Top 10 Best Sites
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When I’m trying to decide what to eat for dinner, it usually comes down to pizza or burgers. They’re both great choices, but they’re different. With one, you’ve got something that’s super cheesy, saucy, and portable. With the other, you’ve got something that’s hearty, messy (in a good way), and downright delicious.
Choosing between pizza and burgers is kinda like trying to choose between Zoosk and OkCupid. They’re both among the world’s top dating sites, but they’re very different. Whether you’re picking a dating site or deciding what to eat for dinner, it usually comes down to what you’re in the mood for. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the biggest differences and settle the score between Zoosk and OkCupid.
Before we get down into the nitty-gritty of what Zoosk and OkCupid offer, let’s talk about what the sites have going on as a whole. Below are our experts’ rankings for each website based on a number of factors, including affordability, user base, matching and chatting tools, and reputation, among others.
Zoosk was founded in 2007 by Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, both of whom earned master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. Zoosk was one of the first dating sites to integrate with social media networks, like Facebook and Google+, and it made it easier and faster for singles to register and start browsing. This is a big reason why we’ve given the dating site 4.6 stars out of five in our reviews.
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Not long after its founding, Zoosk went beyond its desktop version and became available for free for iOS and Android devices — so singles can find a date no matter where they were or what they were doing.
Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn co-founded OkCupid in 2004 when they were students at Harvard University. They built a site called TheSpark.com where people could take quizzes and personality tests, including the Match Test, to establish compatibility. SparkMatch was a feature on the original site that allowed users who’d taken the Match Test to look at other people’s Match Test types and get in touch with each other. The Founders then created a separate site for dating and called it OkCupid.
OkCupid may have three years on Zoosk, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s three times better. We’ve given OkCupid 4.4 stars out of 5 because its signup process is more time-consuming than Zoosk’s (because of the nearly endless questions that factor into your match percentage). Also, it doesn’t seem to be up on new technology as much as Zoosk is.
The numbers don’t lie here — Zoosk is our champ in the overall round with 0.2 more points. It has a slight edge over OkCupid in the speed and technology departments, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy the experience no matter which site you pick.
As the great ABBA says, “Money, money, money/Must be funny/In the rich man’s world/Money, money, money/Always sunny/In the rich man’s world.” People hate paying for movies, music, TV, newspapers, guac, you name it — let alone online dating.
The good news is Zoosk and OkCupid have a bunch of free (or almost free) choices to join the dating networks. Here’s what you need to know about the sites’ prices:
When you sign up for Zoosk, you’re automatically given a free basic membership that never expires. You can fill out your profile, add several photos, make edits whenever you want, search for matches in the Carousel, receive compatible match suggestions, send virtual smiles, like your favorite members, receive messages, and reply to a certain amount. The following list is all of Zoosk’s pricing options.
If you choose to upgrade your membership, you can do things like infinitely search through the Carousel and send and receive unlimited messages.
Since the beginning, it’s been totally free to register, browse, flirt, and chat on OkCupid, and the team promises it’ll be that way for the lifespan of the site. However, if you’ve got feature fever, you can always upgrade to the A-list subscription. There will be no ads, you can change your username once a month, you can see everyone who has liked you, and you’ll receive more filter options and search options in your match search.
Zoosk is like 90% free, but OkCupid is 100% always free, and that’s what people love about it. You chat on OkCupid for as long as you like without paying anything. Keep in mind, though, that using a paid dating site means you’re more likely to be around people who are actually committed to finding a date or partner — not just people who want to chat all day and never meet up.
It’s important for a dating site to have a lot of people, but it’s also important for a dating site to actually have people who you’ll be attracted to and will like. In this section, we’ll break down the pros and cons of Zoosk and OkCupid’s user bases:
Forty million — that’s how many members Zoosk has and counting. That’s about the same number of people who live in Uganda! Not to mention the site sees over 3 million visitors a month — and they range in age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and religion, coming from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles.
Zoosk is available in more than 80 countries and has been translated into 25 languages. This global user base is extremely active as well, exchanging more than 3 million messages a day. That’s a lot of chatting!
OkCupid has so many users (55 million) that they could basically make up the entire population of Tanzania, and they’ll probably surpass that someday soon because the site has 1.3 million unique visitors a month.
Perhaps what’s most impressive about OkCupid’s audience is the number of ways the site allows them to define and express who they are. In terms of sexual orientation, you have 13 options from asexual to straight, and there are over 22 gender options, including androgynous, bigender, transgender, transsexual, and intersex.
In 2014, OkCupid added more sexual orientation tags and gender labels to make sure LGBTQ+ singles felt welcome being who they are on the site. Relationship status selections also vary more than what you’ll find on other dating sites, including single, seeing someone, married, or in an open relationship.
OkCupid and Zoosk are both some of the largest and most inclusive dating sites in the industry. No matter where you are or how you identify yourself, you should feel welcome and confident that you’ll have success on either dating site.
Some dating sites are very limited and leave most of the work on your shoulders, but not Zoosk or OkCupid. The sites know that you need to have the right tools to accomplish your dating goals. This is why Zoosk and OkCupid provide tons of features for browsing, receiving matches, flirting, and communicating. Below we’ll walk you through all the different features.
Zoosk is most known for its Carousel, which is where you’ll be presented with your potential matches. You can see their basic details and photos as well as click their profile for more info. Then you’ll click or tap the check mark if you like them, the X if you don’t, and the word “maybe” if you want to think about it and come back to the person later.
In the Basic Search section, you have filters for age range, location (city and state), and distance (3 to 100 miles). In the Advanced Search section, you have filters for relationship status (never married to tell you later), if they have children (no to yes, but they don’t live with me), ethnicity (Caucasian to mixed), religion (agnostic to Muslim), education (no degree to advanced degree), body type (slim to stout), and if they smoke (no to yes, regularly). Make sure to save your searches so you don’t have to select your preferences again.
Zoosk also tracks your online behavior (e.g., who you say no to, who you say yes to, who you search for, and what kinds of profiles you view) to recommend the most compatible matches. These are called SmartPick™ Matches.
While Zoosk offers free and premium memberships that include access to certain features, you can also pay for individual features by using Zoosk Coins. For example, purchasing Boost will showcase your profile in search results, members’ inboxes, and the Carousel. You can use Zoosk coins to send virtual gifts, unlock hidden Carousel matches, and know when someone’s read your messages, too.
OkCupid made a name for itself by creating a one-of-a-kind profile questionnaire and matching algorithm. The questions can be serious stuff like “How often are you open with your feelings?” For this, you can answer “Always,” “Usually,” “Rarely,” or “Never.” The questions can also be fun stuff like “What is your opinion of sarcasm?” For this, you can answer “I like it or love it,” “It’s OK,” or “Sarcasm is formulaic and lame.”
Next, you’ll give an importance value to each question. For example, do you think it’s mandatory that someone agrees with your opinion of sarcasm, is it irrelevant, or do you fall somewhere in between. OkCupid takes this information and uses it to calculate a match percentage between members on the site.
Another feature worth mentioning is DoubleTake, which shows the profile of one potential match at a time. You’ll get a deeper look at their individuality and photos. When you’re using DoubleTake, if you and the other person both like each other or move each other’s photos into the Heart pile, then the site will notify you and invite you to communicate. OkCupid said its goal with DoubleTake is to create more meaningful connections more quickly.
From the Tinder-like Carousel to the exclusive algorithm to the unique payment options and variety of search functionalities — Zoosk has everything you need to customize your dating experience, save time and money, and connect with that special someone.
It’s one thing to hear the good things about Zoosk and OkCupid from us, but it’s another thing to hear it from your fellow online daters. We’ve gathered a few success stories (plus some negative feedback) from each site so you can get an idea of what other people think.
Natasha and Jared are one of the thousands of couples who came together on Zoosk. The site posts one new success story on its blog every week, and they’re all incredibly touching and inspiring.
In Natasha and Jared’s case, it was love at first sight. Their first date was at one of Jared’s band’s gigs, and they had their second date the following night. Since then, they’ve never looked back.
“We are delighted to announce that we are getting married in January 2018! We couldn’t be happier. We are soul mates,” Natasha said.
On the flip side, there have been some users who weren’t thrilled with their experience on Zoosk. Jolene C., in particular, was frustrated with the distance of her matches. She wrote on SiteJabber that, “Zoosk kept matching me with men over 1,000 miles away. The closest I was matched with was NYC. And I live in NJ.”
Overall, though, you’ll find that Zoosk receive mostly positive reviews, including 4 stars out of 5 on Google Play, 3.5 stars on TrustPilot, and 3 stars on iTunes.
OkCupid, too, has gotten a lot of thumbs up, including from Justin and Jake. They met up on the site and decided to have their first date at a French cafe. After that, they spent as much time together as they could, and soon they were in love.
“I’ll never be able to thank OkCupid for bringing us together! I’ve met the man who I’ve been looking for online, and you brought him to me!” Justin told the site.
Now for some of the bad news about OkCupid. A lot of the complaints we’ve seen come from commitment-oriented singles who can’t seem to connect with anyone who doesn’t want a hookup. According to the dating site’s stats, OkCupid is responsible for over 50,000 dates per week, but we’re not sure how many of those dates lead to second dates.
Alicia F. said OkCupid users are too “sex-oriented” and don’t line up with her relationship goals. “It doesn’t focus on the important things. Education and occupation are optional, and there are thousands of other irrelevant matching questions, which the answers can be changed after 24 hours. Not possible for professionals to weed out the trash,” she said in her review on SiteJabber.
OkCupid has made a lot of improvements to make it easier for serious singles to find a quality date or lifelong partner, but from the testimonials we’ve read, it seems like Zoosk takes the cake in this department.
Drum roll please… and the victor is… Zoosk for winning out in three out of five rounds. OkCupid is a wonderful free dating site and app, but in most categories, it can’t seem to keep up with Zoosk. However, the final decision is up to you. Take the information we’ve given you into consideration, and then take the leap. Either way, you can’t go wrong.