Specialized niche dating sites, such as JDate, tend to perform better than generic dating sites. This is likely due to the fact that members already have key points in common. The parent company of JDate, Spark Networks, claims that a survey of 1,000 members indicates that 51 percent ended up in marriage with someone whom they met on the site. The claim is not from an independent third-party study. It came from their own internal performance analysis. With such claims in mind, we conducted this JDate.com review to determine its true effectiveness.
JDate Review Results
Final Word on JDate
Although we could not independently verify the bold claim made by JDate about having a 51 percent success rate, our experience on the site was positive. The strength of JDate is not its feature-set — that's pretty generic — rather it is its focus on the community that it serves where JDate shines. The trust that it has earned within that community sustains it and makes it a valuable resource to find potential partners for serious long-term relationships.
We would rate JDate as: VERY GOOD — WORTH A TRY.
— Pros and Cons of JDate —
- Intuitive and easy to use (especially if you’re familiar with other dating sites)
- Mobile apps available
- Well-balanced male-to-female ratio
- Effective promotion of offline “real world” meetups
- Cannot use communication features in free version
- Monthly membership is on the pricey side
— In-Depth JDate Review —
JDate.com is an online dating site that caters to the Jewish demographic. It has been in existence since 1997. Part of the Spark Network of online dating sites, it has a long-standing positive reputation within the Jewish community.
With a large user base, it is not uncommon to find upwards of 20,000 members online at any given time. The male to female membership ratio is remarkably balanced — it is among the highest of any established dating site. The breakdown is 47 percent male to 53 percent female. This is an impressive figure considering that the average gender distribution on such sites is 5 to 1 male —some are even higher.
It is also important to note that the site is not exclusive to those of the Jewish faith. Anybody can join. A question is posed during the profile building process, however, that does ask members if they are willing to convert to Judaism. It is one of the answers that is taken into account in the JDate matchmaking algorithm.
— JDate Registration —
The homepage to register for JDate is a simple landing page. The background consists of a montage of images of various couples engaged in “happy couple” activities. The entire homepage is designed to center your attention on the orange “Browse Free Now” button.
From there, you are directed to a short online multiple-choice questionnaire. The questions are basic — a little about your appearance, height mainly — your age, location and a few questions about how observant you are in Judaism.
It took us less than two minutes to complete the questions. You then have to provide a valid email and accept the terms and conditions of the site. Shortly thereafter — in our case less than a minute — you receive an email containing a link to verify your address. Once that is done, you’re in.
— Filling Out Your JDate Profile —
In order for the match-finding potential of JDate to be at its peak, it is necessary to flesh out your profile. In other words, add more pertinent details to it. If you were to only post the information that you provided at the initial part of the registration, it would be difficult for the JDate algo — or members manually searching through the site — to properly find you.
You can amplify your profile in a variety ways. One is by uploading more images to your profile page — this allows potential matches to get a better idea of what you look like physically. Another way is to complete the “Color Code Personality Test.” This consists of answering a series of multiple-choice questions that are designed to determine your personality traits. The JDate algorithm then assigns a color code to your overall personality. This detail is used by the JDate algo to determine compatibility with other members. The color coding also allows the members themselves to visually confirm if their personality matches with other members simply by glancing at the color bar on their profiles.
There is also a section called the “Kibitz Corner.” This is a creative way to generate engagement between members and to encourage frequent visits to the site. It works by answering a different question that is posted daily in this section of the site. The intention is for members to answer the question in a creative and witty fashion. This is done to give members the opportunity to let their personality shine through — a spark of spontaneity if you will.
Personally, we didn’t receive any direct contact from other members as a direct result of the color-coded personality test. We did receive, however, several responses based on many of our answers left in the Kibitz Corner. We found that section far more useful when it came to generating interest and messages from other members. The only drawback that we see with the Kibitz Corner is that if a person is not skilled in writing — or lacks the ability to be expressive on text — they may easily be overlooked.
— Functionality and Features —
Having joined and reviewed many online dating sites, we must be completely honest and say that we did not find any of the basic features on JDate to be unique. It has all the features that those with online dating experience would be familiar with. It has an internal messaging platform to send and receive messages to other members. There is also an instant chat system.
The system JDate calls “Secret Admirer” is a creative front-end to what many will recognize as an anonymous rating system — very common on dating sites these days. Members can give other members a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” When two members coincide in giving each other a “thumbs up,” they are notified.
JDate allows all users to register for free. The free membership allows access to all of the site’s basic features with the exception of the communication modules. A free member can receive messages or requests from other members, but cannot reply. To do so, a paid membership is required.
JDate has both iOS and Android mobile apps available for free download.
— JDate Membership Cost —
JDate membership involves paying for a monthly subscription. A one-month membership costs $39.99. When compared to a generic dating site, this might seem quite steep. If you measure it against other niche dating sites — especially ones with comparably strong user bases — the cost becomes more reasonable.
Paying for a three-month membership in advance will drop the average monthly cost to $29.99. A six-month membership drops it down further to $19.99.
— The Local Offline Touch —
While the basic feature-set on JDate was standard when compared to other dating sites, JDate did stand out in its attention to fomenting offline real world contact. JDate frequently organizes speed dating events and travel adventures for its members in major cities across the U.S. There is also a synagogue directory that lists synagogues and Jewish community centers where JDate organizes social off-line gatherings. This we found to be unique and a true motivator for those seeking serious relationships.