Do you know what are the most popular ways people meet their love? While such options as "through friends" or "at work" are still rather common, already in 2019 Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld revealed that the majority of traditional couples meet online. And without any doubt, we can say that the coronavirus pandemic, and especially its first wave in 2020, had a very strong impact on the further development of this tendency. People are accustomed to doing practically everything online and looking for a new love is one of those tasks that can be performed without the necessity to leave your home.
Given the demand for such services, creating a dating website can be a great idea for your business. And to realize its feasibility, let's have a look at some figures.
Online dating market
In 2022, the revenue of the online dating industry worldwide was $2.86 billion and there are no signs that it can indicate that the growth rates are going to decrease. The industry revenue is projected to move higher to the mark of $3.39 billion by 2027. It means that the CAGR for the period from 2023 to 2027 will be around 3.2%.
As for the number of users of online dating services, in 2022, around 366 million people were seeking love via online platforms. Forecasts for 2027 are quite optimistic. In 2027, nearly 440 million people are expected to be among the users of such services.
Before you start thinking about how to create a dating website, you need to understand the peculiarities of the market where you will need to win your share and leave your rivals behind.
First of all, let us mention that there are different types of dating websites based on the goals that can be reached with their help.
Casual dating websites are intended for looking for romantic relationships without any serious expectations. Tinder or Bumble are bright examples of such solutions. Users usually look for partners with whom they can go on a date and have some physical and emotional contact but nothing more like marriage or having children together.
Serious dating platforms are for those people who are planning to create a family in the nearest future. Traditionally, these are websites targeted at an older audience. Their users usually do not want to waste time on casual dates and aim to find a partner with whom they can get married. eHarmony is often named among the platforms that can be included in this group.
Specialized dating websites are designed for a limited target audience. For example, it can be a platform for LGBTQ+ like Grindr. There are also separate solutions for black people such as BlackPeopleMeet or Christian faith-based platforms like Christian Mingle. The online data industry also offers a row of platforms that unite people with special interests, such as gaming. GamingPassions is one of the most well-known solutions for gamers who want to find a partner with similar hobbies and preferences.
What you should think about before creating a dating site
When you plan to create dating site, first of all, you should clearly identify your target audience and choose the precise niche where you want to develop your product.
While you have the variant to build a solution for a very wide group of potential users, you can also opt for a specific audience and develop a platform that will be intended for people with particular interests or expectations. Why is it important to make this decision before proceeding to dating website development? The answer is very simple. Without this decision, you won't be able to move further.
Already at the stage of planning, you need to have a good understanding of the needs and expectations of those people who will be potentially interested in your product. It is crucial not only for marketing your website and choosing the best channels for promotion but also for making important tech-related decisions.
For example, will you need any integrations? For creating a dating website for people who share similar interests (music fans, fitness lovers, people who like dogs, etc.) you may need to integrate third-party solutions and use external data for your matching algorithms. In the case of building a platform for music fans who want to find their love, you can connect their personal profiles with Spotify accounts which will help users to find potential partners with similar music preferences.
Different age groups also may expect different design solutions and approaches. While younger adults expect to see bright and more dynamic designs, older people prefer static and minimalist interfaces.
The number of dating websites is continuously growing. And when a person starts googling for an appropriate variant, they may find hundreds of similar solutions. You need to have something unique to offer them. That's why at the stage of planning your project, we recommend you study the market to find out what solutions already exist, what features they have, and what can be done better for ensuring a unique user experience.
How to make a dating site: core features to include
Regardless of the exact niche that you will choose and the audience that you want to reach, there are some core features that should be built for any website of this type.
Registration and profile creation
The user journey on a dating website always starts with the registration and creation of an account. You should build a form where a user will need to add important information required for matching. It is also necessary to create functionality for adding photos or you can also allow users to add videos where they can represent themselves and show important parts of their lives.
When users find potential partners, you should allow them to communicate with each other. The most popular communication tool that is used on such websites is an online chat. Users can exchange messages and different files. But you can extend the functionality of your platform and add alternative options like video and voice calls.
Searching and matching mechanisms
This is core functionality. Such a website is not a newspaper with dating ads. It should provide users with recommendations of not just randomly chosen people but of potential partners who can be interesting to them based on different parameters. You can also build a filter-based search system that will let users look for their love on their own.
While planning how to start an online dating site, you should decide on the way to earn money on this project. There can be different approaches. For example, you can get money from advertisers or launch premium features. And it is not the end of all of the opportunities that you have. We will consider this point in more detail further in our article.
Administrators should get access to the information and content added by users to their personal accounts. They also should have the possibility to ban users in those cases when any suspicious activity is detected.
The concept of responsive design presupposes building solutions that are compatible with different device screen sizes and shapes. You never know what devices people will use to interact with your website and you should ensure automatic adaption of its interfaces to different screens.
How to make a dating site: Two key approaches
If you have already started to look for the answers to the question of how to build a dating site, you probably know that there are two main approaches: developing form from scratch and using a white-label solution.
Though the first option can be rather challenging, the entire process is usually well-known to the majority of customers that we traditionally work with. You need to hire a good development team, share your requirements, choose the desired tech stack, and wait for the results. Of course, here the plan is very simplified. In reality, there are a lot of points to think about and the most important of them is how to find a web developer. When you have excellent professionals by your side, you can fully rely on them and concentrate on your core business activities. Without any doubt, such a project will require serious investments from your side at the development and maintenance stages, but you can realize absolutely all your ideas.
A white-label solution can be explained as a product that is developed by a company without any branding with a view to selling this product to another company that will use its own brand for it. It means that instead of thinking about how to create a dating website, you will just need to find a company that sells white-label solutions, choose the most appropriate product, change it for your needs, and launch it for your audience. Moreover, you will be free from maintenance responsibilities as a seller will bear them. Of course, it sounds quite attractive but there are important disadvantages. For example, customization opportunities are limited, and in the majority of cases, you won't get access to your solution's source code and the server.
Let's compare the key characteristics of the two approaches.