Dating Apps or Sites - Which Is Right For You?

Find the best online dating siteBy Erika Ettin

There is one question I get all the time, from clients of all ages and friends new and old: Which is better - online dating sites or apps?

In other words, are dating apps the “junk food” of online dating? Will it just satisfy you for a moment, but leave you hungry for more in an hour? Or can you actually find the “real thing” using such apps? On the other hand - are online dating sites keeping up with emerging dating apps? What can they provide that apps cannot?

You Get What You (Don’t) Pay For

The biggest appeal of the dating apps is that they are free. Most of us often think, "Why should I pay for something when I can get it for free?"

Turns out lots of dating sites offer a free sign up and trial membership. You can create a free profile, browse through potential matches and send messages. However you’ll be surprized to learn that even better are the sites you have to pay for, like .

What type of dating experience are you looking for?

Think of it this way, if both you and the person at the other end have paid for a membership, it means you both have a vested interest in the process and some skin in the game in the form of about $20 a month (and a valid credit card number to boost).

Sometimes such a small investment can go a long way and not only save you money in the long run, but also get you to truly participate in the dating game, kind of like a gym membership. You paid for it, so therefore you must use it. You’re already invested in the process.

Selfies Just Won’t Do

On the various dating sites you get a fair amount of information about a potential date: his/her age, religion, height, body type, education level, area of study, occupation, etc. Apps, on the other hand, primarily offer you a photo. Points for efficiency. Plus, we do live in a very visually-focused world. Negative points for superficiality and lack of information. I mean, if you’re truly looking for someone to connect with, a simple selfie just won’t do.

Sites Have Dating Apps Too

Most leading dating sites, like Zoosk , upped the ante with their own dating site apps or mobile compatible websites. Zoosk actually has an award-winning mobile app. It’s one of the top 10 grossing apps on the Apple App Store with users logging on to find live in over 25 languages across 70 countries. offers the freemium model, allowing you to download the app for free, set up your profile, upload photos and receive daily matches, all without ever opening your laptop.

Apps Are Just For Hookups, Right?

Lets agree that any dating site or dating app can be used for anything you like. Do more people hook-up on dating apps than on JDate , which requires a payment? Probably. Are there some dating hookup apps out there? For sure. Do some people troll the “serious” dating sites looking for a one-night stand? I’m sure. And do some people find serious relationships from an app after swiping right based on a picture? Of course.

Bottom line guys, dating sites offer you more information about a potential match. They allow you to write more about yourself as well. Not to mention that most sites offer a free sign-up and even browsing abilities to kick off your romantic journey.

So if you are looking for something a bit more filling that you want to be sure is within your diet before you consume it, then a “mainstream” site is the way to go. Ready to dive into a gourmet dating site? Check out our Top 10 Best Dating Sites for you to choose from.

About Erika Ettin

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge and author of Love at First Site: Tips & Tales for Online Dating Success from a Modern-Day Matchmaker. She offers services to guide people through all aspects of online dating, from first click to first date. Erika studied economics at Cornell University and received her MBA from Georgetown University. Her company, founded in early 2011, has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, News Channel 8, and, and Erika currently writes a syndicated column for the Chicago Tribune. Learn more about Erika here.



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