Searching the web for a dating or personals site can leave one very confused. There are millions of dating sites listed on the Internet. My search of the word "dating" on Google resulted in 56,200,000 results! Talk about a tough decision.
Let me give you some pointers and advice.
Currently, I am a Webmaster of a few dating sites as well as dating referral sites. I have seen all the styles of personal sites. They all follow pretty much the same format with a few variations. Sure, there are some great free dating sites, as well as some terrible ones. The same holds true for pay dating sites. Now, as a Webmaster, let me assure you of one thing, all us webmasters are promoting dating sites for one thing...money.
Now, don't get me wrong, but I could put up a decent free dating site, and allow members to join my dating site for free. I would just post some ads or banners, and offer to sell something, which might be of interest. Then, hopefully, I would generate enough revenue off these sales to support the site. Kind of a traffic generator.
My advice is this... If your looking to join a dating or personals site, before you even start looking, ask yourself, what am I looking for. Narrow the search down somewhat. Are you looking for a lesbian site, how about a military dating site? Maybe a "dog-lovers" dating site. Trust me, there all out there. Now, let the search begin. Try Google, Yahoo or whatever you prefer. My suggestion is that you look for personal sites that offer what I call a semi-free membership. A semi-free membership is where you are allowed to post your profile. (This is where you tell about yourself and post some pics) On this type of dating site, you are not allowed to contact other members, It's kind of like fishing, you put out the bait and see if anything bites. This type of dating site could work well if you're not in a rush. Now, the wait is on...
Remember though; beware of some of the replies you receive. Most will be good matches of what you are looking for though. Be cautious of the soon to be admirer who needs you to send cash so that he may come see you though, this happens occasionally, but not often. I'll say it once, don't send anyone money! Don't get in a panic and think everyone's a scammer, most are not. Now, if your not ready to wait for replies, you will need to pay up to send messages to other users on this type of site. Remember this too though, if you want a shy gal (personally I like them), there not as quick to send me a message if they see my ad. Remember, they might be shy or feel that they are not what your looking for. So, joining might be a good idea.
I would like to offer some quick pointers on what to do before even signing up for a free dating membership though. Do a Whois search on the site you are considering joining. To do a whois just do a Yahoo search on "whois" and follow the directions. If you typed in my domain name www.thatdatingsite.com you can find out for sure, who I am. Sure, I could lie when I set up the domain, but my phone numbers there too, just call me. See how most webmasters have nothing to hide while some do. Some whois search results will contain "hidden" information. Do you really want to join this type of dating site?
Another pointer, if the site loads slowly, has popups or spam, beware. Remember the rule above? All us webmasters are in it for the money. If you join this type of dating site, get your spam blockers and virus protectors tuned up.
See, if I can give you popups, there are people who will pay me just to show you popups. They'll pay even more for your email address... Now, see why this is important. Just be cautious and have fun, there's a lot of high quality dating sites out there. Most are reputable, but unfortunately, there are a few bad ones.
Good luck in your search for your soul mate or whatever you are looking for. I wish you luck!
Bud Hanes is the webmaster at http://www.thatdatingsite.com. He encourages all to enjoy internet dating while practicing safe methods.