Founded in 1999, DatingDirect is not only one of the oldest online dating sites in Great Britain, but also a one-stop-shop for local singles. Featuring powerful search tools which allow users to manually conduct a search to find their own matches, and an Affinity option for compatibility and matchmaking, singles can find exactly what they are looking for. Subscriptions start from as low as £9.99 per month, and include inbox messaging, chat, and even offline events.
Signing up to DatingDirect is a matter of minutes. The first steps are entering information about age, gender and location, followed by choosing a username, entering a valid email address and picking a safe password. Users will then be redirected to begin filling in a short profile which is done step by step and helps get started meeting singles as soon as possible. Information that is required in order to proceed includes the relationship status, whether they have children, their level of education, and some details about physical appearance, such as height and build.
One clever extra is the option to include whether some lifestyle options are problems in a partner. For example, when users mark whether they smoke or not, they can include whether they would be happy to accept a partner who smokes at the same time.
We love that users have the option of admitting to imperfections, including whether they are shy, quick to anger, easily charmed or too sensitive.
The next section allows users to specify what kind of date they are looking for, including further info about lifestyle, physical appearance and education, as well as their interests. This can be as broad as the hobbies they are interested in, to specific film titles they enjoy.
The use of the site is simple and self-explaining with a step-by-step sign up process and profile build. In addition, tutorials and tips will pop up to help new members navigate the site. All elements of the website are found from the home page or the profile photo in the corner of the screen.
In case any problems occur, the help center is simple to follow with a search tool and some comprehensive frequently asked questions. There is no live chat or phone number to reach out to the support team, but a contact us form is available on the website.
DatingDirect offers a variety of communication tools from instant chat and inbox messaging to winks and flirts, every user will find a tool to contact other singles and express interest.
The affinity compatibility quiz is great for users that are looking to be matched with compatible singles and do not just want to rely on their own manual search.
The 'favourites' list lets members save their favourite profiles and the 'who has viewed your profile' feature lists all users that have visited the profile. Both lists are especially helpful to find singles at a glance and to learn which types of singles are being attracted by a certain profile.
The Shuffle game is a twist on the swipe tools that are popular on various dating sites. A click on 'Shuffle' will show users a random selection of singles from the thousands on the site, chosen with the help of profile preferences. Singles can mark whether they are a yes or a no, and will be introduced if there is a mutual match.
The varied and fun offline events are held in all major cities, and members with a paid membership will even receive discounts on them. From speed dating to chocolate workshops, cocktail masterclasses to outdoor sports, there is a fun option for everyone.
DatingDirect's mobile site, which is responsive for every phone browser and handheld device, makes dating on-the-go easy and comfortable.
Each new profile has to be verified by email before the new member can contact other singles and vice versa. All photos are moderated and checked within 15 minutes of sign up. Users can also take advantage of Incognito mode for a couple of pounds, which allows browsing privately for 2 hours. This is a safe way to try out the features of the site and feel confident that no one will get in touch while users settle in.
Payment for subscriptions can be done by credit card, debit card or even PayPal. There is a safety tips page which gives advice on dating online safely as well as keeping users protected when meeting people offline for the first time. Users can block other members from getting in touch by using the ‘block this profile’ button, or the ‘forbidden’ icon in a chat window. They can also report any other members who are behaving strangely to moderators, who will take the appropriate measures if necessary.
Certain features of the site, like instant messaging and accessing the site on mobile devices, will only be accessible with a paid subscription. Additional features such as discounted events, and a highlighted profile, guarantee that users with a paid subscription get more attention.
The most expensive option here is a months’ trial, which costs £29.99. The price lowers to £19.99 per month when committing to 3 months, while the best value option is clearly a 6-month commitment for only £9.99 per month.
The search tool is split into categories, and allows users to choose exactly what they are looking for in a match, narrowing down the hunt to specific physical attributes, location, work life, personal life or even values.
Other options are search by username, or by the last time other members have been seen active on the site. There is no keyword search available at this time but users can filter their search results by members who have a photo, or who are currently online and available for instant chat.
Searches can be saved for next time, and with thousands of new members joining every single month, it is worth saving a search that is ideal and trying again in a couple of weeks.
DatingDirect is one of the most popular online dating websites in the UK. Prices start from £9.99 per month, and members will love playing Shuffle, using the instant chat, and taking advantage of discounts on fun and lively offline events.
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