Completely free to use
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One of the hardest things about online dating can be the price tag. No matter how nice the service or quality of the platform, eventually the free membership of matchmaking services can become far too limiting.
With most, you are required to subscribe through a hefty monthly fee to access even the most basic features necessary for dating—like private messaging or full profile access.
And it was this very problem that led to the founding of CompletelyFreeDating.co.uk.
Created in 2006 by Deborah and Andrew Dixon, the married couple created CompletelyFreeDating as a sort of passion project to provide a quality dating site without exorbitant fees. They aren’t working without a budget, however. While their competitors generate revenues through subscriptions and premium memberships, the couple make their money through advertisements.
It’s definitely a modern concept for generating income, but how does it stack up against paid services?
Simple registration process
It’s completely free!
Thoughtful interface design
Proactive fraud monitoring
Lack of advanced features
Ads on the site
The sign-up process for CompletelyFreeDating is quick and easy, with only a few things to fill in. You will be required to create an account through your email and a custom password you create. You will also be asked to create a screen name. This is a service that does value your privacy immensely, so you can also create a unique name to go by on the platform.
After this is done, you are almost ready to go. You will just need to click a box to agree to terms, and then click ‘Create Account.’ A verification email will be sent to your email address, the process that is used to confirm your identity as a real human being.
In addition to email verification, all profiles are also subject to personal verification by Andrew Dixon. As a small team of just the two, Andrew is personally responsible for the technical aspects of the service (Deborah is the managing director). He goes through profiles to ensure they are up to the site’s quality standards. Don’t worry though, everything is private and kept confidential.
The great thing about a free service is that there is no membership hierarchy. All accounts are free, so all members are equal. There aren’t any ways to artificially boost your profiles visibility or ensure you appear in some special category in searches. Every member has the same tools available, so it is all up to the strength of your profile.
That being said, there is also a downside to a free dating platform, and that is user activity. While CompletelyFreeDating doesn’t publish data on their users, researching reviews by past and present members reveals a fairly prevalent problem in finding active matches.
Although there are plenty of positive reviews, a large number describe a lack of users who have been online within the previous few days, with many being absent for weeks. What this shows is a potential flaw of the free model. Users have few incentives to use the service more than passively, so may only check and respond to messages days or weeks later.
That being said, there is a general demographic age range that users fall into, and that is typically between 40 and 60. These users are typically looking for relationships, but this is by no means required. The service is also perfectly friendly to those looking for more casual dating.
Fortunately, the service is limited to use within the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, there the demographics are typically reflective of this. However, most are centralized in the UK which means that’s where a majority of these fish are swimming. However, even if you are a citizen of these nations, you will be unable to access the service outside of the countries.
You have to be home to send out messages!
CompletelyFreeDating offers a few options for those looking for a match. The most basic is user searches, where you can input certain criteria to find relevant matches. There is also a feature that will show you just the profile photo of users, allowing you to quickly breeze through the potential matches.
The service also offers suggested matches that you can browse through, and any profile of interest will provide a ‘View Similar Profiles’ option that will let you continue browsing through members with similar profiles.
The service relies on user searches for the most part, so it is good to have a strong profile. The profiles are quite basic generally, but provide all the room you need to upload photos, describe yourself and your hobbies, and give other users a general idea of who you are and what you are looking for.
Options for making contact are another feature of CompletelyFreeDating that don’t offer anything revolutionary, but does get the job done. To start with, you can organize profiles that you like through a favorites option that will allow you to keep track of those people you want to talk with.
You will also be able to see what profiles have viewed you. This provides an idea of what kind of traffic your profile gets, and potential matches to pursue.
When it comes to making direct contact, the service is limited to direct private messages. While there isn’t anything flashy here and you won’t be able to video chat, the service is completely private and provides all the basics necessary to start and maintain a conversation. If you want to go beyond this, it may be best to switch to a third-party messaging platform.
While there are reports of a mobile app in development, at the writing of this review there is not one available. The website is optimized for mobile however, and is fully functional on such devices.
CompletelyFreeDating is a noble idea marred by the reality of small budgets and teams. While the idea of a free dating site managed by a small family team who has a love for the platform is a fantastic one, the reality is that low user numbers and basic services prevent CompletelyFreeDating from reaching greatness.
That said, the service doesn’t differentiate itself from the competition in terms of features, but the great news is that it is still free, so there is no downside to trying. If you are single and looking to try your hand at a free dating service with no financial commitment, then CompletelyFreeDating could be a great opportunity for getting your feet wet in the dating pool.