Match.com was first launched back in April 1995, making it one of the first major online dating sites. It is a very inclusive website, with no age or faith-related affiliations. It also welcomes users to do opposite-sex or same-sex searches for dates on the site. Match.com is popular for its easy profile set-up, free trial offer and casual dating atmosphere.

Ease Of Use

Setting up a profile on Match.com is extremely easy since users can put in as little or as much detail as they like. While questions about faith, ethnicity, appearance and lifestyle are offered, users can skip over any of these questions if they don’t wish to share that information on their profile. A barebones profile can be set up in less than 5 minutes. If you want to include more detail, plan to spend 20-30 minutes to fill out all of the profile sections. Searches are easy to conduct as well. Each search must include age and location parameters. After hitting search, a number of matches will appear. Then, users can browse the left sidebar if they want to narrow their search according to appearance, faith, marital status, education and other attributes. In general, the site has a clean and easy-to-navigate setup that makes using Match.com’s features fairly intuitive.

Features & Benefits

Match.com has a few special features that are unique to their site, including:

    • Winks: Users are able to “wink” at each other. This is a great way for a user to show another user that they viewed their profile and they liked what they saw. It’s a way to leave the door open for communication without having to come up with an introductory email right off the bat. Winks from other users are shown right on the home page when you log in.
    • Likes: Similar to the option on Facebook, users on Match.com are able to “like” other users’ photos. This is one more way to show interest in a casual, non-committal way that could lead to something more. Likes from other users are also visible on the home page when logging in.
    • Views and Favorites: Users can see who has viewed their profile, as well as who has added them to their list of favorite profiles. Each of these items is accessible in the left sidebar on the home page.
    • Custom searches: In addition to a basic search, users can use one of Match.com’s custom search options. Mutual Match lets users find profiles that match what they defined as their desires in a partner, while Reverse Match connects users with other users who have listed their characteristics as things they desire. There’s also DateSpark, where users can browse through fun and unique date ideas that others have listed on their profile. Custom searches are accessible through the Search link at the top of the home page.
    • ProfilePro: Match.com employs a team of professional writers who can help users make their profile stand out with great descriptions. This is not a free service, however; ProfilePro is available for a $39.99 one-time fee.

How Safe Is It?

One of the great safety features on Match.com is their resource on online dating safety tips. Users are made aware of possible fraud that could occur, such as people asking for personal or bank information. In addition, there is great advice for setting up offline meetings and how to make sure those encounters are safe. There is a link to this information at the bottom of the home page. Users can also decide when they want their profile to be visible by going into their visibility settings. This is great for users who want to browse around the site before letting other users see and contact them. The visibility settings are accessible on the left sidebar of the home page. Finally, users on Match.com are able to block any users who are abusive. It’s also possible to alert Match.com if a user comes across any users who are in violation of the terms of use. For example, users can’t be married or be under the age of 18.

Technology & Customer Support

As far as technology, Match.com is great for integration on mobile phones. MatchMobile allows users to get updates and notices if someone views their profile or sends an email right on their smartphone. Match.com offers a wealth of information that is useful for online daters. At the bottom of the home page, users can find links to dating articles and advice, success stories and relationship tips. Customer support is also available on Match.com. Users are encouraged to send an email to customer service through the website. A help and FAQ section is also searchable and can answer many user questions.

Opportunity For Relationships

Currently operating out of 25 countries and territories and available in 15 different languages, Match.com is one of the biggest dating sites online. In addition to having a great search tool, the website also has tons of potential matches waiting to be found. Users can even increase their chances of connecting with someone by searching only for users who are currently online and chatting with them. With lots of communication options available, it’s relatively easy to find and set up a date through Match.com.

Membership Packages

Match.com offers several subscription packages, all of which include MatchMobile access. The most basic plan is available on a month-to-month basis. Three and six-month packages are available as well in either the Standard or Best Value Plans. Standard Plans include all of the basic features plus mobile access. Best Value Plans, on the other hand, offer several extras, including notification when someone reads an email you’ve sent, a color-highlighted profile to stand out among the crowd and having your profile sent out to new users. In addition, Standard or Best Value six-month packages include the Match.com Guarantee, which gives users who haven’t found their match in six months an additional six months for free. Keep in mind that users can also start with a free trial if they wish and upgrade to a subscription package later. Here is a breakdown of the prices of the different membership packages:

    • One Month Basic Package – $39.99
    • Standard 3-Month Minimum Package – $22.99/month
    • Standard 6-Month Minimum Package – $19.99/month
    • Best Value 3-Month Minimum Package – $25.99/month
    • Best Value 6-Month Minimum Package – $22.99/month

Pros Of Using Match.com

Some of the pros of using Match.com include:

    • Number of users: There are hundreds of thousands of Match.com users, making it easier to find a match.
    • Lack of restrictions: This site is extremely inclusive. Users are not restricted according to sexual preference, faith, ethnicity, etc. Users have total control over who they search for and contact.
    • Easy to use: Users can sign up, create a profile and be searching for users in a matter of minutes. From there, it’s easy to search for and communicate with other users.
    • Suggestions: Match.com offers useful tips while you use the site. For example, they give advice for filling out your profile descriptions and tell you that users with profile photos are 15 times more likely to be contacted.
    • Cost: With prices as low as $19.99 per month and the Match.com guarantee, this is one of the more affordable dating sites considering it’s great reputation and many features.

Cons Of Using Match.com

A few of the cons of using this site include:

    • Match overload:There are so many users that, depending on your search criteria, there may be too many potential matches to look through. For those who don’t want to limit their search by appearance, education or other factors, it may take a long time to look through all of their matches.
    • Cost: Though it is relatively affordable, this dating site is not free, so it might not be the right choice for everyone.
    • Writing: Users who struggle with writing may have trouble on this site since it relies heavily on having a catchy and attractive profile. There is the option to have a professional writer help you out, but this does involve an extra fee.

Who Should Use Match.com

The great thing about Match.com is that it is inclusive of all types of people, including those looking for a casual hookup, those wanting to date around and those wanting a more serious relationship. It is often easy to see what other people are looking for through what they’ve written on their profiles. In many cases, people on this site are geared more towards casual dating than serious relationships or marriage. However, that isn’t to say that there are not other people looking for this on the site. Pretty much anyone over the age of 18 would likely feel comfortable using this dating site. Although Match.com has plenty of users in all age ranges, their quickest growing demographic is that of users who are 50 or older.

The Final Say

Overall, Match.com is a great value for singles who are looking to casually date and possibly end up in an exclusive relationship. Those who are sure they want something serious may want to try a different website. This site makes it easy to set up a profile and get started communicating with other users. In addition, Match.com has great search functions that help users to find matches in creative ways. Though there is a fee, it’s relatively affordable and includes a lot of great features.