This is not a collection of software reviews. It's more of an overview of key players in dating software industry and some insights on the idea of building a dating site with an off-the-shelf platform. White-label, open-source, downloadable dating software is, in a way, a thing of the past. Online dating space itself has consolidated under major players, and niche sites are mostly parts of large shared-database networks.
On top of that, popular trend of the day is to use mobile apps for dating ala Tinder. So, wanna-be dating site operators are a dying breed and there's less and less activity on supply side either.
People just don't have that "Oh, I gotta launch my own dating site" idea pop up in their mind as often as in early s. Internet is a vast space of opportunities. Time of the Web is not linear. There are people ahead of time, people behind, and some are on-time.
It's not too late to launch a dating site.
What seems old and tired for one million of potential clients may seem new and exciting for another million. You see, there was matchmaking software and classified software back in late 90s. Then, online dating term gained traction and suddenly dating softwarebecome a new thing. Now social apps are in fashion, but they typically need a supporting site anyway. So, mobile dating software is the new darling term.
Providers followed by coupling their CMSs with mobile apps, generally iOS and Android, or by offering mobile-friendly web templates. And a webmaster, likewise, should just look into presenting their site in a form that sounds chic and trendy. Ah, yes, there's definitely still opportunity, money to make and ideas to explore in the world of "virtual dating".
There are two ways your can go about starting your own dating business. There are pros and cons of either approach.
Best (or just decent) open-source dating software platforms
Mainly, it's about your exit strategy. If you want to build a large database and sell your business - go for independent. If you want a smoother ride and stable ongoing revenue - partner. This article will focus on independent, open-source dating scripts.
I'll talk about partnership options in one of the future posts. Bare in mind that there are ways to combine own site with a network-partnership option, but that's a tricky business Whatever platform you end up using, you would Dating framework open source a catchy domain name and a basic concept outline. I have to repeat this again - you need to have the project concept before you even start looking at online demos, feature lists and sample sites! A little cunning act that all those demos and lists do to people - they reshape ideas. We look at them and think "oh, that's nice, I should have that on my site".
Inevitably, you end up with a cookie-cutter installation filled with fancy modules that nobody cares about. You've got to persist in your determination of launching something unique.
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Something special and meaningful. Something that's focused on one or two use-cases that uphold your idea. Do not get distracted! Look for the scripts that have fast and stable core features profiles, user-authentication, messenger, photos and easily customisable structure. Then think about how YOU could make them work for your idea. No matter what you ask the vendor they are going to convince you that their software is a perfect fit.
Create the next killer "social dating" business
Don't expect much real help either. Custom services create huge workload for developers and they always skimp on Dating framework open source tech support. Trust me, I know. Let's see what dating CMSs are still available and which ones are worth fiddling with. These Russian guys from Yoshkar-Ola have been around for as long as I can remember. Good example of starting small and simple and consistently fighting for success.
In they've won "Best Dating Software" nomination at iDate awards. They did well in years, too. It may not necessarily mean much - it's a "club-voting" competition where you can do well if you have enough iDate-friends, but hey - they did win it! PG offerings are, to put it politely, sophisticated. You'd spend a few days figuring out which package includes what. There is "dating network" option for connecting a shared database, there are various discounts for Marketplace plugins, separate pricing for mobile sites or is it for apps?
It's all complicated and confusing. So, I'd suggest skipping all the mumbo-jumbo and talking to their sales rep directly. Say - "I've got this idea, and this much money.
Your own dating site or a dating site that looks like yours.
What do I buy? I'm sure they'd explain you exactly how to part with your savings in much fewer words and shorter time-frame than their byzantine site does.
Ask for discount! Russians like to bargain. Ooh, it's a sensitive one. SkaDate is a Kyrgyz stan-based development group, founded by our former partner. There was a bit of bad blood between us back in the day and normally I'd just pretend they don't exist or would write something derogatory. Today, however, is a particularly lovely day and the mood is high. So, I'll just admit it - they're doing a good job.
Persisting with regular version updates, adding new dating templates, optimising for mobiles, offering native apps and experimenting with different packaging and price-points. Extras are clear and reasonable. Turns out that SkaDate is actually a repackaged OxWall, which is presumably free. So, you are supposedly paying for a free software with installation service and 1 month of support.
Then, branding removal, templates and "setup assitance" are paid extras. Again, perhaps it's best to chat with sales rep, ask for the most cost effective "package" and make an offer. SkaDate bets a lot on their dating templates.
Eye-candy marketing. Works for attracting webmasters, but doesn't make much difference for site success. End-users aren't impressed with fancy de not after the first 4 seconds, anyway.
Thanks for helping keep sourceforge clean.
Your success depends on engagement, which is combination of efficient IU and actual. De can be a distraction. So, look for minimalistic templates that are recent, well-supported and load fast. Case in point - PlentyOfFish. It just worked.
In general, I would expect SkaDate to perform reasonably well. Just be bold with your requirements and careful with your experimentations. Here we go. Some guys work hard, iterate for years, endure anger Dating framework open source dissatisfied clients, employ real developers, feel guilty for s backlog And then there're slap-on hacks that publish a month-worth of mediocre coding as a real product, on some oh-so-SE0-friendly domain, without any real credentials, documentation or support.
Nothing to look for here. It's a Freelancer order that wasn't accepted by client and was repackaged for a quick buck grab, obviously. DatingScriptsvldPersonalsSocialscript are all doorway sites of one company - vldInteractive.
Open source software
The script works and general approach is simple an straightforward, albeit a bit archaic in Internet terms, we are talking 5 years or so behind. Updates are regular and pushed simultaneously to both Datingscript and Socialscript. The "vld" bit means Vlad.