In an increasingly globalized world the internet is perhaps the most important factor in our continuously changing social universe and lifestyle habits; possibly no more so than in the world of online dating. The abundance and variety of online dating websites exemplifies this "digital revolution" at work in our everyday lives.
Unsurprisingly, diversification has followed closely behind proliferation with thousands of niche dating sites like those catering to Latin dating having sprung up in the last few years.
To keep up with this trend, we have put together this buying guide for those of our readers interested in specifically Latin dating. It reveals the factors we think iare important you look out for before committing yourself financially to a particular service. When we put them to the test on the most important features and performance, our top ranking Latin dating sites consistently outperformed the rest. Our reviews compare and contrast the top Latin dating websites out there according to the following criteria:
Membership Size & Scope: Internet dating can often be reduced to a numbers game. Your chances of meeting and engaging with someone you like will be largely dependent on the "pool" of potential partners out there. For this reason, determining the size, male to female ratio, and geographical reach of a site's membership is something we take very seriously. Sites that clearly advertise the size of their membership in six figures can be relied upon. Those that fail to state the amount of members signed up generally have a smaller user base than they would care to admit. However, unless you are completely open minded, narrowing down your search could save you a lot of time searching through and contacting members of million strong dating networks. Joining a niche dating site like a Latin dating one is becoming more and more popular as the sheer size of this market today allows users to be picky. Hence, the "bigger is better" maxim does not necessarily hold true for those of us with someone specific in mind.
Membership Activity & Involvement: As we all know to well, on the dating scene size isn't everything, often an active and welcoming online community can punch well above its weight. Although a numerically large database is all very well, the most important is always the number of active members. Members who are more likely to be active, involved and open to meeting new people generally appreciate a site which is well structured and managed, with well designed, interactive features. In the features section we outline what features you should look out for when choosing a site that generates the sense of camaraderie and belonging that can make or break a dating experience. In our opinion (based on site data), larger sites can in fact be heavily populated with inactive or fraudulent profiles which can give an inaccurate impression of any meaningful membership count. Hence, from time to time we will highly rate a smaller site even though its membership is relatively small.
Access to members' photos and profiles: The main profile photo is available for free on all sites and on most you can enlarge it. Occasionally, free members have access to all the pictures a member has uploaded. Likewise, when it comes to basic profiles info, access is generally free. To see an entire profile you will more often than not have to pay. We generally expect Latin dating sites to allow access to basic profile information before handing over any money and we tend to mark down those which don't. Getting members to post photos is harder than it seems. We rate highly those who manage to get 70%+ profiles with a photo, but don't expect this to be an industry standard. Luckily, you can usually filter out profiles without photos on most websites' search engines. Some websites have had the great idea of awarding points to members for posting photos and completing their profiles as well as writing blog posts and contributing to forums. However, this method for generating a community can be rather hit or miss.
Communication: A large membership and snazzy features aren't worth much if poorly managed. It is important that the site does its best to involve new members. First engaging them as Free members and then retaining them as Premium members. Sites keeping newbies engaged are generally the most vibrant and enjoyable services. Chat Rooms and Instant Messaging both deliver a "lighter" communication medium while many sites now allow users to post their status "a la Facebook" which can be a great way to spark a conversation. All dating websites have some sort of e-mail options and most offer chat rooms and instant messaging although generally just to paying members. Most sites require a Free member to upgrade before before replying to a message. However, there are some that allow Free members to reply to emails sent by Premium members. Make sure you get clued up on this and have a clear idea of what your willing to pay in order to avoid disappointment and a waste of your time.
Search Parameters: Users often get the options of basic search and advanced search. Occasionally, advanced search is only available to paying members, however this is generally not the case. We were surprised to find some sites in this category to have embarrassingly basic search engines. An extensive members database is of little use without access to a decent search engine that will narrow down your search to only those suitable to you. The more you refine your search, the more likely you are to find someone who matches your personal preferences and the less time you'll waste on those with little possibility of developing into something more. With regard to Latin dating, it is often important to assess language abilities before getting in touch as well as what country a potential date is living in. However, it must be said that, on the other hand, it becomes less important for a website with a small membership base to have an especially advanced search engine as you will often end up with zero search results every time; niche websites are generally already narrowed down.
Value-Added Special Features: These can vary according to the website. While great for those looking for a feature packed service, many users may end up paying for something they never use. This is what makes web design and "usability" so important as good features are only effective if well incorporated. Here are a few of the most common:
Video profiles are becoming more and more popular as users make the most of high speed connections in online dating. It certainly does add a new dimension to your personal introduction.
Webcam Chat is becoming a standard feature which offers an extra dimension to the conventional text chatting. Seeing someone's facial expression and body language can be especially exciting when a relationship advances and you would like to flirt and provoke your date. However, shy daters, possibly attracted to online dating as it is less intimidating, are unlikely to appreciate this feature.
Forums & Chatrooms: Forums and chatrooms can be great spaces in which members can share their thoughts or just keep one another company. Frequenting these spaces certainly helps one feel part of a community, among others all with one thing in common; dating! This can also be a great way of getting to know someone as it's often easier to spark up casual conversation than go directly for private declarations of love. Also, we enjoyed simply observing others interacting with one another as we found this a great way to get an insight into the personality of potential dates. Although chatrooms are becoming more and more common, gaining the critical mass necessary for keeping them alive and vibrant is another thing and many do end up dead.
Computerized matching: The dating industry leads the way in creating algorithms that supposedly help you find someone suited to you. While clearly there is no simple formula to love, this still does a lot of the work for you in terms of sifting through endless profiles.
As you will soon learn, pricing structures can vary considerably. Sometimes a higher price is worth it given the quantity and quality of the features on offer; other times however, there seems to be very little relation between price and quality. Often, sites that initially appear cheap turn out to be riddled with hidden costs which we would advise you to avoid.
Although we do our utmost to keep our reviews up to date, sites are constantly adding new features and slashing their prices in order to undercut their competitors. Our reviews are a good indication, but we advise checking the merchants' websites for their current offers and pricing plans before making a final decision between two sites.
Profiles with photos attract 10 times as much attention as those without. In fact, anyone serious about finding their Latin date should upload at least one photo. A site with few profile photos should probably be avoided, as it implies poor member involvement. Unfortunately, we must warn readers of some profiles sporting model quality photos that can turn out to be too good to be true as fake profiles do sadly exist on most online dating sites as part of scams.
Well established sites have often built up over the years a helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. This will be very useful if you need to quickly resolve a common issue. Some sites also offer technical support by email and phone, 24/7. However, many no longer offer this support as technical issues are becoming less and less common in the online world. Nonetheless, when it comes to paying for a service, if this is not being delivered then support is a must.
There can be a sharp difference in dating websites' registration processes. Some sites only require you to fill out a quick form which can be completed in a few minutes. Other sites require more detailed replies and it can take as long as 45 minutes to fill in all the required fields for a complete profile (although most sites allow you to save your progress and continue at a later time).
Statistically, those Latin dating sites which employ more detailed data-gathering methods attract more female members, while supposedly men are less inclined to spend time telling others about themselves. So for men at least, in this game patience is a virtue and a detailed profile can be a great investment as less competition means more lovely Latinas to choose from!
A user-friendly design can make all the difference when it comes to online dating. Firstly, any website should have a good search engine with a broad range of criteria to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Secondly, the search results should be displayed in a way which enables users to easily browse the profiles of those other members with whom there may be a certain spark.
The best websites display well sized photos with basic information neatly laid out and give you the ability to check out a profile and save your place without having to start the search all over again. There should also be an option to save attractive profiles to a "favorites" list. Finally, Latin dating often being an intercultural affair, the best sites are now available in at least English, Spanish and Portuguese.
We occasionally mention the term "powered by" in our reviews. This means that the features, structure and, often, membership directory will be shared with a parent and / or several sister sites. This can be reassuring in terms of the security of being associated with an established network yet maintaining a more specialized focus. Cupid media is the most well known for this online dating model, boasting specific sites for almost every niche under the sun yet uniting all in one massive user database.
This is what it all comes down to; a site not only being fun for a flirt, but also a service that can help you build an exciting and meaningful relationship. There is a massive variety in Latin dating sites and doing a little research before hand could literally make or break your future love life. In fact, one site can be so different from another that we experienced some difficulty reviewing them all in the same context.
Nonetheless, we've managed to compile a list of the top Latin dating sites out there, and rank them in order of overall quality, making No1Reviews.com the essential place to begin your search for Latin love. So with that said, we wish you the best of luck in this exciting, potentially life changing adventure!