There are plenty of dating and hookup sites out there that can rightfully be described as being very good to excellent. Most, however, tend to be paid sites. The realm of decent free dating sites is somewhat slim. This is why BookofMatches, a free dating and hookup site that has been in existence since 2002, continuously grabs the attention of new users each year.
At first sight, BookofMatches is not much to look at. Then again, if you are looking into a free site, your concern will more likely be on performance instead of appearance.
Interested in knowing how Bookofmatches stacks up to the big boys? Can a free hookup site offer a positive user experience? We conducted a review of BookofMatches to help you find the answers to those questions.
BookOfMatches Review Results
Final Word on BookofMatches
Reviewing BookofMatches for what it is, a free dating site, we cannot be too harsh with our commentary. After all, it does offer search and communication functions for free. While it definitely has a few technological drawbacks and its membership base is not as fresh as we would like, it cannot be denied that for those who cannot afford paid memberships, it does offer results. It may require more from the users themselves to make a successful go at finding a partner on BookofMatches, but it can be done.
We would rate BookofMatches as FAIR.
— Pros and Cons —
- 100 percent free
- Registration is easy
- Includes decent communication features
- Third-party ads during registration can lead you off-site
- Page load times can be slow
- A lot of profiles are inactive
- Search results require a lot of vetting from the users themselves
— In-Depth BookofMatches Review —
Back in 2002, the internet had already cemented itself as a vital element of our daily existence. Online dating and hookup sites had already had a few years to mature and start developing strong followings. BookofMatches.com dates back to that time.
From the beginning, BookofMatches was designed around the concept of bringing people together based on “attribute matching.” This is a dating industry term meaning that the site conducts its matchmaking magic by comparing a list of personality and physical attributes from its members to find those who are the most compatible.
That list of attributes has grown in the 15 years since the site was launched. Today, that list includes such traits as:
- Smoke Preferences
- Drinking Habits
- Activity Levels
- Working Habits
- Importance of Friends
- Competition Mindset
- Party Lifestyle
- Physically Fit
- Wanting of Kids
- Sexually Active
Mind you, unlike other present-day dating sites that use complex algorithms to weigh each attribute differently based on your search patterns, engagement with others, etc, BookkofMatches still relies on an old-fashioned straight-line matching system. In other words, if “person A” has 12 attributes in common with “person B,” the BookofMatches system will consider “person B” to be more compatible than, let’s say, “person C,” with whom “person A” may only have nine attributes in common. It’s a majority rules sort of system — there is no nuanced matchmaking process.
That is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, compared to more robust matchmaking protocols it sounds simplistic, but if a user is willing to use the suggested matches as a starting point — its has potential.
Compared to other hookup sites that offer you well-vetted lists of suggested matches, you should view the BookofMatches lists as a block of wood which you must chip away at to sculpt and create something useful.
— Registration Process —
Registering for BookofMatches starts on its welcome page. Be forewarned, the site looks extremely dated — a throwback to its launch date, 2002.
That notwithstanding, new users start by selecting a username and entering it in the box titled “Join FREE Now.” From there, you are redirected to another page where you must select a password and provide a valid email address. You must be mindful of where you click on this page. Embedded within the registration form are links to third-party adult sites. If you inadvertently click on one of those, you will be redirected to the registration page of those sites. Unlike BookofMatches, those sites do require payment.
The final part of the registration process requires you to fill out a brief questionnaire regarding your physical attributes, location, and profession. You can also write a brief paragraph introducing yourself. This appears on your member profile. One note of caution, if the registration form keeps returning an error regarding the name of your city — click on the hyperlink that reads “find your city.” This will open a separate window with a listing of all of the cities in your state as stored on the BookofMatches database. Our testers found that not all cities are listed. In those cases, choose the one nearest you. The system will not continue with your registration otherwise.
Once you submit the questionnaire you will be prompted to upload your profile image. You are given the option to upload as many as three images in total. Keep in mind that these images must adhere to the BookofMatches rules. This means that your face must be clearly visible, you must be the only person appearing in the shot, and there must not be any nudity. All pictures will be reviewed by the site before being posted on your profile. During our tests, this process took as little as 30 minutes and as long as two days.
— Features —
BookofMatches offers its users a search feature as well as email and instant chat communication. We were pleasantly surprised that a free site would offer a decent communication platform. Yes, the interface looks dated and the instant chat feature did stall a few times during our tests, but considering this is 100 percent free, we would not complain.
The site also offers a rating system. In order to use this feature you must have at least one approved image on your profile, Once you do so, you can click on the “Ratings” tab in the navigation menu in order to view your profile rating as well as to rate the profile images of other members.
The “Friends” section allows you to view the status updates of other members whom you have friended. It is not as robust as a modern social network, but it does allow you to keep tabs with all of the friends that you make on the site. The feature reminds you of a very early Friendster — if you’re old enough to remember that.
— User Experience —
Sporadic bouts with slow loading speeds during searches and an antiquated navigation menu can make for a frustrating experience if you are used to smoothloading and speedy dating sites. From our point of view, those small technical problems can be forgiven on a free site.
In terms of the quality of the search results and communication with other members — we felt that this was hampered by the fact that it is a free site. The low barrier to entry makes BookofMatches heavy with fake and abandoned profiles. We found that we could curtail some of these by filtering out those without a profile picture. However, it is our estimate that one-third of the members on the site are inactive.
Many of the search results for our testers included members that resided more than 50 miles from their location. Obviously, this would make finding someone for a local hookup difficult.