Keeping the site free can help grow your user base, but it means you’ll have to design your service around generating revenue from other sources.
Dating websites are a pretty specific sub-group in the social networking world, and they offer a potentially lucrative business opportunity to web-savvy entrepreneurs. Keeping the site free, rather than subscription-based, can help grow your user base but it means you’ll have to design your service around generating revenue from other sources.
Look at other online dating websites to determine staples that your dating website must offer to be competitive. Use the information you gather to identify what you could do differently to set yourself apart from other free dating sites.
Check the websites of companies that offer affiliate programs and ad networks. These two methods, along with selling member personal data and ads on your site, are the two major means of generating revenue on a dating site without charging a subscription fee, as Jonathan Fox of the Free Dating Sites website outlines. Decide which revenue generation method you will use on your site.
Select a Web host and domain name. The Web host provides space on a server for your Web pages. Free hosting is available, but paid hosting generally is better because you get more space, better monitoring and an overall more stable website. Choose a host that can provide the amount of bandwidth you project will be necessary as the site grows.
- Register your domain name as your business name with your state licensing agency.
- Open a separate bank account for any monies earned from the site. This will make tracking your revenue and expenses much easier.
- Select software or site building tools to create your site. Some Web hosts provide free tools when you purchase your web hosting service, but independent software applications are available. NVu is a good example of an independent What You See Is What You Get –WYSIWYG — website creation and editing program. Alternately, hire a programmer to build the site — this is much more expensive but allows the most customization options.
- Use your information from Steps 1 and 2 to determine the overall design for the dating website. Navigation is the most important aspect of any website. For a dating website, the most important navigation controls are those that link to the profiles of others, profile creation tools or templates and chat. Color also is important for a dating website. Red, for example, is associated with fiery love and passion, and may not be as appropriate for a website themed for “sweet” relationships.
- Design each individual page of the site. Make getting a good balance between your revenue sources and the true purpose of the site a goal for every page. Do not let the ads on the site detract too much from member profiles.
- Upload the individual website pages to the Web host server and publish the site using the instructions for your specific website creation or editing software. Promote the sites on other sites you have, as well as your email signature and more traditional methods such as magazine ads. Work closely with your Web host, as well as your programmer if used, to maintain the site as needed.
Many dating websites allow video streaming so visitors can have video chats. Do not use a video platform that requires extensive resources or which is not compatible with commonly used browsers or devices. Higher resolutions mean more data, which means you will need more bandwidth if you want to offer video chat at high quality.
Create a brief but clear terms and policies notice on your website. On this notice, have users verify they are at least 18 years of age, particularly if your dating website has any clearly sexual themes or content. Make entry into the site contingent upon verifying the terms and policies.