How to conduct your own research on local dating sites

Local Dating

How to find out if a local dating site has enough members in your area?

Wherever you live in the UK, the chances are that there are a large number of singles within a reasonably close distance of you. This is obvious. But if you’re hoping to get in touch with them, then the crucial question is which local dating site are they all using?

There are certainly enough local dating services to choose from these days. But it can be difficult to tell how well a service caters for local needs. Very few online dating services cater for just one area. Even sites with your town name in their web address often actually link you back to national databases and may match you with people some considerable distance away. So, before committing to a service or paying money to use a service, how do we answer that important question: How many local singles does this dating site have on its books?

Our Top Tip: Join several dating sites as a free member and then only pay for the one that looks most promising. provides guidance on dating topics and specializes in making recommendations for local areas of the UK. You can find out a lot of information about different dating services on this site, but we have also compiled some top tips for people wishing to do their own research:

  1. Do the maths on membership numbers: If you’re considering joining or paying for a local dating service, try and find out how many members that service has on its books nationally. Most respectable sites will publish this information on their home page or ‘about’ sections. It won’t tell you how many they have in your town as such, but obviously if there are only a few thousand members nationally, there is unlikely to be many. You want to be looking for total membership numbers that are substantial enough to mean a proportion of several thousands could be living in your local region.
  2. Find out how well vistied the site is: If you cannot find reliable membership numbers for a site, another way to check its popularity is to look at some of the analytics tools on the internet. For example, gives estimated visitor numbers for all dating sites in the UK. Anything under half a million visitors monthly means that there unlikely to be sufficient subscribers to serve all local regions well.
  3. Do your own research online: It’s well worth doing some basic searches around a local dating service you are thinking of using and seeing what local people have to say about their experiences. Type in the brand name + your town name and see what you find. Probably nothing useful on the first page, but persevere to page 3 or 4 and you might well find some comments on local forums or review sites. Do bear in mind that often, there are more complaints than compliments on review websites. A few bad reviews should not put you off, but if the internet is flooded with criticisms, then it’s time to think again.
  4. Explore the site thoroughly before you buy: Before asking you to spend any money, most sites should be able to give a pretty fair idea of who you might be matched with. Make sure you use the site as a free member thoroughly; search for matches in your area; use every free function available to you. If a site really has something to offer you, it should at least be able to give you an idea of who you match with locally, even if it doesn’t allow you to communicate with them freely. If you are on a site that gives you no pictures and little information about local matches, you should probably be wary about any promises for this to improve once you have parted with the cash.
  5. Check the terms and conditions: It’s increasingly a minority, but there remain a number of local dating sites on the web that don’t offer their customers adequate compensation should they fail to receive good numbers of matches within their local area. When you’re thinking of purchasing make sure that the site offers some sort of guarantee, not just to put you in touch with people, put to put you in touch with people in your area.

Image courtesy of franky242/

Our recommendations: