Free vs. Paid Online Dating Memberships
The one thing that every online dating website has in common is members. That makes sense since these sites are all about meeting other people so without people, the sites don't have much value. As you'll see once you begin checking out the various online dating sites, not all members are created equally. Some will opt for a free membership, others will go all the way and pay for their membership, and others who are still 'on the fence' will find a trial membership their best option.
A free membership always sounds like a good deal, especially if you're checking out a few different dating sites. Free memberships are a great way to see all that a site has to offer before spending any money. With a free membership, you will typically be allowed to create your own profile and you'll probably be able to look at some of the ads members are posting. You'll be able to do this for as long as you like because free memberships don't typically expire. The downside of a free membership is that the services the website operator allows you to participate in generally are pretty limited. You probably won't be able to correspond with someone you find interesting until you become a paid member.
Many online dating sites offer a trial membership which is actually a full-blown membership that is limited to a certain period of time. Trial memberships are usually free but some sites may charge a nominal fee. With a trial membership, you'll be able to do most everything a paid member is allowed to do such as creating a profile, participating in chat rooms, and corresponding via instant messaging. Basically you'll be able to push all the buttons and participate in any of the features the site offers. The only real downside to a trial membership is that after the trial period is over, which typically ranges from a week to 10 days, your access will be terminated unless you convert your trial membership into a paid membership.
A paid membership is going to give you full access to all of the features of the online dating site, unless there is a multi-tier payment option. Assuming there's just one membership fee, with a paid membership, you'll be able to use all the matchmaking services that the site offers, which hopefully will lead you to the mate of your dreams! Probably one of the biggest benefits of a paid membership is that all channels of communication are open without any usage restrictions. The only real downside of a paid membership is that membership fees aren't always refundable. Your membership typically covers a certain period of time. If you become unhappy with the service, or better yet, if you find someone and you no longer need the services that online dating provides, you may not get your money back. Just be sure you read and understand all the fine print before handing over your credit card number.