We recently conducted a full review of the YouDate.net platform to determine whether its old school style still works today or if — like some decrepit old abandoned school building — it should just be condemned and demolished.
YouDate.net Review Results
Final Word on YouDate.net
When we decided to take a look at YouDate we were privately rooting for it. We wanted to be able to say, "hey, YouDate is old school chic that delivers results."
Unfortunately, we cannot say that. YouDate just does not deliver the types of results that modern online daters need to be able to effectively meet compatible partners.
We have to rate YouDate as POOR.
— Pros and Cons —
- Genuinely free to use
- Fast and easy registration process
- Detailed profile options
- No mobile apps, not mobile-friendly
- Presence of some fake profiles
- Local search filter highly inaccurate
- Antiquated look and feel
— In-Depth YouDate.net Review —
Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember the way online dating used to be back in the 90s or early 2000s. The platforms were a little clunky, their aesthetic was anything but modern — yet they were innovative enough to help bring many people together.
YouDate.net is a dating site that harkens back, at least in its appearance, to the “good old days.”
You may be asking, “why would I even consider some old school site when I can use a more modern dating app?”
While it is true that modern-day dating apps are light years ahead of the dating platforms of yesteryear, there are some old school sites that have managed to retain their quaint charm while updating key areas of their site to remain relevant. Is YouDate.net such a dating site?
— First Impression —
We must start by saying that if you are allergic to antiquated-looking websites, you may want to have an EpiPen on hand before visiting YouDate.net. From its welcome page to its registration form to its interior platform, the entire site looks 15 to 20 years out of date. It sort of reminded us of when you see somebody on the street dressed in 1990s fashion. Dude, where did you get those double-pleated khaki Dockers?
Since we are not shallow, we overlooked the aesthetics of the site and proceeded to register for an account to see what YouDate.net has under the hood.
— Registration Process —
To register for an account on YouDate, all you have to do is fill out the form that is located above-the-fold on the right-hand side of the welcome page. The information that is required of you is minimal. It consists of your desired username, password, email address, date of birth, and location.
There is also a very simple CAPTCHA that you must enter before you’re allowed to click on the sign-up button.
Our biggest surprise during registration was that YouDate.net does not require new registrants to click on a verification link sent to them via email.
Essentially, the registration process is wide open. While convenient, it is a bit worrisome as it opens up the YouDate platform to abuse.
— Target Audience —
YouDate is a general purpose dating site. This means that it does not focus on a specific niche, demographic or ethnicity. The site is promoted as a 100 percent free platform for single men and women of all ages and sexual orientations seeking to meet partners for casual or long-term relationships. Its membership base is international.
— Is It Really Free? —
The term “free” is used with such liberty nowadays that the vast majority of the population has become desensitized to it. After all, when something is promoted as “free” and only moments later you are presented with options for a paid upgrade, it is as if the word “free” no longer has value or purpose.
In the case of YouDate, “free” happens to mean really free. Users have access to all features of the site for free. The site is monetized by the presence of advertising.
— Building a Profile —
In order to build your profile on YouDate.net, you need to go through several screens completing questions regarding such things as your faith, astrological sign, physical appearance, education, income, etc. All of this is done through a series of checkboxes and drop-down options. You can also upload images for others to see when they open your profile page.
Considering that YouDate is a free site, it was nice to see that they make an honest effort at offering in-depth profiles to their members.
The information that you provide on your profile is what is cross-referenced by the site’s search engine when other members are looking for members with particular traits and attributes.
Yes, it is a simplistic form of search compared to dating apps with fancy algos, but it can still yield results —at least in theory.
— Is It Mobile-Friendly? —
Being an old school site, YouDate does not have any native mobile apps. The site isn’t even mobile-friendly. It lacks the responsive design needed to access it on a mobile browser without having to resort to endless horizontal scrolling and pinching to see its contents. Our advice is to only use YouDate on a desktop browser.
— User Experience —
The user experience on YouDate fell short of what we had hoped to find. We were prepared to accept minor issues related to its aged design and simplistic back-end architecture, but we were still expecting to have a halfway decent user experience.
It was not that the user experience obtained by our testers was awful, just that it failed to meet some basic benchmarks. For example, even though you are supposed to be able to customize your search results by location in order to find local matches, this never worked properly. Our testers kept getting results from all over the world. If you live in Fresno and your suggested matches are all from Boston, New York, Europe, Asia, and Africa, chances are that going for a cup of coffee that afternoon is going to be tough.
Also, our testers kept receiving sporadic private messages from females that, upon inspection, originated from fake profiles. These fake profiles are not prolific, but they are present on the platform. They were not being managed by the site itself. In other words, they weren’t being used to upsell you on stuff. After all, the site has nothing to upsell. It seemed to us that these fake profiles belonged to third-parties promoting outside dating and sex sites, trolls, catfish, and scammers.