Almost all of the top dating sites require some sort of payment in order to utilize their best features for more than a week and OkCupid is one of the only free dating sites that can compete with them. With a ton of unique features not offered at other sites, a searchable profile database, and a strong matchmaking system, OkCupid is a fun and free alternative to the other popular dating sites.
The QuickMatch tool featured at OkCupid is a matchmaking system that will instantly match you with someone compatible. The beauty of this system is found in its rating system. When you click "QuickMatch" on your OkCupid home page, you will instantly be taken to the profile of another user that is seemingly compatible. On the top right corner of the page, you will have the option to rate the user from one to five stars. You can choose not to rate the user, but doing so will not help you narrow your future QuickMatch results nor will it help inform the other user of reactions to their profile. Once you have ranked the QuickMatch and possibly even messaged or saved them in your profile to return to later, you will be moved on to the next QuickMatch. This process is more appealing than the "search and browse" method to many people and allows users to focus more on each individual member.
The most common complaint about OkCupid involves its profile database and the random, often unappealing members. Because the site offers its services for free, anybody can join. A major reason people join expensive dating sites is to avoid the risk of being matched with people who are not serious about finding true love. They believe that if someone is dedicated enough to spend money on a membership, they must be serious about finding a mate. OkCupid should not be considered a serious dating site, but more of a fun community of people looking to meet other people.
The questions and tests at OkCupid are some of its most unique features and add an element of fun and creativity to the site. Not only can you take topical tests created by the staff at OkCupid, but you can also take tests created by members of the site. Obviously, you will be able to make your own tests as a member as well. The tests in both sections involve topics on anything from love, dating sites and sex to movies and music.
These tests are not only fun ways to spend some time online, but they help to refine your search for a compatible mate. When you view another user's profile, you can look at the tests they have taken as well as the results they received. Taking these tests informs other users who view your profile of the types of things you are interested in, what you generally think about, and how your own results came out. When you've taken the same quizzes as another user and received the same results, you already have something in common to talk about. The questions created by the staff at OkCupid are designed to show other users the kind of lifestyle and belief system you live by. The first question on your home page after signing up asks, "If you had to name your greatest motivation in life thus far, what would it be?" You can choose to answer as many or as few questions as you like, but your chances of meeting someone truly compatible will increase if you spend time answering them honestly. When viewing other users' profiles, you are able to see questions they have taken as well as their answers to them.
OkCupid also offers forums and journals to allow the members to communicate outside of simply finding individual users and messaging them. The forums provide a sense of community to the site and include discussions on subjects like online dating, relationships, and even profile tips. The journal system on the site is similar to Facebook or Twitter, allowing users to post and read updates about any topic.
If you would like to experience every option and feature OkCupid has to offer, you can utilize their "A-list Extras" option. For $9.95 per month, you will have access to extra features within the OkCupid site such as the ability to attach photographs to messages, save multiple search inquiries, and browse the site without advertisements. Although the service provides a few extra tools to find a compatible match, it doesn't seem necessary when you can browse, search, instant message, and email other members on the site for free.
In the online dating industry, it is rare for a service to allow communication for free. Offering free access to instant messaging and emailing within a dating site is almost non-existent, so to do so with such a clear and well-designed layout is impressive. They are basically offering for free what the other dating sites essentially charge for. Aside from a lack of member verification and a relatively low number of users, OkCupid is the best online dating service for your money.