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The Short Version: Some dating websites focus on quantity at the expense of quality — building up a largely inactive membership that looks impressive but doesn’t satisfy singles. But FreeAndSingle.com takes the opposite approach. This UK dating site endeavors to perfect the user’s experience by creating a safe, low-pressure online dating environment. It’s free to join the site and browse for a match, but you can also get the VIP treatment for an affordable monthly fee. Many members have such an enjoyable time on FreeAndSingle that they recommend the dating network to their friends — in fact, more than 60% of members said they heard about the site through someone else. Whether you’re looking for a fling or a relationship, FreeAndSingle can add value to your love life by connecting you to half a million singles in a secure and romantic space.
Although Tim and Paula Taylor met on a dating site, the now-married couple know online dating is far from perfect. They both noticed many flaws and obstacles standing in the way of romance for other online daters. It worked out for Tim and Paula, but they realized not everyone gets so lucky, and they wanted to do something to help singles find love in the modern world.
So the husband-and-wife team launched a general dating site called FreeAndSingle.com to improve the overall online dating experience for people in the UK and abroad. The team carefully designed many user-friendly features that would streamline the path to romance and prioritize online safety and customer service.
On FreeAndSingle, members enjoy the essentials of online dating: advanced searches, clear-cut profiles, and filtered messaging. Instead of overwhelming people with complex features and add-ons, the site promotes a straightforward and simple setup where members can browse, chat, and flirt to their heart’s content.
Today, the dating site boasts over 500,000 members, and its dedicated team is constantly developing new ways to support online daters everywhere. “Our goal is to help people along the dating process,” Tim said, “so we’re not a glorified messaging system — we’re actually helping you get the results you want.”
A majority of FreeAndSingle members hail from the UK, particularly in the London area, but the membership has been growing steadily in Australia and the US as well. The site cultivates a loyal and active user base of people interested in meeting someone special. Tim said that, because he and his wife made a site they would enjoy using, its primary appeal is to people like them; that is, relationship-oriented daters over the age of 35.
As part of their commitment to quality, the FreeAndSingle team is quick to identify and remove scammers from the site, putting an end to online harassment wherever they find it. The team’s proactive vigilance ensures all members have a secure place to meet authentic and genuine love interests.
The pricing model of FreeAndSingle is unique in that women automatically have unlimited access to their messages and can reply without paying a cent. However, men on the site must upgrade their basic memberships, paying as little as three pounds a month for a year, if they want to read and reply to messages.
Tim told us this system increases the overall responsiveness of members on the site.
You can stick with your free basic membership forever, if you want, but you’ll definitely get a lot of bang for your buck by joining a premium plan. FreeAndSingle’s VIP Membership includes perks such as seeing who’s viewed your profile, showing up at the top of search results, browsing incognito, and having an ad-free experience. For a couple pounds a month, members get a lot of value from the dating site.
According to FreeAndSingle’s internal statistics, VIP members receive 25 times more likes and 11 times more messages than do free members. That’s a serious incentive to upgrade from the basic membership. As Tim put it, “We give a lot for free but, if you want to upgrade, it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg, and it’s going to be worth your while.”
From monitoring online activity to developing effective search tools, the FreeAndSingle team works hard to improve common issues in online dating and encourage members to stay online and chat up singles in their area.
“We set out believing that a dating site could provide value for the money by running efficiently, marketing with integrity, and cultivating good members who want to stay,” he said. “That’s what makes us different from other platforms.”
FreeAndSingle doesn’t outsource customer service. Paula runs a dedicated customer care team in the UK and makes a point to remain constantly available to members in need. They keep a close watch on members, verifying profiles and monitoring messages, to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.
Tim heads up the marketing and public relations work, investing a significant amount of time in promoting the site’s features, mission, and successes to grow the membership. In a few years, he’s seen FreeAndSingle grow by leaps and bounds in the UK, Australia, and the US.
“It’s encouraging that you can achieve quite a lot with quite a small team.” — Tim Taylor, Co-Founder of FreeAndSingle.com
The team makes a concerted effort to understand its users and give them the tools for success. In recent months, Tim has partnered with a data analytics company to study how users interact on FreeAndSingle and understand the best ways to engage members online.
“We have a tremendous amount of data,” he said, “and we want to use it to improve our system and help our members connect.”
Over the past few years, FreeAndSingle has grown primarily through word of mouth. Over 60% of new members surveyed by the site said they joined because of a friend or family member’s recommendation — and that’s something Tim is very proud of because it means people are having a good experience.
The team loves hearing love stories from couples like Jon and Jackie who met on the website and fell for each other immediately. “We’d only been on there 24 hours, [but] we arranged a meet, and we hit it off,” Jon wrote in his testimonial. “Today I asked Jackie to marry me, and she agreed!”
“We can’t thank you and your team enough — we now have an amazing life together to look forward to. It’s a dream that absolutely came true!” — Jan and Martin, an engaged couple who met on FreeAndSingle
A few years ago, a single woman reached out to the team because she wanted to write about her experiences on FreeAndSingle. She shared her thoughts about online dating in personable blog articles until she eventually found the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She invited the whole FreeAndSingle team to the wedding. Her story is a remarkable example of the difference the dating site can make in a person’s life.
“Something I never expected is how we can make a positive change in people’s lives,” Tim said, adding, “and, in some situations, we can become rather good friends.”
After years of brainstorming, innovating, and designing, Tim and Paula now offer a fun, safe, and simple dating platform for anyone feeling burnt out by big impersonal dating websites. The couple developed FreeAndSingle to fix widespread issues in the online dating process by putting the needs of singles first. Today, the website facilitates conversation and connection for hundreds of thousands of members around the world.
In 2018, FreeAndSingle will endeavor to make inroads in the US online dating market and expand its user base in cities from coast to coast. Tim said the site already has a foothold in New York City, where new members join every month, so he’s excited to build on that foundation in the years to come.
“It’s a lovely industry to be in,” he said, “and to be able to lead people to relationships through technology.”