make headway and achieve market penetration in this overcrowded niche. Therefore, I started to test and experiment what the best options are for WordPress dating. This is what my research has come up with. I found the options are:

  • WordPress dating plugin
  • WordPress dating themes and premium themes
  • Social media dating, classified dating , forums – all extensions of WordPress
  • Making my own home grown system through a WP blog, extended with enlarged Gravatar, a personal page, search feature and connections to Facebook.
  • Other CMS systems
  • Non-WordPress open source dating scripts

Why use WordPress as a dating site? WP is trusted and easy to use, chances are you know it pretty well. It can be SEO friendly and a good platform to market with.  So if you could flip a switch and make it a dating site why not?

Why create a dating website? Besides money there is a human reason. We have all been there. Most of us have tried dating sites like match.com. I am a big believer that good things can happen online.

Here is a funny story how things have changed. Around 2003, I one time told my mother that I meet a girl on a dating site, she said ‘oh really’.  Yes, I told her our first rendezvous was at gas station of the Interstate (I was joking to emphasis how shadey the notion of online dating was). She rolled her eyes. Today, dating sites are the way professionals meet these days. I would recommend something like religious dating sites as I think they have the most success in finding real love.

I met my wife in person, not online. But I still think the idea of helping others meet is not bad. Now I think it is all about niche websites as the big players dominate the general field.

wordpress dating
I meet my beautiful wife in real life, not online. I do not consider myself extraordinarily lucky, but it was destiny.

Here is what I found out:

WordPress plugin

There are two WordPress dating site plugin. The one most people look at is wordpressdating.com. My recommendation is do not use it.

  • The problem is it does not look like it has been updated for years.  There is no real contact information on their site.  I don’t know anybody, nor have I seen any site, that runs from this WordPress dating platform. Why chance it?
  • Update: I did find a plugin datingsolutions.biz, I have communicated with the author Christian Davis and he was helpful and detailed in his explanation, nice designer mind you.   I do feel the add-on has value like any social or online meeting plugin-in  you add to your site, if you know how to bring people together and market (that is the real trick).  I have bought other proprietary WordPress extensions in the repository and had good success, the WP community is usually pretty positive.

WordPress dating themes

  • There are a few website that create dating themes. This looks a little better, more update. The problem is they are not WordPress. They trick you in the search by having keywords like templates + WordPress in the small print but they are not WP.  You can demo a few which I like. Another  problem with that is I know a lot about SEO. If you want a dating site to rank you need to write a pretty good darn theme code wise. In my review of these dating site themes they are only modest in terms of SEO.
  • I would  rule these out, they look spammy and are not run off WP.  One example is vldpersonals.com which has a lot of websites selling and reselling these templates.

Social networking platform

  • BuddyPress – Good set up, but not too sexy. You need a lot of customization to make it look tempting for people, the 2012 theme will not fly. Will work with most themes if you install and extra plugin for theme conversation.
  • Mingle – More user-friendly and compatible but not a mainstream core WordPress sponsored system like BuddyPress. I have a concern what if I build a site based on it and it and the developer will someday abandon the project.  But I like it because it is more compatible than BuddyPress with many themes. I ran into this issue when my Stallion theme did not work with BuddyPress or bbPress (works now).
  • Symposium – A professional look, but again like the other two it is more a social networking platform than a dating site. Has potential as it has chat and IM systems installed.  I thought why not base a site based on chat and video chat. However, did not AOL do this? Traditional dating sites are the best as people like to take their time.

Classified ads and forums as a dating site

  • You have heard of Craigslist dating, so why not a classified ad site run on WordPress? There are a plugin that can do this. I think the problem is you need to control spam and freaks. It is a big issue. It is more of a free for all classified then a well moderated niche dating site girls, and yes these are the ones you want signing up, would register on.
  • bbPress could be a dating site but it does not work with all themes and SEO is average. Update: I got to work with my favorite theme and bbPress is a real option for making WP a relationship CMS software. However, I still would like to try to make it work without bbPress as the code is only modestly SEO-ed.

Other CMS systems as a dating site

  • Joomla – they are all the same like WP in terms of options, you might as well stick with WP.

Using an open source dating script

You can pay 300 dollars for a professional dating site script or you can use an open source one for free. I prefer open source. Not a bad option, but still SEO is an issue. It is not easy to start a dating site. You need a lot of good content to get traffic to the profiles. I have not found a good free dating software that is really free.

You need to upload a number of profile initially to test and make it look like someone is using it as no one will register on an empty site. Dating site scripts do not give you any real advantage. I want WordPress to help rocket me to success.

My conclusion on WordPress dating plugins and themes

  • I am trying to modify the current highly SEO-ed theme slightly into a WP dating theme. This is where I am at. Gravatars a big part of this. For me, right now this might be the best option for WordPress dating. I do not have the end vision, but close.

If anyone has an idea or an easy way to make work less of a dating site let me know.  Again the problem is with any social networking for him or dating site is getting a critical number of members to make it active and self-sustaining. So what is the problem? No one wants to register these days. Further, privacy is a sensitive issue so you need a way to control this.Privacy is an issue and respecting this is hard to make happen if you do not require a lot of verification and areas that are not indexed by search engines.

I have tried, but have not been successful yet at creating something that is a WordPress dating site.  I need more time. I need to map it out better and will update this post when I get it to work. So it is a date. Stop back I your should see this updated soon with a successful conventional model.

It is not like simply creating a blog community and having people comment, without registration. I just need to brainstorm a little more. I am open for ideas and others to comment as I think this would be a great free contribution to the WP community.

18 Replies to “WordPress dating”

  1. I am working on flipping the comments to the top of the single.php for one. This will put all the Gravatars at the top like a profile display and content of the post at the bottom so it attracts visits just not an endless site of database profiles which is not great for SEO. I have a lot of other ideas. What were you thinking of doing?

  2. Hello,

    Is there any update to the progress on the development of the dating site plugin? This is something that I am very interested in. I am not a code writer or design engineer, but rather am a novice/beginner at this. I have a few websites hosted with Godaddy, one of which I would like to turn into a dating site. I am about to begin doing the lessons on the two sites that they have referred to in their documentation to learn how to build using PHP.

    If you know of any other free tutorials that I can utilize I am very open to suggestions/referrals. I would like to someday be one of the contributing plugin designers and not just a user.


    Vince Venturella

  3. We are about to release version 4.5 which has tons of new features and will include the UserPlane.com IM/Chat solution. It’s going to be the best release yet and we’re very excited about it. We’ve listened to our customers about what they wanted and we’re happy about what has gone into it.


  4. I will be happy to see these updates. I am looking forward it as your plugin seems to be the only one WP dating site plugin on the market that has any reasonable commitment.

    I am also personally gong to test my a theme I use by altering a few lines of code. I can post it on the website here, what I do I personally do, if it works. However, at this juncture 100 dollars is a lot for me to invest in a plugin I might beable to create on my own.

  5. Have not seen the dates on comments here so do not know how long ago anyone posted. How are things going for the dating sites?

    I am thinking of starting a dating site that will work with my company here, in addition to the normal online stuff we will offer background checks, marriage and transportation services and translation services (we are in Asia).

    My one problem is getting the site up and working and I would prefer to use WordPress, I was thinking of using Digital Access Pro to make the site a membership site but alot of the details on member searches and stuff I have no idea about, DAP is great for membership sites to protect and distribute content, but wondering if anyone has used for a dating site?

    As with Mark above $100 for a plugin is alot, if it was $50 I would buy the DatingSolutions.biz plugin today to try it.

  6. Dating site software is a huge problem. Most are not that great. I have looked everywhere and found nothing that impressed me for a reasonable price. I have written a score of datign sites and most use their own homegown system.

    I am still testing various ways to go about it. The big thing is SEO is horrible with most dating plattorms as it dumps a lot of low quality pages, that is dating profiles in the index and I think search eingines do not like this type of low quality junking up their index. So the thing is to make a dating site that produces quality pages useful to the reader, beyond just a dump of profiles that are ussually generic and many are loaded in by the webmaster.

    One hundred dollars is too much considering you can buy Windows 7 for about 36 dollars. The theme I use on my websites took years to develop, like eight years and it is sold for less money.So I will keep my search unless the price drops a lot as it does not look like eight years of work has gone into it the dating site plugin.

  7. I am doing research on the datingsolutions.biz plugin to see if others are having luck modifying it so that it works. My boss owns the plugin for her site but doesn’t want to use it till it’s got some more features.

    Ver. 4.51 is being promoted here and on their site. But, it doesn’t appear that it exists. When a member clicks on the download link, the member gets to download a .txt. file that says “download does not exist”.

    I am curious, on this blog, why is this article not dated? And neither are the comments. IMHO this omission diminishes the value of what you are given, in that there is not a way to ascertain how current your info it. This post is being made on the 16th of January in 2013.

  8. I tend not to date things as I do not like the clutter. It is a matter of preference. Some girls like polka dot bikinis others like solid colors. I do not like clutter even if there is some value to date it.

    About the WordPress dating plugin, it has not motivated me enough to recommend it with flying colors. It does solve a problem. Yet,for the price do you know anyone making money from a website using it? I think there is another way to bend WP to be social and dating like. Dating companies like match.com or anotherfriend.com (I know the owner, Kevin) were established long ago. If you come up with an idea that you think will take off, it has to have a reason and be polished. The idea itself and a plugin will not do it. You need to have a very tempting reason to join. Uploading profiles will not work.
    Having a website set up will not work.
    You can buy those off of ebay for a few dollars. eBay is loaded with dating sites for sale.

    So sure the plugin does what it says it does but is that enough to make it special?

  9. I would go straight to the point. The current dating scripts available are flawed. Each one is incomplete. For example one has a cool shoutbox and another has no album sharing or one has WordPress compatibility while another is Solo.

    Another issue is license. One is cheaper but is branded. Another is not branded but is over 3-5 hundred bucks. That’s not even funny anymore considering how much software you can get with that or use that to pay a developer to simply make a plugin to do what you are missing from what’s already Free out there.

    So the truth is most dating software is out to scam you in 1 way or another. They will milk you for everything from getting it to do what you need down to getting it to Unbranding their software which leaves us all to wonder why do they even sell it if it’s branded. Seriously.

    Golly, you are better off using WordPress and using all those free plugins out there to achieve what you want. Enough said.

  10. Ok cyberhmoob, I am not a pro, I only build two basic websites with WordPress, so I am curious if you could tell me, which free plugins would you use to create something somewhat similar to a dating website?
    Is there a plugin for instance that allows each visitor to have their space with their profiles and access to other profiles via a username and password?
    Thanks for anyone else who could answer this question

  11. I have not researched a replacement set of plugins but I would start with anything social from Mingle to BuddyPress or Symposium. If you are not going that route I would start looking at Gravatar dating and build something from there. In the WordPress repository there are new plugins coming out everyday that are free. I think with some imagination something could be created and even more reasonable then what is on the market as a WordPress dating plugin. I think you do not want something plug and play but rather a few plugins and some tinkering The reason I say this is you do not want to replicate the traditional dating site layout that is out there with millions of empty website with fake dating profiles. You want something real and authentic. Let me know what plugins you think are good.

  12. I have been doing research for the best way to create a dating website, and have studied for a month now software that is plug and play ready for dating, and others such as BooNex Dolphin 7.

    If you cannot code, then you like myself are inclined to use a software that is already set up and you do minor tweaks to customize; but from what I have read, and it has been many many hours, those software are scams and rip-offs, and or are just an up-sell service that will break the bank to get it working the way you want. So either way, you will need to get a programmer that is on your side to work for you.

    In the case of datingsolution.biz. It has a A+ rating with the better business bureau. It is part of MyAllenMedia which has a good reputation.

    Skadate I have not read positive reviews.

    The one I read reviews on is BooNex dolphin 7. I don’t work for them, and I am not endorsing their stuff either. But it is not plug and play ready, meaning you need to know what you are doing in regards to coding the stuff. Best of luck to you all.

    PS, date stamp in my opinion is not clutter, it is critical info needed to know how current the content is we are reading. Otherwise this could have been uploaded and typed out during the AOL dial-up days, eons ago; Which is not the case. March 19, 2013.

  13. Hi after reading all the comments, they have left me feeling deflated?
    I was on the verge of purchasing the dating solutions plugin and mobile feature, I also have another feature idea that will set my dating website miles apart from anything out there at present.
    But is this enough after reading the comments?
    I cant code but i have ambition, passion and enough drive to move a building.
    I know enough about marketing and small amount about SEO tricks, so is this enough if I choose to use a plugin?

  14. I was directed to this site from the datingwebsitereview website, wherein the DatingSolutions.biz plugin was thoroughly trashed in his article “How to start your own niche dating site”, which I’ve done using the aforementioned plugin, now on version 4.7.2. For those of you readers who don’t already know, the reviews on this page are not nearly as harsh as Jason Lee’s. I have been able to modify my profiles to create just what I want, even being a non-coder. Though I’ve not pushed my site out into the web as yet, I’ve been busy building brand on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Stumbleupon, etc to try to create engagement when do hit SEO hard. And, I am actually testing my concept through live in-person happy hour events and watching it actually create interest. I am writing this now, in response to the other comments and Jason Lee’s critical review of DatingSolutions plugin, did I make a mistake ? Jason Lee also states that a niche site cannot succeed without affiliate marketing, though Dating Solutions is working on a solution for that, too. And a higher level chat solution as well. I also snagged a .mobi domain, same site, and a tool made available through Godaddy renders my site acceptably on devices. I realize that getting a critical number of members to make my site active and self-sustaining is critical and I am still confident that the DatingSolutions plugin will work for me. Where am I going wrong, where can I improve ?

  15. The plugin is good, it works and does what it says it does. Remember most SEO now is about creating a site that is easy to navigate will have a low bounce rate and time on site and navigation that would give search engines the idea that the site is of value. So if you designed a dating site with those things in mind the plugin will work.

  16. Thank you for sharing the experience about searching for a trustworthy solution.
    I my self for the past 5 months are moving into circles trying to reach a reliable script/theme that received satisfactory reviews

    My journey begin when i hear about new theme, get enthusiast about the claimed features, look for objective reviews, get disappointed about the criticism and warnings of bugs or lack of functionality or complete fraud.

    This happened again with the datingsloutions.biz plugin, it was thrilling to find lot of good features claimed on the site but looking at the reviews, it was really disappointing and few ones giving only positives feedback.

    I wonder if you tested their latest release 4.8.3 on the ground and not only evaluating through the demo?

    Did you mark make progress with your investigation and perhaps seen a more reliable script?

    Did anyone heard of WP theme sweetdate on themesforrest and feedback if any?

    Is it worth eventually to invest in a wp theme? or go build solution from scratch wich can cost thousands and is also risky endavour?

  17. I bought the datingsolutions.biz plugin from wellrise hk investments and many buttons inside wp were broken, once I activated the plugin. Also, I was unable save changes on the main settings page. I contacted their support team and there was no reply for 5 days.

    So, we changed to a different php script altogether abandoning the idea of using wp. I got a reply after 5 days, saying that they would resolve the issue immediately. But, when I told them that I raised a dispute in paypal for refund of the money, they told me that I would need to submit a declaration that we will not use the plugin and any of its shitty components with my signature on my company’s letterhead. I told them that my company was newly established and that we did not have letterheads so, I would get back to them with a white paper with the declared terms and my signature on it. They agreed that once they would receive it, they would proceed with the refund.

    I sent them a scanned copy of the declaration and I have not heard from them since. My account has been deactivated and my numerous emails to support yield no replies.

    There is no way to reach them. I tried reaching them through email and skype. I tried posting on support forums but I was unable to as my account was deactivated.

    This is a very poor plugin at a very high cost, that is a piece of junk that does not work, with the worst support possible. I urge anyone else to stay away from them.

    This is an honest review after facing a lot of difficulties in going ahead with the script/plugin.

    I was gullible enough to believe that many of these reviews were fake. But turns out most of them are true and the company is scamming people out of their hard earned money.

    I urge you not to waste money. They might call this review fake, but I have purchase proofs and email proofs that prove otherwise.

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